Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Occupy Portland

We're feeding the hungry, clothing the naked, and participating in a community based on voluntarism, gifts, and direct democracy -- in other words, actual democracy, where everyone participates in setting policies.

Last night at the General Assembly, we made a decision about how to make decisions (I copied these bullet points from http://occupypdx.org/occupation/consensus-proposal-108/ where it was posted two days ago, as a proposal; last night the proposal passed and became policy.)

* After discussion of a proposal, facilitators will ask to “see the consensus of the assembly”, by asking who agrees, who disagrees, and who stands aside. These proportions will always be recognized and recorded, as the basis for further development of the proposal, and/or autonomous action by those that agree.
* If there is very strong support for a proposal, the facilitators may ask to see if there are any remaining blocking concerns. If there are not, this can be considered a “full consensus of the assembly”. This has the greatest legitimacy for action on behalf of the whole.
* When appropriate, a consensus of 90% or more of the assembly, regardless of blocks, can be considered an “agreement of the assembly”. Depending on the proportion, this has relatively less legitimacy as “speaking for the whole” and should be used cautiously with understanding that there are unresolved major concerns.

The encampment has become a fully functioning village. There are committees for peacekeeping, engineering, medical, food, sanitation, safety, media, etc. etc. It has become a living model of how to organize society without hierarchy or money, a model which can keep spreading outward indefinitely. So the "protesting" is actually turning into an honest-to-goodness worldwide nonviolent revolution :-)


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