Wednesday, 12 October 2011

#OccupySLC, Day Seven (One Week!)

#OccupySLC is one week old and going strong. If you're looking for information about the movement, you can check out twitter ( here ) or ( here ). Text OCCUPYSLC2011 to 41411 to receive daily information, updates, and clown jokes - well, okay, no clown jokes, but you can't have everything.

The #OccupySLC hub is ( here ). OccupyTogether, a loose national clearinghouse of information on Ocupado movements in solidarity with #OccupyWallStreet, is ( here ).

Not sure what the hell all this is about? #OSLC is hosting a Friday Forum outreach event, so feel free to come and bring your friends. It will be on Friday, 10/14/11, from 3 - 6 PM throughout the south side of Pioneer Park (300 S. and 300 W.). Live music, free food, local luminaries - what's not to like?

The Free School is in full effect today. The schedule is as follows (as of 2 PM MST):

2:00 PM - Non-violent Direct Action
3:00 PM - Street Kids 101
4:00 PM - Introduction To Yoga

There's also a schedule for a series of "sacred space events," but I'm not going to reproduce any of that here.

The march commences at 6 PM, followed by food and the General Assembly (where decisions are made and opinions are bandied about like birdies at a spirited badminton match) is at 7:30 PM.

An update on the kitchen situation: Eileen McCabe, one of the kitchen amazons, writes:

A day at work, an evening at the occupation. The kitchen continues to grow due to the extraordinary generosity of the community. We now have a generator, more dishes, more food, more volunteers and we get more organized every day. Some firemen have visited us, gave us advice on fire safety and brought us a fire extinguisher. As often happens, a few are shouldering much of the work, but as we get more organized and scheduled, we can better train others.

One final thought on the kitchen. I wrote a post some time ago about how Food Not Bombs Orlando defied a local ban on feeding the homeless, and as a result, Keith McHenry (one of Food Not Bombs' founders) and other activists were arrested. In retaliation, online anarcho-collective Anonymous appeared out of Florida's somewhat-less-than-thin air, crushing the websites of Orlando's Chamber of Commerce and Fraternal Order of Police, as well as the Orlando International Airport.

I don't support cyberterrorism any more than I support any terrorism - especially in the case of police departments and airports, public safety can be severely threatened by attacks like the kind Anonymous carried out (at the time, my enthusiasm for Anonymous' decision to act on an issue that wasn't related to online privacy or piracy outweighed my better judgement regarding my feelings about their specific targets).

My point in recounting this episode is that it's worth noting that such a pitched battle was fought over the simple act of feeding the hungry. Orlando's decision to make feeding the homeless a crime ranks among the most Caligulan acts I've seen in this brutal and sneering century. Anonymous' response, while I can't support their choice of targets, is understandable.

With that in mind, it's encouraging to me that the kitchen operation in Pioneer Park is becoming such a well-established part of #OSLC As that wacky Jew always said as he wandered the desert thousands of years ago (to paraphrase) "feeding the hungry is, in itself, a revolutionary act of love." That spirit of revolutionary love and service could, in a best-case scenario, permeate and empower Occupy SLC.

Image courtesy of Sanctuary Guest House, NYC

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