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12/06/2011

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Mike I love your last three paragraphs, they are what I have felt for so long, glad you;ve written this, it's not negative, not lost, good stuff.

John

Good stuff. Thanks for sharing your thoughts, Michael. The only point I would like to debate is that "It is not intended to be an exercise in utopian microcosms." I personally believe that the root of the transformation we are seeking is cultural in nature, a product of the relationships between us. Economy and societal structure, as I see it, is an outgrowth of Culture. If we can redefine our relationships in these microcosms, we can seed a new culture (one that has been growing since before the Occupy Movement btw) to grow out and replace the dominant culture as it stumbles in fits. I see this as critical to our movement: Conscious Evolution.

Mike - Thank you for writing this!! This echos much of my thoughts on OB & other Occupy camps around the country.

I love this whole letter. From it I understand that an Occupy encampment is a microcosm of our larger society. Self-cleansing is a harsh term, though. With self-control, self-discipline, respect for others, a sense of our shared humanity, and compassion, we can overcome our own tendency toward prejudice and self-centeredness. I think the Occupation encampments are a necessary element of activism that will help us all change. But as winter approaches--we've been lucky with the warm weather--the meaning of encampment needs to be broadened. In addition, encampments are necessarily local. We need to broaden the idea of occupation in order to effect changes on a national level.

Marty: I'm interested in incorporating your viewpoint into the letter. I see your point and completely agree with you on a personal level. The problem I have is that we set ourselves up for failure when we position ourselves as exemplars. I think a both-sides-of-the-issue explanation of this would be a welcome amendment.

Marilyn: I'd like to incorporate your suggestion(s), too. I'll get back to you on that.

All: I have received more positive feedback with civil disagreements on issues (like cooperation with police) and finer points of language "("not taking things seriously..."). I want to address them all. Sock it to me.

As I responded to somebody via email, I'm hoping that re-engagement of big discussions by the larger community will lead more people to lending more help. This talk is only valuable if it leads to action.

Thanks for this. I've also been frustrated that OB had devolved into an exercise of running the physical occupation and has not moved on towards the larger goals we want to get to. It's hard, though, when some people are so attached to the physical space. It's hard to tell homeless residents that it's time to pack up and end the occupation if they have no were to go.

Mike - I admire your analysis of the problems and conflicts inherent in the physical Occupy Boston encampment. I would like to invite you and your readers to consider a very effective strategy which will solve all of the problems of the physical camp, and free up a massive amount of resources for solving the problems that brought us together. The strategy is to decamp, to leave, immediately. I wrote more about this on my blog.
http://andykittross.blogspot.com/2011/12/its-time-to-decamp.html

Mike,

Beautifully written.

I am one of those interested parties for whom the logistics of camping out at Dewey Square are simply not realistically possible. As I hopefully watch the Occupy Movement sort through all the options of how to deal with the unbelievable mess we've made of our society, its very easy to be inspired. But its also easy to be discouraged as so much energy is focused on simply maintaining the "occupation". Knowing that eventually this occupation will end (but not knowing how), its easy to have Afghanistan-ish questions like: "Were there winners? Were there losers? Is anything actually changed for the better now that the conflict is over?" I wonder, if perhaps an exit strategy is called for. Ideally, one that would be reported as a positive news item: Like on Dec 15, the campsite at Dewey Square will be closed and the energy and resources of OB will transition to support the XYZ homeless shelter.

And as I irrelevantly post this from the safety of my cubicle:

The biggest problem from my point of view is that the Occupy Movement is simply not relevant to the vast majority of the 99%. To me the protest sign that sums it up is: "The Occupy Movement is not a violent Revolution, it's trying to Prevent One!". I really don't know how to increase the relevancy of the movement, I have some ideas associated with the use of technology, but perhaps changing the world just takes more time...

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