Occupy Cafe is launching a systematic inquiry into the evolution of the #Occupy movement.  

NOTE: This discussion was part of "Round 1" of our inquiry and is now closed.  Our conversation continues with our "Round 2" thread here.  And help us harvest more from this round here.

The questions below were taken up during a Cafe Call on 11/15.  Participants in that call, as well as subsequent readers of this thread, posted their reflections here and then continued the conversation.

We are now pausing for a "harvesting phase," where we "listen together" and reflect on what has been said.  There is a discussion thread in our "Harvesting" group here, where we can share what we have gleaned.  Please join us in this collective meaning-making process.

Below is the post that initiated this conversation:

I first heard the term "Occupy 2.0" from Walt Roberts a couple of days ago, as he anticipated the dismantling of Occupy Portland where he has been active.  Occupy Cafe is launching an inquiry starting today into the question of what this might look like.  We plan to collectively craft a vision, or set of visions for the future of this movement as an offering of support to all those who have fought so hard thus far.  

To all those brave souls in the encampments: you have already succeeding in radically changing the dialogue in this country and around the world and our thanks and gratitude and admiration go out to you.  What might be possible now?

We begin with this inquiry:

  • What are the most positive things you have experienced emerging from Occupy 1.0?
  • What are the dilemmas/opportunities in the current situation of the Occupy Movement?
  • What question, if answered, might make the greatest difference in the development of an effective response to the clearing of so many #Occupy sites?  


Ben Roberts,

Occupy Cafe Steward

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Replies to This Discussion

Great stuff, Susan, both here and above.  Thanks so much for scribing and for your participation in our conversations.

"Would there have been evictions if 85% of Americans agreed with or knew what the demands were" (from Susan's excellent notes on call comments, above)

According to a poll prsesented in media yesterday  in connection with coverage of  nationwide break up of occupy camps 87% of Americans agree that the income disparity is wrong, feel it in their lives, agree that tx cuts for the rich are wrong  Yet only 27% of americans support occupy.

I think we have to ask

"Why is that?" "What does that mean"


answer to question one:  Evidence of growing awareness and impatience with the inequity of our current predicament.

answer to question two:  How can the Occupy movement survive and thrive?

answer to question three:  What steps can we take now to begin creating a more equitable and sustainable world?

Hi. mzsafiya from today's Occupy 2.0 discussion. Here is a brief summary of the two group break-outs that I participated in:

    Break-out #1:   What are the most positive things you have experienced emerging from Occupy 1.0?

           Suzanne from Pt. Townsend: Dialogue. Although she felt it wasn't yet as egalitarian or peaceful as it could be. She encouraged more peaceful words and images and to remember that we are all human and we need to listen to each other to evolve. She is working on a model of dialoguing with a group and invited listeners to join in their daily conference call (7days/week, 4pm Eastern Phone: 347-304-9152 or she can be reached by email: suzannej@ymail.com

           Dave from Berkeley: He was encouraged by the creativity of the movement and felt that the encampments were a fertile area of exchange between those on the frontline and others experienced in activism.  He is involved in Subtle Activism, using a meditative model to build an energetic bridge.  His website is: www.gaiafield.net

           Susan from San Francisco: She works with Non-Profits on progressive social change.  She feels that the Occupy Movement is an opportunity in creating an ecology of social change.

            Dave from Massachusetts: Hope! After 20yrs in Electoral Politics he feels hope in the power of this response to the direction the Right Wing has pushed us.

            safiya from rural Colorado:  The most powerful thing I observed from the energy of Occupy Wall Street was that it became a catalyst for a long overdue National Conversation about the social injustice that the takeover of corporate media, money in politics and corruption on wall st. have brought about.

            Dave from Berkeley added that Connection was a positive outcome of the movement, that the shared feelings and intention connected people to a deeper, more profound mission.

      Break-out #2:  What are the Dilemmas(Challenges?)/Opportunities in the Current Situation of the Occupy Movement?

            Holly from Portland:  Important to Keep Visibility and to expand visibility beyond the encampments; also, the People's Mic has evolved from the need for Communication.

             Elizabeth from Texas (Austin&Houston) wanted to know how we could hang on to national attention without encampments?  She also mentioned the People's Mic and felt that it would help grow the movement.

             Diana from Harrisburg, VA mentioned reservations about a "leaderless" movement.  She also is concerned about problems that will arise with the onset of Winter.  Diana added that the People's Mic has the subtle benefit of forcing people to really Listen.

             safiya seconded the idea that extending Visibility beyond the encampments was important. People should experience the egalitarian General Assembly and there should be a way to share the experience even if they aren't at a designated Occupation.  Also a suggestion for some actions that entertain while they inform: street theatre, flash mobs.  People's hearts are open when they are laughing or enjoying!

             Elizabeth reiterated General Assembly, People's Mic are both ways for people to slow down and really Listen to each other.  Finally, the idea of Cohesion of Actions: create things anyone could do to send a message to Corporate Power every day.

             Holly added that a whole terminology has emerged e.g., "occupy, general assembly, people's mic" are all now understood to communicate a kind of solidarity that ties people together.

These are from my notes.  I hope I accurately conveyed each persons contribution.  Forgive me if I have made any errors.  It was a wonderful experience and especially helpful for those of us who are not actively camping out.  Peace.

Thanks so much Safiya.  These are wonderful notes!

I am beginning to think that growing / reinforcing the encampments are not the best way to evolve our movement.  They give us an unsavory image in the eyes of the majority.  There is an alternative way that will raise our image and effect more quantifiable results.

