Occupy Portland - Pioneer Square Committee

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< Occupy Portland

Committee for Exploration of moving the General Assembly (GA) to Pioneer Square

Next meetings:

Sunday 2pm at library workshop tent
Tuesday 12:30pm at library workshop tent

28 October 2011 notes

Oops. My apologies. I just realized I never sent out my minutes of the brainstorm our Pioneer Square committee came up with as we tried to imagine what our Mission Statement would/should be at our last meeting. Here's what I noted...

To involve the larger Portland community in the 99% conversation so it becomes real for them.
To create a forum for multiple conversations happening at the same time and same place.
To begin to learn and practice and build capacity towards participatory democracy.
A necessary step to......will morph this form from an uprising to a movement.
strengthening....
To help all of Portland to start identifying as the 99%.
To support and build the Occupy movement.

See y'all this Sunday at 2pm and next Tuesday at 1230pm for our next scheduled committee meetings.

And it may also be wise for as many of us as possible to attend tomorrow's Pink Martini Concert and rally at noon at Pioneer Square, simply so we can start imagining more accurately how many folks fit in the plaza, how they physically organize themselves there, how we might design our large group gatherings there, etc.

Not to mention that thanks to the hard work of SaraHope, i'm going to get to be one of the first 3 minute speakers tomorrow, just after noon. See you there!

Paul C

23 October 2011 notes

In attendance: SarahHope, Mark, Cyd, Sarah, Ariel, Paul, Stanford, Teresa, Glenn

Trying to frame this idea and work for inclusiveness,

  1. Mechanism
  2. Structure
  3. Message
    1. i.e. how do we take care of each other, esp. the marginalized / social 'misfits' - that are usually 'swept under the rug' - by being active and transparent, without preaching

Structure - process point to consider is an unlearning and relearning method of inquiry - invite the whole community to do this

Building communities and inclusiveness being strongly important - holding space for marginalized people and viewpoints.

Making comfortable space is important for connecting - human connection - having people talk to each other

Skilled facilitators - keep emotional in front, not just intellectual

High energy at times, but going to get to a plateau, mundane point to rest upon - need to find this space

Crowd - how to interface?

GA move to Pioneer Square already discussed many nights

Simplicity and conciseness need to be a part of the message - details not necessary if we stay true to statement (of simplicity and conciseness)

What are our earliest 'toggles'?

Community forum where people can co-create political actions and campaigns in roads.
November 8th rolling out of Portland Plan
Shall this be a little different than GA?
What are peoples needs, not being me?
can we focus on these? i.e. foreclosures, health care, etc. (Solutions Committee working on this too?)
I would like to talk about the responsibility these transnational corporations (don't often) have to using practices that do not cause harm to our environment - Sarah

What id we do something on the weekend (Sunday after church) and during the week at mid-day for working folks.

Open Space - visual and simplified. gives everyone an opportunity to speak about what they are passionate about changing without hierarchical roles. someone will have to facilitate the end and the close of open space. perhaps a theme would be useful in guiding these meetings i.e. our needs, our actions, the response we would like to see(different than unstructured space at amphitheater)

Want to feel solidarity and 99% is Radical Inclusion (nearest to Radical Inclusion anyway)

Can we come up with a way to stay connected about where messages to each other will live?

Who should be on this committee?

After meeting, Paul, SaraHope, Mark meet and talked about possible discussion point for Tuesday:

We make a committee announcement at GA re: moving forward with 'our plan'

Cyd's thoughts


There has been a lot of discussion lately regarding the image of Occupy Portland. I understand the worry about the perception of a concentrated group of people under scrutiny who staunchly defend their right to be how they are, and who spit in the eye of the concept of a commonly held set of rules by which they must abide. When we are working hard to be taken seriously and to present a front that is not easy to attack, such obvious gaps in that armor can be frustrating. However, this group of people happens to be a large part of those who have been willing to camp and hold space, and they are a part of the 99%. It is so important that we creatively incorporate with a "yes, and..." style so that we can be inclusive, yet responsive. We can make some decisions about what we won't tolerate, but remember that divisiveness is our biggest vulnerability. Some of this group we would divide from us are the ones who will creatively and nonviolently collaborate on direct actions that capture the zeitgeist. We are building a new community based on the strength of our diversity and inclusiveness.

One idea that was recently put forth at the GA to form a Committee to Explore Moving the Political Campaigns and Actions of the GA to Pioneer Square addresses this issue in a creative way. (That committee first meets today at 2 PM in the Library.) Since the "serious action" side of this uprising will be the collective and collaboration with growing participation from the rest of the 99%, and since such actions are part of what will shift part of this uprising into a movement, such an inviting public venue as Pioneer Square is appropriate. There are some amazing political campaigns and actions brewing, and having a formal and very public venue designed to invite and include anyone and everyone is a powerful step that presents a serious side of this uprising-cum-movement to the heart of downtown in "Portland's Living Room."

While this does not solve the issue of how Occupy Portland presents itself, it allows folks to move forward without being held back by those who prefer asserting their own independence to taking responsibility for how their actions affect others. Methods of inquiry and discussion such as deep democracy invite and include marginalized perspectives.

I posit the notion that Occupy is presently engaged in the process of gathering and including as many people as possible and developing discussion and a decision-making methods that allow as much participation as an effective and nimble system can allow. It will be this environment and system that will give the 99% a mechanism and structure to build the components of a movement. My favorite component so far is Community Rights. With this strategy, people assert the rights afforded them by the Constitution (National and State). This sounds simple, yet every other strategy I've seen involves begging those with power to give it up instead of beginning with asserting the rights of people and frames these other single issues within the terms by which these rights of people (not legal fictions) must be preserved. But now I've digressed to the discussing some of the structures that folks are talking about while we are building to critical mass and determining our processes for discussion and decision-making. One step at a time. We have to remain working together for us to grow into a movement, and so we will.