To Government Officials, Law Enforcement Employees, people of the University of California, and Occupy the Farm community — and to all humanity in general…
by Pancho Ramos-Stierle
That we live now in an economy and society that are not sustainable is not the fault only of governments, administrations of public institutions, and corporations armed with political power, heavy equipment and police enforcement.
We all are implicated.
We all, in the course of our daily (economic, educational, and social) life, consent to it, whether or not we approve of it. This is because of the increasing abstraction and unconsciousness of our connection to our economic sources in the land, the land-communities, the land-use economies, and the way we learn.
First, I would like to offer a set of questions, intended to facilitate the process of “farming truth and love,” and specifically in relation to recent events around the Occupy the Farm movement and its experience with UC-Berkeley:
- What is the foundation for happy and healthy communities?
- Who elected the University of California (UC) Regents?
- What’s the connection between the UC Regents and the economic-social-moral crises in the parts of the Planet we call Greece and the U.S.? [no kidding]
- Why do some people in the UC administration favor the partnership with corporations like Bechtel, BP (British Petroleum), Monsanto, Syngenta, Novartis over a partnership with local people?
- Why is it that Monsanto and UC have at least twenty agreements that include licensing, sharing materials for research, sponsoring research, and utilizing their specialized, technical services? [confirmed by Monsanto’s spokeswoman?
- Why did the UC and its police, deny access to three scientists — one of them a global leader in the science of agro-ecology using the Gill Tract since 1981— who are supporting the co-existence of the farm at the Gill Tract and their research but the UC spokesperson claimed that it was “impossible to do good science” due to the presence of farmers?
- How have radioactive material experiments done by some researchers for almost ten years at the Gill Tract affect the health of the neighbors of Albany and the Bay Area Residents? Is this — or contribution to GMO research — what the UC means by “good science”? [Here is a radiological historical use assessment of the land]
- Why is there a big gap between what the UC declares in the press and reality?
- Who benefits from teaching how to legalize torture at UC Berkeley? [At times, the law of men and torture intimately relate to each other]
- Why does a student have to pay close to ~$20,000 per year to attend to a “public” university?
- Is it true that every nuclear weapon the part of the Planet we call the U.S. has ever had has been designed by the UC?
- Can we use taxpayer money to improve the lives of impoverished people in our community and throughout the World instead of constructing nuclear weapons or bailing out the banks with trillions of dollars?
- Why is the Federal Government of the part of the Planet we call the U.S. trying to crush the “American Autumn” or the so-called “Occupy Movement”? [We knew it, but now it is out there]
- How can we improve our personal, local and planetary security? [slow down, slow food, slow science]
- What is the purpose of learning and true education? [Here is a hint]
- How can we facilitate the co-creation of spaces that foster friendship?
- What is the meaning of life?
These are the basic questions raised by many of us, and while we don’t have the answers to all of them, I hope this compilation of information can shed some light so that you can reach your own conclusions.
* * *
Dear beloved sisters and brothers,
May this letter find your thoughts, words, and deeds in harmony.
This is a warm invitation to collectively step up our love, truth, and courage. You could be within or without the system, inside or outside a corporation, it really doesn’t matter. We must appeal to our highest aspirations.
If you are not a religious person this means it is time to bring more integrity to your life to fully develop your potential as a compassionate, courageous, loving, kind, and wise human being.
If you are a religious person this means that it is time to bring God, Allah, Yahweh, Krishna, Rama, Buddha, Jesus, or whatever name you use, closer to your life. Acknowledge God in your heart and let it shine.
Don’t do it for you or me. Do it for your children and future generations.
In the next following days, when you look at the eyes of a child close to you, don’t tell him or her that you are following the orders of your boss. Rather, tell him or her that you are following your heart and the Law of Love — and it might or might not be aligned with the law of men.
Then, before going to bed, reflect on how your days went. How am I feeling right now, and how am I feeling after a hard day at my job? Am I loving me, my family, and my children enough? Am I loving with no strings attached, purely, selflessly? Am I acting with as much integrity as I can? What am I willing to do if I’m fearlessly choosing to lose title, job, and to not have fear of prisons? What will it take for me to follow my highest aspirations, my highest ideals? Is my job aligned with these aspirations?
If you look deeper, you will see that we don’t need jobs. What we need are meaningful livelihoods. We need work that supports not an industrial growth society but a life-sustaining civilization.
It doesn’t matter if you are part of the apparatus of the University of California (UC), BP (British Petroleum), Bechtel, Novartis, Syngenta, Monsanto, Wall Street, the army, the police, the FBI, the CIA, or Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). You could be asked to be a spokesperson of the so-called 1% or to participate in violence you disagree with, the violence that destroys families and the Planet. What cannot be denied is that nuclear weapons, deep ocean oil-drilling, genetically modified crops (GMOs), attacking urban agriculture — like the raid last Monday at the ongoing farm at the Gill Tract in the East Bay— privatization of learning, wars, police brutality, and leaving children orphaned due to the deportation of their parents. All these facts are harming, in concrete and real ways, not only our present but also the future (physical and spiritual) environment we are leaving for our children.
A few weeks ago, a person who lived for 23 years with Mahatma Gandhi was asked at a UC Berkeley talk how to be nonviolent and compassionate with an institution that is actively proliferating hydrogen bombs — like the UC is doing as we speak — by the development of “safer nuclear weapons.” He responded, “If you have 50% of Gandhi within you, you will stop cooperating with this institution and you will start creating a new way of learning, an alternative university.”
It is time to pull out from institutions that are harming us. What a great opportunity for a personal transformation to boost-up your happiness and that of your loved ones! A wonderful opportunity to unconditionally serve others. For real.
Please remember you are not alone. Move from ‘me’ to ‘we’.
We are looking for a spokesperson of truth, not for the 1% but for the 100%. We are looking for officers who can enforce the Law of Love. We are looking for intelligence balanced with the heart. We are looking for entrepreneurs fully invested in the business of kindness and generosity. We are looking for scientists organically supporting the magnificent web of life. We are looking for students of creative love and gratitude. We are looking for lovers of life.
We are waiting for you, with open arms, to join the greatest movement around selfless service that humanity has ever witnessed.
It is time to pull out from institutions that are stopping your development as a complete and happy human being. It is time to make a wise decision. It is time to farm truth, love, courage, compassion, and wisdom. At least, it is time to let the world farm truth, love, courage, compassion, and wisdom. This is true security, a security that involve all of us.
Look into the eyes of a happy healthy child. Then look within yourself. Connect with that inner wisdom we all have. There are no paths; the paths are made by walking. As you walk, please look around. You are surrounded by gifts. Your means are the ends in the making.
We trust you will follow integrity — as true happiness is when our thoughts, words, and deeds are in harmony.
We are waiting for you.
We are the 99% facilitating the healing of the 100%.
May all become compassionate, courageous, and wise.
Please receive all my love and universal blessings.
Undocumented and unafraid, in radical love, your brother always,
Pancho Ramos-Stierle was pursuing a Ph.D. in Astrophysics at the University of California at Berkeley, but when the university announced they were developing “safer nuclear weapons,” he decided to stop cooperating with the institution. His activism and life’s work focus on issues of human rights, environmental sustainability, nonviolence, peacebuilding, urban agriculture, restorative justice, and the development of a vibrant “gift economy.” This open letter originally appeared on the Earthling Opinion blog, and includes a fuller analysis Occupy the Farm, food sovereignty, and public learning.