We welcomed about ten visitors from UNC Sustainable Living Group, brought by Tait. (twinkle!) YOU’LL SEE THAT MUCH OF THIS IS JUST TRYING TO CAPTURE THE COMMENTS MADE AROUND A SET OF QUESTIONS, trying to capture folks’ voices – sorry if it’s a bit rambly!
Report backs from Katya – Croatan Earth First meeting on Sunday night, upcoming community meeting East Chapel Hill HS 3/27 on fracking, also one in siler city (3/20), need to get people out as there are already leases being sold there – according to one woman even an environmentalist sold leases.
Also teach-in Against amendment one. There’s a Coalition at UNC Mondays at 9 – project of scavenger hunt, points for who you talk to…Coalition to Protect All NC Families, Katya said she would post information about the Direct Action Scavenger Hunt.
It was decided to devote meeting to engaging w/ the visitors (sort of a visioning)
Questions: (Tait said he would post the set of questions they’d brainstormed – questions were also directed TO the students)
Q 1 London encampment was shut down this week – what do evictions mean? How keep going?
Responses (elipses signal different speaker) Bigger question of what comes next? Winter issues, police eviction, how sustain? How go beyond single protest space.
It introduced us to each other, people w/ similar goals and others crazier but more power to you… now we are seeing Groups and interests spinning out of original occupy group – environment, etc. already there but energized from people involved thru Occupy
Introductions all around people talking about what got them involved, how stayed in because of politics, ideals, the people and links to each other that are being formed
Students hoping to get a sense, compare reality to what they’ve seen in the media, they are all part of sustainability living community, most are 1st years
Discussion of the centrifugal forces of not having a single cause – some see as strength and opens many opportunities, others see as frustrating and sending folks into more focused work that they hope to bring back to Occ. As in legal observers.
Questions about where are the people? Expecting more at the protests…
Question 2 What would you like to change?
Central message, sound bite – but the central message may not get everyone out
With the demand, should bring people out We have an incredible brand – has a huge potential… more outreach – the 99% idea speaks to me – how connect more to folks? Related to faith based movements really get out complex explanation and nuance of how 1% runs things – explain. I’d like to change the perception – how media gets out message – people don’t know, read something that doesn’t sound good. If people understood that what they care about – health care, finance reform, it’s represented here.. need 4 or 5 basic demands that will help change other things – what’s causing the problems to not be addressed? I suggest:
1 money out of politics/ lobbying
2. charter corporations and take away rights as citizens
3. change money and banking system, it’s totally screwed up. Money controlled by private banks, but should be a public service.
4. end fossil fuels or soon we won’t have a civilization to work with.…Vs. notion of list of demands – sometimes agree…who give the list to?, get caught in party system ,legal wrangling, will end what we are trying to do – the process isn’t working… strength is so many different people and groups – would a central principal lose this?…but then with Bank transfer day – we can all agree on that – not bring government in – boycott.
Q 3 Stigma, the way negative coverage in press creates negative ideas, how to feel about coverage?
Both helps and hurt – huge change in mainstream culture, state of the union, all dependent on occupy. Occ. is IN pop culture. Yet also idea that it’s all unwashed people without jobs – good soundbite. When media helps it’s b/c we got traction. …statewide GA coverage not talk about 10 cities represented, the plans, coverage only on Occ Raleigh and winter space. Now ignoring or only focusing on the bad incidents. …really doesn’t matter what they say b/c the core is trying to get corporate influence out of politics and media is owned and in party line of corporations. As political and social movement Occ has not and continues to not really give a F*#k about mainstream media – we are willing to do things that make powers that be afraid of us. If all we try to do is appease media we won’t be Occupy …when we compare today to earlier histories – like anti corporate globalization movements 10 years ago – when indy media beginning social networks - we got a name from the media – they called it anti-capitalist which framed it differently than we would have. It’s easier now b/c of horizontal forms of media for personal forms to spread. Corp. media has to hurry to keep up – I concur that coverage is hostile, but it’s easier to have leverage now – they can’t dominate the way they used to
Q4 Of students – why think there is apathy among students about occ? Unlike 60s?
