The Occupy and Transition Movements


Many Quakers (and others) have been inspired by the nonviolent, but persecuted “speak truth to power” protests of the Occupy Movement. There is now even an active Facebook group called Occupy Quakers with 474 participants from all over the country that share the Movement’s aspirations to take back our democracy and build a new economy. But, what relationship does the Transition Movement, which often says it is” more like a block party than a protest,” have with the Occupy Movement? The answer is a supportive one, even though there are some differences in orientation between the two movements.

Check out this information complied by Transition US:

Like our friends at Transition Voice and Yes Magazine have written, there are many things you can do to be part of this growing movement—and only some of them involve sleeping outside.

In many Occupy gatherings in cities across the country, people are gathering for teach-ins and sharing skills to build this movement. Here is a digest of some of the articles and resources that we’ve found insightful in thinking about how we can be bold in our next steps and combine our Transition thinking with this new surge of momentum around change. Consider this a virtual, self-guided teach-in that starts now! (And by all means, post a comment below to add to this list)

Richard Heinberg and Helena Norberg-Hodge Discuss the End of Growth

Must the economy always grow? At what societal, personal, and planetary cost? Orion hosted a live discussion on the end of economics as we know it with Richard Heinberg, author of The End of Growth, and Helena Norberg-Hodge, whose film The Economics of Happiness explores the costs and alternatives to perpetual growth. During this hour-long dialogue ranging from Occupy Wall Street to climate change, our guests shared ideas, resources, and answered listener questions.

Wall Street Occupiers: 10 Ways to Support the Occupy Movement
By Sarah van Gelder October 18, 2011

As the Occupy Wall Street movement continues to spread with more than 1,500 sites around the world, we’re seeing more and more people are speaking up for a society that works for the 99 percent, not just the 1 percent. In this article Sarah van Gelder of the YES! Magazine staff lay out 10 recommendations for ways to build the power and momentum of this movement. Only two of them involve sleeping outside.

Occupy Wall Street: The Most Important Thing in the World Now?
by Naomi Klein, Published on Friday, October 7, 2011 by The Occupied Wall Street Journal

“We have picked a fight with the most powerful economic and political forces on the planet. That’s frightening. And as this movement grows from strength to strength, it will get more frightening. Always be aware that there will be a temptation to shift to smaller targets—like, say, the person sitting next to you at this meeting. After all, that is a battle that’s easier to win… Let’s treat this beautiful movement as if it is most important thing in the world. Because it is. It really is.”

Turning Occupation into Lasting Change
Can the Occupy movement transform the legal structures that give corporations their power over the rest of us?
by Thomas Linzey, Jeff Reifman, posted Oct 14, 2011 at Yes Magazine

“Mainstream progressive groups have failed by constraining their activities within legal and regulatory systems purposefully structured to subordinate communities to corporate power. Transformative movements don’t operate that way. Abolitionists never sought to regulate the slave trade; they sought freedom and rights for slaves. Suffragists didn’t seek concessions but demanded the right for all women to vote. The Occupy movement must begin to use lawmaking activities in cities and towns to build a new legal structure of rights that empowers community majorities over corporate minorities, rather than the other way around.”

Consensus Oriented Decision-Making Webinar
by Tim Hartnett

A new model for facilitating group decision making is now available. The seven steps of the CODM process offer groups a way to reap the benefits of a participatory, collaborative process while maintaining clear and efficient progress toward final decisions. This new model marries the dual goals of generating widespread agreement and keeping meetings enjoyable and productive. After decades of experience using traditional consensus models, Tim Hartnett, PhD developed the CODM model by combining best practices from the fields of Group Facilitation, Conflict Resolution, and Non-Violent Communication. Described in the recently released book form New Society Publishers, CODM is flexible enough to be used by large or small groups with close-knit or diverse memberships.

Open letter to the 99 percent
By Steven Liaros October 21, 2011 at Transition Voice

“Build your world from the bottom up. Build a small self-sufficient and democratic community and then another and another. And then connect these with social networking tools. Yours can be different to all previous revolutions because for the first time in human history, we can create communities first before even considering building the physical city. We can organize communities online. Form a group, or circle or network online with the people you get along with. Document your agreements and store them in a shared location. Work out what your needs are: food, housing, clothing, healthcare, IT needs, whatever, and decide who in the group will provide them. You are forming a team, a team of complementary players that collectively can satisfy everyone’s needs. You won’t be fully self-sufficient but strive towards self-sufficiency, at least for your basic needs. Have a look at Mother Earth News for heaps of ideas about how to be more self-sufficient.”

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2 Comments on “The Occupy and Transition Movements”

  1. megkidd says:

    Another tremendous resource is the Edible Forest Garden by Dave Jacke – http://www.edibleforestgardens.com/
    Dave gives workshops on rural, urban and suburban development of self-sustaining edible forest gardens for NE biomes. The books written by Jacke provide encyclopedic reference source for this alternative

    • stevechase says:

      Thanks for this resource recommendation, Meg. I’ve attended a couple of Dave’s talks at the Keene Public Library and I was very impressed. My partner Katy is a trained Permaculture practitioner and she has both volumes of Dave’s books–and thinks they are great?

      What are some other resources about either the Occupy or Transition Movements’ concerns?


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