Sunday, April 15, 2012

Sobering aftermath of Montpelier GMO gathering

Hi Stephen,
Sobering aftermath of GMO gathering in Montpelier from Tim Stevenson.

Thanks, Janet

Carolyn Partridge called late last night, and while there was much that
she talked about (in some ways, it was a version of what Dave Zuckerman
had said at Thursday's rally), the sum and substance was that, yes
indeed, H. 722 was dead in the water, and was so well before we had
arrived at the State House.

At best, it would pass out of her committee this coming week, but would
not likely get beyond the House Judiciary, the full House , much less
even begin to be considered by the Senate Ag, Judiciary, etc. etc.,
given the limited time of the present session

She was very moved by and appreciative of the turn out on Thursday, and
said that the people's testimony had changed the minds two members of
her committee.

And she had no clue as to what Illuzzi was talking about on the
Brattleboro bus that night, since he's not on the Senate Ag Committee,
and that the bill would only have come to one he is on if he
specifically requested it to do so.

So it would all have to start over again next January, with the promise
of a Governor who would veto such a bill, should Shumlin win in
November, and certainly if a Republican should win.

As it has been so abundantly clear to those of us involved with peak
oil, global warming and the the Occupy movement, we're going to have
move beyond the dysfunctional activist paradigm of seeking the desired
change (in this case, eliminating GM food from our diet) from our
elected representatives to one where we actually exert the power and
control in our lives that we need for our survival.

And as it has been on so many occasions over the years—most recently,
the sad history of the Obama administration—the evidence is clearly
there that the system is very, very broke. While we may not like to hear
that our Governor would veto an H.722 bill should it reach his desk, or
Galbraith's statement that the corporations are too powerful and you
can't defeat them, we should at least take seriously what they're really
saying: not that we, the people, cannot prevail over the corporations,
but that we cannot do so as long as we're depending on the Shumlins and
Galbraiths and Obamas of the world to do this job for us. Thursday was
another instance of this lesson; let's hope it is learned and taken to
heart, and acted upon.

We have to step outside the(ir) box, become more imaginative and
creative in what we do, and most of all, assume full responsibility for
our lives.

I will continue to work in this direction as best I can, and will be
most happy to join with others who wish to do likewise, as well.

Thanks, Tim

Tim Stevenson
Founding Director
Post Oil Solutions
802.869.2141 <tel:802.869.2141> <>
<>> wrote:

Saturday, April 14, 2012

GMO hearing & rally in Montpelier, Thurs. 4/12 at 4pm

The turnout last nite was incredible, hundreds of people. And I am
still flying high from the wonderful energy and solidarity of all the
folks present, all the folks present wrapping themselves around passage
of the GMO labelling bill H722. There was not even one testimony in
opposition to the bill. What an amazing moment in history, all of us
demanding our rights to healthy, GMO free food, all of us letting the
legislature know that Vermont must not be bullied into submission by
threats of lawsuits. How proud it makes me feel to live in this state.
Yes, this is only the beginning, now we need even more to speak out and
make sure this bill becomes law.
Janet Schneider

Friday, April 13, 2012

Saturday, March 31, 2012

Human Infrastructure Discussion

On 3/30/2012 9:28 PM, Yeshua wrote:


On 03/30/2012 08:44 PM, Stephen Marshall wrote:
Then, the people on the ring do not need to get the replies from other ring people or local people. In my opinion, the inquirer is the logical recipient of email from anyone interested in what the inquirer has in mind. Besides, in consideration of the desire not to be swamped with emails, the ring person does not need to intermediate once the ultimate recipient gets the message. I would say that anyone, local or on the ring, who wants to be "in the loop" can communicate directly with the person who sent out the original message.

Is all of this making sense?

[Yeshua replied]

in my humble opinion, it seems overly complex, unless I am missing something? is there anything wrong with our setting up and using a mailing list? say on, our own (could be others if we wanted to take on the work to setup another domain) or even the evil google..?

