We’re back at 3803 Grand Ave. We were forced to cancel our two previous meetings as both last Saturday and last Tuesday were visited by some pretty strong blizzards. As meeting time approached on each evening, it was snowing and blowing heavy enough to cause white out driving conditions. Hopefully these storms will signal the last of winter as everyone is filled with anticipation of spring.
It’s standing room only tonight. A group of our Occupiers who had left town to see what was going on in the rest of the country are with us this evening. They have returned from their adventures and may be back to stay. Everybody is delighted to see them. It’s time for lots of welcoming and hugging.
A discussion related to where we have been and where we are going breaks out. Some say Occupy was too lacking in structure and serious revolution will only succeed under conditions of strict organization, attention to image and accurate methods for evaluation of results. Others support development of alternative living systems such as community gardens and meeting spaces and sustainable energy systems. A few more say both approaches are needed. There is a difference of opinion but the conversation is friendly, respectful and inclusive.
Someone asks, “What do we see as some of the mistakes we have made and what can we learn from these mistakes?” There is general agreement that challenging the police and other authorities just for the sake of challenging them is counterproductive. We’ve learned a more sensible method is to understand the actual laws we challenging and we’ve learned that defiance should have a goal and a purpose.
The discourse evolves onto a discussion about the needs of Nature versus the needs of Labor. An Occupier talks about the actions of some union members in relation to local mining issues. He gives an example of a union leader who is only concerned with good jobs for his members and unconcerned with mining’s effect on the environment. Another Occupier states,” Being able to show that leader good jobs producing sustainable alternatives would be a solution to this problem.” Another Occupier says, “First we seize the means of production, then we turn it into something better.”
The smokers go out for a break and when they return an Occupier is explaining his desire to organize a Worker’s College. Everyone who is willing can teach the skills they possess. The returning Occupiers agree to teach classes about the things they have learned from their travels.
Next comes the subject of May Day. It is agreed the group would like to organize a community event. We would like to hold it in a city park and to invite as many groups as possible. It is agreed May Day represents the struggle of the workers of the world. It also represents the renewal of Spring and lost pagan traditions. We hope we can invite groups that celebrate either of these representations. A lengthy list of possible people and groups is made and each Occupier is tasked with making a certain number of contacts.
Someone checks the time and we realize we’ve been talking much longer than we thought. We exchange more hugs. Filled with new energy, we head out with plans to meet again on Saturday.