I had no intention of speaking when I arrived. I was helping with broadcasting the meeting, that was my purpose there. Yesterday, someone said that I should speak. I happened to have some of the same thoughts as this other young man did. I wrestled with the idea. That was part of the reason I was up so late and why I slept so restlessly. Anyway, I started writing down my thoughts last night, and thinking about how I would present my thoughts. Although, I wasn’t sure if I should do it or not… I wanted to be prepared just in case. Glad I did.
Between then and now a lot happened. There was the Atlanta and Boston live feeds. The huge amount of tweeting and info relaying on http://www.occupyphilly.org chat. My regular life fit was squeezed into my time as well, however with less regularity than usual. I’m sure many of you understand what I mean by this. I was shaken by the news when I woke up (read earlier posts) and didn’t remember to bring the notebook I was scribbling in when I left my house. Again, by 9am my focus was shifted.
The general assembly was kicking off. Technical issues were worked out. We were rolling. Good feeling.
I was kind of lingering by the tech tent and looking on. This is where speakers were waiting to go up, and I was asked repeatedly if I was waiting to speak. “No, but thank you”. I said that several times. The other speakers were passionate and basically just all around amazing, but I heard some things that were directly connected to the subjects I felt we needed to discuss and no one was talking about. The same things I was scribbling in my notebook.
It popped into my head that maybe I should carry on with speaking. I looked out into the crowd and caught eyes with someone I had never met. Unexpected. Just as I was thinking, “should i do it?” – She nodded at me twice. Total coincidence I’m sure, but it was all I needed. That happened in a split second. Within another 60 seconds I had typed out what is below into my ipad. Within the second minute I was being handed the mic and was stepping on stage. The abrupt turn of events put me in a mode where I didn’t have time to be nervous. Here is what I tried to say, not sure exactly what I said now, but this should give you an idea.
A great experience over all. Glad I could share it with you all. If anyone knows of a video of me speaking, please send it to me. It’s probably worth a giggle.
Anywho… I had to get back to the office so I can continue to keep all plates spinning. So I got my stuff together and boogied on out.
I was able to help with the broadcast today. After some struggling with livestream and my laptop, we were able to get the stream going just in time. Thanks Randy and SteadyDan, and All.
I fell asleep at around 3am. I didn’t mean to. Before I even came to grips with that, I was crying. I am not really a crier, but there I was.
The images of the Occupy Boston situation, that unfolded during my slumber, are striking. This is happening NOW. Everywhere. In every major city and small town. People are standing up for what they believe in and it’s not necessarily what the main-stream-media (msm) is saying. It was thousands, not hundreds in Boston. There WAS brutality. Constitutional rights were infringed upon. This is not the first attack against the 99%. This is not the first attack against the occupy movement.
The crowd may appear to you as young, uninformed, idealistic or “typical” protesters. These are some of the descriptors that I have read and thought myself, read below. Regardless of that, they are the 99 JUST LIKE YOU. That is not a cliche. That is the TRUTH! We are together. The crowd of those who are most passionate are there 24/7. It fits into their world, they have the time. Do not look at them for their demographic status. This crowd… These Crowds… they are standing up for everyone. We are being taken advantage. And this crowd of young people (and less young people) are sacrificing their comfort and freedom to demonstrate against the hierarchies that have put us all in this mess. The game is rigged, and the jig is up.
BE HEARD. HELP US! STAND TOGETHER!
More photos here:
Here is a link to the reuters report. Reports are varying on numbers arrested and injured. Second camp was dismantled.
I couldn’t make it down for the general assembly tonight. So it was nice to see the livestream working - here’s a link .
edit: sadly, it went down at 8:01
edit: came back up at 8:13 – NO VIEWERS LEFT! amazing. everyone sat through 12 minutes of silence and this:
that’s dedication! the audio is nearly worthless now. anyway… still watching.
Honestly, the speakers I could hear were lacking. Bus fare, slavery, abandoned properties? Really? We are setting our sights mighty low. Then there was something like a concert? ok. I wish I could hear now. Where’s the business? Did I miss it?
I have been thinking about the plan. The strategy of this. Create a proposal that is agreed upon by the majority through a fully democratic process, collectively. Then we will raise it to the government. I guess I’ve concluded that I don’t buy the idea. No impact in my opinion. It puts too much faith in government. There is no reason for them to listen to our proposal. If they do listen AND agree to it, they can just change the laws back to the way they like them once we quite down and go home. All of this camping and tent-city government organization and all of the trying… And in the end they are only planning on such an anti-climactic culmination…?
