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View Diary: Black Kos, Tuesday's Chile (141 comments)

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  •  It's an important $.02 and I'm glad you shared it. (1+ / 0-)
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    Chitown Kev

    This is a tough conversation to have. Everything that's going on is so new in some ways and uncertain. We're all on a learning curve.

    It would be much easier to deal with what happened in Atlanta if there wasn't so much history where POC were constantly devalued and dis-respected.

    It just smacked too much of that, the old, as soon as the white folks get it figured out, we'll have time for ya.

    I don't want #OA to fail. I very badly want them to succeed, just like the rest of the OWS movement.

    I know they're new and that they're going through all the organizational confusions of any new group. I just hope they take some time to think about how their actions can be perceived by others who do not share their culture.

    And I hope they learn to make distinctions, to see people as more than one dimensional. I don't want them co-opted by anyone. But I do hope they allow those who do want to support them to be there for them. Even if they are, among other things, a Congressional Representative.

    I had not meant to offend anyone and my apologies if I have. I had not known about what had happened with Rep. Lewis until I read Dee's piece. Being an old broad, it brought up too many memories, none of them good.

    Unfortunately, and I know it was not intended that way, it "felt" too much like, take a seat at the back of the bus moment. That's not something that goes away in the first five minutes.

    So what would you recommend?

    If corporations are people, then I want to see some birth certificates and talk to their parents.

    by Onomastic on Wed Oct 12, 2011 at 05:17:41 AM PDT

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    •  Something to the effect that (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      the #Occupy groups absolutely and categorically do not want elected officials to speak at their events should do the trick.

      The groups are very hyper-sensitive about be co-opted by politicians and it seems as if they are making a concerted effort not to become the Tea Party in the sense of being co-opted.

      Make the statement and their wishes and desires should be respected for the time being. If they want to speak to a Congressman Lewis or former Black Panther Congressman Bobby Rush (and Bobby Rush would have the exact same problem here) then they could do that on the DL.

      •  One suggestion that I have (0+ / 0-)

        Invite Julian Bond.

        Invite those that participated in the SNCC and other movements that are a) still living and b) are not elected officials...

      •  Can completely understand why they would not (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Chitown Kev, Dancun74

        want to be used as the tea party was.

        But does that mean they can't use some discernment?

        Wait a minute. Look what I just found.

        Occupy Atlanta: John Lewis is invited to speak, we're sorry if we offended anyone
        Posted by Thomas Wheatley @thomaswheatley on Mon, Oct 10, 2011 at 10:47 AM

        Occupy Atlanta, the leaderless group of protesters who set up camp at downtown's Woodruff Park this weekend to rail against corporate greed, is apologizing to people the crowd offended for not allowing Congressman John Lewis to speak during its Friday planning meeting.

        The group's press committee today released a long statement explaining why the congressman was asked to wait to address the crowd. (For what it's worth, Lewis told reporters that he undersood, wasn't disappointed he couldn't address the crowd, and supports the movement.) According to the press committee, the protesters voted this morning to invite the civil rights icon to address the group.

        The incident, which critics of the Occupy movement have pounced on with glee, turned off some protesters. Hell, Russell Simmons even got pissed (and later said to "let it go"). From the statement:

            Occupy groups are governed by procedural rules that allow them to function in chaotic circumstances and to exercise participatory democracy in a large group. These rules are based on the principle of absolute equality and each voice being heard.

            Anyone may come and speak to or participate in a General Assembly. There is a set order which includes a point where the floor is opened for comments. Anyone present may put their name on the "stack" as it is called and speak. It might seem a simple thing to break the order, but in a large crowd where everyone is supposed to get a chance to be heard, deviating from it quickly causes chaos. Each deviation encourages the next until no conversation can be maintained.

            All of the speakers who have attended a General Assembly in New York have followed this process. Occupy Atlanta is unaware of any exceptions. Congressman Lewis, who attended Occupy Atlanta's 5th General Assembly on October 7, is familiar with consensus from his days as a civil rights leader but was unable to stay long enough to allow the process to unfold due to prior commitments. [...]

            We hope that explaining our process will go a long way towards preventing any future problems or misunderstandings so that we do not inadvertently give offense to those whose voices and knowledge we would very much like to hear. We are dismayed that anything we have done would seem to show disrespect for a man whom many of us revere, and apologize to everyone who was hurt or angered by our actions.

        Lewis' office tells CL that he's not yet received an official invitation from the group. His spokeswoman passed along the following statement this morning:

            "As a veteran of the Civil Rights Movement, Congressman Lewis is very familiar with the dynamics of protest, and he respects the right of protesters to choose to follow their own pre-organized agenda. He is not concerned or offended in any way by what happened Friday. In fact, the group's process reminded him very much of SNCC, so he was not disturbed at all by what happened."


        I'm really glad to have read that. It explained a great deal about their procedures. I'm impressed with both their awareness of how the earlier situation could have been viewed, and their efforts to heal that up.  Nicely done.

        Thank you for the conversation. Really appreciated it.

        If corporations are people, then I want to see some birth certificates and talk to their parents.

        by Onomastic on Wed Oct 12, 2011 at 08:28:03 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

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