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Work 4 Peace,Hold All Life Sacred,Eliminate Violence! This is my often neglected blog mostly about my travels across country in my mobile billboard truck as I attempt to engage in dialogue with people in hopes to wake us up and inspire action to change our country and communities and selves. And it is froth with my opinions, insights, analyses toward that end of holding all life sacred, dismantling the empire and eliminating violence while creating the society and life we want

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Teach-In: Successes & Pitfalls of OWS: Section 3

This is the last section of the teach-in I intend to give tonite in Las Cruces. Feel free to use any or all of it if you find it helpful

Teach-in: Successes & Pitfalls
Page 3: Pitfalls

1)      Racism, Sexism, Classism, etc
a.       Racism, etc., exists and thrives at all OWS because we live here & bring it there
b.      If we do not have a conscious, committed, vigilant awareness, analysis, and working plan to recognize and address the isms, we are doomed to recreate the same system we already operate under, giving out the same advantages and the same disadvantages

2)      Allowing Media, Right Wing, outsiders to define our movement
a.       We must respond to ‘criticisms’ not as if they are the truth but to expose the lies

3)      Not recognizing the dire, bottom-line need to ally and build community with homeless people, who are the most severely oppressed, the most visible, blatant victims of our corporations and the 1% system: if we don’t change our system for these victims, why bother changing the system at all?
a.       Bridging the divide between those who choose to sleep outdoors and those who do not choose by recognizing and being responsible for privilege
b.      Haves and have nots, in this microcosm of our greater society, becoming the 1% in the park, facing the 99%
c.       The incredible opportunity we have to role model for the 1% in the greater society how to creatively, compassionately, embracing love and justice, share resources and build a caring community
d.      Buddy system: one or two folks who choose to come occupy “buddy up” with one or two homeless people. Find out/share who we are, what we need, etc.

4)      Superiority/Inferiority
a.       This is the trap that permeates the very fabric of our society, the fiber that weaves together all the levels of racism, levels of sexism, etc.
b.      We must recognize and address those moments of superiority or inferiority we embrace: as those who camp 24/7 vs those who come for a minute; those who are capable of ‘only’ camping vs those who engage in other actions too; those who stepped up Sept 17th and those whose lives are of stepping up

5)      Missing Conflict Resolution skills
a.       The more womyn, and men of color, assume leadership positions and men, and white women, step back, the more creative and brilliant conflict resolutions will surface
b.      We will always have conflict but we will not always choose and have not always chosen(contrary to what warmongers want us to believe) war to resolve conflict.
c.       We must refrain from using the system, i.e. police, courts, white power, etc., we are allegedly attempting to tear down to resolve our conflicts
d.      After agreement on the basic core values, everyone does not have to agree on everything else but we can make ways that support a variety of paths to the same goal
e.      The additional arising conflicts: city/state permit vs constitutional permit; risk arrest vs obeying the laws; police vs no police, etc.

6)      Fear of co-option rather than the Struggle for inclusion
a.       If we are truly the 99%, then we MUST figure out how to creatively, honestly include and value everyone in that 99%
b.      We cannot “exclude” groups, individuals, organizations because we have such a huge fear of someone ‘co-opting’ this movement, which indicates either extreme paranoia or extreme power hungry leaderless-leaders unless the truth is we are the % those leaderless-leaders decide we are
c.       OWS must remember and honor the 500 years of resistance this movement is building upon, thereby making no one individual, group, organization either responsible for or able to ‘destroy’ or ‘succeed’

7)      Leaderless-leaders

a.        We’ve gone thru this before – see the “Tyranny of Structurelessness”
b.      Why not all of us are leaders, all of us are accountable, all of us are responsible


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