Two historically successful general tactics for getting what you want out of the federal government.
1. Overthrowing them by force
2. Playing the game against them
This proposal they plan to establish and present sounds like hey are doing neither. They want to play the game with them. Their logic is flawed in thinking the end result will make a difference.
Firstly, anyone can make a proposal to the gov. They think they are standing on the platform of 99% so the gov will have to listen, but as explained in previous posts, it’s not truly that and no where near it. They are .001% of the 99%. They are all in similar life situations and match each other is several demographic attributes.
Secondly, this crowd is so liberal, and idealistic that they think the government has to entertain their proposal. Maybe they think that because they are inclusive, that everyone will have to be. This is a serious flaw in their current philosophy in my opinion.
Here are two ways to play the game against the elites. Hitting them in the pocketbook is at the core of both of these ideas. Neither of them involve creating a commune/tent city.
- tax revolt. Put efforts into a campaign that convinces people to stop paying their taxes in 2012.
- boycotting products and services that have direct ties to elites/gov. We have discussed a “don’t buy anything” day around here… Which is a version of a total/mass boycott. But this would be extremely complex to pull off. Instead you can start small and build backing over time, and move toward a total boycott. Look at what the civil rights movement did in the 60s. Boycotting city busses or single products is much easier to do. the most effective strategy would be to start with products/services that require Physical store fronts and in-person customer bases. Like gasoline, banking, public transportation. I know we have tried this in the recent past with little success. Difference is that now we are all here and listening to each other… right?
Here’s a third quick idea:
Start showing up in mass to city council meetings in large numbers. Annoy the shit out of them with everyone’s scattered concerns and demands. Let the elected people, who supposedly are experts in sorting out the madness of public voice, figure out how to organize and address the complaints… At the very least it would make them realize that they must address the concerns or they will never have another worthwhile city council meeting. Why do these tent city collectives think it’s a good idea to inflict this duty on themselves? No experience. They have no organizational or leadership experience, most of them have barely any life experience. They don’t realize that this tactic will require strong communication both internally and external marketing. In one interview I will be posting soon a guy says that they are learning as they go. Which is great for a mock government, as in a school project etc. But they think this is going to work for dealing with two actual social/gov structures; the actual gov, and the tent-city gov they are foolhardily creating in tandem.
I see a strong possibility of this thing degenerating into complete chaos once people start getting tired, hungry, frustrated and entrenched in debate that would naturally occur in a civilized assembly. Harsh words, I suppose. Bottom line is, I think the plan needs to be streamlined. I think people can get behind these tactics. It will keep us busy and make the government negotiate with us. We would have the power. Correction, we do have the power. A good plan is essential though.
How can I help?
That’s what I was preoccupied with today. I mean really help. What connections can I use? What favors can I call in? I had tried to suppress the idea that I should discuss this with my employer, but this thought suddenly took hold. Before I knew it in motion. BTW: this is a large corporation. I will leave names out for obvious reasons, but a donation from them could really be big.
Anyway, I had the first conversation. I almost thought it could happen right on the spot. But then I was asked to provide information on the group. They want representatives to make a proposal. It has to look legit. I spoke with the donations and resources group at occupyphilly as soon as I could. We discussed it. I made sure I was clear/complete and tried to give advice on how to position it and what to ask for. I think they are going to prepare and send me a more formal request. Which is cool. I will certainly uphold my end and make sure it gets to the right people within the corp. I was sweating and hungry so I boogied on out.
On my ride home, I couldn’t help but wonder if this made sense. Will it be right to take their money? I’m POSITIVE people among the occupy movement look at this organization as evil. To me, they are not. People within the corp may believe this is affiliation with the democratic party. Obama has been endorsing occupyX. So let them think that if they want.
What do you think? Is this a good idea? Should occupyphilly not take money from the elites? Does this change things? What if they expect something in return? What if they get us hooked and then threaten to cut it off if we don’t change our message. Clearly, this is something the General Assembly should discuss.
Anyway, who knows. Nothing is guaranteed. They may not donate… But should we ask? I, for one, am very torn.
Been putting this together. Need to update with latest locations. Please email me if you want editing privileges.