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We Once had a Dream Called Occupy Wall Street. #5
It’s taken me a long time to start writing about this meeting. I mean it was just a meeting, but it feels more complicated than that. Right? I’m all washed into NYC suddenly trying to organize. I’m wasn’t there alone. But I don’t know exactly how to speak about the other people. How they play out. I’ve decided to try.
It was the same Union hall that New Yorkers Against Budget Cuts met in, but a different room. We filed in, long table, centered, folks scattered around the edges. And we talked. Folks told their tales of what the Debt default really was, what we should do about it. The meeting went on ,twelve or so folks spoke, I listened. Eventually, the idea seemed to start revolving around organizing a rally. Despair. I didn’t want a rally. Already they were making a list of speakers, of which I had little space to add any input. It was like they were playing out a script. I’d died politically because of rallies. I’d felt disempowered because of rallies, and now I was helping organize a rally.
The guy who pushed the rally, was part of a communist group. You know? Workers power, organize the workplace sort of stuff; laced with anti-oppressive frameworks and the minority empowerment line. All the right rhetoric with a touch of know how. The sort of group that has a political organizing manual with an easy flowchart that’ll get you to selling newspapers on the corner. I knew little about them, besides that they knew how to throw a rally.
The guy holding the fire about the rally was balding. His scalp flushed red as he explained that what we needed was to rally, march and to write up this list of “particulars”. You know? The big list of all the things we want. He’d followup with a twelve step liberation document ready to be marched to the steps of liberty hall. I’d planted my face against the table.
I found myself helping orchestrate littering. Somehow my civil disobedience would have to do with throwing some paper on some steps, and expecting that the world would snap it all in with a deep breath. Liberation! Confetti! Success! I’d been to a million rallies and marches, worn my toes to bloody stumps. Here I was in NYC, organizing the exact same events that I’d seen countless times.
I looked around the table and watched this thin lanky man with flowered shirt raise his hand. Everyone looked to him and he suggested something like, hey, why don’t we organize a General Assembly on August 2nd to talk about Adbusters call for the occupation of Wall Street. I instantly agreed. I backed him as did a young Spanish couple and a young women. We spoke about it a little bit longer and the group broke it down into 2 events for August 2nd. The rally, organized to be a fiery denouncement of the Debt default, followed by a march to deposit the particulars on the steps of liberty hall.
The other half would be a general assembly to discuss September 17th’s call for occupation of wall street. The general assembly would be to see if their was any interest to organize for September 17th. I don’t know why I was so ready to help with the assembly. I think it was mostly because I was rallied out, or maybe because I just felt that I wanted to hear other voices. I left that meeting and bummed tobacco from John, the flower shirt guy, and we smoked cigarettes with the smokers, went to a local bar and discussed our expectations. I just expected to be there.
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