Occupy Creativity World Cafe

The following, is the result of a salon discussion (based upon the World Cafe model), in which we as a group dialogued regarding four questions.
————–
1) In what way might I contribute to the Occupy movement?
Transcribed by Josh Wolf

The major theme was connecting with more people to grow the movement. The target for these efforts are people who sympathize with Occupy but haven’t been directly involved, and people who may not realize they have common interests with the movement. It was exciting to hear all of the mechanisms people suggested to accomplish this goal.

One idea was connecting with existing groups and organizations that have overlapping interests with Occupy by attending their meetings and inviting them to General Assemblies. Public perception of Occupy is largely positive, and reaching out to engage groups could provide a nudge to increase involvement. Some examples of groups to engage were the PTA or parent groups, City Councils, and clubs, and promoting Occupy as an opportunity to leverage broadening interest in social issues to support specific areas of interest. This could be mutually beneficial, as it broadens the support base for Occupy while attracting new people to existing work around various issues. An important aspect of this effort is to provide a safe and inclusive forum where diverse opinions can flourish, and helping to mobilize people around whatever issues are important to them. One suggestion was to provide specific events or activities for people to participate in so that Occupy has a concrete presence in someone’s mind and is more than an abstract idea.

Expanding on this idea, one conversation focused on bringing whatever someone is passionate about to the movement. We all have rich experiences we can contribute. Examples last night included yoga, facilitating consensus agreement, and organizing labor. By incorporating our passions into the movement, we will be able to connect to more people and be fulfilled by our participation.

Another way to connect to a variety of people is through expanded communication efforts. One specific example that people highlighted was communicating through writing, with a focus on blogs. There was discussion about starting new blogs, but also about incorporating Occupy themes into existing blogs to connect the movement to various topics and themes and demonstrate its relevance to diverse interests. Other examples were using film and performance art to create engaging ways to present our ideas.

A final theme was integrating Occupy values into social interactions. We can embody the goals of the movement in everyday life to demonstrate to people how Occupy is relevant to them. Focusing on the positive aspects of the movement will present an appealing and inviting opportunity that avoids being misconstrued. We can engage all members of society, including children, to encourage public discussions around social issues. The 99% is a broad, diverse, and in some ways fragmented group, but we share many things in common that can help us all become part of Occupy.

2) In What Ways Might We Create Change?
Transcribed by Angel Sapa

– People being able to get jobs.
– Electoral Reform
– Creating a fair economy for the 99%
– Ethics
– Eliminate fear of the unknown, for it makes people react instead of taking actions
– Positive vibe within our communities and the media
– Finding commonalities and coming together
– A creative labor market
– Workers Rights, working with workers unions
– Move away from consumerism (re-invent public transport, housing, and the production of less and less waste each time)
– Cut down corporation’s power

3) In what ways might we create media attention?
Transcribed by Carolyn Soroka
– large numbers of people
– bring occupy groups together
– coordinate with national occupy groups
– peaceful opposition
– burn the american flag
– absurdity
– HUMOR
– demonstrate the principles we want to encourage
– costumes
– interrupt people’s daily lives
– take over public spaces
– break laws
– graffiti
– fundraising
– make powerful contacts
– friends in the media
– celebrities
– stunts
– include large range of ages and backgrounds
– outrageous chant/ song
– performance poetry/ rap
– make a writing wall for anyone to write on
– create our own media!!!
– YouTube
– disrupt publicized events
– circulate info widely
– target specific media?
– start funny blogs
– troll political websites
– maintain a positive message
– occupy Facebook (as in an alternative Facebook)
– twitter
– write letters to the editor
– elect occupy ambassadors to represent alternative US foreign policy to the world
– general strike
– occupy different kinds of media networks to draw attention to media corruption
– radio ads
– get workplaces involved
– form citizens committees for each political district
– start a joke newspaper (like the onion)

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