Moving Forward

What issues are you passionate about resolving? What are your proposed solutions? Engage with the community at large to evolve a plan of action.

Moving Forward

Postby Danarchy » Mon Nov 07, 2011 5:43 pm

A proposal to unite the Occupy movement into a more cohesive network has been made at the Occupy Vancouver Forum. An offer to use a 20 acre piece of land next summer in central BC has been extended for the First Provincial People's Assembly. To support the Assembly an Occupy Road Tour thoughout the interior has been suggested to link the various small municpalities together with the larger assemblies and make contact and extend invitations to First Nations along the way.

We are currently building a list serve and extending an invitation for anyone interested to get in touch. You can PM me directly and I will add your email to the list. We anticipate that the first email will be sent in approximately 1 week with details and a link to a forum for more direct communication, possibly tagging onto Occupy Vancouvers forum.

Let us move beyond Occupying cities and Occupy BC so that we may unite with the rest of Canada at a future National People's Assembly.
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Re: Moving Forward

Postby Mysticl » Mon Nov 07, 2011 8:16 pm

While the offer is generous. I would be against this for several reasons. One reason is that I think such a move would have the potential to drown out many of the messages that drew me to the Occupy movement in the very beginning, namely political corruption due to corporate influence via lobbying. For the record I am not trying to silence anyone here, I am just trying to keep the playing field even. I also think it is too far removed from a major population center to either be effective or to draw the numbers to sustain the movement ... out of sight, out of mind.

To be short I think something like that is unsustainable, ineffective and it dilutes our message.
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Re: Moving Forward

Postby Danarchy » Tue Nov 08, 2011 7:29 am

Mysticl wrote:While the offer is generous. I would be against this for several reasons. One reason is that I think such a move would have the potential to drown out many of the messages that drew me to the Occupy movement in the very beginning, namely political corruption due to corporate influence via lobbying. For the record I am not trying to silence anyone here, I am just trying to keep the playing field even. I also think it is too far removed from a major population center to either be effective or to draw the numbers to sustain the movement ... out of sight, out of mind.

To be short I think something like that is unsustainable, ineffective and it dilutes our message.


Okay, I will count you out, but I have had a couple of people in Victoria and on the island who are not directly involved in 'your' movement who are interested? Why are they not involved? Where have the countless many who were involved in the original protest (Victoria and Vancouver) and remained for the first few days gone? How are the on site GA's capable of speaking to or for those in rural areas without first engaging them and creating a forum for their opinions. How does attempting to create a cohesive action network potentially drown or dilute the message of Occupy regarding political corruption and corporate influence?

Regarding keeping an even playing field, it is not even now. It is unbalanced in favour of urban Canadians. Do you believe that we, rural Canadians, do not feel any impact from the interests of corporations or the financial implications of their failure? Or do you just not want to include us in your sphere of influence out of fears that we may disagree with you? Many of the demands of Vancouver, though only from Vancouver but similar sentiments probably exist within Victoria, would directly impact the lives of rural Canada and have little direct impact on urbanites. It is always easier to sit and tell others how to live than it is to change your own life. Being inclusive does not just mean 'anyone can join' it means reaching out and creating spaces where we can all interact. For Occupy to have any relevance outside of the tent sites It needs to address the concerns of those who support it as well as forge positive ties with other communities.

The tent sites are a good start but inevitably they will be removed either violently ordered by our politicians or cooperatively as agreed to by the occupiers. Either way it will come to an end. In defense of the provincial people's assembly, the first suggestion was a road tour focused on building unity, communicating ideas, gathering concerns and breaking down barriers. It is highly public. The PPA while away from an urban setting, it is in CENTRAL BC for the convenience of all not just a select minority in a major urban area and would only be 'out of site' if those involved chose it to be so.
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Re: Moving Forward

Postby Mysticl » Tue Nov 08, 2011 10:16 am

I am not saying it isn't a good idea ... I am saying I don't think it's a good idea to ALL go there. If you have supporters then by all means take advantage of it. Who knows where it will lead. It just isn't for me. The more occupy's we have the better .. nothing wrong with a rural one, I just don't think a rural one at the expense of those in the large urban centers is advisable.

