Justin Jacoby Smith is an organizer, web geek, Buddhist, and poet.

closing out 2011

Back at the end of 2010, reviewing the year, I think I was stunned by the breadth and variety of what I'd done. Then 2011 happened.

I recorded an album's worth of songs.

I joined a burgeoning and ambitious startup, and somehow I wound up with the title of "Interactive Director." I put together art events, and promoted the hell out of them. I made good friends. Really good friends.

I took up DJ'ing. I played an international electronic music festival. I opened for one of my favorite artists.

I learned how to do media relations for a small group of upstarts that were trying to do something good.

Sadly, like so many startups crippled by a combination of ambition and miscommunication, it fell apart in our hands. I spent August and September spinning my wheels, trying to figure out where to put my ambition and what to do with myself.

On September 20th, I caught a segment on the news about something called "Occupy Wall Street."

I went to New York to meet Doug Rushkoff and see Zuccotti Park for myself, and I joined the media team of OccupyDC as fast as I could. Now, 2011 into 2012, we're the last big camp standing on the east coast. I'm goddamn proud of that--glad for what it says about our camp, and the people in it, and glad for what it says about our democracy that our federal government makes a point to let us stand.

As I write this we're approaching #J17, also known as "Occupy Congress," a massive day of protest on the National Mall that I'm helping spearhead. I don't know that thousands gathered will make the government hear us, but I know the people will see us. Their support is what matters.

After too many quiet nights of silent desperation the radical hiding in my heart has found his way out again. After resignation to the omnipotence of capital, after giving up on the power of people to change the world, I'm alive in a way I haven't been in years.

There have been other details--girls, songs, arrests--but what I've learned most this year is easy to summarize: I want to change the world. And now I know that together we can.

Let's fucking get it.

2012, motherfuckers.