The first and most popular proposal (or, more accurately, least unpopular one) was the so-called “Friendly Neighbor Policy” proposal, floated on October 23rd. It was also the most benign, requesting “zero tolerance for racism, sexism, harassment, or violence” within the encampment, and for occupants to “be respectful of all people and visitors.” However, speakers against the proposal disavowed policing each other within the movement, promoting individual autonomy instead, and one occupier asserted that “in revolutionary times, violence is needed.” In the end, only 63% of the assembly approved of the proposal, falling far short of the 90% needed to pass under modified consensus.
|Playing Oakland schools musical chairs, 11/19|
|Education cuts protesters, 11/19|
|At the Education March to Lakeview School, 11/19|
Personally, I believe in using peaceful means to achieve results, and that hostility and rage will only perpetuate fear and hate. However, I feel that directing our negative energies toward each other will splinter the movement and obstruct our visions for the future.
|"Capitalism is a Pyramid Scheme," 11/19|
Low approval (and high abstention) on the above proposals, at a GA where most action and solidarity proposals are passed indicate that plenty of people also feel uncomfortable defining the actions of others. Abstineo, Latin for “abstain,” comes from abs- “away from” and teneo “hold, restrain.” In the context of voting, then, to abstain is literally to shy away from restraining the group, the process, or the individual. This indicates that perhaps as a movement, the trend is to abstain from controlling the autonomy of our fellow protesters, and instead affirm only those actions which allow for individual choice and expression.
|"No one can evict an idea whose time has come!" 11/19|