Yesterday I stopped in at both virtual and real life "Occupy Wall Street" gatherings, one in Second Life and one in downtown Oakland, where I live. Both were really welcoming, colorful, and interesting places that I hope to come back to.
What struck me was how similar the two gatherings were, with lots of random people just milling about, a variety of messages and ideas being expressed, and a general willingness to work together peacefully. It's just in Second Life , the people looked like dragons and robots and supermodels. And in Occupy Oakland, people were passing out free food that you could actually eat.
It helps that a lot of the "OccupySL" group are also people active in their own communities "Occupy" gatherings at home. But for whatever reasons, they couldn't be out in the streets all the time with others (family obligations, work, infirmity, etc.) Still it is interesting to observe again that our social structures that we create together can cause ripples that blend into other spaces we inhabit. I've seen this with "virtual" faith communities, support groups, and political actions.
In the end, you are having a real experience with others, whether you are out in a tent city outside city hall or sitting at home on your laptop chatting with friends online. "Occupy Everywhere," indeed.