I agree however that we do need to move beyond the camps. As much as I support and remain in awe at the courage and tenacity of our brave campers putting themselves on the line for the movement I am beginning to think we need to open up a new front. Their constant harassment and struggle to even exist is the only thing the media is focusing on at the moment which is diluting the real message most of us hope will take root. The nature of the camps is drawing an element to it that is starting to hurt the message. The homeless and their struggle is an absolutely VITAL issue to address but it has to be recognized that the problems that SOME of the homeless have, is now beginning to make it's presence felt and to dominate in the camps which the media is of course exploiting to discredit the movement. I continue to adamantly support them, but looking from the outside in, I think the writing may be on the wall. It is my hope the connections have been made and will survive a break up of the camps. Smaller more focused day occupies might be more effective in the winter months. The longer they can stay of course the better and I will defer to them on when they themselves think it's time to move on but I hope in the end, that when the time comes that the camps start being a negative that they will recognize it and bow out gracefully to reassemble fresh in the spring or as part of a flash assemble. The best way to help those in need, is for this movement to succeed and if the camps become a liability then imo they may have to be abandoned at least temporarily. Not because they ask us to go .. not because they forced us to go ... but because we CHOSE to go in order to initiate new tactics.

These are of course only my musings this morning ... ask me this afternoon and I might have changed my mind. My biggest worry is the campers will see my message and it could hurt their moral. This was not my intention. I am totally blown away by their unswerving commitment and their courage does a lot to keep MY moral high. I am just trying to analytically evaluate the whole picture from the outside looking in, but as a complete believer in the Occupy movement.
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Re: Moving Forward

Postby Matt's » Tue Nov 08, 2011 3:25 pm

I think it's a great idea. It could lead to a BC referendum organization, where we could all choose a topic for a referendum and pursue it, like taxing the rich, or forcing the government to invest in green infrastructure, creating green jobs. Or even, dare I say it, a participatory democracy party or BC. We are far more powerful working together than being atomized little groups. It's probably the only way can make real gains for the people of this province.

I think Victoria should send delegates, for sure. The question is, how would it work? Would delegates have the power to vote on decisions on what to pursue? Should vancouver have delegates in proportion to its population, giving them 100 delegates wheras Prince george has 10?

In Parpolity http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Participatory_politics, a participatory political system, you send delegates to councils that make decisions for a large area, but you make them recallable at any time. They are mandated to represent the views of their sending council, but have a free vote, otherwise everyone is voting on everything allt eh time. Any vote of a high level council (that represents many people) can be corrected by a referendum of those affected. The definition of democracy used is that peopel should have decision making power in proportion to how they are affecetd by the decision.

While I think the long term goal of parpolity is the way to go, in this situation giving delegates power to decide things would not work. People will not agree to what the delegates decide unless they think it is a good idea. However delegates can get preferential speaking privleges during the assembly, as they are trying to represent many people.

So I think the delegates should focus on (1) building cross BC network of contacts, a website where all BC could communicate what each section of BC thinks we should do collectively (2) Coming up with things we can do together (like a referendum or political party) (3) deciding on a course of action that they can recommend to the community they are representing. Later the people they are representing can vote on whether they want to follow the plan or not, or can find a bunch of people to do it or not. (4) develop ways we can decide collectively what to do for all of BC, like some sort of website. We can't vote via a website, but we can vote within our communities and communicate that vote to the rest of the province. Again this wouldn't be a binding vote, since peopel simply won't participate if they don't like it, it would be more like a survey. (5) Develop ways we can all work together on something like a referendum (if that's what we want), we 'll need to comminucate during it and decide things... There's alot of overlap in this numbered list, sorry, it's just off the top of my head...
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Re: Moving Forward

Postby Mysticl » Tue Nov 08, 2011 4:32 pm

Matt, I actually like the idea the way you describe it. I was envisioning a massive occupy camp with everyone going there to occupy a field like they are occupying Centennial Square but with the blessing of the landowners and hidden away in central BC away from media and large urban centers but a province wide assembly that could bring issues back to their home occupy's to be discussed and voted on in connection with other assemblies around the province ... well, that is something I can get behind.
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Re: Moving Forward

Postby Danarchy » Wed Nov 09, 2011 10:58 am

Thank you matt, that is far more clear than my original post, I am quite happy to have you on board.
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Re: Moving Forward

Postby Danarchy » Wed Nov 09, 2011 11:41 am

I think that the type of representation/ delegate system to be used is VERY important. I have problems with both proportional representation and equal representation.

