This Monday's Vital Conversation looks back on the events of last Tuesday to harvest success stories, review coverage in the media, and consider what we learned about the state of the movement.

In the words of one participant Occupy Cafe Steward Ben Roberts spent much of the day with, "we learned that the revolution won't be televised."  The media did take note though, both mainstream and alternative.  Below are some links to reporting of various kinds.  We invite you to share your own stories here as well, and to post links to pieces you feel capture something of value.

  • Reuters initially declared the protest "a dud," but then reconsidered and ran this piece that focused on arrests and smashed windows.
  • Alternet offers "Four May Day Stories the Corporate Media Missed While Fixating On Obama's College Girlfriend."
  • The site Occupied Stories has a number of first person accounts, including that of Alexis Goldstein of NYC, who offers a long list of actions she participated in and then concludes: "I was reinvigorated by the new communities that were formed on this gorgeous day of action in the streets. Community is the best antidote to fear I know, and on May Day, we built community. I can’t wait for the summer."


 [Photo by Eric Isaac]

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Here's more from Alexis Goldstein via n+1.  She writes:

Before I occupied Wall Street, Wall Street occupied me. What started as a summer internship led to a seven-year career. During my time on Wall Street, I changed from a curious college student full of hope for my future, into a cynical, bitter, depressed, and exhausted “knowledge worker” who felt that everyone was out to screw me over.

The culture of Wall Street is pervasive and contagious. While there are Wall Street employees who are able to ignore it, or block it out, I was not one of them. I drank the Kool Aid. I’m out of it now. But I’d like to tell you what it was like... 

Some shots from NYC, including OC Steward Ben Roberts (olive green shirt and holding ">" sign.  Ben was  part of the equation "heart+brain>$" that was conceived of, and executed by, members of the OWS Think Tank.  Notice the red heart in distant background of second picture as well, when the un-permitted march from Bryant Park to Union Square briefly took over Fifth Ave. before the cops made a couple of arrests and pushed us back onto the sidewalks.

photos courtesy of Eric Isaac and Scoboco

"Occupy." Is it a "brand" or is it an "idea?"

(h/t Phil Mastrocola)

Huffington Post: May Day 2012 In D.C.: Occupy Movement Gathers In Meridian Hill/Malcolm X Park; suggests  “Around 75 of the movement's followers and supporters, in addition to television cameras and representatives of the media, gathered in Meridian Hill/Malcolm X Park on Tuesday afternoon for an event billed as a carnival”; see


The Washington Examiner: Occupiers snarl D.C. traffic in May Day protest

Table game @ the Washington DC Mayday Event in 2012 @ Malcolm X Park


See links on Occupy Maine TV ( - including the video of the "General Strike Portland" - with other summary segments pending. 

"What does it mean to be "an Occupier?"  

How might we think of Occupying as a process and not a label?

(h/t Anita Orilkoff)

See attached - related to the Mayday Events in NYC - and "reporting"


"What is the value and purpose of our direct actions?"

(h/t Bob Klotz)

Direct Actions can be a natural and necessary extension of the principles of Occupy...philosophy manifest!

But not required certainly...

12 Step considerations come to mind: the principles of 12 Step (AA) are brilliant (as is the case with Occupy)...the language outdated/awkward/prone to reactivity....and the people "challenging" (at times - and wonderful!). 

A return to the principles seems critical (see OWS) but most processes require "work" (as per President Nasheed of the Maldives: "I don't hope - I work!"). 

12 Steps = going to meetings, working the Steps, "keep coming back". 

Occupy...for you to decide but I would suggest a similar structure - including Direct Action!

Otherwise there's the risk that it's only intellectual/philosophical musing (or worse) - which certainly is important...but...

Daniel R. Peterson reciting poetry:

Anita Orlikoff asks:

  • How do you have a movement that truly includes the 99%, and even the 100%?
  • How do we connect more with others in a spirit of gratitude and recognition of our common humanity?
  • What if we had conversations with those who might hold very different opinions with the goal of understanding and being curious, not having an argument or trying to persuade?


Weekly Cafe Calls

Regular Calls are no longer being held.  Below is the schedule that was maintained from the Fall of 2011 through Jan 10, 2013.

"Vital Conversations" 

8-10a PDT | 11a-1p EDT | 3-5p GMT 

Tuesdays (except 10/16)
"Connect 2012"

1-3p PDT | 4-6p EDT | 8-10p GMT

"Occupy Heart" 

3-5p PDT | 6-8p EDT | 10p-12a GMT

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