An open space for global conversation
I just got this email from Bob Jones after today's Cafe Call and thought it would make a good starting point for a discussion thread here. I will also add Rob Wheeler's earlier post from this group's Wall on this subject.
I agree with the following quote:
" If we want a chance at a decent future, the movement here and around the world must grow."
Noam Chomsky Nov 2, 2011
I would like to see a continuing discussion on your website regarding how best to do this.
I feel this is especially critical at this point in time due to the onset of winter in northern climates.
I would also like to have a forum where inidividuals from around the US and the world can share actions, strategies and tactics to meet this goal and whether their actions were successful or not.
For example, our Support OWS group in Ellsworth Maine is considering making/producing "99% "signs and posting them along country roads. Has anyone tried this and what has been the response if any?
Bob is particularly interested in discussing what smaller Occupy communities can do to help the cause during Winter, I see that as having two aspects--supporting larger encampments in other, perhaps colder, locations, and also developing local strategies that will work when the Occupy group is small and has limited resources that might make a Winter encampment especially challenging.
Here's Rob Wheeler's Wall post on this subject:
Thanks for raising this. I am including below a note I wrote about this a couple of weeks ago. I think that involving schools and using campus' is a great idea; and the more discussion about how we could do this the better. Some of us were involved in shutting down and taking over campuses during the student strikes during the Vietnam War. Today there are a lot of climate change activities going on on campuses. Either way there are models and resources that we can use and borrow or learn from.
Yes, the time to start planning for extreme weather is now. Each of the Occupy centers ought to be puttin out the word that they need places to sleep, store and change their clothes, and shower nearby and especially when the weather gets cold. If we all work together on this we ought to be able to keep people on the streets all through the winter and then come next spring and summer we will really come out in mass.
There are probably people friendly stores and businesses that could also provide a place for serious protestors to come in and get warm etc when the weather turns and even places for indoor meetings and public displays and presentations, etc. During the student strikes during the Vietnam war we moved much of the campus, classes, and strike activities into downtown businesses and public facilities. There is no reason we can't do the same now if we are smart.
We need to keep this movement "people centered" and somewhat free form; but at the same time make it easy for mainstream America to support and get behind it. Let's truly become the 99% or at least the 65% who truly want what's best for all the people and our planet and haven't yet been brainwashed by the 1%.
It used to be common to have community ride boards (perhaps still is) so that people could arrange ride sharing for special trips. We could do something similar to provide temporary housing and boarding services for occupiers, for when the weather gets bad or people are forced out of the park, etc. In other words people could list both rooms and facilities they have available to support occupiers; and occupiers could list the things that they need: a shower every few days, an internet connection, a place to store some of their things where they'll be safe, a place to dry out and cook a meal every few days when it is extremely cold, etc.
Churches and private or alternative schools (or social service organizations and homeless shelters) might be able to provide much of this on an ongoing basis.
What we need is to be able to keep an ongoing visible presence during the cold months and where new people can join in, a public place where all of the occupiers and their supporters can meet regularly to plan activities, ongoing publicly visible activities, and more solidarity around what we are trying to accomplish and how. If we can keep these things together through the winter then there will be no stopping the movement in the spring. In the meantime we can continue to raise a ruckus during the coming months while making plans to organize an on-going and ever more effective presence and movement.
Thanks everyone for your commitment.