In my opinion, it would be easier for us all if we had one website or similar place that we could all add to with these types of "statewide" or "collective" issues, and possibly even then have our own sub-sites for groups that want to.

If others would like, I could draft a more formal proposal along these lines, as I think it would greatly benefit us to have something like this. I am mostly speaking through the experience of setting up the wordpress/buddypress social site. This is a scalable setup and very flexible, and I can see how some of the possibilities could serve us very well.

[Stephen replied]

If participation proves that human infrastructure, or this model, is not desired, hopefully something else will have superseded it. In any event, we will need technology. But I have had a strong and supportive reaction to this network model. My goal for the network is to formalize natural human networking, with the intention of efficiently getting the best most relevant information from someone who has it to someone who needs it. Human infrastructure is not intended to replace useful technology, it is intended to work with it.

I think that once the idea is understood, it will not seem so complicated. To me, and to many who are not saying anything, it is intuitive. What I said above is just an application of "step-up/step-back"

If I can try again, the members of this list are relay points, between each other and their local people. If one of us also is a person the message would actually go to, then s/he can act like the actual recipient. S/he IS an actual recipient. But the role of "Ring Person" is to RELAY messages from one part of the state to another, is help people find each other.

Finding people we need to talk to is sometimes difficult. Lists help if they are correct. To be correct they must be updated. Someone must do the work. If every person is responsible to do the work, then each of us becomes responsible to take our own name off of a list when it is obsolete, and if we do not there is bloat. This is a troublesome responsibility because even people with the best intentions frequently do not look back to see what messes they need to clean up.

Then the new person must figure out that there is a list and how to go to it and how to use it. If only one or a few people are responsible, it is a lot of work for them, and they must be forever checking to see who is still on the list and who is coming on or going off. A lot of information for people who do not always have direct access to it.

By contrast, A node person, or Ring Person, has a list for the area in which they live and are responsible. If they do not know who the right person is to give a message to, they can ask around. An internet list cannot do this. When that Ring Person wants to step back, s/he can simply turn the list over to another person. That person is given the information about other Ring Persons, and they are up and running.

The human infrastructure model has important advantages. It promotes communication person to person. This is first of all the most meaningful part of being in a movement - connecting and being informed about other people, and consequently being able to plan and act in solidarity. Hence, it also promotes movement solidarity. Solidarity via email and web sites is not emotionally dimensional. Knowing people by name and having their phone number and helping them link up with someone else is deeply human and irreplaceable. A list is passive and waits for someone to give attention. It does not reward with a human relationship. A person is an active agent who rewards other active agents with human connection.

But there is more. The buck stops with humans. If a list doesn't have the answer, you ask "Who would know?". You can start writing to everyone on the list, until you find a person who has an answer. It's hit or miss. If you ask a person, you are already talking to a person. If it is a ring person, s/he can direct you to the exact person who has the answer or knows someone who does. . You wanted a person in the first place. Human Infrastructure gives you a person who can answer your question, who can pass your message to the persons who do know.

Finally, if the technology is taken away, we still have each other. The world we live in, with its commerce and efficiency, wants us to be insertable cogs. Human infrastructure is the ultimate defiance. We are real, we are human, and we will not form ourselves into blind, subservient units of labor and consumption. We want more. We want our lives back. We want each other. It starts with relationships. Human Infrastructure facilitates this.

Yeshua, I would like very much to have internet resources which complement the aspirations of the Communications Working Group. For all of the reasons I have stated above, I would like to avoid describing one as necessary and the other as not necessary. Yes, let's work on it together. In fact, Ben Buckley, (AKA drkludge), is also working on technology based on the hub-and-spoke model, which the Communications WG is, and I would encourage you to be in touch with him. This knowledge is what the Communications WG is about.

In the short term, I am building up my local list, plus adding names to the State-level Ring. I actually started yesterday to survey my local people for their areas of expertise.  I am frequently adding names to the main table, which is on the OYO blog, which is where I am comfortable for now. It is an open platform in that anyone can post on this blog, and anyone can see it.

