Update from Yesterday’s General Assembly (and some more!)

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 volunteer@occupyreno.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!



11 responses to “Update from Yesterday’s General Assembly (and some more!)

  1. TJ,

    You seemed to ask the same questions I asked you without answering any of them yourself. You also went in to detail about how “talk is cheap” when none of us have yet to meet you or receive an email with your blessing or desire to help. You’ve made quite the assumption that I’m not “ACTing.”

    You said I’ve “bullied” when I’ve merely asked YOU sensitive questions that you have no legitimate answer to. You’ve called us talkers which makes me think you’ve missed all 3 General Assemblies and todays march which had 300+ attendees.

    How am I bashing Reno? I shared a march with the city of Reno today. Once again, where were you? What have you done? When you write “talk is cheap” in a blog you sound silly and contradicting.

    occupyreno.net is not affiliated with us, you are correct. We’ve discussed this on our Facebook page.

    Please come to our next General Assembly and introduce yourself. I will be happy to tell you what I’ve done for the movement.

    Why haven’t we occupied? Because we’re doing it legally. Simple. It takes time to have a lasting effort and cities that have had careless occupations, like occupyreno.net is suggesting, have failed. Cities that have done it legally have inspired the world, such as New York.

    I KINDLY invite you to join us at our next General Assembly. I went to New York to see how this movement works and there were a lot of heated debates, such as this one. Don’t take it personally and please join us! We would love your help! Thank you TJ.

    If you email occupyreno@gmail.com you can join a committee of your choice. Right now our committees include tech, outreach, infrastructure, media and legal. Even if your not savvy with any of those committees I encourage you to join anyways and you can obtain knowledge as you go.

    **I do apologize for offending you and asking you to purchase occupyreno.com.

  2. It’s one thing to plan carefully, it’s another to let things languish and wait until the energy is gone. Reno isn’t that big; if Seattle, Boston, Sacramento are doing it, why is Reno so different that you can’t even offer a ballpark?

    Also, why is occupyreno.com sitting there unused? That’s where I first looked for you. It seems you own it; why haven’t you at least bothered to forward traffic from there to here? I don’t know your motivation and I haven’t been to a GA, but from the outside you already look unorganized and ineffective. You’ve had all this time and haven’t even forwarded your domain name.

    It makes me wonder if your goal isn’t to sandbag under the guise of planning.

    • TJ why haven’t you bought occupyreno.com? Why haven’t you forwarded traffic to the wordpress site? What exactly do you think we are? Your mother? Your child? We are like you TJ and we’ve done a whole lot and from what I’m guessing you’ve done very little except negatively impact our movement. Hundreds have made it to our general assemblies. Were you there? What have you contributed? If you haven’t contributed then why? If you want something done then do it yourself and please stop addressing occupyreno like we’re your inept insurance company.

      • @tilghman: You might want to actually read what people say before going off in an angry tirade. As I said, YOU ALREADY OWN IT. I CAN’T BUY IT if you already own it. But if you didn’t own it, I WOULD buy it. I would buy it and do something with it instead of letting this extremely valuable asset go unused.

        And tilghman — and this is actually very important — It’s only out of a desire to NOT fracture the community that I post this. I could instead be calling for a second movement. If you act like a dick and bully those who want to act, you’ll be pushing them into doing just that. Have you seen occpyreno.net? Did you know that there’s a group waiting to see if you’ll act, ready to split the movement if you don’t? So be careful when you insult the people who want to act now. Otherwise they’ll be in the streets as the face of the movement while you’re still talking — even if you out number them 10:1, they’ll be the ones getting the air time. And since they’re the doers and you’re the talkers, you’ll be left out while they drive the agenda.

        So, back to your post: You ask me what I’ve done? What, exactly, have you accomplished? What, other than TALK about doing something, have you done that’s so great? Talk is cheap. I’m ready to occupy today. Why aren’t you? Why aren’t you willing to put your actions behind the cheap talk? The world is full of talkers. We’ve been talking for 10 years.Do you think the news would be covering a worldwide movement of people TALKING about occupying Wall Street? No.

        The whole world is acting and Reno is talking — and now you’re bashing those in Reno who want to do more than talk. Yeah, and I’M the one negatively impacting the movement. LOL.

        ACT! For god’s sake, ACT! Or move over and let us act.

      • Ok TJ,
        Since you seem to be unimformed of how other occupations have been shut down by acting too quickly, let me help you out. The successful occupations, like wall St. are working because they took months to plan it. If we do not try and do this the “Legal” way first we will end up being shut down and we are planning on being here for the long haul. This will not stop, it will not slow down, and it will not fail. We must maintain the idea that we are not radical protesters, we are concerned members of our civilization. Most of the people fully involved in this are not at all worried about sacrificing for the massess and when the time comes to occupy (which will be very soon) all of our “talking,” which is actually called ORGANIZING will have helped to show Reno and the rest of the world that we are very very serious about this. This is not a civil rights movement, it is a movement for humanity and that requires careful planning and considerations.
        All that being said, you or anyone else is more than welcome to act on your own. YOU ALL HAVE THE FREEDOM OF CHOICE! We are not trying to stop anyone from acting on their own but what we are trying to avoid is creating a scenario where a few “must act now” people polluting the message with irrational spontaneous action. Times are changing and the old ways of “protesting” do not and have not worked. Obviously if they had worked we would not be in this position today.


  3. At the last GA , there was a consensus to march at Liberty and S. Virginia in front of the BofA, etc. Also a consensus to do it Friday in the afternoon. People have the energy NOW to get out and get started – at least with a demonstation.
    You can only plan so much. We need to get rolling soon.

  4. Michel Rottmann

    I’ve got tarps and depending on how often my wife joins me, I’ll either have 1 or two fairly good sleeping bags and 1 that’s a bit thin in terms of effective insulation.

    Do you have recommendations for a standard “footprint” per person for the camp-out. For example, i have two tents – one we refer to as Tent-zilla, and one we use when things are tight. But even that one might be a bit larger than it might should be. I don’t have a solid imiage in my mind of the space provided by wingfield park, so got a square foot/per person semi-rule-of-thumb?

  5. Michel Rottmann

    It is difficult to be patient, but I you’re right – setting a solid foundation is critical. If you’re like me, you have some thoughs about how you think things will happen and unfold. But the real world has a way of tossing in suprises. When things start happening, regardless of the care we take to be courteous, correct, and respectful, there’s likely to be confrontation. It’s the preparation, the learning from each other, and such that can possibly keep an ugly situation from getting uglier.

    There will likely be sabateurs and how we prepare to respond to that will be critical as well.

    Or maybe I’m wrong about all this and it’ll be a walk in the park (pun intended) 🙂

    Thanks to all of you who finally got this going and for all the work you’re doing to get it right.

    Oh, and very funny whoever listed “A Peoples History of the United States” under Light Reading. Ha, Ha, Ha! But kidding aside, yeah, that’s a must-read… and I’m hoping to do so soon… possibly while I’m occupying reno? 🙂

    Another good read is “The Shock Doctrine” by Naomi Klein

    Oh, and a couple of suggested documentaries: “Gasland” and “Inside Job”

  6. Thanks so much Stacey!

  7. Listen up everybody… this is how we get things done