Use Hospitality, Arts, Crafts and Performances To Engage Londoners:

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Re: Use Hospitality, Arts, Crafts and Performances To Engage Londoners:

Post  Michael_Donnely on Wed Nov 02, 2011 2:51 am

‎"your social movement can only be as good as its hospitality"----- be "hospitable" (welcoming, friendly, tolerant, accommodating, outreaching) to fellow Londoners, so that Occupy will not only be a democratic forum for those already involved or for those who would usually likely be involved, but also for the entire London community.

Democracy is what will transform the life of this entire community.

Michael_Donnely

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Re: Use Hospitality, Arts, Crafts and Performances To Engage Londoners:

Post  Michael_Donnely on Wed Nov 02, 2011 2:39 am

Suggestions:

Topics:

1) CIRCLES-driven growth as a complement to COMMITTEES-based agenda setting

2) OCCUPY INDUSTRIES to generate locally- and ethically-conscious values and their exchanges in an alternative economy

3) OCCUPY FUNDRAISERS through local music and arts scene on a regular basis

==============================

Furthering:

1) CIRCLES-driven growth as a complement to COMMITTEES-based agenda setting

* It is recognized that OCCUPY has provided an unprecedented citizens' democratic forum for networking, and training in democratic participation. Such a forum can only thrive, through two processes: external exposure, and localization.

Through its external exposure to the immediate surroundings of London Community, engaging all segments of London society in interaction with the usual activists segment, fresh inputs will be constantly breathed into this forum. And through its global connections, especially with the hotspots of criticism against globalization in Europe, the US, and the Middle East, this forum broadens its scope and enlivens the topics of its discourses.

But on the other hand, this democratic forum resists standardization, hypnotism, and autopilotization by structures, agendas transmitted through a top-down medium. It is only by grounding its understanding of globalization on issues of local relevance and local sensitivity, relying on the vibrant participation of the diverse segments of the local society, that Occupy London ON becomes truly relevant to London Ontario.

This is the reason why Circles-Driven Growth is ever more important in filling in the structures created by elements that are similar North America-wide or world-wide, namely, the GA and the Committees, so that such structures may be given life with local relevance, and help OCCUPY grow as a local movement that is globally connected, but is not conditioned by a hierarchy of geography, and is not detached from the spontaneity and autonomy of the local dynamics of London ON.

====

So, why "Circles" instead of "Committees"?

First of all, Committees have been doing great job throughout all the cities occupied.

However, when new ideas come up from new leaders who have ample ideas to offer, the nomenclature of things, should ideally become more evolved and more creative.

So, ideas that seek to engage people in further education, or further creativity, or further engagement in critical discussions, when confined in the original model of "committees", will compromise their potentials.

Committees, inevitably, are appointed/voluntary/elected representative bodies. "To commit" means to make distinctions (and yes, exclusions) between members in terms of functions, responsibilities, privileges. In many areas, it is necessarily so. I would only trust, for example, volunteers in security, who are "committed".

However, in other areas, having a wall that separates privilage and non-privilage, responsibility and non-responsibility, may not be as effective. For example, if there is a drive to spread hospitality, or to engage all who participate in artistic creations, then, forming "hospitality committees" or "committed artists responsible for commissioned art", would eventually lead to stagnant performance.

A "CIRCLE", on the other hand, is an association of volunteers. In fact, "appointing" or "electing" becomes entirely irrelevant. "Circles" can only be formed of volunteers. But it does not necessarily exclude. It doesn't need "exclusive club membership". "Circle membership" can be inclusive as well as exclusive. And it does not optimize a limit. There is a point that a "committee" becomes overstaffed, and those trusted with responsibility become redundant. There is never such a problem with the size of a Circle. A circle, when driving all who are present to participate, knows no limit. And when it lacks appeals to potential participants, it will naturally dwindle in the size of its volunteers. And volunteers who have lapsed from participation, never get stuck with a responsibility that they don't know how to take up creatively.

Therefore, those who are actively involved, if a circle is indeed successful, must necessarily be volunteers who can actually keep it going creatively.

Next topic is directly related to this one: that of OCCUPY INDUSTRIES. It talks about mobilizing the Industrious and Entreprising spirit of citizens of OCCUPY, to create a new culture, and potentially model of a new economy:

=======

2) OCCUPY INDUSTRIES to generate locally- and ethically-conscious values and their exchanges in an alternative economy

OCCUPY is concerned with the destruction of local economy, a healthy culture and sustainable lifestyles by rampant consumerism.

It is not that conscientious people should not consume, but that they should consume with their conscience in mind. And if this system doesn't allow them to do so, they must come up with an alternative economy and culture of living, in order to do so.

Our local community is industrious, entreprising, and artistically creative. We can generate VALUE by making products that our livelihood and our lifestyles depend upon.

Food is a product. Health, medicinal and hygene products are products. Arts and crafts are products. Clothings are products. And winter survival gears are products.

We don't have to rely on big box stores for these products. And we don't need to rely on the legal tender as the currency for their exchange, if we form a community that is relatively self-suffient in sourcing our creativity, productivity and demands.

Of course at this stage, we can only toy with limited models, make mistakes, learn lessons, and set up showcasing examples that are not necessarily superior. But they will be the fruit of our own labour nonetheless, and they will mean a lot for the new culture that we are building.

If you are talented in jewelry-making, soap-making, or are good at home-baking, knitting, form CIRCLES! Don't be subjected to a "INDUSTRIES COMMITTEE" that might stifle the spontaneity, and become mired in the lack of imagination.

Form CIRCLES because circles are not committees. You don't need permission to create, produce, and exchange your values, goods, service and talents. You believe in the spirit and you get involved. There is no hierarchical power or privilege that can say: "I confer you this right or I don't condone your creativity." And, nobody deserves to be put in a position to have such control.

In a circle, ideas can be brainstormed, borrowed, modified, and can be vibrant. You don't submit these idea to a "publisher". You do it yourself, or collaborate with people who you love working with.

And, make soaps, make jewelrie, make blankets and hats. Make products and delivery services. And then what? And you advertise them and trade them.

Of course you can trade them for cash. But what is more meaningful? You barter them. Or you trade them for a new alternative currency. I've already talked about using coloured rubber/plastic bracelets as a new alternative currency. If it's a silly idea at least it is a mistake worth making. We will learn through these different endeavors, how to create an alternative model for a new economy, and a new culture

Michael_Donnely

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Use Hospitality, Arts, Crafts and Performances To Engage Londoners:

Post  Michael_Donnely on Wed Nov 02, 2011 2:38 am


Yes there should be "hospitality" that reaches out from Occupy to the general London Community so that they will feel that "it's not just THEIR thing, it's also OUR thing."

"Hospitality" doesn't necessarily mean enthusiastic recruitement in the same way a church "welcomes" new converts.

Nor does it necessarily mean heavy subjects that may speak over the head of some city folks, or may seem condescending or confrontational to others.

There is a necessity to engage in discussions and debates, but, what really makes people feel "welcoming", is what welcomes them to participate, while offguard, and be a goodsport, and unaware of distinctions of power, privilege, opinion, etc.

What I mean is: Arts, Crafts, Performances, Games... and simple Hospitality.

These things can already introduce people into a paradigm that will take them away from consumerism. It is a new culture anyways. And it doesn't have to start with the Negative. it can always start with the Positive, or friendly aspects of it.

So, sometimes INVITING is more effective than preaching.

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