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    NOT SO FAST: Boulder County Officials Recognize? Tents As Speech


    This morning our 24/7 rogue occupiers were ticketed for 'camping'.  I am told these tickets are not going to amount to anything because there is video from yesterday of the policeman telling the people that the county commissioner and Sheriff recognize their tent as a sign of protest and they should just stay on the grass and keep the area clean.  Apparently the DA would have to prove that they did not have permission and that's just not possible.

    However now there is an article in the paper quoting a county commissioner stating that camping has always been illegal in front of the court house and they would be discussing the issue. 

    I talked with someone at the county commissioners office and was told that there was no public meeting today.  That camping is illegal and that for there to be any exception to that law there would have to be a public hearing.   

    The group was going to be discussing whether they supported what was happening

    I am really sick so I can't go to the Occupy Boulder meetings this evening.  The rogue occupiers have to decide if they want to stay tonight and risk arrest which in my view is just stupid.  We just asked them for some time to work with the city and they haven't gotten us off on a good foot.  I hope they pull back and let us do this with a plan instead of butting heads...


    This morning I wrote to those who had formed the 'Revolutionary Community Action Committee' and had begun a 24/7 encampment as individuals without any agreement of the group etc. (see my post from last night).  I slept on it and then wrote them the following:

    To the Revolutionary… G


    I have given a lot of thought to our GA yesterday.  I appreciate that you have formed this group and that you feel differently than I do about many things.

    I for example, do not feel that I have ‘abused’ the GA.  And I do not feel that the group would be better off using the practices of Anonymous instead of attempting to follow the general practices of Occupy Wall Street.

    I can see many ways that things you have said go both ways.  I can tell you that I don’t feel good or loved by what is happening with Daniel’s occupation.  In my view Love is unconditional.  We love each other even if we disagree and even if we feel angry about something.  Feeling good is just not always possible in this group based on my direct experience.   I don’t have an attachment about how it is going to feel or should feel.  I certainly like it when it feels good and things are flowing but I am not going to demand that it must always be that way because that is a different kind of ‘holding on’ in my view.

    Again after thinking about so much of what was said it could all be turned around and applied to everyone. 

    For me personally the best way that I can see to keep myself from withdrawing completely so this is not a battle of personalities and who matters more in terms of who might leave over what, is to decrease my participation, not remove it.  

    Putting in a lot of my time and energy definitely raises the proportion of my upset about what is going on.  I can be much more detached if I do not put so much energy into it.  That may be one of the keys to helping people be in flow or and more detached if that’s what we are going for, is just not encouraging any one person to do too much. 

    I have thought about this for example and I get no thrill offering myself as an accountant and working on that stuff. It is rarely appreciated and you have to put up with everyone in the group’s energy around money.  Been there, done that.  It’s not fun, it’s more like a zen practice. I know how to do it.  I can do it. The accounting for the group doesn’t have to be complicated.  I am willing to teach someone else what they might need to know who might have fun with it.    If I just do the things that ‘I want’ or prefer to do in relation to other people doing that, I feel better.  So in terms of ‘feeling good’ I guess that’s one way I can feel better.    This seems the wisest way for me to keep my heart and energy engaged.  My thoughts are that once John gets back in town that I will leave the Outreach team as well.  Then I will just be involved in Facilitation, Events, and maybe Arts or fun stuff.   I don’t consider any of this negative, just what is unfolding.

    I love and appreciate all of you and what I am learning in this process.


    A few hours later I learned that the police had come to tell them they had to remove the tents or be ticketed or arrested.  The individuals in tents informed the policeman that they had been told that they were okay to have the tents where they were.  He went to check with his superiors and returned to inform them that the county commissioner and other officials have determined that these tents are a a representation of speech and part of a protest and they would stay as long as the area is kept clean and they move for events.  This may the most effortless support any city has offered...

    So while the protesters that had chosen to start a 24/7 occupation were very happy they now face all of the things that for the rest of the group were reasons to wait, plan, and prepare,  They already hand drunk and mentally ill homeless people mess with their belongings and disturb them in various ways.  They have a lot of needs all of a sudden including a security team and many other things. They are being given a lot of food and coffee.  My biggest concern is how fast it might grow out of control.  The group had a different plan.  We do not have to help these people scramble now just because they are forcing our hand. 

    It's a strange predicament.  I was down there today because we had a Unity Working Group Meeting (like a spokes council with a representative from each working group still open to everyone).  I saw that there were immediate security concerns and one of the people staying in tents  is a mother of an infant and another son I am guessing about 3 so I just boldly asked a guy who showed up to please generate some action on our security team and get some protection going.    Other than that I honestly felt like l letting them have their struggles.  It's a little hard to feel too drawn in since this was an act of people doing exactly what they wanted to do in spite of the group.  

    I am glad however that as we suspected the City is being easy in supporting the occupation/protest.  I only hope that it will be long lasting support and our welcome will not be worn out any time soon.

    Tomorrow I will go do some art work with other people in the movement hoping to express and soothe some of my energy around what has been happening.

    Then at 5PM we take up the conversation we left off yesterday on the group's position on 24/7 occupation and what we will do from here.

    'Life is a trip, the best part... I really like'' - The Doors



    Thanks for all the work you are doing, and for your honest reporting on how see things unfold.  I am someone who has taken some grief for my criticism of the tactics of the movement, so it won't surprise anyone if I utilize what you say to push my view of things.  So I won't do that.  I will say that having tents being recognized as part of speech is a major shift.

    Yes. Boulder is a bit of a different place.  And the occupy movment in Boulder has not been primarily young people in Boulder.  all age groups have been fully represented as well as diverse perspectives. 

    I don't feel the need to defend this movement.  I don't believe for a minute that we can make the changes we need to make without it.  I think we also need the other aspect of people focuses specifically on amending the constitution.  However since this movement started there are even more 'different' groups working to amend the constitution for the same reasons.   This presents a problem for those thinking that's the way change will happen too.  The occupy movement is in its infancy in my view. We have a lot to change so this movement is different than those of the past.  We don't have one thing we can say needs to change... there are too many.. systems need to change.  In my view we start with the steps that help us reclaim out political power and work from there.

    At the same time I am trying to bring in solution energy via speakers etc. like Bernard Lietaer who was able to offer simple examples of how cities, counties etc. can work  with alternative currencies to address their challenges.  The co-author of his recent book is coming to talk to us in January and I think a movement to create an alternate currency in Boulder may get generated out of bringing these speakers forward. 

    Things are a big mess... time to fingerpaint .. No easy answers.   What does the world, country, state, community you want to live in look like?  What can I practically do to affect that change?  That's where we are...   its very messy.  all of the regular dynamics of our humanity are not disappearing while we do this.  I just believe that we can affect change together if we keep working at it and have the patience not to give up too soon.

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