There’s a saying going around: If there’s no dancing, then it’s not my revolution. It’s your revolution and, don’t worry, tonight’s summit was full of dancing. Flint hosted and they dressed to impress! If you want to get excited about Occupying, all you need to do is visit their camp at MLK and 2nd. We’ll hit Maggie, Chelle and Lindfromthesea, up for some more details, but the rest of us got there just in time for the GA.
Flint’s camp has grown in size and structure since the last time we were there; from what we hear, that’s a constant for them. They are growing and adapting in a physical sense much the same as the Occupy moment is in an action/awareness sense. They hosted a feast and were an amazing embodiment of the openness the 99% cultivate. Every one there was family – it’s a feeling we can’t celebrate enough. Free Hugs were given, contacts made, philosophies shared and ideas born.
Occupy For All represented by collaboration, and we’ve got some amazing actions in the works from inspired people conversing at the summit. We’re going to increase our Occupation Calendar and make the events for all the occupations easy to find in a central location. We are also going to help support and promote Occupy Flint’s sustainability message; these awesome folks have done a great job getting off the grid. Most of their tents are powered and lit by stored solar energy and rechargeable batteries. They have an impressive media and information center and, visually, the Occupations Map was a favorite. We hope to see some faces from tonight at upcoming Action Assemblies and have talked about hosting some of our assemblies while visiting some other Occupations.
Occupy Alpena is just getting off the ground and, it seems, experiencing some similar divisiveness and personality clashes that many occupations have dealt with. Occupy For All offered to help them with some facilitation training and introduce process for their (hopefully upcoming) first GA.
It sounds like Occupy Detroit has some amazing things in the works, including potentially renting out some apartments for communal housing to help get through the winter. They’ve petitioned for an extension of their permit for the park, but their time is running short.
Occupy Lansing offered to host the next summit, with a particular focus on welcoming some visitors from occupations in Western Michigan. Few present have had contact with Occupy Kzoo, Occupy Grand Rapids, etc., but we know they are out there. We established a consensus to host these summits twice a month with the intention of having one on a weekday and one on a weekend. We will vary the locations. Everyone was really positive about planning a direct action to coincide with the summit (since there will be so many bodies present!) or, another option to take advantage of the manpower. Education workshops may also occur; this way we can share our knowledge with each other. The next summit will be December 3rd in Lansing; the host city will be responsible for planning the direct action or other event, so we will be joining Occupy Lansing for their Solidarity Saturday at 1 pm (come early! 12 or so and eat food!) and their GA at 7 pm.
A lot of occupations have something planned for “Black Friday” or “Buy Nothing Day”; mostly direct actions related to consumerism and “big box” stores. There was a great level of respect for the retail workers who will be suffering that day. Some are interested in encouraging people to shop locally while others are more interested in moving away from a consumerist message at all.
There was some solid interest in state-wide action. We’ll link to more info as it is established. Good things are coming for Michigan!
Flint has a very loose facilitation style, and thanks to the cooperation of everyone present, it really flowed smoothing tonight. We all really felt that we were part of something great tonight; an environment of mutual respect, collaboration and consensus. There was an organic atmosphere, and we came away feeling very, very inspired.