Friday, December 23, 2011

remember the season and go contribute to your local occupation

Video - Occupy Albany march on governor's mansion.

FDL | Yesterday we published a list of 61 active occupation encampments across the country that are planning to be there through the winter. People were helpful in the comments in identifying and documenting 5 more:

We need a photo or video taken within the last week of an occupation showing the tents, or a link to a recent media report on the tent encampment in order to include them on the list.

On that list we did not include encampments with their status in flux, that are currently fighting the city’s attempt to evict them:

  1. Albany, NY
  2. Ashville, NC
  3. Eugene, OR
  4. Louisville, KY
  5. Portland ME
  6. San Antonio TX
  7. Santa Fe NM
  8. Tulsa OK
  9. Missoula MT

Eugene just got their eviction notice, so they move from yesterday’s list to this list. That brings the total number of encampments we’ve been able to document in the past week that are planning to be there through the winter to 65.

We hope that people in the communities where the occupations are threatened with eviction will make an extra effort to be supportive. A few people can make a difference if they’re willing to make their voices heard, and many have stepped in and been helpful in finding the occupiers other places to encamp. These encampments are doing some really great work (see Occupy Albany video above).

We keep this list up to date by staying in regular contact with FDL members who act as liaisons to over 70 occupations across the country, bringing them food and cold weather supplies. What we find is that many occupations decide to break up in the face of a city crackdown, and make the calculation that it will give them more time to engage in activism if they don’t have an encampment. This almost never happens.

As RF Shunt noted in his perceptive diary, the encampments serve as giant billboards and inspire everyone. They move local progressive groups to action and galvanize a community’s spirit, making them believe that change is possible. When the tent cities go away, many occupy groups still engage in really valuable and smart activism. But over time it’s a lot harder to keep people engaged, and as general assemblies move from location to location, many people drift away because they just don’t know where to go any more.

If you’ve got a local occupation with an encampment, please consider stopping by and lending your support. What the campers are doing out there gives hope to everyone. Often times I don’t think people realize how hard it is for them to do what they’re doing, or how important it is for all of us that they stay there. Which is why so much money is being spent to crush them.


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