Daily Archives: October 19, 2011

The replies we’ve received via email since last night…

These are ALL of the replies we’ve received overnight.

Anyone who has requested to be added to lists/committees in their emails has been, and I have removed all names from these emails. Here they are.

—————————————————————————————————————————–

Wow. First, let me say, I love the energy of this group. And, in particular,

I am blown away by the organization and commitment of the core group of

activists and committees. The combination of excitement AND thoughtfulness

I’m seeing here is rare. I’ve been with a number of groups in the past which

start off big and energized, and then sort of fizzle out because nobody

wants to invest the time it takes to figure out details.

So, I heartily applaud you for that. It gives me a lot of hope for the

Occupy movement.

The other thing I want to do in this email is play the Devil’s Advocate a

little bit. Just for the sake of discussion – let me highlight some things

from your pros and cons list:

Cons:

-It’s about 2 1/2 miles from the financial district/downtown Reno area.

-It is not as immediately visible from the street.

I hate to say it, but those two cons actually seem like a huge deal. The

high visibility and physical location is a big part of what makes the

occupation in NYC so successful. It’s a beautiful thing really – the

reclaiming of public space in the middle of all those financial giants.

My fear is that the Occupy Reno group will invest a lot of time and money

into an alternative location (like the pool), find it disappointing, and

lose membership quickly as the weather chills.

Pros:

– meetings, a community library, food, camping, information, yoga, musical

performances, sign making, a garden, teach-ins. . .

These are all great things! But, do we really need a 24/7 occupation

somewhere to do them? Couldn’t we choose a more sustainable route?

My proposal is this: Keep doing the Saturday GA’s downtown, as that

resonates most strongly with the symbolism of the movement. And, organize

other community activities and initiatives that keep with the spirit of the

movement, but in a more sustainable way.

Thanks again for all your work. I wish I could make it to the GA on

Thursday, but I will be working then. If there’s a chance, would you be

willing to read some of this letter (the pros and cons part)? I would be

super grateful.

————————————————————————————————————————-

Thank you for what you have done. My only opinion is for the infrastructure meeting to be moved to after the GA because most of the topics for that community has to do with location. My opinion of the last meeting was it lacked focus on the agenda because the goals were not clear because an occupation site had not been picked. The facilitators were AMAZING but the meeting did not seem to accomplish much because of the lack of an occupation site. I dig the Moana location! GREAT JOB!!!!

——————————————————————————————————————————–

Wow, I don’t know how to say thank-you adequately for all of your hard work

and dedication to this! “Thank-you”!!

——————————————————————————————————————————-

I think it would be a good idea to ask for a total waiver of fees from

government. This is a First Amendment issue. By not occupying somewhere that

would be costly for government, such as in front of the courthouse,

RenoOccupiers are making a great offer/concession – even though it decreases

the visibility of the movement locally.

Especially when the Occupiers are even bothering to get insurance.

——————————————————————————————————————————–

I think the Moana location is a good idea for most reasons, ,but agree with the concerns over visability….it should be a more downtown location.

I was in Portland last weekend and walked around the occupy Portland encampment..they have the blessing of the mayor there as he feels they have some legitamite grivvances..they are camped indefinitely in a park downtown, which is very, very visable.

They have tents for food distribution, a library, a community garden, a tent where people sign up to give workshops during the day and early evening, and boxes of free stuff all over….clothes, etc. Almost like a ‘city’ onto itself with a very strong emphasis on community/sharing resources. And they are getting a lot of media attention..and media attention in Portland is very, very hard to get. They have a lot of citizen media around too, inclding public access tv and community radio and community based newspapers..stuff Reno is very short on.

THe only thing I would watch out for is there is a flagrant, rampant use of marijuana, and this is what may do them in in the long run…and the homeless who are attracted to the site and often wonder around quite drunk, etc. Hygiene facilities seem kind of sparse there…I saw one portapotty, and a park restroom is in the middle of their site. Otherwise, it’s an awesome place! Mostly younger people, with a lot of people coming in on the weekends when marches/protests are originating from the occupy site.

