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

12 responses to “It’s Not Ideal, But Wait! Is It?

  1. “why would you want to join a movement that is calling for socialism and revolution against the American way of life. ”

    Why indeed? Do let us know if such a movement actually crops up. In the meantime, we’ll all be over here doing this, which has nothing to do with that.

    Also, words mean things. Try learning what they are before you use them.

  2. It sounds good Stacey.

    #1 It is seeming more and more important to start Occupying together somewhere.
    Otherwise the risk of major splintering of groups may occur. As well as the lose of
    momentum that may occur during winter.

    #2 It seems a shame someone couldn’t have figured this location out for the homeless.
    I mean this in the most sincere way. $35 a day would have been a very small price to
    pay.

    Last… one block off Virginia is the same as Wingfield park. So why not start marches from
    Moana to the Financial District. More people drive that section of Virginia St. then Downtown anyway.

  3. OWS
    why would you want to join a movement that is calling for socialism and revolution against the American way of life. You should all be aware that those responsible for safeguarding our liberties do so against all enemies foreign and domestic. Be aware of those who openly cry for the demise of the USA. Do these occupy wall street groups have a right to march? Yes!! Are their feelings of frustration and anger justified? Absolutely!! Should we ditch the best system of liberty in favor of socialism? NO and if you answer yes to that last one, then you are either uneducated or a genuine enemy to the USA or both.

    I have watched for several weeks this movement and it’s call for a revolution, and an end to the USA. I will have no part of it. Our founding fathers implemented a system in which we can “revolt” every four years. It’s called voting. What you and OWS followers are calling for is violence. If you are successful in starting a revolution, you should know those of us who love our country , are armed to the teeth and very proficient in the use of fire arms. I am a marine corps veteran and will protect my freedom, my family, and country.

    Would you rather a system of tyranny where women are beaten and raped and stoned to death by their shariah compliant husbands? Would you rather a socialist like Chavez from Venezuela murder you for not supporting them or killing you for speaking out against the system? What exactly does America bring to the rest of the world? The destruction of tyranny, and the gift of freedom, that’s what. Name just one other country that is more free than the USA. you can’t because there isn’t one.

    Definition of protest:

    Noun:
    A statement or action expressing disapproval of or objection to something.

    Definition of occupy:

    Verb:
    Reside or have one’s place of business in (a building).
    Fill or take up (a space or time).
    Synonyms:
    take – seize – hold – inhabit

    Protesting is legal, occupation is not!

    • Hip hop anonymous

      No one cares on your opinion on the movement if you have no interest in helping you nationalist zombie

      • please make your point without bing insulting – it can be done!

      • Nationalist Zombie

        Oh that’s a good one “nationalist zombie” I like it. Thanks Hip Hop. If you don’t mind, I think I’ll use it. And Diane Please allow Hip Hop his free speech, I mean that sincerely, I know Hip Hop may have meant it as an insult but I don’t take it that way, I think that in any discourse emotions can run high and anger can get the best of any one of us. I apologize if I have offended you in some way Hip Hop. I do stand by what I say however.

  4. I like the location. It’s to bad it is far from the financial district, but we can have marches along S.virginia, as well as walk down moana to kietzke and march along there during the afternoon rush home as wells, occupy the street corners @ the busy intersections.

  5. Definition of protest:

    Noun:
    A statement or action expressing disapproval of or objection to something.

    Definition of occupy:

    Verb:
    Reside or have one’s place of business in (a building).
    Fill or take up (a space or time).
    Synonyms:
    take – seize – hold – inhabit

    Protesting is legal. Occupation is not. There are city ordinances which make it illegal to “occupy” a city property. Illegal to camp and set up tents in a city location. Illegal to loiter, and litter. And if this turns violent, the moderators of this site will be held legally responsible.

    Your permit to use this location is only valid so long as you obey the law. Likewise any destruction done to this city pool/park will be the financial responsibility of the person or persons who obtained the permit.

  6. It’s a nice post, and thanks for going to the trouble to have the meetings and such with the powers that be in Reno. It looks like a nice large space that, at worst, would allow us to ‘circulate’ our occupation in order to prevent permanent damage to the space being occupied, and at best, would allow for all the side ‘projects’ you mentioned that I for one hope our more creative and outgoing participants will put together. My question about visibility is:

    Since we’re obviously allowed to ‘march’ and ‘protest’ publicly, on public sidewalks and in public areas as an ordinary First Amendment right, does that mean that we could organize and assemble ‘marketing’ marches to the areas people seem disappointed that we’re -not- going to be able to occupy for various reasons? Can we send out 10, 15, 20 man marching teams to ‘lead’ people to the occupation zone on demand or on a planned cycle without permits and all this hoop jumping?

    If so, that really limits the ‘damage’ done to the movement by any perceived lack of visibility, in my humble opinion. Just a suggestion, and keep up the good work.

    Michelle

    • Absolutely Michelle!
      Once we have an occupation site everyone will be free to organize smaller marches and sit-ins just like the other occupations are doing. We are all free to act!

      >Jared

  7. Wow… well said Stacey!

    Hey everyone, show up on Thursday with an open mind so we can make a decision. I think the possibilities for this location are really exciting!