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Occupy Wall Street and Beyond

In Fall 2011, people joined in Liberty Square in lower Manhattan and began to organize in nonviolent protest against the greed and corruption of the wealthiest 1% of America. Since then, Occupy movements have sprung up in cities and small towns across the US and throughout the world.

How can I get involved as a Socially Engaged Buddhist?

We at BPF are inspired by this mobilization and encourage socially engaged Buddhists to find ways to bring our practice to this movement. Learn more about why BPF supports the Occupy Movement.

On December 3rd, BPF members, chapters, allies came together for Nine Minutes of Silence in support of the Occupy Movement.  We used this moving dedication as part of our practice on that day. Read more here.

Being “Present” at Occupy: During the fall, people hosted ongoing meditation sits at several Occupy sites. People appreciated a space to pause, to ground, to center as they participated peacefully in these movements. See photos of meditation at several Occupy sites!

Check to see if these sits are still going on!
Occupy Wall Street – daily meditation with Interdependence Project at 3:30-4:30pm on weekdays and from 1-2pm on weekends; MedMob at 3:30pm Wednesdays, noon Saturdays in Zuccotti Park
Occupy Cal – meditation and  empathy sharing  on Wednesdays and Fridays at 2:10 PM at Sproul Plaza
Occupy Oakland – meditation daily at noon, look for Buddhist Peace Fellowship banner; also yoga daily at 8am
Occupy SF – meditation weekly on Thursdays at 8:30pm led by San Francisco Zen Center residents; meditation weekly on Tuesdays, location to be determined
Occupy Seattle – meditation daily at 6pm with BPF’s Seattle Chapter
Occupy Toronto – ongoing offerings of relaxation, meditation and yoga. Check with Medics Tent for upcoming times
Occupy Vancouver – meditation twice daily at 9am and 5pm

If you are hosting regular meditation at your Occupy site, let us know and we will post it:

On Sunday October 16 at 3pm EST / 12 noon PST, several mindfulness-based communities came together to host open, public meditations in their cities.

If you have been involved in the protests on Wall Street and elsewhere as a socially engaged Buddhist, we would love to hear your story. Contact us at
Being Present at Occupy Oakland: Buddhist Peace Fellowship has been closely connected with the Occupy Oakland encampment happening just 2 miles from our national office in solidarity with Occupy Wall Street.

Learn more about how Buddhists are participating in Occupy Oakland.
What are Buddhists saying about the Occupy Movement?

Turning Wheel Media’s Blog on the Occupy MovementA multi-voiced blog of on the ground perspectives from Buddhists participating in the Occupy Movement

Occupying the Present Moment: Why BPF is supporting the Occupy MovementBPF Staff, with support from Mushim Ikeda-Nash, Maia Duerr, Roshi Joan Halifax, and Chris Wilson

Arising to the Interconnectedness of Life? A Buddhist Perspective on the Occupy MovementBernie Glassman, 12/22/11

Notes on Economy (Pt. 1)Joshua Stephens, 12/12/11

Silence in the Occupation — A Model for Others?Patrick Groneman, 12/9/11

Our full collection of Buddhist perspectives

What are our Social Justice Allies saying about the Occupy Movement?

We have been following commentary on the Occupy movements that brings an analysis of race, capitalism, colonization, and militarization to our understanding of this movement. We are also interested in how the US Occupy Movement connects to other global movements for justice.

What does healing look like?: To all the white people talking about unity in the Occupy movement- bodies of story, 10/27/11
“healing comes from unity, but not unity that only comes from silencing.  It comes from unity that is built, that is carefully, slowly, and painfully constructed, by listening to each other and realizing we have a lot to learn.”

Occupy Hope – Rebecca Solnit, 10/20/11
“Dear young man who died on the fourth day of this turbulent 2011, dear Mohammed Bouazizi,

I want to write you about an astonishing year — with three months yet to run. I want to tell you about the power of despair and the margins of hope and the bonds of civil society. I wish you could see the way that your small life and large death became a catalyst for the fall of so many dictators in what is known as the Arab Spring.”

Our full collection of social justice perspectives

Where can I learn more about the Occupy Movement?

Occupy Wall Street – the unofficial de facto online resource for the ongoing protests happening on Wall Street.
Declaration of the Occupation of New York City – NYC General Assembly, 10/1/11

Occupy Together – find out about the growing number of communities that are showing support for the Occupy Wall St. movement

October2011 – People started occupying Freedom Plaza in Washington, DC on October 6, to “Stop the Machine, Create a New World”

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