field notes from the front lines
I spent two days with the Wall Street protesters and the energy is high there. It's youth-led and very organized in it's way - welcome annd media center, a library, kitchen and security, a comfort center with blankets, tarps, etc. and well run meetings. No, they don' t have a clear list of demands but given what they are confronting I think we can cut them some slack.They aren't beating themselves about it either. One of my favorite signs was:" We're here, we're unclear, get used to it"
They have no plan to leave. I appreciate that they have moved beyond denial, have identified some core problems, and are living together peacefully. At the same time there is a lot of anger bubbling up and it seemed a good place to bring the restorative activism work. I went around and just by word of mouth told people I'd be doing a workshop on sustaining your activism and deepening your nonviolence. Got a very encouraging response and 16 people turned out. We had a great discussion. Later that night I made a sign that said "Ask me about sustaining your activism" and sat with four more people.
I left Wednesday morning before the big rain and after three nights of very little sleep. Was happy to get to DC and start making connections with people here at the October 2011 encampment and also get a shower and sleep in a bed at an old friends house. I'll write more when I can.