In this podcast Amadon DellErba discusses anarchy vs. spiritual hierarchy. In response to the corruption we see in politics and governments today many youth embrace anarchy, but does it work? Recognizing the need for change, in 2011 and 2012 Amadon and the Global Change Media team attended many of the Occupy protests happening around the US with Gabriel of Urantia's Spiritualution movement. Amadon shares the story of a protest in Phoenix that went from an angry run-in with an anarchist cell who thought they were cops to marching with and interviewing Reverend Jesse Jackson. (GR\DT 27)
One thing that I really strongly feel is that the youth need leadership, and they need guidance, and they need spiritual guidance, they need elders. And that acts of violence, acts of aggression, and the way they're going about communicating their frustration is not working.
“Nothing You Do Matters Unless What You Do Matters”
I’m Amadon DellErba and this is “Get Real or Die Trying”
How we doing, tribe? Welcome to episode 27 of my podcast. Today I wanted to tell some stories about my past and my associations with some anarchists, actually. It's been coming up in conversation lately with my friends, with some strangers, with some associates and people, with the current rioting that's taking place in the streets all over this country and has been happening for the last few months. Police brutality, and black lives matter, racism, and all of the activity that is taking place in the streets and it kind of brought me back to some of the times that I was in the streets in 2011 and ‘12 with the Occupy Wall Street Movement.
And so I wanted to tell a story today about a certain few situations. So let's go back to November of 2011, and I had just gotten back from New York City, Zuccotti Park where the heartbeat and the start of Occupy Wall Street was happening. And I was with my good friend, Kazarian Giannangelo, who is also producer on this podcast. And so we had just gotten back from New York and then we decided to attend an event that was happening in Scottsdale, Arizona. It was a convention and the abbreviation was ALEC: American Legislative Exchange Council. And basically what ALEC is, is essentially it's lobbyists and CEOs and people from big, massive corporations - ExxonMobil, Walmart, etc. - meeting with lobbyists so that they can basically discuss how they can get bills in motion to get laws passed, so they can make more money in different ways. That’s essentially what it is, and it's actually a nonprofit organization and the way it's described is pretty hilarious, you can look it up. But it's really about the interest of the 1% and the corporations, and passing more laws so that they can profit more off of us. Long story short; that's it. So people were there to protest this organization. So me Kazarian, good friend of mine Kaileen Fitzpatrick who's the cameraman here today and every day with “Get Real Or Die Trying” (we’re a solid crew, we've been rolling hard for years together, super proud of that) we all went to this event in Scottsdale. You know, there wasn't a ton of people there, but it was a very impassioned event and there was a bunch of anarchists there. And they had a police line, and the golf resort where this convention was taking place had a pretty large perimeter around it of police force, and there's an entrance and so we were gathered at this entrance, to have our signs and to protest. Now we weren't going, of course we agreed with, of course we disagreed with Alec and what it stood for. And so we were protesting that, but we weren't going necessarily to protest as much as we were to cover the protest as journalists and as media and as advocates for the Spiritualution Movement. The Spiritualution Movement I've mentioned many times in my podcast which is about spiritual revolution, a spiritual solution to the world's problems founded by Gabriel of Urantia. You can look that up too after the podcast. So anyways, we're there. And we're there to talk about the Spiritualution Movement and to introduce these concepts of spirituality, spiritual activism in the streets, and to intelligently protest. And there was some unintelligent protest happening, of course, like there is at a lot of these events.
So we're there and you got the anarchists showing up in all their black masks on, you know, the red anarchist ‘A’ symbol on their flags, on their shirts, and they start attacking the police line, they would charge, and kick, and throw rocks, and throw things. The police were, you know, their outfitted in riot gear, shields, helmets, the whole body armor, the whole deal. This was kind of our first, slightly intense protest situation because, you know, they started firing out pepper spray, and arresting people, and breaking up the crowd and so forth. And so at that time, I was there with the Spiritualution Movement and I was broadcasting a live stream from my cell phone. Back in 2011, live streaming was pretty big at the time, especially because corporate media was not going to cover what was going on in the streets. And so it was the people's media. The individual journalists really, there was a time there about a year period in 2011 to ‘12 or so where it really surged and independent media of people basically live streaming. And some people got really well known for it. They would travel to these locations, including me, in these big protests, and they would film and interview and live stream the events so that people could tap in, and actually see what was really happening in the streets; not from CBS a few blocks away with the anchor on the side of the street in her dress talking about it, but actually be right there, dodging the rubber bullets, and in the tear gas.
