If a Tree Falls: Including the Many Voices of Occupy Portland

by members of the Livestream Team

This week, Occupy Portland’s General Assembly passed a proposal implementing an online system for chat-room participants of the OPDX Livestream channel to voice consensus. The passing of this proposal is an innovative and positive advancement for the greater Occupy Portland community, overcoming fears and objections through working together and truly thinking outside the box.

OPDX Livestream brings Occupy Portland to the people; this proposal brings the voices of those people to Occupy Portland. Chatters, who register in person, will be able to voice consensus in General Assemblies along with fellow occupiers on the ground.

Livestream strives to facilitate the voices that often go unheard in our society. The viewers and online participants are many and include single parents, at-home parents, the disabled, the elderly, and some too far away or too broke for the bus. Many are over-worked, in recovery, and have been pushed to the outskirts of Portland.

One of these voices, in particular, is from a local dedicated streamer, Chelle Denise, known to many as @PurpleGimp. She has orchestrated amazing interviews live from her home with occupiers throughout the nation, including Oakfosho, a citizen journalist and fellow streamer from Occupy Oakland. More recently she was up late talking with the stranded San Diego occupiers who were kicked off the Greyhound in Amarillo, Texas on their way to Occupy Congress because a disapproving bus driver saw their Occupy t-shirts. After her late night interview with Occupy San Diego, PurpleGimp posted this on her Facebook:

I realized a little while ago that helping to get the word out last night about the Amarillo13 of Occupy San Diego amazingly enough actually made the excruciating nerve pain & fever fade far into the background! I may be stuck at home sick & semi-vertical most days lately, but at least I’ve managed to find a way to make a small difference in our world despite the odds! I can’t tell you what it means to be able to be of service to my community & country after so many years of just fighting to stay alive & feel like I was still a “real person”. I thought my dreams of Social Service ended when I got too sick to finish my degree, but I’ve been given another way to live that dream, and that truly ROCKS! I feel connected in a way I never imagined possible, and I am forever transformed by these experiences. Much Love & Solidarity to everyone, for being part of my life, and such an AMAZING journey! *super gimp squishes for all*

PurpleGimp had surgery early this week to help her combat lupus. Thanks to the new structure for online consensus, she can continue her usual participation, while also weighing in on consensus at the OP meetings, all while recovering at home. Lupus can occur anywhere in the body and causes inflammation, pain, and tissue damage. There is currently no cure. The streaming community along the west coast twitter bombed well wishes to her and her family and encouraged the #occupy community to spend some time helping her win this battle by learning more about lupus. You can too by visiting http://cure4lupus.org/.

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