Eventually I would like to have an interactive map of Vermont which outlines the areas with Occupy members and those without any identified Occupy people. As an interactive map, it would link to a data base that would show who has signed up as a State-level ring person, or also the point persons for Working groups. The advantage of listing just the Ring Persons is the power of exponential expansion. There will never be an unmanageable number of them. The number of Occupiers could quickly become unmanageable for the administrator of a data base. Keep it simple, Keep it sweet, Keep it personal and Keep it local. Say, is that our (CWG) motto?

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Occupy Vermont Communications Working Group

Occupy Vermont Communications Working Group

Greetings to everyone who sat in the circle before, and who gathered during, our first state-wide GA, and those who are coming on board later!

The reason to circle and talk, for any one of us, may be different from the reasons of the person who called the meeting, may indeed be unrelated. The only definition I offered was "networking, media and outreach", which meant many things when we talked about it, so I hope everyone felt free to express their ideas. If you had a hope you didn't express, or felt was not heard, please put it on the table.

My aspiration for this group springs from my aspiration for Occupy, the global movement, to empower the transformation of our political, economic and social relations, so that we all become - so the plants and the animals and the rivers and mountains become - important and worthy of the opportunity to persist and live with integrity and vibrancy.

From this broad vision, my aspiration for Occupy Vermont is to empower us all to participate in the transformation of our state and country, and for each of us to participate in our mutual empowerment, through the tools and opportunities that Occupy makes possible. My aspiration for this group, is to create the channels of communication which joins us all together, into one movement, in a way that is not dependent upon an office staff and a newsletter, but operates directly through each of us, through our shared participation.

If you have a different, or additional, reason to come together, under the rubric of "networking, media and outreach", that is your reason for joining, please tell everyone.

These are my thoughts about what we might do and offer the movement:

1) Provide immediate channels of communications between local groups - In the short run provide human infrastructure for that communication.
2) Build, strengthen, lighten, install, systems of communication. This has two dimensions:
a) human
b) technological

Human Infrastructure

My mental picture of this network is of a ring - like a circle of people in a room talking to each other - where each person is talking to their local people - as if you had a phone link to another circle that included your local people. These local people may or may not have subsidiary rings, like particular working groups, etc.

Any person could step into any ring at any time, and identify as a person to channel information from and to the rings of people at their particular locality. There would likely be redundancy at any level in the network. This redundancy is helpful, in that it would offer multiple channels and opportunities for communication. It could be problematic if people think "not me not today, so-and-so can do it.", without communicating with the other person about the particular communication. These people in the same node - is anyone wondering what a node is? - would need to be very clear with each other about task division. "I'll pass that message."

In this vision, our role is transparent and rapid communication. The state would be divided up into self-identified regions, each with its own "Occupy" group. Each region would have its own person or persons in the state-wide ring. These persons would have responsibility for ensuring they are known to all of the people in their region. Alternatively, these state-wide-ring persons could identify region level contacts, such as point persons for a GA or working groups, through whom communications could travel. Local structure would be up to the local people. The goal is to be sure that everyone knows someone in the network, who can get a message through the network to anyone anywhere.

Presumably, many of these messages would simply establish direct links. "Hey, I'm in direct action in Burlington and I want to talk to people in direct action in Rutland. Here's my email." Our Burlington person would forward the message through the state-wide ring to the Rutland person, who would forward it to the Rutland direct action people. At this point we have done our job and step back.

Another use is a rapid response announcement system. "The police are closing on our encampment! Come help!" A message like this would activate the phone tree - the same network only using telephonic messages.

There will be two core responsibilities for anyone who intends to actively participate in communications rings. Keep awareness of everyone in the main circle (have both email and phone contact info), and make sure everyone you know in your area knows that you are connected to the state-wide ring. Actively offer to help connect people.