So I'm live streaming, I'm about 20 minutes in, I'm talking about what I see. I see all the anarchists, they’re storming the police line, they're charging it and kicking their shields, they're throwing rocks. And then, I start interviewing people, “Hey, why are you here today? Tell me about why you're here. Tell me about ALEC.” About 10 minutes later, I see four men all dressed in black, anarchists with their masks on except for one, start walking towards me slightly aggressively. I knew they weren't happy. So I, you know, I kind of took a position ready to do what I needed to do if they were going to attack me. And one of them came up and said, “Hey, are you the guy who's live streaming?” I said, “Yeah, I am.” He said, “Well, my buddy said, you're talking sh*t about us anarchists on your live stream, he's watching it. And quit pointing the camera and trying to film our faces.” Which I wasn't trying to do. And I said, “Well, I apologize. I'm not doing that.” And he said... he didn't say anything, actually…. He just came up to me and tried to grab my arm, and take the phone out of my hand, to which I responded to by cupping my hand and swatting his ear pretty hard, disoriented him. And we exchanged some words, and I made it very clear that if they tried to attack me I would do whatever necessary to defend myself. We had a Mexican standoff for a moment, and they said, “Just don't film us.” Blah, blah, blah. They walked off. So that was kind of the first altercation. And I was like, “Hmm, that's interesting.” It was kind of violent, kind of angry.
Long story short, the protest goes on for about eight hours, about 25 people get arrested, it’s the end of the day, we had talked to some people and we had gotten the text, we had gotten the information about this private text group, where the protesters would communicate where to meet. And there was going to be a protest the next day there, as well; we were staying in Phoenix. So we got this address, texted to us, like, “Meet here” about, you know, plans about what we're going to do tomorrow and whatever like that.
So we started walking. And we traveled in a very well organized fashion. We had our gear, we were kind of military-esque in the sense that we had a level of order, and command, and efficiency in the way we conducted ourselves and traveled through these cities that we went through. And so some people didn't really know who we were because we weren't just like journalists out there, we weren't just protesters. We were like this organized group of four dudes, like with cameras, signs, and we really kind of stood out.
So we get to this place, the address, and we just, we don't really know where we are, and we kind of start walking down this alleyway and we turn the corner and go through, like, this building and we get to this kind of backyard junkyard. And it's, I don’t know how big it is... It's probably as big as a basketball court and, but a little bigger maybe. Anyways, it's a junkyard and there's… it's completely full of anarchists. It wasn't the normal protesters, the people who were out there. It was the anarchists black bloc, it was the cell of anarchists in Phoenix. And apparently it was the meeting place for many, many years, of these people. And they're all dressed in black, and the energy was a little intense and we thought we were going to just a general meeting of the general protesters because not every protester is an anarchist. So we didn't know we were going to this meeting of just anarchists. So there was just a lot of animosity, just staring us down like, “Who are these guys? Why are these four guys here?” And so we go in and you know, all eyes are on us. And it was pretty uncomfortable. So we try to just have some conversations and talk to a few people and you know, it was time for the meeting. So they called the meeting. Everything is done by consensus. They form a circle and they're like, “First thing we want to talk about it as a security concern.” So I'm like, “Cool, what's this?” I wonder what the security concern is. And then everybody votes and says, “Okay, let's talk about that security concern.” And the girl was talking, she's like, “We want to know who you four are,” and points right at us. I’m like, okay. So I start explaining who we are, we're from the Spiritualution Movement. We're there to film, and interview the protestors, and interview people on the street, and tell their stories, and talk to them about our idea of what Spiritualution is, and all this.
Long story short, they didn’t buy it. They actually, literally thought we were undercover cops. And so they just wanted us gone. They're like, “You need to leave right now.” I'm not saying this was like a nice little kumbaya conversation. You have to realize here, like we're in this area, that's like completely closed off. There's like one way in one way out. It's like a junkyard. There's like all this weird art. I remember there was like this stack of like 20 shopping carts, stacked high, with like a couch on top and a spear stuck into it with the anarchist flag flying. And it was just like, kind of like a “Mad Max” feeling like, weird-ass place, man. And, these people were like, you know, potentially violent. So I'm ready the whole time, like this might go down, like we might get attacked. I'm like looking for exit routes and looking for things I can pick up to use to defend myself if I have to. And anyways we get voted out, and they're like, “Leave! Leave now!” Like chanting and sh*t. And like “Get out of here!” Basically chased us out.
So we left, you know. So then after we're kicked out of this place, it was kind of a blessing because we shouldn't have been there anyways, because they're just gonna, you know, circle up in there in their little den and talk about how they can be destructive the next day. And so we ended up at this beautiful March and lo and behold, Reverend Jesse Jackson was there. And so we had the great blessing of meeting Jesse Jackson, and marching with him, and doing an interview for the Spiritualution Movement, which you can also find online.
