Occupy Atlanta Day 7: Proposed List of Demands for #Occupy Atlanta

My previous coverage of #OccupyAtlanta can be found here.

Just kidding, I find all of those online lists annoying, except for Matt Taibbi’s, because I’m a big fan and he knows what’s up in Wall Street.

Anyway, this post is going to be short, because I have places to be.

I arrived yesterday at 3:59 P.M. There were a lot of people in the park, and the number of tents has held steady at around 40.

At 4:30 there was a Demands Committee meeting. About 25 people were present to make sure their voices were heard. The Logistics Committee, on the other hand, had two people present, as the rest of the ~6 members were either sleeping or doing work. The Process Committee had one member show up to the meeting, and it was canceled. It’s annoying that so many more people were interested in coming up with a list of demands that will never pass the General Assembly than in helping with the nitty gritty aspects of the Occupation that make it possible.

At 4:43 the Georgia State Walkout entered the park. There were between 40 and 60 students who walked out, including a decent number of people I hadn’t seen before. It’s not huge, but it’s something.

A lot of people are donating food who aren’t occupying the park or really involved with the occupation. That’s great! Older people (over 30) who you wouldn’t guess would be supportive of the occupation kept coming by with bread, potato chips, baked goods, etc. The occupiers are the pointy end of the stick, remember, and the continued support of the greater Atlanta Community makes it possible. Side note: donations of bulk food like a 25 or 50lb bag of rice or 10 inch cans of vegetables are the most cost effective food donations a person can make, for anyone wondering.

The General Assembly started at around 7:15, but I had to food stuff to do and left right before it began. Occupy Atlanta is expecting a thousand people in Woodruff Park come Saturday, and is currently ramping up its food production capabilities to meet those expectations.

I returned at 10:24 and the GA was still going on. I guess the decision to form breakout groups at the beginning of the GA did not make it more efficient. It’s also possible that the moderator, who was new and had never done it before, was not as effective as the previous ones. The “old Marxist” showed up last night, and gleefully heckled the facilitators for their perceived incompetence.

At 10:24, the GA was discussing a list of codified demands decided on by the Demands Committee. As expected, it didn’t pass, and there was some grumbling about all the time wasted on it. Several hundred man hours (at least) have been spent on demands, and no consensus has been reached. I think it’s a Sisyphean task, but their best bet would be to present each demand individually, a la Daniel Webster, and see if there are any demands the GA can agree on.

The GA made progress on the WePay account, and agreed to allow Roar (who seems to be in charge of finances) to deposit $300 into his bank account, withdraw it immediately, and keep it with the movement’s petty cash. An account and all that will be decided on in future GA’s, although I predict they will repeatedly reach the same decision whenever funds run low. A single police saboteur in the GA would throw the occupation into chaos, although it would be a waste of resources, as that same result seems to have been achieved regardless.

Today at 5:00 there will be a gathering for a march on Peachtree-Pine, the Atlanta homeless shelter facing eviction.

There are plans to distribute an Occupy Atlanta Newspaper today, and continue producing a paper every day for as long as the occupation lasts. The paper is being produced independently of the GA, and some people complained that the GA hadn’t approved it, which seems stupid as the only point people can agree on is that Occupy Atlanta is an expression of our First Amendment Rights.

One final observation: I’ve been talking to people at gas stations/stores/etc about the occupation, and they all seem to have no more than a vague idea about it, although they’re generally supportive (at least to my face). I don’t know how Occupy Atlanta can reach these people, but it’s a problem they should be considering.

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