Thoughts about a recent OD Update blog post

Here are some random thought fragments about the recent OD blog post Update:  the State of our Occupation.

Your first destination should be our Welcome Tent

Well, it would be if I knew were it was.  I’ve been onsite twice, approaching from two different angles.  I didn’t have my binos out but I didn’t see anything that was obviously a Welcome Tent.   I’ve not been told (recently) that I am excessively stupid but maybe I was just off my geospatial game.

In both cases I ended up heading to the largest group of folks and getting info from them on who should take the supplies I brought.

New groups form and merge almost on a daily basis!

Interesting.  I like this fluid, pragmatic, “loosely coupled” idea.  It works for open source software;  perhaps it works for open source orgs as well…

There are no unemployed in our camp. Everyone has an occupation.

An interesting development.   Reminds me (in a good way) of Skinner’s Walden Two.

All current members of Occupy Dallas are being asked to register with our Welcome Tent as well. Along with which group(s) they currently work with, they’ll be asked to indicate which tent they currently occupy. Each tent is numbered so we can quickly locate people and also so we can keep track of when there are vacancies in donated tents.

This weirds me out a bit.  I’m not a camper there, but I think a better (ie, more private but still effective) scenario would be based on something like cellphone number or small subgroups;  let’s call them hamlets for our purposes.  A hamlet could be a small grouping of tents where folks know each other well.   “I’m fratermus and I’m camping in the Joyful Tofu hamlet” or whatever.

In regards to donated materials, we do not take the misuse of it lightly. All food that is donated is kept and prepared off-site. The quality of our meals has improved drastically due to this and has been unanimously applauded. Snacks are generally provided throughout the day and we are also fed delicious vegan-friendly cuisine almost daily by the Hare Krishna.

Hmm.  Several thoughts.

I’d put the “misuse” phrase more directly and positively;  say what you want rather than what you don’t want.

I find the offsite food prep a bit of a letdown.  Seems to me that communal cooking is central to any guerrilla community.  Taking the prep offsite may hide the symptom (food, uhh, “shrinkage” as they say) but it does not address the underlying problem.  I’d rather see a Quartermaster committee rather than give up an important part of the human experience.

Several members of our occupation are members of the homeless community, including one of our workgroup liaisons.

Good to hear.  Seems that OD is shouldering more of it’s fair share of informal social service provision, but I think the approach is correct and productive.

And from the comment section:

I finally start hearing some stuff on the radio about it and it’s all about how the camp site is a haven for criminals and the homeless.

I find it sweetly amusing that a group of people* roughing it in public and not particularly averse to bending or breaking the law** is indignant about “criminals” and “the homeless”.    The phrase protests too much comes to mind.  Yes, there are challenges.  But they are qualitatively the same kind of challenges Occupy presents to the City.  You could think of these folks as a meta-Occupy group:  Occupy Occupy, so to speak.

* I know, it’s one commenter, not the group

** particularly law considered unreasonable or unjust

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