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Work 4 Peace,Hold All Life Sacred,Eliminate Violence! For now, I’ve returned from my Joiyssey to participate in the "revolution":I’ve been at many Occupy sites across the country:1st in D.C. Freedom Plaza I faced & challenged racism/white supremacy, sexism/patriarchy, classism, heterosexism & eventually was kicked off the island; then I offered workshops as I drove to CA:“Anti-Racism Geared for White Occupiers”; “NO DRONES” "Successes and Pitfalls of OWS"

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Accused and sentenced!

I should have insisted on the evening g.a. (general assembly) for my "trial". There are only a handful of people here for this morning g.a., men outnumbering womyn at least 3 or 4 to 1. And Tig, white & one of the worst of the male 'facilitators', is again 'facilitating' - which for him means he gets to interject his personal opinions over the mic every few seconds and state those opinions as 'facts'.

And almost everyone attending the g.a. is white. I am a little late, the agenda is made. They have not put "kicking Xan off the plaza" as an item. Instead they have put "cook quitting" as the only agenda item.

Someone gets up and says the cook left because of me and I need to be removed because of it. Not only that, he is not the first boy who has left, just the oldest one - he is middle aged.

I insist on telling my side of the story. I talk about how Jo-el made the decision to feed the people in the media tent and not the rest of us, even tho the food was there, hot, and ready. I was frankly shocked at his decision & asked why? He told me they work very hard in the media tent and deserve to be fed; the rest of us can wait until after some meeting is over.

I insisted we all work hard & need to be fed, especially as breakfast was not cooked that morning due to fear of the police shutting us down. I would not leave until I had a veggie burger in hand and others were permitted to eat.

Margaret gets up and says my conflict with Jo-el started long before this. I should have clarified, she's right, it started the day before with my intervening in his 'firing' of another cook, one of the very few African Americans participating on the plaza, that he claimed was a drunk and stealing.

And with me informing both Kevin and Tim that Jo-el had difficulty comprehending and acting within the consensus process & needs help understanding the consensus procedures for decision making.

But at the time, it seemed petty and off subject - maybe taking up too much time, as Tig kept grumbling about the amount of time this was taking.

Margaret went on to exclaim that many - 4 exactly - young, talented white males had left because of me & this was grounds for my removal. She said that she had put almost every hour of every day for the last 6 months into making this action happen and she could not stand by and allow one person - me - to chase off all the good people and their talent.

I did not mention that I too had been working 24/7 but for the past TEN YEARS, putting almost every hour of every day into trying to end wars and inspire the u.s. public to rise up and end wars, spending all my resources and then some towards this effort.

She further said something like they were trying to act democratically but they were finding out that democracy is just too difficult.

Instead of facilitating, Tig adds many of his own comments and opinions, including stating something like I was responsible for destroying CodePINK in California, that many people have difficulties with me - and because he had the microphone, his words had the added weight of amplification.

Several womyn, and a couple men, line up to speak in defense of me,and express disgust for the process. Tig silences some, tries to limit the 'stack' and derides the stack process.

After he decides to 'close' the stack (again not by consensus), I insist on speaking and I try to state my case, but it is difficult. If I were speaking for someone else, I could have done a much better job.

I begin with an apology to those that I have hurt. I understand how hurtful dealing with isms can be and is, and it is not my intention to hurt but to inspire growth, to strengthen our movement by honestly facing the hard stuff, to hold the isms up for acknowledgement, eradication and compensation or reparation.

I try to make it clear that I am being kicked off because I dare to call males on their sexism & misogyny; whites on their racism; smokers on their irresponsible behavior bullying non-smokers, everyone on their poor job of 'recycling' and 'composting'.

But perhaps most of all, I dare to challenge all of the occupiers on their privilege, both of class and skin color, and their prejudice against homeless people who were here long before we came and who need our compassion, love, and yes, a sharing of our resources.

I try to appeal to their desire to be diverse, to honor differences, to value the voice of this old, radical womonist/feminist dyke who views things differently from almost everyone else there, who wants to build a wise, strong foundation unable to be corroded by racism, sexism, homophobia, classism because we are aware of and responsible for these isms, as we bring them into the plaza from the outside, and we are committed to eliminating them from the very fiber of our foundation.

I try to point out that we have the exceptional opportunity today to engage in unique and creative conflict resolution between myself & my accusers. I offer - beg really for the opportunity - to sit in front of them all as my jury, and face those that accuse me -as I have not faced those accusations to my face as surely I deserve. And this would give them a chance to know me and my accusers, as well as I will be able to present my side.

Then they will have the info they need, both about where I am coming from and where my accusers are coming from, to make such a decision as taking the drastic step of asking me to leave.

Lawyers object to the process, saying there is no 'due process'. Someone wants a definition of due process.

Kevin pipes up and declares he has given me three warnings. No one questions his Kevin-wealthy-white-straight-man god-given right to give me or anyone 'warnings'.

I remember one of those 'warnings' that he must be referring to and thought at the time he was expressing his ill-formed and totally wrong opinion.

Lawyers insist on implementing some kind of mediation process. Tig insists that it should be for the future, not for me. Margaret and Kevin emphatically agree. I can't remember if it is their decision or if there is a 'vote' that I not be allowed mediation.

I feel I have failed to convince folks to allow me to state my positions, to allow them to get to know me - and my accusers, to make a decision based on knowing ME and not knowing what the loudest voices of others say about me.

In the end, Tig called for a vote - not a wiggling of fingers up, a wiggling of fingers down, a block: which has always been done prior to this decision. But a straight up vote: kick her off, allow her to stay; yeahs and nays.

It is my understanding that a vote is not part of the consensus process but the majority rules process. Coming to consensus is supposedly part of our new world order process.

He called for and allowed the majority to rule, and the majority were straight white males, including himself, along with a couple of white females.

Consensus scrapped: Old world white patriarchy rules! "Voted" off the island!!!

I caravanned, with two other people, almost 4000 miles across the country, stopping in cities and towns to do protests and spread the “occupy freedom plaza” word, because I committed myself to the “Stop the (war & corporate) Machine, Create a New World" occupation beginning October 6th on Freedom Plaza, Washington D.C.

I am a womon who speaks truth to power, including the power of racism, sexism & misogyny, classism, homophobia, as well as the power of greed, exploitation of our environment, anti-organic foods, and anti-health.

So I came to D.C. to work together to stop wars and to help create a new world.

Weeeelll, tragically I found the same old affluent white male patriarchal dominated world thriving on the plaza, unwilling to commit to recognizing and being responsible for those barriers making the creation of a new world totally impossible.

I experienced such a staunch commitment to upholding this old world & hinder creating an inclusive new world, that my voice became so threatening the world order had to move to disempower me by removing me from the plaza.

It does not help that men outnumber womyn from 2-4 to one, and whites outnumber people of color probably 30 to 1.
Nor does it help that the members of the 99% (as we are calling ourselves) from the 'outside' of freedom plaza world, have become the 1% inside the plaza while the huge homeless population becomes the 99%.

We had the opportunity to face these issues creatively, compassionately, honestly. But once again, the old world order thrives and dominates.