If you want to stay.........

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

If you want to stay.........

Postby squarepeg » Wed Nov 09, 2011 5:19 pm

If you want to stay, some possible steps that would bring regular folks back onside with you, and dull the efforts of those who would claim you're anything but a peaceful protest, with every right to continue to do what you're doing.

1) Clean up ALL the garbage in the square......everywhere, every single bit. Not a shred of garbage left anywhere in the square. If you don't know what's in a bag....LOOK. If it's garbage, dispose of it........if it's belongings, place them somewhere safe and out of site (if you didn't know whether it was garbage or not, neither will anybody looking at the outside of the bag).
Do NOT let garbage collect anywhere in the square.

2) Consolidate ALL the tents in one area, and provide a wide (code requires 3 feet) lane-ways in front of all tent zippered entrances. Remove the "unsafe tent city" argument from play.

3) Leave the area of the Centennial Square stage completely. As long as you're there, the City can claim they can't hold scheduled events. Nobody should remain here, and all items, furniture, clothing, bedding, and garbage should be removed. This space MUST be made available for the scheduled events (whether the City decides to use it or not is their option, but if you're not on the stage, they can't blame you for canceling the event).

4) Remove ALL graffiti from the square (from the stage area, under City Hall, etc) and remove ALL redundant posters or posters with too generic a point (or worse, no point at all).
Put up a few easily readable, to-the-point posters in one location that clearly indicate the reasons why you're in the square. Make them large, and make them look good and easy to read.

5) You MUST get the street folks to cooperate with your plan to clean up and make good those portions of the square you're not occupying. Without the street folks participating in your master plan, your occupation will likely end sooner than later.

6) As part of the movement to bring all occupiers into one neatly developed area, there can be no distinction between "street people", "occupiers", or the addicted...........all for one, one for all........EVERYBODY in the square has to be onside with these changes. Place the camp well away from the City's ice rink and stage. This is the space they claim they require for use, so move elsewhere.

7) *IMPORTANT* Consider moving the occupancy to another public square (Bastion Square, Parliament lawn, etc). ALL the City's efforts to date are to remove the occupancy from CENTENNIAL SQUARE, and the City will be placed back to STEP-ONE by moving the occupancy to another location.
DO NOT move onto private land or a private building site. The laws are very different for occupying private land.

Don't play into the hand of "the man".
Be unpredictable, move around, keep your Twitter and Facebook pages updated hourly (currently a day or more often goes by with NOTHING written on Twitter).
Innovate your movement, don't become sedentary (which plays right into the pending Injunctions hand), stay light on your feet.
DON'T JUST CONTINUE TO DO WHAT YOU'VE BEEN DOING!.........it's losing its effectiveness and support in the local context.


Conclusion:
In essence, you are now in a position where you're losing support because of the "optics" of your occupation. As mentioned above in some areas of the square the accumulation of garbage works against your end goal. OPTICS ARE EVERYTHING!.......Fix what's broken in the occupancy, and fix it NOW (while you can).

Most, if not all residents of Victoria know there is a homeless/addiction issue in this City.
That the street folks are presumably "in the residents face" as a result of moving to the square is irrelevant to the discussion of keeping the occupation moving forward.
The street folks are currently being used AS THE REASON to forcibly end the occupation........THEY'RE the bait.
YOU MUST GET STREET FOLKS ON-SIDE AND COOPERATING WITH THE REMAINDER OF THE OCCUPANCY MOVEMENT!!
This may not be easy, as there are mental health and addiction issues always at play.........but it MUST occur.

In the first week of the occupation, there were dedicated "occupiers" who actively scrubbed off graffiti that was placed by those not yet understanding the purpose, garbage was removed regularly (initially, occupiers did not allow it to build up), the square was kept clean, and this subsequently ensured the occupiers purpose was not "sidetracked" by issues related to safety, sanitation, and access.

The "street folks" are the key to your ongoing strategy. You MUST bring them fully onside, and make sure that they understand that, if the occupancy is forcibly ended, they will lose their current home.
Their (the street folks) desire to remain in the square is based on a different premise than the desire of the occupiers........but the fact that they would like to remain in the square for as long as possible is the common ground that MUST be cashed in on.

It's now primarily an optics issue.......and frankly, the square currently looks far shabbier overall than it should.
Change this as per the above, and you'll stand a good chance of lasting longer than a few pieces of legal paperwork might otherwise seem to indicate.

Return to the passionate efforts of the FIRST WEEK of the occupancy.........or likely lose the square.
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Re: If you want to stay.........

