Hi everyone. I just want to start by saying thank you (and giving you the biggest virtual hug) for those of you who participated today. I especially want to thank those of you who came out for the first time to express your voice. It really does take some guts, and there were plenty of other things you could have done with your Saturday such as Homecoming tailgating, the Wine Walk, or sitting on your couch full of indifference. Thank you for recognizing the importance of this movement and caring enough to spend a few hours contributing to it!
For those of you who couldn’t make it or still don’t know if it’s for you, we welcome you whenever you are ready and have plenty of ways for you to get involved (listed at the end of this). You’re part of this too!
To recap, we had a mini General Assembly (GA) at noon at UNR where we expressed our fundamental principle of nonviolence and reminded everyone of the laws involved in marching.
In my opinion, the march could not have gone much better. There was a mutual respect between all of us and the police, we obeyed traffic signs perfectly and effectively and organically used the people’s mic for both chanting and letting those in back know about Do Not Walk signs. We got almost constant honks (the good kind), high fives, thumbs ups, smiles, and praise along the way and actually had several people join in as we made our way down to City Plaza. We nearly doubled our size between UNR and City Plaza and estimate around 250 people at our largest point. It was a little bit magical, and if you were there I think you know what I mean.
We met the rest of our community in City Plaza and had a very smooth and productive GA. Again, we stressed nonviolence and adopted a set of nonviolent principles by consensus. We briefly went over what was done in the various committees this past week and then opened up the GA to everyone present. Most people kept their thoughts brief, and we were so efficient in speech that despite the line to speak, everyone had their chance and we even ended earlier than 4 p.m. when our permit expired.
Also, a very important and exciting thing happened today! Lea, our legal committee facilitator, informed the GA that we needed $1000 for a permit to occupy Wingfield Park legally. We did not ask for money and had intended discussing the means to meet this goal at next week’s Infrastructure meeting in the fundraising sub-committee. However, within minutes of mentioning this, your fellow 99 percenters dug through their pockets and started a hat collection which totaled $1300 within 20 minutes.
This is a huge turning point for this movement. Once this permit is secure, we are ready. This is where we all need to start pooling our resources and getting supplies and donations in order. We need sleeping bags, jackets, hats, gloves, tarps, canned food, water, and a generator to name a few. We also need medics!
At the end of the GA, many in attendance signed up for committees and checked in with their committees. I had the pleasure of speaking with many people personally, and I left feeling extremely inspired and proud of this community we are already creating. Everyone has something to offer this movement, and in return we all have something to give to each other. We aren’t just here as angry protesters. It really seems like something more is beginning to happen as we get to know each other and realize we are ONE.
This week will be busy just as the last was, but our occupation is just around the corner so let’s do our best to be ready. By the way, you will know as soon as we do when we get the permit!
For the next week:
*Keep focusing on committees. To sign up for one email firstname.lastname@example.org. A description of committees is on the blog at occupyreno.wordpress.com. We are also working on getting separate committee pages up on Facebook so keep an eye out for that.
*Get the word out that this movement is only gaining momentum at this point.
*If you have an idea, share it PLEASE! Some people seem to be upset that things aren’t going one way or another. If this is the case, don’t just criticize. Criticize constructively and offer solutions.
*Attend next Saturday’s GA at 1 p.m. Location TBA. What do you think about marching again before? Maybe a themed march? Let’s hear some ideas!
Also, if you want to sign up for the email newsletter, here is the link!
Talk to you all very soon!