——————————————————————————————————————————–

I am concerned a bit about this movements concern with the law.  Civil disobedience is not polite or obedient by deffinition.  If we are to bring attention to this action of the people we need to resist the laws that make it difficult to gather peaceably.  Are we peacefully occupying or not?  I think the unwillingness to get arrested could be the death of this movement in Reno.  If we are to show solidarity with our brothers and sisters across the world, we must not be concerned with the views of the powers that be.  They should be concerned with our views.  Let me show you a deffinition:oc·cu·py   /ˈɒkyəˌpaɪ/ Show Spelled [ok-yuh-pahy] Show IPA verb, -pied, -py·ing.

verb (used with object)

1. to take or fill up (space, time, etc.): Ioccupiedmyeveningsreadingnovels.

2. to engage or employ the mind, energy, or attention of: OccupythechildrenwithagamewhileIpreparedinner.

3. to be a resident or tenant of; dwell in: Weoccupiedthesamehousefor20years.

4. to take possessionand controlof (a place), as by military invasion.

5. to hold (a position, office, etc.).

I was hoping you take special notice of number 4, because thats what an occupation is.  TAKE POSSESSION AND CONTROL.  Not ask for it, not pay a permit for it, not wait for approval for it.  Lets get real please.

-“The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants”.  Hopefully I don’t need to attribute this quote.

I will be sure to attend the GA on Thursday, and perhaps be persuaded to your course.

——————————————————————————————————————————-

Thoughts on any of this?

Advertisements

Call to Occupy Reno Artists!

We are in the process of planning an Occupy Art Show to feature the work of a few local artists.  If you are interested in submitting entries please send an email to media@occupyreno.org with “Occupy Art Show” in the subject line. Please include a short description of what you would like to submit (drawings, paintings, sculpture, prints, all of the above, etc.) and your contact information. All submissions will be voted on by committee members and gallery owner. The show will take place from Nov. 13-27 at 720 Tahoe St. off St. Lawrence with a specific event Nov. 18 or 19. All entries should somehow incorporate the themes, messages, and/or values of the larger Occupy movement. This show is to help raise awareness for Occupy Reno in the larger Reno community.
We are in the process of organizing an Occupy Reno community band. We are looking for people who have their own instruments/equipment and previous musical experience who would be interested in performing at the occupation and a possible benefit concert. If you are interested in joining please send an email to media@occupyreno.org with “Occupy Reno Band” in the subject line. Please include a short description of your talent (do you sing or what instrument you play?) Also include your level of experience, availability, and contact info. If you have equipment or an instrument you can loan us, please let us know.

In addition, we are in the process of finding artists who would like to find a building and get permission to paint a mural on it. If you would like to help in finding a location or have ideas on the actual mural please email media@occupyreno.org with “MURAL” in the subject line.

Lastly, we really need more flyers/posters. These can be general ones which communicate our message and frustrations such as the examples on occupy together.org or specific ones to events. In particular, we need a poster for Saturday’s march and General Assembly which we are hoping to have by Thursday at the latest although tonight would be better. We also need a poster to announce the occupation start date. As that date is TBD at this time, it would have to be something we could easily put the date into as soon as we know. Again, please email media@occupyreno.org with “FLYER” in the subject line.

Thanks for all your help and creativity!

It’s Not Ideal, But Wait! Is It?

It’s been a really hectic but exciting day. I feel like we’re getting somewhere.

I want to share absolutely everything I can think of to update you, and if there are still questions you have before the GA, please ask.

Today six of us met with the Reno City Council to discuss possible places to occupy 24/7 indefinitely. As with our previously decided approach, we are trying to do this all LEGALLY right now. I can’t lie. I walked into the meeting and had my heart set on RETRAC plaza just like many of you still do.

Let me just say this. The city council is really cooperative. They were cracking jokes, offering ideas beyond what they needed to do for their job, and they genuinely seemed like they wanted to see this movement succeed. We’re all pretty good judges of character. Believe me, most of these people were trying to help. They went ahead and did some research for us which we combined with research we had already done ourselves. They gave us a sheet with stats on several locations- approximate square footage, average daily traffic, and dates where events were already planned on each property.

They offered advice on pursuing both public and private occupation locations- things like permits, the boundaries of exercising our constitutional rights without a permit, contacting the fire dept, waste management, health department, etc. We also found out that the city charges a certain amount daily to have events on public property.