Postby Matt's » Wed Nov 09, 2011 9:21 pm

What I care most about is using this opportunity to build a lasting, powerful, organization that can make some gains for regular folks in this society. I don't see how anyone can have a higher or better priority. We are not going to win this battle in a month or a year, it will be a long struggle, it's been going on a long time. We're not going to win it by camping out in a square, we're going to win it by being organized and doing actions that make gains for regular people and the environment.

If occupying the square helps this end, the we should occupy the square. If it does not further this end, then we should stop camping out and do something else, maybe just maintain a booth in the square, whatever.

So the question: does camping in the square help us build an organization? I don't see how.
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Re: If you want to stay.........

Postby squarepeg » Thu Nov 10, 2011 12:02 am

Does occupancy help build an organization?

.............I would ask you what the headlines on TV, newspapers, and the internet have been in your neighborhood for the past month.
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Re: If you want to stay.........

Postby ### » Thu Nov 10, 2011 3:47 am

squarepeg wrote:If you want to stay, some possible steps that would bring regular folks back onside with you, and dull the efforts of those who would claim you're anything but a peaceful protest, with every right to continue to do what you're doing.

1) Clean up ALL the garbage in the square

Agree.

2) Consolidate ALL the tents in one area, and provide a wide (code requires 3 feet) lane-ways in front of all tent zippered entrances. Remove the "unsafe tent city" argument from play.

Agree. Safety first. Can walk around every tent.

Disagree. Not required to move all tents to one contiguous space. It is agreed wink-wink-nod-nod that # will use the West and especially North-West portion of the square: that means the washroom area, the cement arcade (info center), the media tent and food corner, and the stage area.

3) Leave the area of the Centennial Square stage completely. As long as you're there, the City can claim they can't hold scheduled events. Nobody should remain here, and all items, furniture, clothing, bedding, and garbage should be removed. This space MUST be made available for the scheduled events (whether the City decides to use it or not is their option, but if you're not on the stage, they can't blame you for canceling the event).

Agree. No to garbage.

Disagree. The public stage is available for public use. Sofas are especially important for creating comfortable atmosphere. Sofas are very easy to move on short notice. "Share the square." - #paov

4) Remove ALL graffiti from the square (from the stage area, under City Hall, etc) and remove ALL redundant posters or posters with too generic a point (or worse, no point at all).
Put up a few easily readable, to-the-point posters in one location that clearly indicate the reasons why you're in the square. Make them large, and make them look good and easy to read.

Agree: Large presentable material.

Disagree: Graffiti is a vague word. Everyone supports an active open (de)political process. There is considerable tolerance for free-speech in so-called "Canada". I want to see freedom of expression used creatively and with sincere respect. # is a major social break-through that hasn't been seen since '69. There is definately no reason not to do something because of assumed expectations of what "the City" or "the Police" might want. Everyone basically supports # and is doing "wait and and see". Me too, observe London and Vancouver. I expect # to continue until the end of 2012.

5) You MUST get the street folks to cooperate with your plan to clean up and make good those portions of the square you're not occupying. Without the street folks participating in your master plan, your occupation will likely end sooner than later.

Agree. Would you be willing to be more specific?

6) As part of the movement to bring all occupiers into one neatly developed area, there can be no distinction between "street people", "occupiers", or the addicted...........all for one, one for all........EVERYBODY in the square has to be onside with these changes. Place the camp well away from the City's ice rink and stage. This is the space they claim they require for use, so move elsewhere.

Agree. Human unity.

Agree. make lots of space for the ice rink.

Disagree. Middle-class people, who are the material basis of the (r)evolution, use expensive projectors, laptops, and are wanting quite space to discuss and plan and network: if there is considerable interuption and safety concerns, middle-class people can't do their thing. Think of it as functionalism and not status based, like cellular membrenation.

7) *IMPORTANT* Consider moving the occupancy to another public square (Bastion Square, Parliament lawn, etc). ALL the City's efforts to date are to remove the occupancy from CENTENNIAL SQUARE, and the City will be placed back to STEP-ONE by moving the occupancy to another location.
DO NOT move onto private land or a private building site. The laws are very different for occupying private land.

Disagree. Spirit Square (Centenn) was chosen specificly: the state is obsolete, therefore # at the Legislature would be dinosaur. Globally and historically central squares from Kiev to Cairo are the RL net-working hubs.

Don't play into the hand of "the man".
Be unpredictable, move around, keep your Twitter and Facebook pages updated hourly (currently a day or more often goes by with NOTHING written on Twitter).

