GA Minutes 11/3/11 Addition

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GA Minutes 11/3/11 Addition

Postby breathedeep » Sat Nov 19, 2011 8:12 pm

I was asked to post this online as it is some personal remarks I made to the GA tonight and I had it typed up. The rest of the minutes will follow by someone else.

Personal remarks from the Occupy General Assembly 11/3/11 by Daphne Singingtree, while a member of the elder and the children’s committees this is not an official communication.

I have not been at the GA the last four days because I did not want to say anything unless it was positive and encouraging, but today I have things to say that are sad, difficult, and may seem harsh. I came into this movement inspired and hopeful, with a vision of a catalyst for political change. A political movement that would create change to protect the earth, care for people, and have a future for my grandchildren, one that is not run by the corporate interests. As a midwife, I see this movement as early in the gestation stage, we are tentative and new. I feel we are being threatened by miscarriage. We are bleeding out our brain trust, bleeding out the community support and goodwill, and do not have a safe place in our own camp to bring our children and grandchildren. But like any mother with a new pregnancy particularly one unplanned yet wanted, facing with the burden of responsibility and wondering if the time is right. I have been astounded and impressed with the dedication of a core group of people, who have put their lives, school, jobs and health on the line to serve this movement. Many of us were not prepared to deal with those with mental health and chronic homelessness. Some of us are not wanting to start another social service agency, and feel it is counterproductive to the movement to try to do so. However, many of those people live on the streets due to the corporate interest control of the government and the cutting of human service budgets. They are part of our movement. When the GA decided to move “camp” issues to the morning GA, while a good move on one hand, it resulted in no one wanting to deal with “camp” issues, only the politics. That is fair; we should all put energy into where our passions lie. However the result is we have created are own internal elitist system, were no one wants to deal with “these” people. There are people here that come from such a place of centered, peaceful energy it radiates out to all that surround them. And there are people here that invite chaos, disruption, and negativity. They create messes they expect other people to clean up, and feel the movement is here to feed them, wash their dishes and give them a legal camping spot. I have a home to sleep in, a warm dry bed, place to shower, and anyone can take one look at me and see that I am not missing any meals, or it would do me good to miss a few. This work is hard for me; imagine what it would be like for someone without those things. I have been blown away how the street people have become engaged, improved their communication skills, participated, felt included. But they are taking on responsibilities without help and support from those of us who have the resources to do so. I have been on-site every day since the move to Alton Baker, my observation is there are a few overworked people burning themselves out, and a lot of people hanging out. When new people come and wish to help they are told to go to a committee meeting. People who wish to plug in need to have some mechanism for doing so. We occupied the University of Oregon, an important political statement, but what image do we present? That we can’t even get a group of people to stand and hold signs, or clean up the garbage in our own front yard, our own elders and children don’t have access to a safe place free of smoke to work to share our message. We have people that support us, who want us to succeed, the press has been good, but one serious incident could ruin all of that. We have an opportunity to create in one city block a microcosm of the world we wish to create. A world where consensus unites us, not stifles us. A world where we share a united message but acknowledge there are multiple paths to how we get there. And most of all a physical space, where we can go, a circle where we all work or live by shared agreements. We need to start here, and focus on the new space, creating a circle. We need peacekeepers, medical, support which comes from the community. Many people do not feel included, represented, or safe here. Some of us do not want to overthrow the government only make it better. The 99% includes republicans, conservatives, people of many faiths, I do not see how we are representing them or including them here. We all are getting behind bank transfer day, if we can keep up the momentum we can make a difference. I am not sure yet of my level of personal involvement going forward, but like any new mother I already love this baby of a movement and would be saddened to see it go.
Mic check Mic Check
The world is watching
We are gestating
A movement that could change the world
Or be spark extinguished
Like a new child growing
The potential waits
The love to create
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