Everything’s happening so fast. I don’t have much time to write tonight because I have to be up before dawn tomorrow.
Why? Because I’m leaving Miami.
I’ve known for days that this was a possibility. Millions of people from across the country are mobilizing as we speak, slowly but surely making their way to Washington D.C., or at least the nearest state capital. People are packing into every type of vehicle imaginable — old and new, gas and electric, beat-up old sedan and sleek new sports car, second-hand station wagon and commercial bus. Some are even riding their bicycles or simply walking, going as far as they can get by next weekend.
The weekend before Election Day.
State and federal authorities are already starting to take measures to control traffic. They can’t stop every single vehicle heading east, so they’re doing some random stops and checkpoints along major routes looking for anything obvious — wanted fugitives, certain tools and supplies, anything indicating that you might be going to D.C. for the upcoming marches and demonstrations. They’re not outlawing demonstrations entirely, but they’re having one permitted march and rally that will be highly controlled and monitored. Anything else that happens that disrupts the flow of traffic or commerce in D.C. will be considered an act of terrorism. The President has gone on TV again calling for peaceful demonstrations and encouraging people to demonstrate in their own cities so as not to choke the nation’s capital with millions of unruly guests.
But if millions of Americans are upset with the raids, the continued use of fossil fuels, the corruption in government, and so on, what better place to be than Washington D.C.? We are not the guests. It’s our capital. The politicians are the guests. And most of them have overstayed their welcome.
For security reasons, I won’t be disclosing any details about our travel plans until we get there. Honestly, I don’t know the full details myself. My contacts in Miami Diaspora have connected me with a few people along the way who plan on helping everyone get to D.C. Since the authorities are starting to crack down on a few major interstate highways, this may involve taking the scenic route. But we’ll get there.
So why did I decide to leave Miami? Sending a group of Synergists out to D.C. makes sense. Just about every community group of any type is sending some percentage of their members there. And random people who don’t belong to any group are going too. But there are a few hundred Synergists now spread out between three centers. Why not send some of them instead? Why not stay here in the city that I love, the city I worked so hard to come back to, the city that I hope we can breathe new life into with our solar energy and urban gardens and other green projects?
I thought long and hard about this. Honestly, I almost didn’t go. I spent about two hours last night talking it over with Ermete, who is always full of interesting ideas and one of the most genuinely kind human beings I’ve ever known. I’ve always felt a certain closeness to him, but ever since Jess was taken by Bastion, he’s been my greatest source of inspiration and comfort. After talking to him for two hours up on the roof, alone together beneath a glowing blanket of stars, looking out together on the shimmering waters, I thought I would never leave this place again. I thought I would be happy to spend forever in this place. As crazy as it may seem, this sunken city is my home, my life, the place I want to be.
But then this morning, I saw two things that changed my mind.
The first was the children. Synergy Central is mostly filled with adults, but there were some children from Synergy Havana visiting today to see our solar system and what’s left of our garden. I haven’t had any children myself yet, but I find them interesting and endearing. They have such curious and playful minds — asking questions, exploring, climbing around on things and playing with random object until you tell them not to.
I was happy to see them. But then my heart sank when I overheard their teacher explaining why some of the garden had been damaged and what it meant for the community. She explained it in gentle terms, of course — words like “fighting” and “arresting” and “misunderstanding” rather than “attacking” and “disappearing” and “thought crimes”. But explaining the damage lead to a simple lesson about the violence we face simply for trying to create a world that doesn’t run on fossil fuels and factory farms and God knows what else. It seemed so matter of fact, like learning about the sun and the wind and the rain. This is just what happens sometimes. Sometimes they come and arrest people we know, and damage our houses and gardens, and we may feel scared, and we may go hungry for a little while, but we carry on as best as we can. It was a very important lesson for the children given recent events. But somehow I couldn’t stand it. I actually walked away with tightness in my chest and tears in my eyes for the first time since they took Jess. I didn’t mean to disrupt her lesson, so I hope nobody noticed. But something about it really hit me.
And then the last straw was Bastion.
After seeing the children, I went back to my office and looked out my window, lost in thought. After calming down for a few minutes, I noticed several big Bastion boats docked in front of a nearby building. They weren’t engaging in their usual patrolling. The troops were going in and out of the building, loading up a bunch of supplies. They only left behind a few people while several dozen of them piled into the boats with their assault rifles in hand and pulled away. It took a few moments for me to realize what I was actually seeing.
They were leaving.
Not all of them, of course. We showed them what happens when you leave Brickell undefended for even a few minutes. But I made a few phone calls and confirmed that Bastion was sending a large contingent north, either to Tallahassee or maybe even to D.C. They knew that something big was coming and they were being mobilized to stop it.
If I thought like a normal person — a person with some sense of survival — I would have taken that as a sign to stay. Instead, I had the exact opposite response. As I saw those boats speed away, I felt a sinking feeling that only deepened when I made my phone calls to confirm what I already knew.
I have to go.
The fact that they’re pulling some Bastion troops from Miami tells me two things. Number one, they are so afraid of this mass march that they’re leaving an entire major city vulnerable to rebels and looters. And I bet we’re not the only ones. Number two, if they’re sending more people, we need to send more people. This may be one of the most important marches in the history of this country. It may decide the course of this coming election, the course of our nation’s action on global warming, and so many other related things. Whatever happens will lead to either a giant leap back or a giant leap forward. We can’t let Bastion run the show. We have to be there in overwhelming numbers, and we have to make our voices heard.
So I decided to go. And then I decided to spend the rest of the day looking for extra volunteers throughout the city. We’re already sending all of the Synergists we can spare, but now we’re finding more people who want to go to D.C. and need help getting there. Our resources are very limited, but we’re doing what we can. I just hope it will be enough.
If anything happens to me on the way there, this may be my last entry. Thank you to everyone who has read this blog. Writing these entries and talking to the people who read them has been a major inspiration for me. Thank you for all of your support. Thank you for all that you do in your own cities. Whatever happens in D.C., I hope you’ll all keep creating communities where people work with each other and with the sun, wind, and water to build a good life together. Here’s to the day when we all live that way.