Agree. Social medias.

Disagree. There's nothing to hide. # values transparency. Now that the immediate occupation is accomplished, I want to see organized happenings.

Innovate your movement, don't become sedentary (which plays right into the pending Injunctions hand), stay light on your feet.
DON'T JUST CONTINUE TO DO WHAT YOU'VE BEEN DOING!.........it's losing its effectiveness and support in the local context.

Agree. Evolve.

Disagree. By my count, the number of people at # is increasing. See also web activity(!!). Phase 1: actually occupying the Square. Phase 2 is networking, and initiating. # is based on an orderly "process", the script is exactly on schedual.

Conclusion:
In essence, you are now in a position where you're losing support because of the "optics" of your occupation. As mentioned above in some areas of the square the accumulation of garbage works against your end goal. OPTICS ARE EVERYTHING!.......Fix what's broken in the occupancy, and fix it NOW (while you can).

Agree: Let's continue to make the Square attractive to the middle-class who's organizational, networking and tech are the material means of #.

Most, if not all residents of Victoria know there is a homeless/addiction issue in this City.
That the street folks are presumably "in the residents face" as a result of moving to the square is irrelevant to the discussion of keeping the occupation moving forward.
The street folks are currently being used AS THE REASON to forcibly end the occupation........THEY'RE the bait.
YOU MUST GET STREET FOLKS ON-SIDE AND COOPERATING WITH THE REMAINDER OF THE OCCUPANCY MOVEMENT!!
This may not be easy, as there are mental health and addiction issues always at play.........but it MUST occur.

Agree. Half the middle-class people at # are social workers and nurses etc so let's network on this and something proactive is bound to emerge.

In the first week of the occupation, there were dedicated "occupiers" who actively scrubbed off graffiti that was placed by those not yet understanding the purpose, garbage was removed regularly (initially, occupiers did not allow it to build up), the square was kept clean, and this subsequently ensured the occupiers purpose was not "sidetracked" by issues related to safety, sanitation, and access.

Agree. Victorian people value neatness and safety. Let's present an orderly family-safe camp.

Disagree. Graffiti is a vague word. Art and culture are highly valued by Victorians, especially educated affluent Victoria people who live the West-Coast-lifestyle and grew up in the 60s. Art is communication.

The "street folks" are the key to your ongoing strategy. You MUST bring them fully onside, and make sure that they understand that, if the occupancy is forcibly ended, they will lose their current home.
Their (the street folks) desire to remain in the square is based on a different premise than the desire of the occupiers........but the fact that they would like to remain in the square for as long as possible is the common ground that MUST be cashed in on.

Disagree. Street-people are the most visible victims of war-society and capitalism. Everyone suffers in torture-and-bribery society. Middle-class people suffer from "Americanitus", alienation, and hysteria. And everyone is valuable to #. Middle-class people too, because middle-class people are the organizers, networkers and tech people who are going to make the new society happen and run it: the "material basis" or "means of production". Urban refugee columns indicate a crisis is urgent, and, those who are still semi-functional are needing a secure and undisturbed place to work and meet at the Square also urgently.

It's now primarily an optics issue.......and frankly, the square currently looks far shabbier overall than it should.
Change this as per the above, and you'll stand a good chance of lasting longer than a few pieces of legal paperwork might otherwise seem to indicate.
Return to the passionate efforts of the FIRST WEEK of the occupancy.........or likely lose the square.

Agree. Neat and clean.

Disagree. There is little chance the Square occupation will end before 14 months from now. This is hard to believe that we are welcome and supported because we have been so accustomed to opposition and control, but a review of the history, pdfs, and present world situation of # suggests me this guess.
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Re: If you want to stay.........

Postby Matt's » Thu Nov 10, 2011 11:04 am

squarepeg wrote:Does occupancy help build an organization?

.............I would ask you what the headlines on TV, newspapers, and the internet have been in your neighborhood for the past month.


Media attention does not mean an organization is being built. Continued media attention focused on camping out in a square does not mean an organization will be built. If it were true, we would be much bigger than we already are and doing way more actions than we are. We are not doing much, Two rallies, one well attended, another hardly attended. We could be doing much more.

If people's efforts were not going into maintaining a camp, maybe they could do other things, like outreach, forming neighbourhood assemblies, working on a referendum campaign, standing in front of banks and urging credit unions instead. There seems to be lots of people wanting to organize and do stuff, yet we are doing relatively little. Is the camp the cause of this? I think there is an argument to be made.