Here’s a recap on various locations that have been brought up in the past:

Wingfield Park: closed for permits Oct 1-May 1

City Plaza: Ice rink beginning Oct 27

ReTRAC plaza: events planned at least 2 days out of every month through January.

Parklane Mall space: We contacted the owner of this private property, and he said he was absolutely not interested.

Moana Pool Site: Pool no longer in service. No events planned at this time.

The Moana Pool site stood out for several reasons that ReTRAC did not. First and foremost, ReTRAC is $150 for half the plaza or $250 for the full plaza per day! The Moana Pool site is only $35 per day. Furthermore, the entire ReTRAC plaza is 16,400 square feet while the Moana Pool site is 55,897 square feet. The average daily traffic for the Moana Pool site is 12,000 people compared with 11,000 for ReTRAC.

We went down to the Moana site immediately after this meeting to check it out. A short video tour of the site is below for those who aren’t familiar with it or haven’t been in years. Within a couple minutes, I was beginning to consider it seriously, and by the time we left, it really seemed like something worthy of calling an emergency GA on Thursday to discuss.

From the perspective of several of us, here are some pros and cons. Please use this as a conversation starter as we really want to hear everyone’s ideas on this space and answer questions you might have.

PROS:

-This is one of the hardest hit areas in Reno. We would really be getting into the heart of the community with an opportunity to actually make this useless space into something socially valuable.

-It’s within a block of the major intersection of Virginia St. and Moana Lane.

-It’s extremely close to the city bus line.

-There is enough space to accommodate 1,000+ people and have enough room for areas for things like meetings, a community library, food, camping, information, yoga, musical performances, sign making, a garden, teach-ins, and anything else you can think of as well as plenty of space to park bicycles and cars.

-We would be in a safer and more private location at night. We would most likely have less issues with noise, drunk people, etc. at night which would be likely downtown. It could be a nice home base location to come back to after marches and protests in downtown and financial districts.

-We would have the opportunity to stay indefinitely if a better location wasn’t found in the future and plenty of room to grow and really show a strong community presence.

CONS:

-It’s about 2 1/2 miles from the financial district/downtown Reno area.

-It is not as immediately visible from the street.

This is our line of thought in the matter. When I say we, I mean the 6 of us at the meeting and the majority of the Outreach Committee who discussed all these issues at the meeting tonight.

Some other things to keep in mind that we learned today at the meeting:

-It cost $400 a month for an event permit to have overnight camping even in a private location.

-An event permit usually takes 60 days or more to process. If we can decide on a location, the city has promised to process it in no more than 2 weeks, though likely less than that. This means we could be occupying by no later than Nov. 4 if we agree to this location Thursday and can get our permit in on Friday.

We have been working nonstop for the past few weeks trying to figure all these things out. Beyond the permit, we need insurance, a spreadsheet layout of where everything will be, and approval from the Health Department and Fire Department. We are confident we can get these things done by the end of the week.

If you have any concrete ideas on a better location, please contact us before Thursday’s GA if possible so that we can pursue these options asap. No decisions have been made, and we will make a move to approve this site (and any other sites) on Thursday. Keep in mind-we don’t have to stay here permanently but it would give us a chance to start occupying very soon.

So the big things to remember:

1) We are having a GA on Thursday at 5:30 p.m. at Moana Pool at 240 W. Moana Lane. The only issue on the agenda will be a move to determine our future occupation site.

2) We will still be having a march and GA on Saturday. The time and format is identical to last Saturday (Meet at JCSU at noon. Have a short GA to go over nonviolence principles and our legal rights to march. March from the JCSU at UNR to City Plaza from 12-1, and have a GA from 1-4 p.m.)

Below is a virtual tour of Moana Pool filmed today.

Thanks again for taking the time and keeping yourself informed and up to date. I’m anxious to hear your thoughts!

-Stacey

IMPORTANT UPDATE!

We are holding a General Assembly on Thursday at 5:30 p.m. at the Moana Pool at 240 West Moana Lane to make a move to adopt this site for occupation. Within the next few hours, we will be sending out a lot of important information regarding this location, our city council meeting today, and a video tour of this location. Stay tuned on here, Facebook, and in email as these updates are extremely time sensitive. We hope to see you all there on Thursday and look forward to hearing everyone’s opinions. Please give us a few hours to finish these updates, and many of your questions will be answered.