Report, #OccupyAustin: Start-up and General Assembly
Thursday kick-off was awesome, with around 2000 at City Hall during the busy hour. Austin police not the NYPD, at this point anyway. This afternoon they offered to give us a traffic lane to march to BOA if we had at least 200 people involved. An hour later 600 people marched and the APD facilitated. Something like $60K removed from BOA before they shut their doors. I'm pretty sure we'll be back later.
Some unfortunate, ugly behavior at the GA tonight when things got temporarily off track, but the parties initially in conflict ended up in dialog and understanding each to be aligned on goals and beliefs, but not necessarily timing. Not only peace, but much understanding prevailed. Mistakes were made but owned up to and grieved.
The Austin occupation is off to a good start. Lots of energy with the drumming, music and Austin vibes. People who shouldered a lot of work in the last week or so are starting to get tired. Recruiting new volunteers is a practical and ethical necessity. There is a lot of consensus around the notion that at all costs we must avoid even the accidental creation of a "leadership" group/class. Continuous new blood. Rotation. A celebrity prevention program!
There's lot of new content on Occupy Austin's web site : Livestream link, resources, contacts, an incipient blog. The IT working group (with support from these guys ) put together a secure, mobile Wi-fi hotspot (the "Freedom Tower") which delivers really excellent bandwidth across the occupation site.
All of the ongoing conversations are truly beautiful to behold. I feel blessed!
(Fd: I am an atheist but still feel blessed and don't see that as a paradox).