And I thought it was just such a contrast… here we are leaving this anarchist cell, super like, secretive cell, talking about how we can basically, how they can be more destructive and you know “F authority” and “F hierarchy.” And then we go to this speech by Reverend Jesse Jackson; A beautiful spiritual man, a elder, a man who's been in the streets for decades, who marched with King, who is an example of a man of authority, in my opinion, and a beautiful soul. And he's speaking the spiritual truth, and he's saying keep hope alive, which he's been saying for 40 plus years. And talking about faith and hope and peace basically. And being a peaceful protestor.
What was interesting is, we're in the streets, marching with him, and he really kept trying to slow down the crowd to, one, walk slowly, and quietly, and peacefully, and to lock arms, and to just not rush through it, and to just have that spiritual presence, and walk through the streets, and people wouldn't listen. They just kept barging forward and wanting to go forward, and it’s just an example of our society today and the young people today, not wanting to respect authority, respect their elders. Why wouldn't you listen and respect Reverend Jesse Jackson who's in the street, who's been in the streets, like I said, for decades? And who's asking for this and he's a leader there. Why wouldn't the young people just listen, and respect that, and show him the respect he deserves, because he has put his life on the line many, many times in the streets, and he's walked with the greats.
What a juxtaposition going from the anarchists cell to a Jesse Jackson speech. And of course, while we were walking there was an individual who came up to us and was actually apologetic, and had heard that we were kicked out and you know, said, “Oh, you know, we thought you were cops too, but now we know that you're not.” But that was one person basically out of probably 40 or more people who came around and apologized to us. And we saw some of those people the next day, so it was kind of awkward because they still thought we were cops or whatever.
Regardless of all that, you know I was blessed to interview Jesse Jackson, like I said, and then the cool thing is about six months later in May of 2012, I ran into Jesse Jackson again at the NATO Summit in Chicago, and was able to interview him and briefly speak to him. And a lot of respect for that man, he's been doing it for years and he brings the spiritual awareness. And so we, like I said, young people should just pause, and show respect to those who've gone before us.
You know, what's interesting is we had the beautiful blessing of going all across the country, all the major cities and I spoke to self-proclaimed anarchists in all of those cities, and almost all of them kind of had a different interpretation and different response to what they thought anarchy was, and why they call themselves an anarchist. But of course there is the basic undertone and understanding of what that is, which is basically it's a resistance of authority. They don't like the state. They don't believe in a hierarchy of power and structure, and they believe that every individual is autonomous and can be their own leader, basically and apart of the state, and they don't need government. And it's basically rebellion and it's really if you synthesize it all down it’s, “F authority.” That was a massive chant we would hear all time. “F authority. F the system. F the police.”
Now I want to talk about the concept of good, Godly authority. Because there’s so little examples on the planet today, of that. And so I can understand why young people today are upset, why young people are in the streets, protesting, burning down buildings, burning down police cars, breaking, vandalizing, etc. I don't agree with any of that, but I can have sympathy and understand about that anger, because it's misplaced and they don't have any hope. It's a sense of hopelessness. And I've had a few conversations recently with people about Black Lives Matter, about the people in the streets, about the concept of burning down the buildings, and the looting, and the violence. And it's a complex subject, and everybody has their opinion. So I'm not here to offend anybody. But one thing that I really strongly feel is that the youth need leadership, and they need guidance, and they need spiritual guidance, they need elders. And that acts of violence, acts of aggression, and the way they're going about communicating their frustration is not working. And I am in no way trying to say that I can put myself in the shoes of a black man or woman of this country, and the years of systemic racism, and say that I can relate to that. I can have empathy; I can have sympathy, but I'm not trying to say I'm you and I understand what it's like, because I probably would be in the streets, too, burning sh*t down if my people were being killed unjustly over, and over, and over again.
But I will say that I know that there are groups of people who don't agree with the destruction that's taking place. Portland, Oregon has been in, whatever, 50 plus nights of vandalism and protest in the streets. And it's a way to communicate to the world and to the powers that supposedly be, your frustrations and your disagreement. I totally agree with that. That's what they're trying to communicate. They're getting their message across, but is it effective? Does it cause change? And this whole concept of defunding the police, is that really the answer? Is it really the answer to have a lawless society, to not have police?
You know, when you start to get some wisdom and understand, and you actually start to be someone who's had to use and rely on the police for protection in certain situations, you then realize that it really makes no sense to live in a lawless world where there isn't someone to enforce the law. It doesn't make any sense. Now, the people who are saying this probably have never been a business owner, or a landowner, or a family man, and they haven't had things to protect. And so from my perspective… of course, there's bad cops and good cops. Of course there's injustice, I'm not saying that. But I'm saying that there has to be a way that order happens. Because I've had to call the police multiple times, as early as two weeks ago, for protection. And if we didn't have that and you put justice in the hands of the people, more violence actually happens, believe me.
