The Occupy Movement may well be our last chance to protect and defend our democracy. Local citizens, peaceably assembled to exercise their constitutional rights and express their grievances against government policies, are pepper-sprayed, teargassed and struck by billy clubs by militarized local police. We urge you to support this Movement and keep it alive lest we all become corporate serfs under a corrupt fascist government.
J. Glenn Evans, Activists for a Better World
See below the well thought out proposal by Ed Mast, poet, playwright and human rights activist, on what we as concerned citizens can do to help. Links are provided for additional information on Occupy Seattle, but the information can be adapted to your local community.
From: edward mast
Subject: [artofresistance] OCCUPY YOUR NEIGHBORHOOD
PLEASE FORWARD WIDELY
Hi everyone who cares. This is a message from some of us to some of you.
Occupy your neighborhood!
Occupy Seattle, like Occupy Wall Street, is more than just an encampment. There are as many ways to occupy Seattle as there are people with concerns, urgency and ideas.
If you feel loss, betrayal and outrage at our political/economic system, you’re not alone. The Occupy movement is people realizing the system is designed for the few, not for us. Whether or not you are able to set foot in the main encampment, you are already part of the Occupy movement, and you can bring it to your neighborhood.
Whatever you can do, in whatever time you have, is exactly what we need.
You don’t need to use tents. Find your own images, symbols, ideas, actions. Tents in public places are important symbols of collective outrage at being treated as surplus people; but the movement is larger than all our tent cities. There are many ways to express that outrage, that loss of hope, and the urgent need to build new hope and new ways of occupying the planet together.
• Start a regular vigil at Chase bank or another local target.
• Have a weekly conversation about the issues, and invite your network of acquaintances.
• Talk about the ways you personally have been affected by the economic crisis.
• Meet in a coffee shop. Meet in a home. Meet in a studio or workplace.
• Advertise a public meeting at a community center..
• Show movies and discuss them. Start a book group.
• Write letters or op-eds together.
• Put a banner on your house or studio or meeting place.
• Play some music. Make pictures. Start a neighborhood Occupy newsletter or zine.
• Arrange a mock trial of your favorite corporation.
• Sit or stand in silence.
• Have a community walk.
• SURPRISE THE REST OF US with new creative ideas on how to make known what you know.
Some principles some of us are trying to work with:
• Act on what you believe.
• Make decisions together.
• Take care of each other.
• Be accountable to each other.
• Listen to each other.
• Make space for people and ideas you might not understand. Step outside your comfort zone.
• Don’t wait for others to act on your behalf.
• Go public. Let people know that someone in your neighborhood understands and cares.
Let us help. There’s no central committee or leadership, but there are lots of us who have been doing this for a while and are eager to help you reach out and find how many people around you share your concerns. Can we come join a conversation in a coffee shop or living room or community center? Can we help you think of things to do? Can we help you find out if others in your neighborhood want to be involved? Can we show you how our General Assembly and work groups operate? Can we bring you some stickers or help make a banner or a yard sign or a car sign or . . . . .?
Come to a People’s General Assembly and meet other neighborhood occupiers and network with the rest of the movement and participate in direct democracy. If you can’t come, send someone. (Stay tuned for the announcement of a warm dry indoor location for General Assemblies.)
How can we hear from you? How can we help? There’s no manifesto, you don’t need permission. You are as much the center as anyone.
A few resources:
Occupy your neighborhood. Occupy your shared worries, your concerns, your outrage, your hopes. Occupy your heart. Occupy your voice. You are the movement for change. You matter.
Now is a really good time.