Posted by: Noni | October 23, 2011

Slow Steady Progress, by Consensus

It’s 2:49am and the media tent at Occupy Vancouver is quiet for the first time since yesterday.

The Tea House lady brings her AV equipment in for the night. She asks for the masking tape to label her tote bin and speaker. She starts talking to the IT guy who is struggling to get us some high speed internet. She grills him for about 5 minutes… He has been trying to work uninterrupted all day.

At least half of my energy is spent explaining the same things over and over again to new people. Anyone is welcome to come in and participate, ask questions, see what we are doing, contribute to and collaborate on media… So, we don’t get much done.

There’s 100% transparency, so everyone is free to ask for access to resources and equipment. Everyone seems to have constant needs and constant questions. I try to take a minute in the gap between intrusions to recap my day.

I pull the laptop off the table and tip my chair back to get comfy. I’m wrapped in a blanket and have the tips of my gloves cut so I can type. I am pretty snug but remind myself that the cold snap hasn’t hit yet.

Oh yeah, back to the recap of the day…

David Suzuki came and boosted both the morale and the image of the demonstration. He encouraged everyone to exercise their democratic power and vote. His 20 minute speech also challenged the public to put the Eco back into economy.

I attended a string of long-winded yet productive meetings,  (With the media team, web designers and press group) then worked frantically to craft a press release about the Bank Run only to have it vetoed by a group of demonstrators who weren’t even members of the media.

I want to make it clear, right here and now, in my blog space and in my own words. Occupy Vancouver does NOT advocate or condone the use of illegal drugs. Occupy Vancouver does NOT accept the wearing of masks or the use of violence. Any demonstrators or protestors who wear masks or commit violent acts are NOT acting in the interests of Occupy Vancouver.

I spent about 3 hours arguing those facts with a group who were in total disagreement.  I’ll make a proposal at the next GA to clarify our positions via the human mike. A small group of overzealous anarchists could ruin the entire operation by alienating the city, public and police.

That would be a shame since we’re actually gaining both popularity and strength. I was impressed and proud to see so many people show up today. I looked around and noted the crowd included all ages and ethnicities.

The biggest problem for some of the folks camped down here… sleep. It’s a noisy environment with occupants chatting, singing, or playing music 24/7.

One last note, not all demonstrators are homeless, jobless, hippies.  There are scientists, professors, artists, students, mothers, physicians, lawyers and me… Noni.

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