When I started planning this trip, I had no idea what I was doing, all I knew was that I wanted to see these movements for myself.
After the initial planning stages, I began to think about what I actually wanted to learn from this trip. I am a writer and a journalist, so naturally, I wanted to gather information and disseminate it. Therein I found my purpose.
This trip is meant to gather information from different occupations and share it with the other occupations I travel to. Of course, all this is in the hopes of creating a central place people can use to find information they want to know, but cannot get elsewhere.
It is this purpose that has given me renewed hope in my profession.
Since the first day of my trip (all those many hours ago ;), I was greeted and thanked for what I am doing. And to be honest, people told me what I was doing was important even before I left, but I never really believed it.
I am not trying to inflate my own ego, but the implications really hadn’t hit me yet. It was not until I reached my second meeting today in Portland that the significance became clear.
In the second floor conference room of a battered old church on Portland’s East Bank, I stood in a group of my elders, one of them a media broadcasting professional, and was repeatedly thanked for my contributions to the group and the work I was doing.
Though I could not fathom it at first, probably because it was always what I intended to do, but not many people have been coming through the different Occupations with the same intentions as I have Some do travel through but it is rare that they actually bring different documents and share the information they have come across. This is not to say that no one has, but it has been rare.
Information is vital to this movement. With each location operating autonomously, the different Occupations are at a loss for current information. Media teams are scarce and breaking down. This means people are losing their connections to other movements.
By researching which issues people actually care about, by talking to them directly, I am giving them a voice. An avenue to vent their frustrations to someone willing to listen. Someone who will not just listen, but research, explore, and eventually come back to them with an expanded view on what the want to know.
And it is more than that, because with each new occupation I visit, I bring unity. Solidarity. Hope.
I am letting the Occupiers know that they are not alone. Far from it. I am letting them know that this movement is still growing, evolving, solidifying in the minds of their fellow citizens. It is quickly moving past the fringe movement it began as.
This is a populus movement. I’ve met people of all races, gender identities, religions, socio-econominc standings. It’s been an eye opening experience even thus far.
People are coming together in ways they have not since the major movements of the 60s and 70s. By connecting those people through my reporting I am allowing them an avenue into the worlds they rarely see.
It is one thing to read the events and manifests on the different websites, but entirely another to hear it first hand from those who have visited these sites and talked with the individuals there.
My purpose was always to share information. What I did not realize was just how important that is to people. Especially information they really cannot get any other way.
Many people are so focused locally they don’t really have time to explore other movements. No one has yet created a clearinghouse for the movement. The autonomy has led to isolation between movements.
There definitely are cooperation and coordination efforts, but not nearly on the scale they need to be. If this movement is to continue, to grow, to thrive, it must address these media concerns and start coordination not just its efforts, but its information as well.
It is amazing to me what a few minutes with a feather will do for people. I was able to share what I had learned in my short time on the road and enlighten an entire room of people as to what is going on beyond their bubble.
If more people take the initiative to share information, to host each others live streams (which is already starting to happen) then the consciousness will grow and things will progress, but not until then.
My purpose is to share information. The important thing is that I stay true to that. So far the depth of my posts has been lacking. I promise to do better. Believe me, I have notes enough to fill the rest of my career already.
Stay on top of Serious Note if you would like to learn more about the issues surrounding this movement and the reason for such widespread frustrations. Those are the things I am noting, analyzing, meditating on. I will be posting them shortly. That much I promise.
Until then I will continue with my purpose, my reason for leaving home in the middle of winter for a sleeping bag on a city street, because I believe in information and I believe in sharing it.