Sunday, 30 October 2011

#OccupySLC : Day 23 "Preparing For The Inevitable Snowpocalypse"



I stopped by #OccupySLC for a few hours yesterday, as has been my habit of late. Unfortunately due to prior commitments, I couldn't make it to Pioneer Park until after the march had left and had to skip the G-20 "Teach In" (which I couldn't track down at Pioneer - I'm not sure if it happened or not, but I'd like to know). Anyone who is interested - and I include my Peaceful Uprising cohorts in this - should sign up to teach a class at the free school. They need instructors, and, more importantly, they need good instructors. Any somewhat salient topic you like - come and spread the knowledge!

I did manage to touch base briefly with the Circle-A Cafe and the donation center to see what #Occupy's needs are going to be as the weather turns.



The donations that would be most welcomed by the kitchen team are as follows:


Hardware
Small Nails
Dry Erase Boards
Propane
Food (All Types)
Coffee*

Thrift
Cups
Bowls
Towels
Blankets
Funnel
Tent

*: Not every day, but many days, Beans and Brews (268 S. State Street, 801 328 4148) has dropped by enormous, piping-hot drums of fresh coffee. Bless them - or, more importantly, throw them some business and let them know you appreciate #Occupy and their support of same.



On a previous occasion, drifting by the literature table at the Free School / People's Library, I noted that there was a goodly contingent of anti-Fed, quasi-libertarian and (in some cases, unfortunately) pro-Ron Paul stuff. Imagine my surprise and childish delight to see that anarchism has made a big-ass inroad into the literature available, holy cow:



I'll be posting a quick Literature Review later tonight to summarize and post photos of various pamphlets &c.


As the sign indicates, non-cash, non-food donations go through the clothing bank / lost and found. Cash and food donations go to the kitchen tent, where the cash is collected, noted, and gets ready for disbursement (if necessary) at the General Assembly.

The General Assembly sets aside time for each subcommittee to report on their expenditures and probable needs for cash in the future. I tried to explain this over and over and over again to a very belligerent itinerant man who seemed convinced to his very soul that A.) he deserved a handout from the GA funds and B.) we were running some sort of SCAM, collecting MONEY and NOT GIVING RECEIPTS etc. etc. - none of his accusations, of course, were even partially based in fact, and when I and two or three others tried to explain this to him, he became extremely belligerent and it became apparent that the conversation was going nowhere.




Some people - I have met many of them - almost seem to derive a perverse sort of pleasure or a feeling of vindication from the idea that they are being cheated. Despite my best efforts, I have come to understand that in some cases it's just best to smile and nod until the person in questions leaves to go get their persecution fix somewhere else.

Behavior like this is not widespread at #OccupySLC, but it has become part of the trickiness of making #OSLC work when it is both a protest movement against Wall Street interests and an ongoing experiment in feeding the hungry and drawing truly disenfranchised Americans into a process where they can teach, learn, and become more engaged with the political forces that act upon them.

At another point during the day, I found myself on University of Utah campus. Sure enough, the Political Science Department (and most of Orson Spencer Hall) was littered with #Occupy materials, including this unique fellow who was apparently developed just for campus distribution:


Look for the literature review later - and tomorrow I will be stopping by #OccupySLC, #OccupyTheFed SLC, and any other satellite gatherings I hear about.

For now, things are trucking along at #OccupySLC base camp. The food operation is running smoothly, there is propane a-plenty (although they can always use more) and delicious food for anyone who is hungry. So far, #OccupySLC seems to have their collective act together regarding winter more than most #Occupations I've read up on. Good for you, SLC - if anyone can show folks that winter is nothing to get nervous about, it's you.


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