b/c we’ve been given everything – privileges. Less affected, if Chick-fil-A ran out of sauce 1000 people would be out…I’m an activist and it doesn’t define but we are on the screen – computer and TV, we have a LOT of information, about Occ too but apathy b/c easy to be involved through the screen – sign petition on line letter already written so easy then share on faceboook, feel you are doing a lot. But real protests no one there. …economic pressures and senses that whatever you do nothing will change… but then YOU are here, so not everyone is apathetic…different time in the 60s b/c of draft…there are long term problems we’re facing now so think we can sit back till it gets really bad but realize the time frame wasn’t so far off – not just reactionary but make change now… Occ asking same Qs, we are children of the empire – top of pyramid even if not 1% think of Greece –where everyone IS out and protesting but since here we are beneficiary of empire it’s not about what you are losing, but what we can do from that position of power…Greece, elsewhere, students occupy university – overthrew dictatorshop in 70s w/ univ. as source of protest. Before I paid 2000/ year to go to UNC and I could pay it, but now raising. But w/ increase, centers of learning are spaces that can only accommodate the wealthy and their agenda – even if not wealthy need to make yourself able to pay. If learning tied to acquisition of wealth then curiosity, desire to change world, can’t flourish there. See politicization of drop outs and outsiders who can’t afford to be in the institutions. …see coming to Occ as asking people to come there for other people ( if we are seen as privileged) – how to get people there then?…Occ wants to save system from itself. It’s not sustainable, not oroborus, snake eating itself – and that position – of saving by critiquing that creates the resonance with so many people … I don’t want to be Mr. doom and gloom – this past recession ain’t seen nothing yet- with what’s coming down the road, not only idealistic 5% will be looking after own butts but everyone….i’m not an idealist and didn’t join Occ out of altruism but b/c I have kids and THAT changes sense of altruism, I’m concerned about their future AND I get a lot out of local community so I’m in it for me too
Q about ‘disappointment’ w/ visit to OWS that one of the students mentioned
Seemed like waste of time, it was down time, there were drugs, unproductive stuff, as human movement, just do elsewhere, people saying random things, but the recycling was good and all communal
Q what would have to be going on for you to feel it was worth dropping everything to join a movement?
Police brutality called us out – uninvolved people were definitely talking about it. Mostly tho we just get our homework in and go drink, univ. is not a place to think… I want to feel that activistm is a productive use of my time, I want a set goal and to be working towards it – if Occ gets traction I’d be involved…. It would take the army taking over but I’m mostly thinking long term about fixing things – getting informed about how things work – need to get involved and learn first hand…it’s worth it if lots of people do it , you can always be doing consciousness raising – learning and spreading
Occ – how to have potential – true we are always ‘being screened” (On facebook, etc) but even then, there are many options for those of us who want to change – but it is important to think about the structure of how you seek to change beause that will determine what the change is – how to get together, to work on understanding the real problems – is it legislation we need to change or other structures that are previous to the legislation? In 1999 shut down WTO and before no one even knew – consc. raising occurred, not just from talking , but it’s when we reveal what we are capable of – what can I actually do – I want to learn about what I can do, concretely – we can do a lot…
Nothing ever happens from thinking about it – writing, watching tv, talking won’t change things – people became aware of the disparity in wealth here b/c so many people came out to Occupies around the country –we are opposed to tax breaks wall st. ruling ≠, headlines – until Oct 2011 you never saw front page article or tv or radio about wealth disparity in this country until people got up and made their voices heard – out of houses into streets – that changed whole dynamic – it’s why we are here and we can’t let that drop – people coming together, being together in public. …we live in representative democracy. We can change laws, and call congressman, don’t dismiss traditional politics! ….I’m Skeptical – the people most affected by the 1% not represented, working jobs, how include?
We struggle with it, with mintority outreach, race, etc. part of larger issues we are all working on
Teach-ins, other activities, Occupy is more than GA
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