From:   beka economopoulos <>
Sent time:   Sunday, October 23, 2011 7:53:43 PM
To:   Briar Somerville <>
Cc:;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;; Comfort Community <>; Lopi <>; Kira Annika <>; NeliniStamp <>; Justin Wedes <>; Michael Premo <>; Michael Oman-Reagan <>; daniel mcnair scott <>; Brooke Lehman <>; Amin Husain <>; cc J. M. Smucker <>; to Max Berger <>; Antonio Serna <>
Subject:   Re: [GlobalRevolutionMedia] Re: (OWS is over after Tuesday) Fwd: Drumming, Urine,

Absolutely, and along those lines of logic: the local residents who have been throwing down in support of the occupation are also part of OWS, in solidarity, and the 99%.  They are calling for compromise and a balance of their voices and the voices of others (the drums, etc.). 

No one has been calling to silence the drummers. People have been calling for compromise, and have engaged in weeks of mediation.  The local community board chair, an African American woman who has lived here for 34 years and is herself a drummer, sat in mediation on-site for hours.  Yet the drumming went all most of the day yesterday, and nearly until 11pm.  Her voice and the voices of her neighbors who are in support of us but asking for compromise are being excluded. 

So how do we decide whose voice is more important?


On Sun, Oct 23, 2011 at 9:41 PM, Briar Somerville <> wrote:
On the subject of the disconnect between the GA's "norms" and the will/actions of the OWS people:  The GA does not speak for OWS.  The GA speaks for the GA.

We are a leaderless movement.  Individuals may speak only for themselves, and not for the movement.  By the same logic, the group of people gathering to make decisions in consensus meetings using the people's mic in one quadrant of the park speak only for themselves, not for the entire park/movement.  True consensus of the OWS occupiers could be claimed only if every person standing on Liberty Plaza were to voluntarily participate in a GA, which I have never seen.

I volunteer at the library.  If I am at the park during the GA, I am typically busy working at the library instead of involving myself with the GA.  Many of the other volunteers I know in critical working groups are also typically on duty instead of participating in the GA.  Additionally, some of us who share the sentiments of the OWS movement do not feel able to express ourselves within the confines of the structure of a meeting.  We who choose not to participate in the GA are still the people feeding, clothing, cleaning, beautifying, singing, writing, and living Occupy Wall Street.  We are the 99%, and we are a part of the OWS community.  We who choose not to participate in the GA believe that we take part in true direct democracy with our actions rather than our words.  Apparently for some of us, these actions include drumming.

To me, acting in solidarity does not mean reaching consensus.  To me, solidarity is an empowering "live and let live" policy among comrades.  It means celebrating a plurality of voices and ways of expressing a shared dissatisfaction with the status quo.  Attempting to stifle the voices of one's comrades to appease those who may mean us harm is NOT acting in solidarity.

I will continue to speak out against the forms of government arising on Liberty Plaza who claim to speak for OWS.  You do not speak for me.

In solidarity,
Briar Somerville

On Sun, Oct 23, 2011 at 8:54 PM, <> wrote:
This sounds like an opportunity for media to produce and shoot a piece on comfort with a call to action for viewers to donate all that is needed. 


On Oct 23, 2011, at 8:14 PM, Han Shan <> wrote:

Please excuse me if I haven't heard the urgent call to action for comfort materials (specifically sleeping bags, blankets, and sleeping pads, I guess). I have heard some concern and worked with folks on Fri. eve. to make sure such items were being laundered in the wake of the mid-week storm). But I don't think this is an either/or situation.

Let us hear & respond to your clearly-articulated & seemingly very serious need & also attend to the much bigger issue which I and others have argued is broader than the "drummers debate" and in fact goes to fundamental questions about who is part of GA, whose concerns deserve consideration & action, how our community defines and 'enforces' (is there a better word?) accountability to the collective, etc. 

And in the meantime, I'll put out a call in whatever networks I can for sleeping bags & blankets, etc. A deep bow and huge & humble thanks to Comfort, Kitchen, Sanitation, and SIS/Shipping, Inventory, & Storage for your often unsung and thankless but critical work to maintain the occupation. 


Sent from mobile device; pls excuse shortcuts & typos

On Oct 23, 2011, at 7:58 PM, Comfort Community <> wrote:

It sounds like we need to direct the attention of the media elsewhere. Let's give them a new cookie to chew on.

If you check out Comfort Community's Blog, you will see that we have been working on pushing the humanitarian aspect of our struggle to the forefront.

We are proposing that the drumming debate take a backseat, and the issues surrounding our inability to erect tents, improper bathroom situation, hypothermia and general decline in health take a front seat.

As you can see from the photos, we have people sleeping on the ground, we are creating blankets from cut up sweaters and duct tape. All this, because our community is being inundated with demand.

The trauma from the temperature drop and forced living arrangement, is inducing a traumatic response from our residents. Resources are being hoarded, stolen, and fought over. Every night, individuals have their blankets, shoes, hats etc. misappropriated as they sleep.

Our efforts to organize into a political party will fall apart if the people who are holding down the protest are not comfotable.



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