Gandalf’s Suggestion for a Structure
To begin with, I suggest that we should all carry a deck of Occucards with us, day and night. This would be the NATGAT starting-point. In other words, there is no pressing need to re-argue, recapitulate and re-churn these almost universally agreed upon elements of Occupy ideology. I believe that we in Occupy understand the nature and scope of the problems facing America and the world. The overarching question for Occupy is, "Now what?...Where do we go from here?" Dissent, protest and public-education will always be core elements of Occupy, but I suggest that Occupy 2.0 should include at least these additional features:
First, we should address Occupy self-exploration and self-definition, including issues of unity, cooperation, community and internal-communication. Next, we need to explore issues surrounding outreach to compatible entities, across America and the world, including student-activists and progressive faith-communities. This outreach must include efforts towards racial and ethnic reconciliation, along with greater sophistication in the art of media-penetration (see my previous remarks titled, "A Seat at the Table"). Finally, we might come to some agreement on long and short-term goals,projects and actions which might be reached, during this year's National Gathering.
The proposed mechanism for exploring these Occupy 2.0 issues is the formation of "break-out interest-groups" which could be introduced on-line and at the initial NATGAT General (or Community) Assembly. The following are proposed interest-groups (which are obviously open to modification). 1) Money, Plutocracy and the Love-Revolution 2) Ecology, Agriculture and Energy 3) Law, Justice and the Constitution (including our militarized police-force) 4) Racism, Social-Stratification and Reconciliation 5) Politics, Unity, Media and the Artful-Revolution 6) Militarization, Drones, Nukes and Global Reconciliation.
Ideally, these interest-groups could be scheduled into 2-hr.sessions, three in the morning and three in the afternoon, so that participants could attend more than one interest-group, or participate in other activities. These groups would involve those participants who were particularly interested in working on these issues. There would be optional activities or free-time for those who choose not to participate in this project. Each of the three sites would be provided with PA systems and would be archived for use in the proposed film, "Occupy, the Documentary."
As proposed, these meetings might incorporate the "Paradigm-Shift" model of exploring the issues, using a flip-chart to brainstorm solutions and proposals and finally, synthesize the results into written work-products and action-plans, which would be presented to the Occupy body and interested observers, during the final-day G/A.
The intent of this "achievement-oriented" aspect of the 2014 NATGAT is to set the tone and direction for the coming year, decided upon, not by independent committees and working-groups, but, as much as possible, determined by the acting body of Occupy, working together as a healing and inspirational community.