- Artist: Jane P Perry
- Title: Occupy Oakland 11.9.11
- Genre: Sound Poem
- Year: 2011
- Length: 5:15 minutes (7.22 MB)
- Format: MP3 Stereo 44kHz 192Kbps (CBR)
These are some of the many voices responding to a proposal that relates to tactics during protest actions. The proposal ignites a strong reaction on both sides. What do you mean by inclusive? How do you define violent – isn’t capitalism inherently violent? It becomes a deep discourse on how a social movement struggles. We are practicing and being tested - the facilitators and assembly members alike - in maintaining respect and inclusivity and taking responsibility for thinking critically. I realize this is why so many are out here tonight: we care very deeply about our city and we have an avenue of appeal. The Occupy General Assembly is an action itself, an action of direct democracy that has inclusivity at its core.
It is time to vote. We are encouraged to gather into groups of at least twenty. One of us will coordinate a show of thumbs: up for “yes,” sideways for “abstain,” and down for “no.” Another writes down the tallies and remains standing while we all sit. We all make sure that every thumb is seen and counted. Assembly monitors come around and collect tallies, which are then tabulated. As this process takes place, we strike up conversation with those around us. The amphitheatre is buzzing with discourse. The final vote count is read: our numbers have grown to 819 members. On a chilly weeknight sitting on cold cement. The third proposal is tabled in favor of re-focusing on the unity of Occupy Oakland. The General Assembly continues as I see some exit briefly to address the group with a clarifying question or a pro or con statement. At 9:45 we hear that UC Berkeley students are, as we meet, being struck by police batons as they peacefully assemble. We are urged to call friends and send them to the campus to stand between with the students. As the assembly ends, some coordinate rides to the campus. At 2AM, enough people have arrived that the police remove themselves from the UC Berkeley campus plaza.