An open space for global conversation
POST YOUR HARVEST REPORTS HERE:
This is the place to post your realizations, juicy aha's, feelings, summaries, new questions, next action steps— arising out of your group dialogues as comments below.
We remind you that the law of 2 feet is always in play during your dialogues. If you find yourself in a place where you can no longer learn nor contribute, then you are responsible to move yourself to somewhere you can. That is, if you wish to move to a different topic of conversation, you can press "3" on your keypad and we will assist you in doing so.
The following is a list of topics, offered by you at the time of the call, around which to convene your groups:
this is Mary...I can hear you but can't connect...I'm having terrible problems with my voice over computer phone
keep on going!
I can hear but have background noise so can't talk lol. I hung up because I didn't want someone getting stuck with me unable to talk. I thought we were all going to discuss it so thought I'd be able to listen in and jot down notes.
Hi, what's your name & where are you?
Here is what I/we did to advertise Occupy Cafe in Portland
Facebook Event Page – See Description
Multiple posting on multiple FB group pages, including stealth announcements
Posted on Wiki &Occupy Portland.org Calendar
Listed on CNRG (non-profit list: Community Networking Resource Group, 3000 members)
Many personal invites & hooking people in by asking them to do x,y, or z for the event.
Attended rallys & marches & invited people there, asked them to take the invite back to their groups
Announcements made at related community meetings, (Action Work Groups, GA, Spokescouncil)
Flyer didn’t get generated until 2 days before (but guess that was fine!)
I tried to get SpokesCouncil engagement and a list of committees & contacts & meeting schedule. That didn’t manifest but I think the outreach effort got a significant “active occupier” representation.
My apologies-- I had to drop. I look forward to the fruits of the engagement conversation.
Some Notes from Topic 4( ~Inclusivity): Kelly raised concerns that much of the dialogue/topics.agendas does not visibility reflect the issues of a diverse constituency, She suggested outreach to invite/offer collaboration on upcoming actions like MLK Day might be fertile.
Dick in Ohio is finding some natural connections between the students, a local democracy group addressing corporate personhood, and Occupy activists. Occupy seems to be causing new networking and collaboration. He gave examples of some local documentaries )(Thrive& films series. Resource:filmsforaction.org
Sharon M. in Seattle: She's been working with women's congress in March. The most important focus is diversity. Mutual learning to offer things and understand what people need.
Some questions we asked/answered in regard to Occupy Cafe. Kelly answered those & offered to email event planning notes to anyone who wants them. Email her at angelkAToccupycafe.org
We need to be sure we are ~ in process~ with diverse peoples. It is easy for folks to feel shut out and tune out and go away, when they experience a very quick, white dominant way of dialogue and relating. There is no short cut.
Justin in Pdx suggestion that people support the issues but may not show up for a number of reasons. We need to inquire as to what they feel passionate about to build bridges.
Suggestion: Inquire with Transition PDX/the transistion movement to see how they are engaing diversity.
Suggestion: The Commons movement is also interested in space that belongs to all of us. See if how they are plugged.
Sharon: Link one-by-one, there is no short cut. Ask to partner & who else might be interested. This has often not been done cross culturally. We tend to operate with folks " like us".
From woman in Richmond: By reaching out to youth we can engage diversity. Example is SLam Poets, in their areas. That brings in new voices.
We spoke some about white priveledge & how some actions by white people (Mic -checks in Walmart - would PoCs get arrested for doing the same thing?)
Awesome conversation with Stephen Farish. Felt a deep kinship in the topic of corporate personhood including our shared determination, in a grounded sort of way, to become increasingly educated so that our efforts in support of this particular issue and everything that Occupy represents so that we can make a difference. My passion is to attract mainstream and invite them into the dialogue; his is investing time and effort to reverse the corporate personhood. Cliff, who was also part of the conversation, was more interested in exposing the corporate banking thieves; he described what Iceland has done and is doing. What I appreciated most is the respect that the three of us had for each other in pursuing our different track based on where we have the greatest passion.
