Poverty is the worst form of violence.
– Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi
As the Occupy movement approaches its one year anniversary, there remains much criticism from our “supporters” on the structure of our organization. While some insist that we forfeit many of our moral ideals and compromise our political beliefs in order to endorse particular political candidates, others, still, critique our message as being too broad and incoherent.
To the latter, we declare that we simply value people over profits. A society of individuals acting solely out of self-interest and making decisions based upon the profit-motive alone, though easy to understand within the human construct of finance and commerce, is ultimately doomed to collapse. It’s unsustainable at best. As the externalities of our manifested greed continue to exploit labor, pollute our planet, and tear at the social bonds that create the basis of any well-functioning community, we ask that you bear witness to the suffering of others that our conveniences have afforded us. Surely, you must agree, that we can create an alternate economy that is better equipped to utilize the human condition than our current infinite consumption model.
To the former, those who believe that Occupy squandered the perfect opportunity in 2011 to get candidates elected in 2012, we openly declare that casting a ballot every two years is the lowest common denominator of civic engagement. Though we may agree that voting is a fundamental duty of all persons, we are convinced that direct democracy is the best way to reach full participation from the population. As our current form of institutionalized democracy has been compromised by a seemingly endless flow of cash from special interests and corporate lobbyists – a democracy that produces a mere 30% turn-out rate every few years – we view the idea of “reforming the vote by voting” as ridiculous as you probably view non-hierarchical consensus based decision making.
On Monday, September 17, we again seek to occupy public spaces in order to foster a safe environment for healthy, political discourse. Let us deconstruct the polarizing effects that the corporate media has imprisoned us in and begin to treat each other not as sworn partisan enemies, but as neighbors. Neighbors with a shared existence and a shared environment. Neighbors with similar stories of being overworked and underpaid. Neighbors who will undoubtedly suffer the penalties of complacency once our multi-national corporate masters and false federal prophets have abandoned us to the squalor that we have left for our children.
If we are condemned to endure the consequences of our “democracy” then we must be prepared to take a more active role in molding it. As Americans, we are the Global 1%. Our “national interests” have allowed the pernicious gluttony that has overtaken the globe to thrive and gain momentum here for generations. It has perpetrated crimes against humanity through the use of violence, toxic pollution, and exploitation of human suffering both at home and abroad. It was bought and paid for with our tax dollars and we cannot afford to foster this type of sociopathic behavior any longer. It is now our civic duty to replace this vicious culture of fear and greed with one of liberty and kinship. We must become the ones we have been waiting for because the World is waiting for us.
Join us Monday, September 17
Time: 4:30pm to 7pm
Location: Wingfield Park
Free Speech and Free Food for all attendees..
Let the World rejoice with the coming of a liberated American people.
Vetting the Candidates
One of the Occupy movement’s biggest concerns is increasing transparency and ease of access to the political process. Toward this goal, Occupy Reno has compiled a vetting questionnaire for all candidates below the presidential level who will be represented on our ballots here in Washoe County in November. The questions we chose for this vetting process are by no means exhaustive, but we felt they were the most generally relevant and at least a good starting point. If you have any issues of local or general importance that you think needs to be addressed by the candidates, email them to Info@OccupyReno.org and we will be sure to forward the issue on to them.
Click HERE for a link to the first round of Q&As from our potential representatives.
The Occupy Reno Real News
Every Tuesday from 5:30pm to approximately 7:00pm, The Occupy Reno Real News team records its weekly segment at the Cordone building located on the corner of Vassar and Cordone. The weekly taping is open to the public and all are welcome to give a 3-5 minute segment themselves.
Click HERE to view a list of all previous episodes.
Updates on Recent Arrests
On May 28, 2012, 12 people were arrested for participating in an “Anti-Police Oppression” march after view THIS VIDEO of a local homeless youth being assaulted at the homeless shelter for sleeping next to a shopping cart. Though the demonstration was not sanctioned by the General Assembly of Occupy Reno, 5 Occupy Reno participants marched in solidarity not just with those who have experienced the brutality of certain police officers over-extending their authority, but also in remembrance of all those who have fallen to protect our right to free speech. Read the original article HERE.
The original charges of “Unlawful parade/demonstration/march” have been amended to jaywalking. Some of us, however, maintain our innocence in these actions and will take the charges to trial. We’ll keep you posted.
RISE and Dine: People Feeding People
On Saturdays at 5:00pm, Occupy Reno joins the Reno Initiative for Shelter and Equality (R.I.S.E.) outside of the Community Assistance Center (CAC) at 335 Record St to serve approximately 250 or more of Reno’s most poverty-stricken until approximately 6:00pm.
Click HERE for more information.