Proportional representation allows a majority significant power over a minority. For example, in Agriculture (my expertise) if the group from Vancouver chose to support a demand/ declaration that Organic Agriculture be imposed, the majority of the impact would not be imposed on Vancouver delegates rather those of us in smaller communities.

Equal representation allows a minority significant power over a minority. To use the same example as above, the greater population in consumer areas vs the smaller population in producer areas. Vanvouver proposes Organic Agriculture, producer communities reject it.

In either example, there is a level of inequality.

However, I feel a working group/ committee that would seek common ground to construct proposals( demands/ whatever you wish to call them) could be drawn from the larger group and include both workers within that area, experts or advisors as well as special interests and consumers. The goal of any working group would be to return to the larger GA with proposal that reflects, to the greatest extent, consensus within the group to be ratified by the GA. The GA would then ratify the proposal or return it to the working group for modification as directed by GA concerns.

The problem with many GA forms is that they can fall into semantic or minute debates that run circular to a resolution rather than toward it. I believe that the purpose of the first PPA would be to create a system, either mass representation or delegation for future PPA's. Then proceed with structuring committes/ working groups. I do not anticipate that much would be resolved at the first PPA, unless proposals are presented prior for distobution, but to me that would not be the point. The point is to establish a network between groups and establish the structure to proceed as well as get people connected and talking outside for their respective communities.

I could be dead wrong but feel that it is worth a shot.

And M, the offer to use the land was never extended to be for a perminent camp, after the PPA people are expected to leave though not immediately and on there own time, -35 C will also motivate peeps to migrate away :-) While many in our cooperative support the Occupy, several have concerns related to associating ourselves too closely and loosing our local customer base as well as feeling that BC Occupy groups have yet to show themselves as being worthy of support. Those interests remain in the minority here and have conceeded their right to block our consensus process to allow those who support the movement to proceed. There is a fine line here between the greater good, our community well being and the integrity of our Cooperative. It is a line that I walk every day but it is essential to our Cooperative ideals of democratic agriculture.
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Re: Moving Forward

Postby RobertusMaximus » Wed Nov 16, 2011 12:17 pm

Occupy all the farmers fields you want. I can promise you the system doesn't care. The more this process gets wrappped around the concept of tenting, the easier it is to co-opt, Like with the concensus Model, or control, with police and legal cover.
Instead of digging up obscure shyte that has never been tried let alone worked, dig into History and find stuff that worked. Let me know when you find about Mass Strikes. On to Ottawa. A bunch of unemployeed who got on trains to go Ottawa to protest the government in the 30's No tents were harmed in that one.

A Mass Stike is mobile. POlice can't set up the OP like they have watching the Square. The initiative is with the organizers. Mass Strikes don't use the concensus model, they get stuff done. Mass Strikes are populist, they have solutions to problems which affect everyone. Organic Farming is not going to do it. Sorry. REality sucks. Start with and finish with issue which affect a person wallet. Think of attracting as many people from the Middle Class. Mass Strikes have Parade Marshals. They patrol the edges of the Stirke and stop people from vandalizing shops. (think Black Bloc/Police Agent Provocateurs.)

There is much more to be said for Mass Strikes but I'm wasting my time.
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Re: Moving Forward

Postby Mysticl » Wed Nov 16, 2011 12:27 pm

RobertusMaximus wrote:There is much more to be said for Mass Strikes but I'm wasting my time.


I don't think you are wasting your time at all. I think there is much merit in what you are saying. Your method of delivery needs work but your opinions deserve consideration. I like much of what you propose ... not all ... but there is room for all opinions here as long as it stays civil.
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