Why Are We Here

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Why We Are Here

for the World Trade Organization Summit, Seattle 1999

Because the world we had imagined, the one
   we had always counted on is disappearing.
Because the sun has become cancerous
   and the planet is getting hotter.
Because children are starving in the shadows
   of yachts and economic summits.
Because there are already too many planes in the sky.

This is the manufactured world
   you have come to codify and expedite.
We have come to tell you
   there is something else we want to buy.

What we want, money no longer recognizes
   like the vitality of nature, the integrity of work.
We don't want cheaper wood, we want living trees.
We don't want engineered fruit, 
   we want to see and smell the food 
   growing in our own neighborhoods.

We are here because a voice inside us,
   a memory in our blood, 
   tells us you are not just a trade body, 
   you are the blind tip
   of a dark wave which has forgotten its source.
We are here to defend and honor
   what is real, natural, human and basic
   against this rising tide of greed.

We are here by the insistence of spirit 
   and the authority of nature.
If you doubt for one minute the power of truth
   or the primacy of nature
   try not breathing for that length of time.

Now you know the pressure of our desire.
We are not here to tinker with your laws.
We are here to change you from the inside out.
This is not a political protest.
It is an uprising of the soul.

-- Anonymous

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