Occupy Honolulu

Posted on October 8, 2011


Today was the first general assembly.  There were more people than I had expected.. activism in Hawaii, from what I have seen in my brief time here, barely exists.  So this was very encouraging.  For all the people who want to know what all this “occupy” stuff is all about.. just go to a general assembly.  They’re happening all over the United States.  I don’t think you can understand really what it’s all about unless you see and feel it for yourself.  My thoughts from today are jumbled, i’m still processing, but one thing I want to share is my discomfort.  I’m a 100% believer in consensus-driven action, dialogue, all of that.  And yet today, during the general assembly, I realized just how messy of a process it is, and I felt somewhat anxious for a second.  Luckily I am able to take a step back and realize that it’s a supposed to be that way.  When you have a group of 50 or so completely individual people who haven’t met each other before, come from a number of social locations and histories and perspectives, it’s not going to be neat and tidy.  And I think that’s why so many people have an issue with the lack of a consolidated message.  You can’t come up with a message until you go through this process unless you want to silence people and operate outside of consensus.  Everyone is not going to agree on all points, and it takes time and practice to give each other the space needed to disagree, respectfully of course, and massage out issues.  And these are some pretty big issues, emotionally charged issues.  It also can be hard, even for me, to be in a space where I have the ability to voice an opinion and be heard by such a large group.  When you put something out there you have to be ready for people to disagree, and that can be a little anxiety ridden. I stayed silent today, and that bothered me.  I’m not normally one to bite my tongue.  I realized though, that the way I operate is to build connections with individuals first and then speak to a lager crowd, and I”m glad I can recognize that now.  So that’s all I have to say for now.  I only took a few pictures but here they are: