|Occupy Eugene protestors organize at the U of O campus.|
So, the Occupy Eugene General Assembly was last night.
|Jillian and a friend show off signs we made the night before.|
I've been to a lot of demonstrations and community organizing events, but never to something with quite this sort of energy. At maybe 200 attendees (not everyone was there at once, there was some turnover), it wasn't the biggest mass event I've seen, but it was the most active of its size I've encountered. The event wasn't very well organized initially, but there was much more spontaneous organization happening than I am accustomed to at these sorts of things. The organizers obviously intended to do committee breakouts, but what those comittees would be and who would "chair" them was decided on the spot, organically. People who obviously were not associated with the original planners took up leadership roles right away, directing people to the committee breakouts, talking to new arrivals, and passing out literature that they had brought or swapped with others.
|Resarch Committee in action.|
The committee breakouts actually accomplished many of the things they set out to discuss; I attended the "Research" breakout, tasked with developing a plan for gathering information about other Occupations around the country, what works for them, problems they've encountered, and how to make that information available to the rest of the group. Talk centered heavily on the website being developed by a handful of techie volunteers on donated server space, with special emphasis on installing an anonymous forum system to allow free sharing of information. Other breakouts included Public Relations, who were already fielding questions from the press who had beguin to show up in sizeable numbers, Sanitation, Morale, and Legal Concerns. Throughout I was impressed with how decentralized the leadership of everything was; an important characteristic for a group that can expect to run afoul of local law enforcement shortly.
The occupation itself is planned to begin on October 15, at a location to be determined. I am continuing to participate in this group, and will update as soon as I know more.Meanwhile, visit Occupy Eugene's website!