Occupy National Gathering Proposal
Proposers: Nathan Kleinman & Larry Swetman (for the National Gathering Working Group, Occupy Philly)
On January 7, 2012, the Philadelphia General Assembly came to consensus on a proposal from the Philadelphia Committee of Correspondence to form a national working group dedicated to conceiving of, and implementing a strategy towards, a National Gathering of the Occupy Movement.1 This National Gathering Working Group (NGWG) has met seven times via conference call with people from across the country using the InterOccupy system to debate the merits and discuss the logistics of convening a mass convergence of the Movement in one place at one time.2 Participants have included Occupy activists from Sacramento, Philadelphia, Minneapolis, Asheville, Missoula, Phoenix, Las Vegas, New York City, Houston, Los Angeles, San Diego, Santa Cruz, Palo Alto, Denver, DC, Oakland, Albany, Schenectady, Delaware, Alabama, Chicago, Tampa, San Francisco, Boston, New Hampshire, and Kalamazoo, as well as Canada.
After several weeks discussing several locations, dates, and purposes we would like to submit the following proposal to General Assemblies across the Occupy Movement for general ratification:
We, the National Gathering Working Group (NGWG), propose a National Gathering of the Occupy Movement on July 4, 2012 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania at Independence Mall in order to collectively craft a Vision for a Democratic Future. We further propose that our convergence begin on June 30, 2012 for four days of community and Movement building exercises including speakers, teach-ins, and free-flowing open discussion at a location to be
determined by the Philadelphia General Assembly. To facilitate the visioning process we also propose the use of the attached
“National Gathering Visioning Process Proposal” which utilizes a small network model of communication to organically produce a vision statement of all those in attendance. We also encourage the creation of local or national processes by which movement resources could be directed towards funding travel for active movement participants who otherwise would not be able to attend. We fully understand that no single gathering can be representative of our entire movement, but we cannot ignore the value derived from face-to-face contact. We recognize that attending in person will be challenging or impossible for many, so we also commit to pursuing an online component through which anyone can participate via the Internet.
In keeping with principles of the Occupy Movement, the NGWG will continue planning this gathering only if this proposal is ratified by a preponderance of General Assemblies from across the Movement. We are committed to operating in an open, inclusive, and transparent way. Therefore, all planning will be done via direct democratic conference calls through the InterOccupy system. We convene every Tuesday at 9PM EST/6 PM PST.3 All are welcome to participate. We endeavor to convene an historic gathering that will require a great deal of organization, so we invite participants from every Assembly to join us in the planning and facilitation of this effort.
We have included a copy of the process proposal that outlines how to effectively and efficiently produce a collectively written document. By utilizing this small network, consensus-based model, we will work together to produce a vision for the future. We will also prove, through the entire process leading up to July 4th, that our movement is capable of coordinating mass action and collaborating on a broad scale, while still holding fast to our principles. In many ways, the process is more important than the gathering itself.
This Movement will always live primarily at the local level, but every great Movement should have the chance to gather en masse as a demonstration of solidarity and strength. A National Gathering of the movement will provide such a demonstration. At this pivotal stage in human history, we feel we owe nothing less than a beautiful expression of our collective will to an anxious world grasping for reasons to hope again.
Once your Assembly has considered this proposal please email your decision to NationalGathering@gmail.com. For media purposes please feel free to utilize @OccupyNG and #NationalGathering for social media coordination. Updates will be posted to InterOccupy.org and OccupyNationalGathering.com.