From:   lmnop <>
Sent time:   Monday, October 24, 2011 1:41:32 AM
To:   Michael Oman-Reagan <>
Cc:;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;; OWS Text <>; Briar Somerville <>; Comfort Community <>; Kira Annika <>; NeliniStamp <>; Justin Wedes <>; Michael Premo <>; daniel mcnair scott <>; Brooke Lehman <>; Amin Husain <>; cc J. M. Smucker <>; to Max Berger <>; Antonio Serna <>
Subject:   Re: [OWS PR] Re: [GlobalRevolutionMedia] Re: (OWS is over after Tuesday) Fwd: Drumming, Urine,

I responded earlier in this thread twice, but my replies only went  to the person behind me in the conversation.

I was down at the park today, as I have been every day for the last month. Many people were talking about this issue among many other potentially divisive and contentious problems arising.

A few of us were standing across the street, by the cube talking about how to solve the disharmony which is happening between the drummers, the other occupiers and the community insitu. This was around 1030pm. We heard a loud cacophonous racket coming up the street. It was the drummers, of course and so we all three lit out to try to head them off before they set in with another full blown session.

I had a few conversations with them and it is clear to me that they are in total denial of how selfish their insistence on their right to drum 24/7 is. One young guy I spoke with was claiming they were following the time frames. I asked him about the evening before when they were drumming well past 10. He told me they were doing that as a protest of the GA.

My reaction to this is two fold. First, I think it's kind of a perfect defiance to throw back our faces, the very tactics we are using to air our grievances against an unjust system. Second I think it's the ultimate in wrong headed and contentious behavior without hope of actual resolution. There is no hope in resolution. It's like screaming at a stale bagel. The bagel is still stale afterwards. Worse, actually, because it creates more of the same. Hate begets hate, etc, we're all familiar with non violence training

We might be smart to look at it from the angle of "what is it that they are getting from resisting cooperation?" "what are the benefits of this contention for the drummers"

I would submit the obvious. Attention. The unmet needs of the drummers are an important consideration. We have all been injured and damaged by being raised in a dysfunctional society. Some more than others. These people, the drumming fanatics I would call them (I enjoy drumming, I own three drums of my own, btw), have unfulfilled needs from a lifetime of not being heard, not being appreciated, not being valued, should I go on? Because I am sure there is more.

Attention. Gratitude. Respect. Love. When we don't have these things, we can't really pay them forward.

 Although some of the men there are in their 30's, 40's and even a few dudes over 50, I do see them as a whole as the teenagers of the occupation.

It saddens me that they are using the drum, not as a song of unity but one of division. Someone in this thread asked, why drum? What does drumming have to do with why we are there? Drumming may not have anything to do with why you are there, but it is a free expression through a medium that some find healing. It's tribal. It's unifying within the circle of drummers. It's a way to gain respect. It's a way to get money. It's prestige in certain circles. It doesn't actually matter why they need to do it. It only matters that they are allowed to have some freedom in being able to do it, within agreed upon time frames.

Now, that said, to claim that to drum constantly, driving both the occupiers and the surrounding community absolutely bat shit crazy, is their civil right is just plain bullshit. It's a manipulative way to get what they want.

To compare drumming excessively to any other activity with in the park is, to my mind ludicrous. To justify it by comparing it to our being there as an inconvenience to the neighborhood is just plain bullocks. Sound pollution is just as bad as any other kind of pollution. It is so insensitive and does not reflect how I want to participate in any kind of community, be it urban or rural, intentional or accidental.It's also dominating the sound space. Other types of music, spoken word presentations, slide shows etc cannot coexist within the soundspace of bat shit drummers.

If the drummers cannot respect the consensus of the community they are supposedly in solidarity with, if they can't diplomatically compromise in the interest of the whole, they ought not to stay there in the park at all.

What I mean to say is; it's like any collective living situation. If certain members can't respect group consensus, if they insist upon not even recognizing it as a cohesive whole, a living organism that they are a part of, why would they insist on staying within a community that they disagree with on such a basic level? We all have major healing to do, no doubt, but sometimes the most loving thing you can do is to be straight up and say, if you can't respect the needs of others you are sharing space with then hit the road, jack. 

What if it were any other continuous sound? Jackhammers? Sirens? Bagpipes?
We'd have no problem calling 311 to complain.

Come to think of it, why don't we take some of the money from the general fund and hire an army of 40 bagpipers to come and surround the drummers if they play outside of the time frame they agree upon. That could be some serious consequences.


ps I like the idea of karma police armed with walkie talkies and de escalation techniques. Require that they take non violent communication courses too.

pss I also like the idea of purchasing survival kits for each and every human who is staying in the park. The park has become to some extent, in my mind, a microcosm of the very inequality of wealth distribution many of us are against in society. It's a wee bit hypocritical. just saying

"No great art has ever been made without the artist having known danger."
Rainer Marie Rilke