By Lili Barsha
In 2011, Patrick Hennessey came out of New York’s Zuccotti Park with the certitude that the theme of “Occupy” needs to include everyone—the 100%. “The movement was suppressed because it was perceived as antagonistic; in order to bring about change, you need everyone on-board,” explained Hennessey. More interested in solutions than protest, he and his partner, Laura Maples, devoted their energies to starting a LoveEvolution. Their goal: to spread love in a world preoccupied with its opposite.
Meanwhile, back in San Francisco, Scotty Miller had been leading the Love Parade for the past decade in a converted school bus, the Magic Bus, designed and painted by Peri Pfenninger. They joined forces, formed a seven-member crew by inviting “anyone” online at www.magiclovebus.org, and set out across the country to “heal divisions coast-to-coast by bringing people of all colors, creeds and classes together to share music, food, ideas and their hearts.”
“Our dream and intention is to manifest 2012 as a year of conscious awakening… we intend to inspire people to vote everyday by consciously choosing what we buy, consume, think or feel, from the clothing we wear to the food and media we consume,” said Hennessey, aka Kernel Love Joy.
“How does one go about ‘healing divisions,’ or even finding them, for that matter?” asked crewmember and cook, Joe Benham. “We searched the hedonistic streets of Las Vegas, the rain-starved mesas of the Hopi, and the monuments to human oppression in Selma, Alabama. This incarnation of the Magic Bus was intentionally designed to bring to mind the kind of hope and potential for social change that existed in the ‘60s. It was (and is) a rallying cry for change though peace, love and all that other good hippie stuff.”
Topanga Canyon singer-songwriter Jennifer Freedom Youngs and her partner, Otto Martin, the production designer on the trip, climbed aboard in Venice. “One of our main messages was about food,” Youngs noted. “We screened movies on the side of the bus everywhere we went, like Thrive, a film about a free-energy utopia in which corporations do not own or control energy and food. I’ve always been a vegetarian, but on the bus I really had to live it—publicly.”
After stretching across 10 Southern states, the tour culminated in Pack Park in Asheville, NC, with a mega LoveEvolution dance party.
“There’s no telling how many people we ultimately reached,” said Hennessey, “we sure planted a lot of seeds of love in a lot of minds.”
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