This human infrastructure then provides the means by which we consult, share, recruit, cooperate, quickly and efficiently, in those cases where an electronic medium is not optimal. Be sure you build your human infrastructure in your local area, so that when a message comes through, especially a phone tree message, you can send it along to the persons who need to get it!

Technological Infrastructure

Besides providing the human infrastructure for communications, by providing those other services, we will have a heightened awareness of the demands we might place on our technology. We can help design and implement the internet based system which will help us all stay informed and make decisions at a distance. Right now there are several platforms, of which the blog-like web site managed by Occupy Central Vermont is one of the better. There is also a platform being developed by NYCGA which is designed to facilitate communications between individuals and occupy groups, and Burlington's Ben will have more to say about that in the future.

If  you want to be part of this network or just part of the conversation, please sign up at the list-serve,, so that we can all talk without bogging down in a long list of email addresses.

Loose ends

Here is a list of everyone who signed up over the weekend, and as we get active, as more people come on, you can add names to the list using any editor like Word, or Open Office, as a text document or as a spreadsheet. If there is information missing from your line, please add it, and send it around. Also, it would great to know what the issues are that the rest of us might help with. In the near future we will want to go public, meaning, tell everyone we're in business. Please tell everyone on this list whether you are on the main ring or just listening to the conversation, and what Occupy group you are part of.

I hope you are as excited about this working group as I am. I look forward to staying in touch and learning more about everyone.
Name Phone Email Occupy Town State
On the Ring?
Interests, Notes, Facebook name
Chuck Gregroy

Diane Peel.

The 99% Group

Nick Cohen
Upper Valley

Marie Countryman.

Emily Peyton.
Sandy Marmar.
UpperValley Occupy

Paul Fixx.


Jennifer Steckler.
Central VT

Laura Simon.
802 296-8318
Upper Valley


Kathleen Krevetski.

Stephen Marshall.
OBVT (Burlington)
Extending identification with the Occupy movement
Leslie Sullivan
Sage Alliance

Anti-Nuke Alliance
#Scott Chernoff
609 605 0137
Mt Col

Yeshua Boyer
Central Vt

Emily Reynolds
802 595 2680
Provides contacts to non-vermont resources

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

February 27, 2012
CONTACT: Stephen Marshall
PHONE: 802-861-2316


On March 3, 2012 at 12:00 noon, in the Community Room of Burlington's Fletcher Free Library, join three area experts on local economies to learn how two legislative initiatives under consideration this year in the Vermont State House could dramatically improve local economies in Vermont, relieve tax pressure, and help reduce budget pressures.

Facilitated by Jim Hogue, John Ford, and Gwendolyn Hallsmith, participants will learn about and discuss the history of our money system and the alternatives to our own system, how the current system undermines human rights with respect to money and finance, the proposed creation of a Vermont State Bank, the Genuine Progress Indicator (GPI) being discussed in the Vermont Legislature, complementary monetary systems, and other concrete strategies communities can use to tap local talent and energy, and help jump start their local economies.

Jim Hogue is a local writer, author, actor and radio show host. John Ford is the founder of Vermont Currency Commons and author. And Gwendolyn Hallsmith is the founder of Global Community Initiatives, and the author of a new book entitled Creating Wealth: Growing Local Economies with Local Currencies.

Participants will engage in role playing, view a short DVD, engage in discussion and breakout groups.

Light snacks will be served.

Topics include:
Life before the banks, 1000-1700 AD, mutual credit, Public Credit Money beginning with the Tally sticks in the 11th century on the English Commons, Magna Carta, the Forest Charter, Lex Rex, and contemporary examples in Argentina in the 1990's and California in 2009. Debt based currency systems (USD), the systematic destruction of the common-wealth; the connection between political rights of self-determination, full employment and a liveable wage, and control of the money supply; the examples of the Swiss and Venezuelan constitutions; state-chartered banks and credit unions; the Federal Reserve; public banking with the US dollar; Bank of N. Dakota; what happened in the 1920's when the farmers decided to take control of the money supply; the Fiscal Emergency Preparedness bill based on California Assembly bill; the currency commons, open source exchange.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