And so it's not the answer, and it's not an easy thing. I'm not here to talk on my podcast to give the answer about all that. What I am here to say is that anarchy is not the answer, anger is not the answer, and that really a Spiritualution movement is the answer, and you need to go to spiritualution.org to learn more about the spiritual revolution, the spiritual activism, the spiritual solution, and what Gabriel of Urantia talks about.
So you can go to spiritualution and you can see a lot of the videos with the same crew who is making this video right now, made nine years ago. It's pretty cool. That's commitment, that’s loyalty. That's a brotherhood right there. And so you go, and you check that out, and you tell me via the comments via the emails, however you want, on the social media, on the website of Get Real, what you think.
But I think we as human beings have to start having conversations, and start promoting, and start talking about active dissension against evil in a higher way than burning, looting, and taking to the streets in violence. I'm all for taking to the streets and protesting something, and demanding change from our government and from the people, the corporations, whatever it is people feel the need to protest. The injustice of police brutality is very real. It's a very real problem. There needs to be reform. There needs to be changes. There needs to be education. But there has to be a consciousness and a spiritual consciousness shift. It's not the police departments budgets that allow them to shoot the innocent black man, or woman, or any person of color. It's their lack of consciousness. It's their racist thinking. It's their cultural wrong upbringing that allows them to disassociate their brotherhood with someone else, their sisterhood with someone else. That's what has to be changed. That's the Spiritualution. That's the consciousness shift. Defunding has nothing to do with it, really.
So anarchists out there who will be listening to this will be pissed at me. Oh, well. I've never stopped pissing people off, never been afraid of that. I'm not here to say that I have all the answers. But I know from my own personal experience and being in multiple large protests from 50,000 people in Chicago at NATO, to 300 people at the ALEC protest in Phoenix, to thousands of people in LA, and New York, and San Diego, these different places, that I've seen what's effective in the streets, and I've seen what's not. And violence, and the anger, and the cussing at the police, and the throwing of things is never effective. In fact, all it does is delegitimize you. It gives the media stuff to film, it gives them clickbait, and gives them things to put out there to make the people in the streets all look like a bunch of angry animals, and not intelligent citizens of this country and of this world, most importantly. Who cares about this country? Citizens of the world, global cognizant citizens of this beautiful planet, Earth. We're all brothers and sisters. And as Gabriel of Urantia says, “One God, One Planetary Family.” That's it, that's the top-level consciousness. So if we can really start to understand that - “One God, One Planetary Family” - no borders, no isms, no schisms, no separations. Go about your day and act in that consciousness. Apply that to your thinking. You'd be surprised how we don't always do that. And you'd be surprised when you do how you become a peacemaker, you become a unifier. And like a few podcasts ago it's unity without uniformity.
And so we all have to take responsibility to adopt the consciousness of “One God, One Planetary Family.” The Spiritualution consciousness. And go around and treat our brothers and our sisters all around us with that love, with that higher spiritual love. That's the answer. Not “F authority.” Not “F the system.” Love. Now that may sound trite and may sound cheesy. Even it may sound idealistic and what does that mean? I'm telling you what it means. You personally treat every single person around you with love: the black person, the Native American person, the Mexican person, the white supremacist, or whatever it is. You can disagree with what they believe, but you treat them with love.
One thing I've always tried to do in my travels, in my blessed travels and my ability to meet all different types of people, all walks of life, is to be kind of a spiritual chameleon. And what I mean by that is adapt to whatever environment I am in, whoever I am talking to, and find commonality. Never compromise. Never compromise myself, and my personality, and my beliefs, but adapt. Have the humility to try and understand their perspective. Find something in common with all people. So one day I can go hang out with a bunch of Jews, and the next day I can go hang out with a bunch of Muslims, and the next day I can go hang out with a bunch of Christians. And one day I can go hang out with a bunch of rednecks, even possibly redneck racists, and still try to find commonality and uplift their thoughts.
And so we can't be separators and that's what we are as human beings; we're natural separators. We need to be natural joiners. Join our consciousness together. Find what we have in common, which is so much, and have a higher consciousness of love.
That’s it guys, anarchy is not the way. It's a fun little story I just told you, you can actually go to Spiritualution and read an article about it that I wrote. We have some videos up, as well of that event, again, it's the ALEC: American Legislative Exchange Council protest in 2011. And we'll put some footage in this podcast too, for you guys to see. And I look forward to talking to you next time.
Check out my website at http://getrealordietrying.com
Leave me a voicemail on Anchor at Anchor.fm/getrealordietrying
Rate and review us on Apple Podcasts or any of the platforms you listen on.
Be sure to follow me on social media and share this podcast with your friends.
Word of mouth is a great way to share the vibe.
"Get Real or Die Trying with Amadon DellErba" is a production of Global Change Media.
And remember: "Pain is Temporary. Victory is Eternal."