Did you know that if one percent of a region's population gathers in groups to meditate, crime, violence, poverty, hospital admissions, psychiatric admissions, car accidents, house fires, bombs dropped in war and injuries sustained in war - plus a host of other social ills - are PROVEN to decrease by at least 16%?  Not only that, but those things that benefit a society are provably increased.

Did you know that there are many who understand that thoughts are things, thus they are conscious creators of their realities?

those who know about the new science and the power of thought live in a world of abundance because we do not recognize the legitimacy of the belief in scarcity.  We literallymanifest things in our realities - just as group meditation literally creates an end to war and an increase in prosperity

Meditation is not prayer.  It is the opposite of prayer.  Prayer is an act of pleading - as if the prayer is a helpless child who begs for things.  Meditation is an act of creation and group meditation is an act of co-creation.  It is an act of accepting our individual inherent power as the gods of our realities.

There is nothing that we cannot do.  How different that is from the worldview that says that we are weak, vulnerable, dependent people who need abhorrent (even criminal) socio/political/economic/religious sytems to take care of us.

If we gather in parks to meditate, who will dare attack us?  Who would find fault with us?  Who will reject the gifts that we create?  What an improved image that will bring to the Occupy  movement as a whole.  We can still bring food for the homeless-even though feeding the homeless is illegal in many places - such as my own home town.

wisdom here gail..thnaks so much

The physical image of occupy must resonate 100% with those they say represent in every way.  The camp in was not that image.

Is anything like that planned as part of the major national NOV 17  day tomorrow? 

 I agree with you that meditation has power.

I also think a massive visible  massive display that physically embodies the 99%..old folk, children, blacks, hispanics, asians, homeless, families, students, dock workers..the real face f the 99% standing quietly , silently for 20 minutes..would be powerful.

Maybe opening with a meditative reading about justice ( a few lines, a clear thought..rippled out through the crown occupy style)..ending with a song ..something everyone would now.."We Shall Overcome", maybe

That would be a vision..a sea of humanity larger than any outdoor rock concert in silent meditation.

Everyone would connect with that and feel connected to that.


There were regular meditation sessions in Zucotti park, Gail.  I think there is a "both/and" opportunity here.  Let those who want to reestablish encampments do so.  Feature things like meditation and also social services for those in need who are drawn to the sites.  Meanhwile, expand what it means to Occupy in myriad ways, as Gary Horvitz has suggested.  

One idea from our Occupy 2.0 world cafe yesterday was to have a "night of 1 million tents" with people camping everywhere.  The question then came up of what they might do in addition to camping and the offering of services was suggested.  What if a mass-meditation session at a designated hour was also part of the plan?

A massive public meditation only would have much more power than a camp in.  The public are not resonating with the camp in image.  It was useful at the outset to create a visual expression of taking back america of what it means to "occupy".

The focus now should be on Washington. 

Wouldn't it be great to full the Washington Mall with peaceful protestors truly refelcting the 99" ..all races, relgions, ages, all together? 

I also am feeling ever more inspired by the vision of adopting placards that state facts about the appalling conditions that unite us in protest.  If every person in america adopted a stat they resonated with and wore it in public pretty soon in every supermarket, in every theater, in every park  87% would be wearing  a stat and realiizng there really is a 99%.

Hi Doreen,

I have watched your posts with interest and appreciation.

I belong to a very large contemplative network here in Maine ( The Northeast Guild for Spiritual Formation and also an affiliate center of contemplative practice, The Alcyon Center).  More than 1,000 unique individuals particpated in our programs this year each of whom is involved in other more local networks.  So our 1,000 may represent a possible community of 15,000 or more.

I am going to be on retreatat Alcyon this weekend and may explore before or after we start what the possibility is for our community  .to somehow sponsor or organize a mass public meditiation in some very visible public space.,perhaps at our state capitol .

I think it would be much more powerful than what occupiers did this morning trying to block egress from wall street subways and trying to block entrances to the stock exchanges.  Do they really think the 1% comes to work in subways..do they not see the faces of the 99% in the thousands of ordinary people arriving at work in lower Manhattan.????

The process itself is powerful as you and others have said.  We who serve the wolrd through intention know this.

But also the physical image of thousands in silent meditation on behalf of the 99% would be very very powerful. Our faces are the 99%..young, old, black, asian, hispanic..all walks of life.

 Our presence in silent solidarity with the 99% would have such power.  Be such an inspiration in a way these young occupiers no longer are.

Did you happen to see my blog post the other day on my vision of occupiers carrying plaacrds with facts about the realities of income inequality?

Can you imagine these stats chanted by a mass of us contemplatives in a litany


To the 1 billion world wide living in chronic hunger

open our hearts

to the 17% of black amaericans unemployed

open our hearts



Hold this vision with me?


Perhaps we can call it into being...I know we can

 Bright Blessings





I am part of occuppy stockholm and I would say I'm still part of the occupy 1.0 

the dilema right now is the goverments are contradicting themselves. We need to spread that out to all the people!

and one more thing the response should be something that nobody expects. Lets make a demostration for the police. Get them on our side. make them a feast make them a party go to the police department and give them a loving and peacefull environment. lets do good to the people that share our miserable jobs salarys and have to deal with the worst job, when related to the protests. 

Lets get policemen in our side!

Fascinating suggestion, David.  I know that the on-the-ground protesters often tell the cops that they are also part of the 99% and point out that their pensions are at risk.  But the energy might be as loving and compassionate and generous as what you are describing here.


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