I'd be happy to be wrong on this. I just don't think I am. Keeping an info booth in the square seems to me to be a good way to help things along, while freeing up people to do other things. I've got a career and two kids , I want to help, but I can't make it to the square much, and when I do, I can't find any way to help, as all the discussion is on maintaining square issues, which I can't help with.
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Re: If you want to stay.........

Postby Mysticl » Thu Nov 10, 2011 12:51 pm

The reason the occupy movement managed to grab headline was because of the camps. It's one of the main factors in the movement's visibility and for that reason I support them. However as time goes on it is beginning to appear that the camps might be becoming a liability to forward momentum ... at least here in Canada. The only thing I fear is that without the camps constant thorn in the side of everyone's complacency the movement could well disintegrate. I am straddling the fence on this one. I want the momentum toward change to continue but I have NO idea how best to manage the obvious public support behind the message without at the same time alienating a large base of that support. While the negative media reports are largely untrue and biased against the camps they are never the less having an impact on public support among people who DO support the ideals of the Occupy movement, if not the camps. My extended family for instance ... they were initially quite responsive to the occupy message but that support is evaporating with the negative media. I disagree with them quite strenuously and I actively debate them on the issues but I cannot deny the fact that we are losing them. I doubt we can change the media message overnight, it's too ingrained and corrupt, but we CAN defuse it by evolving.

I am going to defer to the campers on this one though ... they are on the ground putting themselves on the line. I just hope they are able to see the whole picture, from those of us on the outside looking in. I want them to understand that I understand and totally appreciate the sacrifices they have made and continue to make. I remain in awe at their courage and conviction. I just think different methods of advancing the message might need to be explored. We need to evolve, refine and focus the message to build broad based support. If the camps become a liability we might have to look at abandoning them. I know it's a gut wrenching decision however and it's one I am reluctant to make. I think there has already been significant success in changing the narrative so the effort and sacrifice has definitely made a difference, it might just be time to pivot and reclaim the debate once again from the naysayers.
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Re: If you want to stay.........

Postby Matt's » Thu Nov 10, 2011 1:00 pm

There is alot of hard drug use in the square. How long until some dealer comes in looking for his money, and roughs up some people, or even worse? If it happens, that is not the fault of the occupy movement, but is it a safe space, will it be a safe space?

consider this quote:

"One possibility is that it dissipates. This could happen in many ways. One, for example, is a combination of cold in some places, and simple boredom in other places, plus tensions and pressures, and the changing composition of encampments including lots of people who don’t share the underlying values of the occupations, not least infiltrators, leading to escalating drug and sexual and generalized violence issues.

This is real, and quite possible. Indeed, it would be an incredible achievement is this didn’t interrupt the gatherings, especially those that are smaller, in the next month or two - since it would entail that while fighting for change, while having nearly no resources, and while being under pressure and attack, the encampments reduce such problems way below their levels in society per se so that they can be addressed humanely even without much in the way of needed resources.

At any rate, people should not despair if dissipation happens. It is not defeat unless we allow it to be. Much will have been learned, has already been learned. Many will have been touched and inspired in ways that transcend normal education, and normal experiences, and lead to life long commitments. You lose, you lose, you lose, you win. The losses are not, in fact, losses, if they are made learning experiences upon which future victories are built. The smiles on the faces of the old troopers from past movements attest to the observations. They are starting to anticipate their losses contributing to a new generation’s victories.
"
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Re: If you want to stay.........

Postby ### » Thu Nov 10, 2011 11:59 pm

Court day on the injunction is Tuesday; # will ask for an ajournment, expected to be granted of about a week. So no enforcement until the 20th at least.

Doesn't sound like there's any reason to worry about people and mobile objects beinging swept out, it's the tents: "chattel goods". The Square can continue to be a place for meet-ups and happenings for everyone.

Sounds like a lot of people are *also* wanting to see some flash occupations and # *expanding* into other parts of Vic. Sounds like one is made for December and one sooner. #fernwood
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Re: If you want to stay.........

Postby RobertusMaximus » Tue Nov 15, 2011 12:00 pm

Here's a thought: The People's Assembly of VIctoria could join Occupy Victoria at the Leg lawn in a show of inclusion. It forestalls Police action in the Square. Unless you want that action of course.
Another option would be to take all the money you have and buy good things for the Homeless who have become dependant on you and then call the whole thing off. Learn from your mistakes and get ready for the next one.
UNless you think nothing has gone wrong and things are perfect of course.
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