It's 1am here tonight in the bay area and I just got back home from Occupy Oakland. I've been there today since about 11 in the morning and have spent
the day supporting, donating, and marching. I feel awesome to live so close and to be a part of this movement here in oakland. I'm going back tomorrow
to drop off a bunch of donations of clothes, food, etc.
When I first started coming a few weeks ago, I spent a few hours here and there dropping by to check out the events. The more time I spent there
though, the more I felt like part of the group. Everyone was very welcoming and friendly, and I always felt safe. One of the most amazing things in my
eyes is how organized everyone there truly is. There is an info center, a donations tent, lost and found, a library, a first aid tent, a "kid's area",
an arts and crafts center, a media desk, a meditation and yoga area, and a kitchen/eatery area, just to name a few of the places I saw. They also have
their own security team to keep peace and order. Well, the 1 or 2 hours I spent there turned into 3 or 4, then 5 or 6, and so on. I now find myself
spending the majority of days there. It's not just a bunch of people in tents. It's a thriving community where everyone is working together
I've been there for the marches, for the general assembly meetings, and for scott olson's vigil. I have been there on the day that occupy oakland got
kicked out and on the night that scott olson got hit. You can say I've seen it all. Some people may question what we are really doing out here, but we
haven't been marching and occupying the past few weeks for no reason. Every march we go on is to support our cause and every word on our picket signs
truly comes from our hearts.
Another interesting thing I have watched form over the past week or two is a "government" within occupy oakland. A 100% democratic government. This is
probably why we are so organized here. Every day we have meetings where over 500 people gather. Here, we draw up proposals and vote on them. These
proposals are for anything, from things we should do as a group, or ways that our "occupy" community should best function.
Here's how our meetings go: First, we split the crowds up into sections where each section is allocated to a "crowd advocate" person. We group up into
groups of about 20 people, discuss the day's proposals, and then vote either yes, no, or neutral on them. We tally those votes, and then pass on those
numbers to the crowd advocate, whom passes it on the main speakers to announce the outcome.
In order for a proposal to become a proposal, you must have it typed out with a preface, a main goal, and the actual proposal clearly expressed. Then,
you must have 3 people supporting your proposal in order for it to be actually voted on. After voting, 90% of the votes must be "yes" for it to be
passed. If under 90%, you can have it rediscussed and revoted on at a later date.
An example of a proposal we passed a few days ago was "The Kittens Action".
Word for word, the proposal read:
Therefore, we propose that as a mass action, on Saturday, October 29th, we take the movement to the people and do the "kitten's action". We will
converge at the Oscar Grant Plaza at 11 am, form teams or affinity groups of 3-10 people, do mini-trainings and share supplies, choose neighborhoods,
and then fan out around the city, to engage the community in thinking and talking together about the realities we share and the future we want and the
movement we're building. Then we will re converge at the plaza at 4pm to share our stories and insights, and hold a celebration rally.
The proposal was passed with 647 people voting yes and 14 people voting no.
Well, the kitten's action event was a complete success. Today, we really got out there and talked to everyone in our community. The overwhelming
response was that they supported us and that some would even donate and attend our upcoming occupy meetings and marches.
Overall, something big is happening here in Oakland. I can just feel it. I feel extremely glad to be a part of all this. It's great to actually be
here and see for myself what is going on instead of only being able to hear what the media is spewing out. Every single day, I see every single news
station here along with their anchors, their camera men, and even their occasional helicopter. All I can do is hope that they are truly representing
what is going on here instead of twisting it. The main theme of every meeting and every march has been "solidarity". Without a doubt, I have heard
this word used over and over again. Here in oakland, we stand in solidarity with every other "occupy" around the globe.
Anyways, thanks for reading. If you want to see some of my own video reporting of the marching that took place on the day that riot police kicked us
out of the plaza, check out my metacafe video here:
You can see some police/protester clashing as well in that video
edit on 10/30/11 by QuantumPhysicist because: (no reason given)