This Home is Occupied!
In the last few days a number of Occupy tent cities have been dismantled by the police, including Occupy Oakland, Occupy Portland, and in Canada, Occupy Nova Scotia and Occupy London, among others. How does the Occupy movement continue to grow and flourish in the wake of these foreclosures? Expect surprises – this is an incredibly creative, resilient movement, and it’s here to stay.
Occupy Atlanta has found one effective way to channel the Occupy energy – by directly helping homeowners who face eviction to keep their homes. Last week, Tawanna Rorey’s husband, a police officer based in Gwinnett County, e-mailed Occupy Atlanta to explain that his home was going to be foreclosed on and his family was in danger of being evicted on Monday. So within a few hours Occupy Atlanta developed an action plan to move to Snellville, Georgia to stop the foreclosure. At least two dozen protesters encamped on the family’s lawn, hanging a banner on the railing of the house saying, “This home is occupied” to the applause of neighbors and bystanders. Talk about occupying with love!
This is a great model for what the Occupy Movement could start doing in the future. In Spain, the M15 movement – named because it started on May 15th – is one of the inspirations for Occupy. They have been doing similar kinds of actions to prevent evictions for some time. When they are unable to prevent an eviction, they have occupied abandoned buildings, creating spaces for evicted families to move into, by occupying foreclosed on houses and flats owned by banks. Katherine Ainger told me, “Edifici 15O in Barcelona houses 8 homeless families in a block of flats owned by a bank, very, very inspiring and with the support of lots of neighbours too.” http://edifici15o.wordpress.com/
In both Greece and Spain the movement has evolved into neighbourhood general assemblies and working groups, dealing with concrete solutions to local problems in real time, while still gathering in “assemblies of assemblies” to address and unite around larger issues.
In Spain, when the time for camping ended, one camp left behind an enormous sign that said: ”We have not left: we have moved into your consciousness!”
The movement is growing and evolving in it’s own organic manner. Expect the unexpected. Occupy Consciousness!