A Blast from the Past, Occupy Oakland Day 8

Posted on December 3, 2011


I found this from one of my early posts about Occupy Oakland, an eternity ago.

“…That’s not to say there aren’t other problems. A scuffle last night showed the power of confusion and emotion among a very small group to disrupt an entire community, and it brought up serious questions of how to manage a community without state or outside intervention, which is an ongoing and thorny conversation amongst many groups at the encampment from what I’ve gathered. But another way, I think, of looking at it is as the price to pay for taking complete responsibility for one’s community.

In a neighborhood, when people get into serious mess, others often don’t involve themselves. Despite the fact that its their community, they delegate the authority of problem solving to outside professionals who don’t live in the community, or they simply ignore it. Its easier to do that, it depersonalizes issues. But it also shuts people off from each other. Their problem-solving and interpersonal skills decrease as a result. Watching people try to deal with a potential fight last night, was like watching someone rise out of a coma and begin to learn to use their extremities again, of dealing with each other one to one. That is not only a valuable skill, but a cognitive structure worth acquiring. Its difficult, but we’ve gotten used to ignoring the difficulties in our community, or delegating the solutions to others, both locally and nationally.”

I hope we don’t forget that the revolution wasn’t in what we said, or in our GA, but in what we did.