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Occupy wall street- learn more

October 24, 2011

Occupy Wall Street has captured people’s imagination worldwide and now questions are starting to be asked about the movement’s objectives and future.

If you happen to be in NYC this Wednesday evening, you have a chance to meet some of the people involved in OWS, hear their perspective and ask some questions of your own.

The event is being hosted by Lucid-NYC and takes place at Drom -7.30pm on Wednesday night- October 26th.

Peter Gallo is one of the people behind Lucid’s event and via email I got to ask him a few questions about OWS and who he’s found to come and talk.

What inspired you to find OWS people?

Over the course of the past year, people across the globe have been joining forces and standing up to voice that they are not happy– from the Arab Spring to the widespread riots in China. Finally, it’s happening in our own country.  Bit by bit, everyday Americans are coming to the conclusion that we’ve grown complacent, and realizing that maybe we’re not being treated as equally as we think. What drew me in initially was campaign finance reform, which from what I can tell is the main cause for the majority of the people who’ve latched on to the occupation.

What did you learn when you spent time in the park ?

My first time in the park was on day 3 of the occupation. I saw about 200 or so people milling around, sleeping in piles of cardboard with various signs promoting a slew of causes, most regarding campaign finance reform and bringing back Glass-Steagall.

On day 3, I remember my friends and I declared that the occupation wouldn’t last a week. They didn’t have enough people. They had no organization. They were just another cluster of dirty hipsters, hippies, etc…

Here we are on day 38, and they’re still going strong. They’ve built up  a kitchen, a medical ward, a massive library where they screen silent films. They’ve got over 40 different committees called “working groups”, each in charge of their own specialty, e.g. Comfort, Coaching, Finance, Facilitation, Security, Medicine, Food, Internet, the list goes on– All of this achieved with direct democracy. They’ve also collected over $500,000 in donations to further their cause.

The process by which decisions are made is called the general assembly, where one by one people present ideas or solutions to problems, and then the group as a whole votes using hand symbols. It’s quite a remarkable process, though rather long-winded and painstakingly bureaucratic.

Overall, I’d say what I learned is that no matter what political reasoning, these people are dedicated to holding Zuccotti park. They’ve managed to organize surprisingly well considering they’ve been sleeping outside, through rain and cold.

What surprised you?

I was surprised by how transparent they entire process is. 300+ people really can gather in a circle and make complex decisions together– it just takes a *long* time. It’s also amazing how single-minded everyone is in regards to the rules of the park as set forth by the general assembly– it’s a sober occupation, and stay off the flowers.

Who did you invite to Lucid-NYC?

Who I invited may be a little different than who shows up, but we’ll see.

We’ve spoken with Ted Hall, a man with a stunning collection of multicolored hats and tights who’s become one of the louder voices of the movement. He’s been involved since the beginning and everyone at the occupation knows him. It’s looking like he’s going to make it to the panel. you can learn more about Ted here.

We definitely have two or so representatives from Anonymous. One of these guys works in anti-security, but digitally and physically, as in, he is paid to break into buildings and compromise high-end security systems. Apparently, as he became more and more involved in the occupation via Anonymous, he started to lose clients.

Also confirmed, we have this great guy from the Security working group by the name of Fetzer Mills. He flew up to NYC from Lauderdale County Tennessee after seeing the 700 protestors get arrested crossing the Brooklyn Bridge and plans to see the occupation through its the end. As part of the Security team, Fetzer works to prevent theft, break up any internal fights, and generally keep the occupiers safe.

We’re going to have a representative from the Occupy Wall Street media team– the guys running the live stream. They’ve really become the outward pulse of the movement, at any given time there are usually thousands watching.

I’ve invited a young gentlemen who I only know by the name of Joe Subverzo. Joe works on the technological side for a large financial institution that shall remain unnamed. He’s been at the protests since day 1. (Through Joe we’ve also invited Biella Coleman, a professor of Media, Culture, and Communication from NYU., but this is totally unconfirmed)

I’ve invited Chris Savvinidis, the young, well-spoken libertarian from this video, but I don’t think he’s going to make it. He’s been a tough one to track down.

We’ve also been trying to find people who work for major finance corporations to come talk to us. It’s been exceedingly difficult, most people I’ve contacted either refuse to get back to me or don’t want to speak publicly for fear of backlash from their employer.

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