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Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Occupy Raleigh: Communication gives life and consequence

The Wall Street occupation appears to be spreading, and now, we even have media coverage. Odd, it seems, to have what we applauded in Egypt starting here, though so far without overt violence. That could change very quickly, however, and I worry for the innocents in that regard. Even in London, we saw this happen, though the take-away from the UK is to steal money, lots of it, not a half-liter of water. That take-away is formed by a light review of the sentences received by both trespasses.

So here we are in Raleigh. I attended what I thought was the first General Assembly, only to learn later that it was the second. Who knew? Here's the video from that evening.

The guys in the masks are spooky, and after speaking with them off camera, I question their sobriety. Well, they were sober. They're just not given to clarity of thought. If I felt as they expressed, I would not be drawing such attention to myself, and I certainly would have been elsewhere.

Nonetheless, the group is very loose knit, and keeping up with what was going on was difficult, at least at the distance I maintained. Yes, my fringe-dweller self kept me on the outer edges. I used the live tweets to keep me informed.

Yesterday, I found myself downtown again, and I decided to step over to see what the daily 6:30 gatherings look like. Yes, there's a video. There were, maybe 2 dozen peeps, and the task appeared to be learning how to vote by raising both hands. The part to be learned was adjusting the angle of the wrists to express a degree of agreement or concern. I would never keep those details straight, but we knew that already. They called this process one of establishing a consensus, but I question voting to achieve consensus. However, I was not facilitating, so my concern regarding consensus building is very much moot.

I see these activities as a natural consequence of corporate greed that appears to only grow, especially among the banks. Not so long ago, such a revolt would pass unnoticed. Now, we have nearly instantaneous worldwide communications, and for better or worse, communication gives life and consequence.

Most of us see that the cards are stacked against this little assembly in Raleigh. However, great things often arise from humble beginnings, and I found a certain prescience in the juxtaposition of this small group and the brass acorn that represents the City of Oaks. We could be in for interesting times.

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