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We Once had a Dream Called Occupy Wall Street #9
Alright, so this is the second part of the August 2nd, 2011 debt default/assembly. Before getting into that, I wanted to let folks know I recently met with a web developer to run some ideas by him to build a webpage. Just playing with ideas, you know.. I can probably say that’s what OWS might have been about…playing with ideas-plural. Like some sloppy idea exchange that turned into idolatry. I’m also sick, so not really feeling writing this, but don’t know what else to do–Soooo..
August 2nd, 2011 part duex,
So, after epic screaming battles between the rally and assembly folks, an assembly started to take place at the same time as the rally. This went completely counter to the schedule that wasn’t widely shared. There was an allocated time and space for both, but plans go as they do, and fell apart. I didn’t really get to be part of the first general assembly, because I was busy trying to deflect white shirts. Remember, the white shirts, the ones who get to give commands. Anyway, they don’t like when a group of people sit together. So, when they saw about 20 or so people break off and sit in a circle, they got really curious.
I walked up to a white shirt. “Hey! How are you? I’m the police liaison and wanted to make sure that I was available for any questions.”
He looked at me and waved his arm to the people sitting down,
“What are they doing?”
I looked over at them, back to the white shirt and read the little name tag on his chest-Winski,
“They are practicing democracy.”
Winski flared his nostrils and played with his cop belt. (Utility belt?)
“Well you tell them that their blocking the sidewalk and they need to move.”
“Of course, but they’re all trying to come to an agreement and it takes time. You know? Democracy!” Winski rolled his eyes into a head shaking, “But I’m gonna tell them.”
I walked over to the assembly and explained that the NYPD wanted them to move. They all looked at me and then went back to their conversation.
I hovered around a little bit trying to figure out what they were even talking about, but I looked at Winski and saw that he was waiting on me, so I walked back to him.
“I told them they had to move and they’re deciding, it’s just they all have to agree, you know, democracy, agreements–votes.”
Winski said ok, but that they better get moving soon and wandered away for a moment. I looked back and I could see the circle of people talking about something. Heads swiveled back and forth as different people spoke, and attention was given. The rally still existed and an older man held a giant placard. It was the list of particulars that the earlier had been discussed at the meeting for the rally. It was suggested we marched with the list to leave it at the foot of federal hall. He held the list and looked around as New York streamed by–no one went over to read it.
Winski rolled back to me and told me I needed to get the assembly to move. I nodded, and told him I’d go let them know. I walked away from Winski and moved the maybe 20 yards over to the circle and as I moved near the assembly someone stood up and started walking towards me.
“Hey!” I said to the person who stood up.
“I need you to do me a favor.” They stopped in front of me.
“I need you to look at me, but what you’re really doing is watching that cop in the white shirt whose watching me. You see him?”
The person nodded.
“Just let me know if he starts walking over her.”
We started to pretend to talk for maybe five minutes and then.
“Oh shit I think he’s coming over.”
I turned and looked back at Winski and gave him a small nod and a thumbs up.
Winski stopped and I went back to pretending to talk to this person.( I can’t remember their name.)
After another five minutes or so, the person let me know that Winski was coming.
I turned again and nodded at Winski, then moved quick over to the circle.
I waited to talk as the stack twirled around those gathered.
“HEY!,” I interrupted, “The cops reallllly want you to move and I don’t know if I can hold them off much longer.”
The folks continued to talk, and I had no idea about what.
“Hey, the cop said you all needed to move cause you’re blocking the sidewalk.”
The people looked at me, and somehow decided to just move into Bowling Green Park. The place with the benches. They also broke up into smaller workgroups.
The police stayed out of the park and sort roamed around the edges wary of people talking in the grass.
I finally moved out of my role of police liaison and learned that the general assembly had created three working groups. Food, Internet and Outreach:
The person running the food was some short guy with glasses and black hair. He gave this quick speech breaking down a 38 oz jar of peanut butter into number of sandwiches possible based on loaves of bread. I’m not a mathematician, but I was convinced that Sept 17th, would be fueled by peanut butter.
The internet working group had this woman Justine, who stuttered through human to human communication, but explained that she and some others had created a website called Occupywallst.org. At this point everyone was happy to hear that a website already existed.
Outreach decided to meet soon and planned it two days from August 2nd. I signed my name on that e-mail list. I drifted through the people gathered and listened to them dream.