Thanks to everyone who showed up yesterday at the Underground (and also on livestream!) for our second GA (general assembly). Also, thank you for your patience as we all familiarize ourselves with the GA procedures, hand signals, and the people’s mic. If you missed it or want to refresh yourself for the next meeting, all of the info is available at http://nycga.cc/resources/general-assembly-guide/ . Also, we encourage everyone to watch the livestream in New York at http://www.adbusters.org/campaigns/occupywallstreet. They have GA’s daily at 1 and 7 p.m. EST.
Because of time and lack of consensus, we weren’t able to solidify a date and place to begin occupation. What was decided was that we are going to meet for our third GA next Saturday, October 15th at 1 p.m. We are looking at a couple of locations including Wingfield Park, but the legal team will not know if our permit is approved until sometime tomorrow. Check back Tuesday or Wednesday for exact details! Also, emails have been sent out if you signed up for a committee. We had a great turnout yesterday, and everyone’s enthusiasm and ideas are greatly appreciated. That’s it for the official updates, but I have a few ideas I want to share with everyone if you have some extra time to read on…
Some of you might have left discouraged yesterday because we still don’t have an exact date to start occupation. Don’t worry! It took Occupy Wall Street several months to plan out their occupation and six meetings (from what I was told) just to decide on the date and place. It’s all part of the process.
We have one mechanism for fairness, efficiency and organization and it is the GA. We aren’t pioneering this. It has been working since the beginning in NY and movements elsewhere. It is our common element across this movement and the heart of the whole thing. There is no one claiming to represent us in this process. We all have an equal voice and accountability. I can not stress my faith in this process enough. This is direct democracy!
The GA and the People’s Mic are central to our culture. The people’s mic forces us to listen carefully to each other’s words. It also forces us to keep our words brief and full of meaning. These processes might seem tedious at first, but I think in time we will all understand their importance.
On another note, I want to challenge everyone to have patience and think BIGGER. This isn’t just a one day event we are planning. We want to have the means to occupy indefinitely once this thing gets going. This pre-occupation time could possibly be the single most important time in this entire movement. Let’s do it right.
We’ve been socialized for instant satisfaction, and we need to recognize this tendency in ourselves and each other and be ready to revolutionize our way of thinking before we can bring about change elsewhere.
There will be a time when we can promote our personal interests through this cause, but that time is not now. Any lack of solidarity will make this less effective and slower and will seem that much more disorganized to outsiders. This isn’t about changing things one issue at a time. This is about consciously creating a new system. We are all so used to our ideas being suppressed, deprived of forums to discuss our thoughts, and unable to express ourselves creatively. We’re so desperate that we want it all immediately, want attention and to be heard right now. However, I truly believe if we take our time in creating this “safe space” we will in time have a place where our ideas can be heard and needs met.
This is your movement, and each and every one of us is contributing to its construction everyday. The committees are there to get things accomplished as efficiently as possible and to allow everyone to get as involved as they would like in the direction of this movement. We don’t want several different people doing the same thing at one time. We have to focus our energies collectively! With that being said, please don’t start your own occupations. We can get more done in the long term if we take the time to plan it all out together.
I would love to hear any comments related to all of this!
Just to conclude:
1) JOIN a COMMITTEE. If you’ve already signed up for one, you should have received an email from Ashley confirming this. If you want to sign up for one or have any friends that want to get involved, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
2) SPREAD THE WORD. We need strength in numbers, and we need to try to actually bring in the whole 99% to have their voices heard. Let everyone know we’re not radicals. We’re just normal people who are fed up with the system.
3) EDUCATE YOURSELF. Read the GA guide referenced at the beginning of this post. Watch a GA on livestream in another city, especially New York if you can. Catch yourself up on news related to this movement as well as social media, blogs, youtube videos, etc. Know your rights!
Thank you all for your passion, dedication, and patience!