Question Time: What’s Next?

In a new series, we’re going to ask “persons on the street” questions to various people at the Portland Occupation.

“Recently, there’s been a lot of debate about what the Portland Occupation should do next. If it were up to you to decide alone, what should the Occupation do next?”

Robert

“The city should open up more space, so more people can take part.” – Robert

“They should have more marches during the day, to get on the news. I don’t think you should camp in other parks. The arrests are bad publicity. And don’t give up.” – Alan

“There should be more unity, and more common message.” – Ken

Jess and Kiara

“Clean up the camp. Good PR is key.” – Kiara

“Get the people who are just here to party out of camp. There’s nothing wrong with it, but if that’s all you’re doing, it’s taking up space for people who want to help make the world a better place.” – Jess

“Make a list of demands. Convene with other occupation groups around the country, and make demands.” – Misty

“There should be a national convention of occupation groups. The occupation should go into different communities in other parts of Portland, like Gresham, North Portland, St. Johns, and connect with community groups there.” – Mar

“Start calling people out. Sam Adams, Obama, the Attorney General. They’re all guilty of crimes. The banks are guilty of fraud. The recession and the housing crisis were preventable. Just as you and I could be arrested and charged, why not they?” – Steve

Jason

“Consensus won’t work. They should choose a leader. I don’t have one in mind.” – Jason

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  12 comments for “Question Time: What’s Next?

  1. A Voice of the 99%
    November 3, 2011 at 5:53 PM

    Clear out the square footage of infrastructure/objects which quite literally dont have a voice, so have nothing to do with peacefully assembling. (unless you have a permit and are paying to occupy space, otherwise you are an illegal Burning Man festival).

    This would be porta-potties, kitchens, tents, kids play area, cuddle party area and the like.

    Clear out the encampment occupied by the homeless, drug addicts and dealers and road warriors who are not contributing.

    Give donations of food, etc to existing social service agencies and direct occupiers to access these agencies for supplies and food.

    Continue peaceful and constructive acts such as the B of A transfer day and this on line publication.

    Discontinue straining the local economy and infrastructure.

    Open up consensus and voting process to the public..explain how to use tweeting, forums and facebook for this process. (this was referenced in the 11/1 GA meeting notes..but we dont know how this works)

  2. Rose M
    November 3, 2011 at 6:47 PM

    Run Occupy Portland like any other political campaign. Get a campaign headquarters, indoors, where you have electricity that you pay for, access to internet telephones that you pay for. Meeting rooms. Copiers. Run your campaign as professionals from a professional, temperature regulated, clean, dry space.

  3. Kim McGee
    November 3, 2011 at 8:04 PM

    Id like to see Occupy Portland promoting more participation in the upcoming special election for Oregons 1st Congressional District. There are eight democrats and five republicans running for this vacant seat in the US House of Representatives. So far, not much discussion on how any of these candidates would help our cause.

    It would only take five hundred registered voters to nominate our own unaffiliated candidate and have that persons name on the ballot for the general election on January 31.

  4. rain
    November 3, 2011 at 10:19 PM

    The phase of political co-optation may be part of whats next. This weekend MoveOn is hosting a OccupyBeaverton on Sat 12 noon Griffith Park / City Hall. I think OWSPDX might consider this in a conversation about deepening its direction. Might OWS PDX have facilitators ready to attend these events as the wave moves more distant from its core.
    The Parks occupation might also turn into a convention center which I think would be terrific. New people seem to be arriving who may have new need. In the event of a larger and constructed meeting area, many services that currently exist would change in character, disappear or re-imagine themselves. An experiment in local currency might be also be undertaken; for example, a barter system involving participation in site support. Clearing the parks will occur of its own accord as a result.
    Some kind of celebration is in order dont you thinkAlso reflection on new world structures.
    I personally find inspiration from the Boggs Center in Detroit and their communications are well considered.

  5. Owen W.
    November 4, 2011 at 12:47 AM

    Start organizing and addressing the so-what? The camp is not the point nor the goal, but rather a means. It creates physical defiance and presence, yes, but more importantly, it starts a conversation. It lets people organize and talk to each other.
    This needs to spread to other parts of portland. Organize groups (autonomously or approved by GA– whatever you personally choose) to go into neighborhoods, talk to people, groups, post up flyers, and organize neighborhood assemblies. Bring the occupation to the people, dont expect the people to go to the occupation.

  6. Janice W
    November 4, 2011 at 7:06 AM

    Occupy needs to hone the message to include as many supporters as possible. One message I think that most citizens can get behind including many republicans is “GET THE MONEY OUT OF POLITICS.” On that millions of Americans can agree. Until we get the money out we won’t change many of the other very important issues and problems we have.
    First things first….one unified message that will bring as many people on board as possible. Keep it simple.

  7. Jim H
    November 4, 2011 at 7:47 AM

    While consensus is a good and admirable goal – OWS (all branches) have failed to paint a clear and comprehensive picture of what they want to accomplish. I think a meeting of all the Occupados should happen (Skype it if you have to) to determine what agenda the Occupy movement wants to pursue and then it should be pursued with the fervor and energy you have shown to date. If you want to change the world you need to do it through the existing system because the system isn’t going to change from the outside, it can only change from inside.

  8. Chris P
    November 4, 2011 at 10:43 AM

    I think it would be a good idea to start holding weekly G.A.’s in new parts of town to try to energize more people in the community and have them feel involved in this democratic movement. There are lots of neighborhood parks that would be great for events, perhaps local businesses/restaurants could donate food for the evening. I think many people that don’t go into downtown can too easily ignore what’s going on….. Peninsula Park, Laurelhurst, Grant Park, PSU, community centers, etc

  9. Carlo Castoro
    November 4, 2011 at 10:47 AM

    We need to educate people. The questions I come across from my own friends, family and in the news include:

    Q. Why target the top 1% b/c not all rich people are bad?
    A. I say it’s more like 1% of corporations who have used their money to corrupt our government so that it’s no longer representing the best interests of “We the People”.

    Q. Why take this movement seriously when it’s mostly lazy homeless people?
    A. Occupy is setting an example on how to treat our less fortunate fellow Americans. What if you were homeless? The richest country in the world which identifies itself as a “Christian Nation” has no excuse to let a single mouth go cold, hungry, and disregarded.

    Q. What are your demands?
    A. We demand corporations be no longer considered equal to humans. We demand money be taken out of politics. We demand a more perfect Union.

    • Janice W
      November 4, 2011 at 12:16 PM

      Carlo great post. One thing that we can’t afford to do is alienate people. Your third question and answer is something so many Americans can get behind….even when on different side of the aisle. Finding one common theme that will bring millions on board is a terrific idea and I believe that “Getting Money Out of Politics” is the best place to start. Once you have the vast majority of people supporting the movement and listening you can educate them about the many issues we have to tackle.
      The Occupy movement is full of wonderful people who have differing views on what’s wrong with the country….let’s get to the core of the problem….money in politics and bought out politicians and work to get as many people as possible behind it to force the change we need and want.

      • Carlo Castoro
        November 5, 2011 at 9:04 AM

        Thanks Janice! Let’s form the “Get the Money Out” committee!??

  10. Janice W
    November 7, 2011 at 10:01 AM

    Chomsky Has Some Advice for the Occupiers

    http://www.truthdig.com/avbooth/item/chomsky_talks_to_occupy_boston_20111105/

    excerpt:
    “Noam Chomsky had a simple message for protesters at Occupy Boston last month: To change their country, they must first get the public on their side. Then they can make big demands.”

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