representation and the Occupy governance process

Hello All!
I'm responding to an invitation from Stephen to begin using this blog as a place to air and discuss perspectives on Occupy. In particular, my interest lies in our system of Governance otherwise known as our General Assembly. There are many thoughts and threads on this topic in our Occupy community and I'm curious to hear yours, if you have one. In honor of my desire to spark constructive conversation, I'm sharing below something that I wrote in response to the question: who has the right (or how do we obtain the right) to use the label "Occupy" when organizing an action, be it a demonstration or a blog post? This question has been bundled into a title loosely called "representation" for the time being.
In order to respond to this question of representation,  I think it's useful to step back from the specifics and look for a moment at two poles of values that I see this movement holding on this topic: autonomy and community. I would like to start by placing the dilemma of this polarity at the core of human governance from time immemorial, in other words, as humans we have had to resolve this polarity in order to function and have done so in many ways over history. Most of those ways have involved coercion in larger or smaller ways. Most of us reading this today, would likely stand against the use of coercion but face a historic challenge: in the absence of coercive methods and models, and in the presence of a deep valuing of all perspectives (diversity), how do we create a new way of governing ourselves that equally honors and values maximum autonomy and maximum community?
In service of answering this question, I’ve heard some of us speak to core principles for guiding this new way of governing ourselves. These principles are close to our hearts, vital for our human evolution, and difficult to enact consistently or to hold each other accountable to. I posit that we need a system, think of it as a practice, that can allow us to enact these principles concretely and consistently over time.
As I explore some possibilities for governing ourselves in a manner that maximizes both autonomy and community, I’ll be outlining just a few of the principles that I've heard identified and highlighting how those principles are enacted through some simple shifts in the GA understanding of itself and it’s processes. I’m not trying to be exhaustive here in all the principles that could or do guide the GA system, I’m just calling our attention to some of the ones that bear on this question of representation. Please note that I've used verbiage from writing done by both Ben and Stephen on the wiki on this topic, so if you recognize some phrases, that may be one place you've seen them, I'll be highlighting those passages so you know what you're looking at.
1. Principle: Autonomy for all/equal authority of every person/or the right to self-organize:
We are all autonomous beings that deliver far greater creativity and energy when enabled to act independently. This principle applies both to individuals and to groups.
a. Proposed Policy #1: Occupy Burlington GA shall honor the right of every duely formed working group or individual to self-organize and will not exercise any coercion or control over their actions that lie within their clarified and documented ‘accountabilities’/‘distributed authorities’ (defined below).
b. Proposed Policy #2: insofar as any actions taken by a duely formed working group or individual are out of alignment with the aim and/or current strategy of Occupy Burlington or constitute an attack upon Occupy Burlington, those conflicts shall be brought the GA as ‘tensions’ to be processed through governance to a change in the ‘accountabilities’/‘distributed authorities’ of that working group or individual.
c. Proposed change to GA process to enable this: each working group earns the right to self-organize by:
i. taking responsibility for delivering on a clearly identified and recorded portion of the work of the Occupy movement, called an ‘accountability’ or ‘distributed authority’ which is verbiaged and passed through governance in a GA.
ii. agreeing to use the Occupy meeting process to run it’s meetings, including making decisions as they relate to it’s ‘accountabilities’, and reporting on it’s business to the whole GA.
2. Principle: freedom of association/consent to represent
