My dog Shadow and I stopped by the Occupy Bloomington encampment this morning and saw that they are now prepared for the rain which drenched central Indiana the past few days. (Unfortunately, no camera with me.) I noticed even more sleeping tents than before. And rather than tarps for their kitchen and library and other public spaces, they now have the kind of shelters that artists use at art fairs. There’s even a large, oblong Quiet Time tent at the eastern edge of the tiny park, where it abuts a building.
I talked with one young man, who, when I said that it felt good seeing how much more organized the camp has gotten in the past week, responded: “Yes, but many of the people who have been here the whole two weeks are approaching burnout. It needs new blood.
(Every once in a while, I think about my own edge, and float the idea of actually sleeping there some night. But then I always reject it, since I’m a light sleeper even in the best of circumstances, and would be a wreck the next day. And I can always trot out the “I’m 68 years old” line and instead, hand them cash or blankets. But I wonder: when I was in my 20s, I was loaded with adult responsibilities as a doctoral student in philosophy, mother of two young children, and wife of a narcissist. Would I have dropped everything to Occupy at that point in my life? Probably not.
Back then, we thought we could make a revolution just by ripping off our bras, smoking lots of dope, pointing out what was wrong, critiquing it endlessly, and marching. Over the past 40 years we’ve learned otherwise. So that was then, and this is NOW. The corporatist state is even more hegemonic and we the people even more desperate, on the one hand, and yet, we can now sense that an emerging new world lies just below the quivering membrane of the NWO illusion that is beginning to fray, not only at its edges, but all the way through. If I were young now and without adult responsibilities, I sense that I would be sleeping in the park.)
I asked the young man about a story I had seen in the local paper yesterday which mentioned that Kilroy bar patrons were now walking across the street to join them. (I had blogged on that last week, wondering when and if it would happen, one of the “edges” we need to occupy . . .), and he said that the patrons at that famous college bar across the street had put up a tent with a sign, Occupy Kilroys, on the sidewalk out in front, mocking the Occupy Bloomington encampment. A couple of days later, the Occupy Bloomington folks put up a sign facing Kilroys saying “Occupy Bloomington supports Occupy Kilroys” — and wouldn’t you know, the bar patrons started coming across the street. Nice!
Here’s a wonderful statement of support for “OWS America” that I found on a site I hadn’t seen before, Occupy MARINES, which states:
“We will support demonstrators with organization, direction, supply and logistics, and leadership.”
(BTW: If you haven’t seen the video with the two marines there to protect Occupy Wall Street yet, do. The marine on the right is especially impassioned and articulate, once he gets going.)
From the occupyMARINES site:
OccupyMARINES Are Currently Assessing The Current Situation To Ascertain What Is Currently Needed To Support OWS America. We Are Humbled At The Substantial Support OWS America Has Provided And Ask That Everyone Continue As You All Do While We Implement Organization Nationwide. As We All Know, ‘Occupy’ Groups Are Being Established Even Now And Would Like To See This Trend Continue.
To ‘Occupy’ Leadership Starting To Organize We Suggest You Focus On Sustainability For Your Respective Groups, The Essentials Are Critical For Continued Support Of The Honorable Men And Woman Standing Up; Food, Clothing, Sleep-ware As In Tents And Sleeping Bags. We Are Currently Organizing A List To Roll Out In Assistance For Your Group Startup.
A Primary Objective Currently Underway With OccupyMARINES Is Preparation For Winter. American Nay-Sayers Believe The ‘Occupation’ Will Not Survive The Winter, We Will Prove Them Wrong. In Order To Achieve This Goal We Must Make Appropriations Now To Protect ‘Occupy’ Supporters Assisting Their Continued Presence Which Is Priority One Of The Occupy Movement—Continue To Express Our Presence—Continue To State Our Message “We Are The 99%, We Will Not Go Away”
Keep Pushing Forward America We Support You
Occupy Marines also posted the “OWS-8,” which I also found, with its background, on newshoggers.com. Talk about occupying the edge! To have Marines — like all military, trained to follow orders and to kill — posting these rules for leaderless non-violent action is, to me, extraordinary.
By John Ballard
Here they are… the Eight Rules for a movement without rules, led ny No One and making decisions by Concensus.
Getting into a hivemind is not easy, but I’m trying.
Cynthia Boaz put these into writing.
Here’s a link to the hashtag.
Dr. Cynthia Boaz is assistant professor of political science at Sonoma State University, where her areas of expertise include quality of democracy, nonviolent struggle, civil resistance, and political communication and media, and an affiliated scholar at the UNESCO Chair of Philosophy for Peace International Master in Peace, Conflict, and Development Studies at Universitat Jaume I in Castellon, Spain. She is also an analyst and consultant on nonviolent action. She is Vice President of the Metta Center for Nonviolence and on the board of Project Censored and the Media Freedom Foundation. Dr. Boaz is also a contributing writer and adviser to Truthout.org, a contributor to Waging Nonviolence, and former associate editor of Peace and Change Journal.
- Nonviolent discipline, no matter what. Zero tolerance for any violence whatsoever, including verbal.
- Unity of message & across orgs and people. There should be a consistent message & demands coming out & activists shld know it & share it.
- There must be a long-term and coherent strategy, not just tactics and actions (no matter how clever) that are not connected in some way.
- Security forces/police should be seen as potential recruits to movement, not as adversaries. Ultimately they are accountable to the ppl.
- Keep larger audience (national and international) in mind when framing the message. The goal is to win ppl over, not to alienate.
- Defensive strategies never win. Don’t respond to verbal attacks or hostile propaganda by using the language of the opponent. Reframe.
- Claim victory whenever possible. It’s important for morale and enthusiasm. Keep anger/rage in check with humor and solidarity actions.
[She was right on with her answer, but she used all 140 characters. We trimmed the principles down so people could RT them, and we thought number seven was a compound thought, so we split it into the last two of the eight rules.]
- Keep anger in check /w solidarity actions & humor.