Thank you Suzanne. Yes it was a great talk! I am always amazed at the different directions the conversation can go when the Occupy topic arises. There seems to be so much that people need to say about their ideas on where this country needs to go. It's difficult to stay on topic because the 'topic' is so interwoven. Occupy is all about our current economic dilemma, of course. But it is so much more than that. I believe it is the underlying message that people generally are most wanting to understand. That message, for me and many people I speak with, is that we are in the middle of a revolution of consciousness. All the numbers and laws and supreme court decisions will make sense once again when the human animal remembers that we are on this planet together and our number one need is to care for the community. We have been conditioned, somehow, to think that our only allegence is to our own needs and survival. We are reawakening to the understanding that by taking care of our neighbors, we are taking care of ourselves. I feel blessed to have connected with so many people in the last few months who 'get' that.
So on one hand I will continue the research and work I'm doing on the 'corporate personhood' issue and I invite anyone passionate about that subject to work with me on this.
On the other hand, I will also remain focused on the more subtle aspect of this movement...the part where we are all connected in spirit and compassion. This is where true, lasting change is going to come from. In the end, that will be the great legacy of this revolution.
Good luck to all of us.
We had some discussion of need to discover and engage with the issues that matter to specific groups, either non-activists, black community (e.g. parallel occupy the hood), Latino community (immigration enforcement issues, anti-Wells Fargo/private prisons).
Discussed difficulty of outreach to other immigrant communities (e.g. Russian and Vietnamese in outer Portland/ Vietnamese in Dallas/ many groups in Maryland): many immigrant communities have very positive loyalty to the existing system as being better than where they came from.
Jenn brought up wealloccupy.com as a resource, including translation of OWS materials into Spanish.
The Transition Town Movement;
Here's a link to the video made at Portland's Occupy Cafe on 11/25/11
There was a brief report from one of the the on-the-ground Cafe participants about the conversation he had that struck me as important. He described a divergence around the idea of "the American Dream," with some people seeing a recovery of that dream as something achievable by the masses while others felt that something entirely different was needed.
Not being present for the original conversation, I can only speculate as to the details. I see this as a both/and, in that the core idea of being able to work hard and make a decent life for oneself and one's family, with each generation seeing a rise in living standards, is something to aspire to. At the same time, the economic system that drove that prosperity left out huge numbers of people and was also based on environmentally unsustainable practices. So in that sense, something entirely new is indeed needed.
Another dimension to this was highlighted in a NY Times Op Ed a few days ago on "The Age of the Superfluous Work." The point made by the author, Herbert Gans of Columbia, was that our economic system is not designed to create full employment and is increasingly incapable of employing all those who need work (or of paying a living wage). Here's an excerpt:
When the jobless recovery ends and the economy is restored to good health, today’s surplus will be reduced. New technology and the products and services that accompany it will create new jobs. But unless the economy itself changes, eventually many of these innovations may be turned over to machines or the jobs may be sent to lower-wage economies.
In fact, if modern capitalism continues to eliminate as many jobs as it creates — or more jobs than it creates — future recoveries will not only add to the amount of surplus labor but will turn a growing proportion of workers into superfluous ones.
What could be done to prevent such a future? America will have to finally get serious about preserving and creating jobs — and on a larger, and more lasting, scale than Roosevelt’s New Deal. Private enterprise and government will have to think in terms of industrial policy, and one that emphasizes labor-intensive economic growth and innovation. Reducing class sizes in all public schools to 15 or fewer would require a great many new teachers even as it would raise the quality of education.
In the long run, reducing working time — perhaps to as low as 30 hours a week, with the lost income made up by unemployment compensation — would lead to a modest increase in jobs, through work sharing. New taxes on income and wealth are unavoidable, as are special taxes on the capital-intensive part of the economy. Policies that are now seemingly utopian will have to be tried as well, and today’s polarized and increasingly corporate-run democracy will have to be turned into a truly representative one.