No one may speak or act for or on behalf of an other without that other's explicit consent.
a. Proposed Policy #3: anyone or any working group wishing to act or speak on behalf of the social formation known as Occupy Burlington must receive consent for such representation from the appropriate decision-making body, be that a working group or the GA.
b. Proposed change to GA process to enable this: proposals for representation may be processed in a working group, provided that working group has a recorded ‘accountability’/‘distributed authority’ for planning and executing such types of representation, and in the absence of defined ‘accountabilities’, proposals for representation will be processed in the GA .
For example, let’s say that Education has an accountability for “dreaming up and operationalizing regular teach-ins on behalf of Occupy Burlington.” And let’s say that a member of Education has an idea about a teach-in focused on sustainability issues. That member of Education would bring that proposal to an Education Working Group meeting, not the GA, where it would be taken through the Occupy governance process to a decision. Let’s also say, for example, that during that teach-in, one of the speakers threatens to blow up the state house (this constituting an ‘out of alignment’ breach named above). Any member of Occupy attending the teach in could bring that breach, or ‘tension’ to the next GA and formulate a proposal for new accountability for the Education Working Group. For example, perhaps, ‘screening all speakers for their willingness and capacity to represent the current aim of Occupy Burlington (which presumably in this case would not be oriented to blowing up buildings). That proposal would then be taken through the governance process to an outcome in the form of a new accountability for the Education Working Group.
So in answer to the question “how do we create a new way of governing ourselves that equally honors and values maximum autonomy and maximum community?”, I am proposing an iterateable and transparent system of governance which includes everyone’s voice (maximum community) that distributes clarified nuggets of authority to individuals and working groups (maximum authority). We have the first part of such a system, an “iterateable and transparent system of governance” in the GA process. What we don’t quite have yet is an understanding and use of this governance system to distribute authority through the creation of distinct ‘accountabilities’ that may be governed by policies. My proposal is that we simply begin to use our GA governance process to clarify accountabilities and policies (that can be changed or updated at any time as issues arise or situations change) which define the limits and grants of authority Occupy gives to it’s working groups and/or individuals delivering on the work of the movement. Within those grants (and limits) of authority, each working group is free to enact it’s own work including actions in the name of Occupy. If issues arise, as they will, they’ll be brought by the persons sensing those issues to the GA for processing into updated grants or limits of authority on the requisite working group or individual.
In support of Stephen’s proposal that the solution to the question of representation be to focus on developing our relationships, I would like to say that it has been my experience that any time a group of people have actual physical work to do, something they wish to accomplish or change in the world, that we are deeply supported in both the capacity to deliver on that work and in the relationships that form as a container for that work, when we have distinction and clarity around that work flow and a concrete and effective means of integrating diversity of perspective. When diversity, or conflicting perspectives, can be efficiently, effectively, consistently, and transparently metabolized into decision and action on behalf of the community, we actually have more room for relationship, and more energy to build relationship, which then feeds back into the work that we have chosen to do together. Thus I believe that relationship is a critical and vital essence of the movement, but that in order for relationship to flourish over time in a variety of circumstances that we will be well served to focus on developing our decision-making systems into a well oiled, continuously evolving engine that can efficiently and effectively make use of our divergent perspectives.

Monday, January 9, 2012

The Occupy Brand

Using the community brand, "Occupy Burlington".

I begin with premises which are various and might lead to conflicting conclusions.

§ We believe in the equal authority of every person. § We believe in the inherent worth and dignity of every person, and the obligation of the community to create that space in which personal decisions can and will be respected, for every person. § We oppose doctrine, hierarchy, and systems of power which function without the consent of those affected by its actions. § We imagine that we represent the interests of the 99% of Americans who are disenfranchised from the ultimate power in our country. § We believe that diversity of opinion is a strength, and that with commitment to the unity of our community, diversity can be used to strengthen our movement and the culture of our community. § We believe that our power comes from each other, from our sense of shared fate, and the commitment we live to act in solidarity and in support of each other. § We are building a community of solidarity (in which institutions may arise to provide certain services, but is not itself an institution). § Although our roots are in anarchist philosophy, we are not obligated to them. Our consciences guide us.

Why do we need to define who can use the label "Occupy Burlington"?

Within the Occupy movement are uncountable different approaches to the best outcomes, strategies and tactics. Among these may be goals and actions we do not agree with. The danger this question responds to is that someone, somewhere, will use the Occupy rubric to cover an action we do not support.


Religious communities and institutions of every kind (for-profit, non-profit, governmental) seek to identify a single coherent explanation of beliefs or policies. These orthodoxies, when vested with the power of money or of the police power, become the basis of oppression. The orthodoxy that privilege is deserved and deserves to reinforce itself is one of the principle reasons the Occupy movement has become necessary. As this orthodoxy spreads its influence, the police state is strengthened and diversity of opinion is suppressed. I believe we must stand for diversity of opinion.

Diversity of opinion is inherent in any human community, and the health of that community depends upon its tolerance for or even celebration of that diversity.

Moreover, we cannot expect to build a community and a movement of solidarity, in which every person has equal authority, without diversity of opinion. Without a tolerance - or better, a celebration - of diversity, we will fail.

But with diversity comes the nagging problem, what if someone renders actions, under the banner of "Occupy", which are fundamentally at odds with our values or just our strategies? Or worse, what if someone co-opts the rubric, perpetuating a media campaign to discredit us?

There are two dangers. That we are too narrow in who we allow to use the rubric. This implies that our response is too institutional, and that we cannot tolerate diversity. That we are too broad in who we allow to use the rubric. This endangers the credibility of the movement and our community.


The usual solution - which we can challenge because we are seeking fundamental change - is to institute rules or policies. This way leads to hierarchy and inequality of personal authority, and limits on diversity.

An alternative solution is to build a culture of mutual respect and accountability. I believe we have all entered the movement ready for mutual respect and mutual accountability.

For this to work, we must re-commit ourselves, often, to relational solutions to our conflicts. How can we eschew hierarchy and instituted power, and avoid relationships too?

Everything the Occupy movement stands for, in my mind, implies relationships. Establishing relationships, bonding with each other, resorting first and foremost to relationship-based solutions to our conflicts.

Under these terms, Everyone is held accountable for how they use the Occupy rubric. Everyone is free to use it, and everyone must learn to make judgments about when and how it is used. When in doubt, they should consult the group. When mistakes are made, mutual accountability will make it known. Hopefully tolerance for diversity will assist in the resolution of these conflicts. When poor judgment is exercised consistently and damagingly to the movement, the person doing can be challenged or even discredited.

Under these terms, When someone tries to co-opt the rubric to damage the movement, we must be ready to confront, disavow, and discredit in return.


Build relationships, build culture, build mutual accountability, party and train together, bond, establish trust groups and trust group clusters, engage in actions together, engage in mutual education, build practices which support members to have families, and empower everyone through our community of solidarity.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Welcome To Occupy Your Opinion

You are welcome to post to this blog. Ask me to invite you
and if there is a slot available (right now there are plenty), I will invite you.

If you didn't ask but were invited to post, you have been chosen according to the random criteria that when I looked at my address book and my email, I recognized your name and thought "Hmmm. That person is interesting. Why not?" If you wonder why you were not invited, even though I know you, it's because I didn't recognize your address.

Although intended for folks around the Burlington Vermont Region, I have invited some folks who are from the Equality Trust in Britain. If we are lucky, one of them will opine now and then on subjects of interest to Occupiers here and elsewhere. I will invite others from afar if anyone asks me to.

My hope is to create a forum for lots of Occupy supporters, and maybe friendly disputants, to make claims, challenge each other, argue their case, and generally stimulate each other to stronger more powerful thought.

The blog format is like a forum or "bulletin board", but in my opinion, is much more friendly to read and comment. My goal for this blog is to fill a gap in our present constellation of media.

Any one who would like to post is welcome to request authorization. Blogger allows up to 100 authors. So people who don't respond or do not use their slot can be dropped from the list if ever there is demand enough to need the slot.

I hope you'll accept the invitation, and I hope you'll use it. I'd like this to be a lively forum for news, discussions and mayhem of many kinds, and you're participation will help it to happen!

Stephen Marshall