A to Z Guide to Supporting Your Local "Occupation"

Posted by CODEPINK Staff

A to Z list of things you as a CODEPINKer can do at your local “Occupation”

A: Action(s) – Take part in a daily or weekly action at your local “Occupy.” March, stand in vigil with a sign, speak out in a rally, etc. Don’t forget to make it fun: sing, dance, start a rhythmic chant at a march, as Molly Ivins urged us to.

B: Bring Our War $$ Home – Take the anti-war message to your local occupation, it’s going to take all of us to end the US wars and occupations.

C: Consensus – The occupy movement operates on a consensus model that emphasizes participation and inclusion. Watch this video to learn how the consensus process works to become an active participant in your occupy community.

D: Donations – they are vital to keeping this street-based movement going. Melanie Butler, our OWS organizer, strongly suggests donating flashlights and walkie-talkies for women’s security at night. You can also check the website and/or Facebook page of your local “occupation” for what is needed.

E: Economics is key to this populist movement. Move your money to a local credit union or a small community bank to help change the corrupt banking system. Make it fun, take your friends and do it as an action, talk it up, share it on Facebook, tweet about it or post it on your blog.

F: Facebook – share information and news, post your photos and help promote events and speakers of interest at your local occupation.

G: General Assemblies – GAs, gathering where issues are discussed and proposals are voted on, are the heart of the Occupy movement. Some use “the people’s mic”, some a megaphone, and some a combination. Listen, speak out, express yourself using hand signals, pay attention to who is NOT speaking up (often women), encourage quiet people to speak up, and learn, as C.J. Minster to facilitate a GA.

H: Hand gestures –they are an essential part of GAs

I: Inspire! Tell your friends, family, and anyone you meet why you’re involved in the movement and encourage them to join you next time you visit your local occupation.

J: Join a working group, such as direct action or facilitation, to share and build your skills, and get to know people on a deeper level. You can also help create safe spaces for marginalized groups, such as discussion groups and meetings, and places for sleeping and using the bathroom.

K: Know your rights! Educate yourself with this resource guide for understanding your rights as a demonstrator before, during, and after you take action

L: Learn something new every time you go to an “occupation” – 10 new names, a new slogan, song lyrics, etc.

M: Make____Not War photos are a fun activity and a great way to meet folks and help them express themselves! Directions to participate in this artistic response to war.

N: Nonviolence is a shared ethic of the Occupy movement. Donate books or pamphlets on nonviolence history, theory and practice, including CODEPINK’s “Stop the Next War Now”. Have a conversation about what nonviolence means to you; practice and train others in non-violent ways of de-escalating potentially hostile situations.

O: Observe closely. What do you appreciate, and what could be improved? Share your observations in emails, posts to your Facebook wall and/or blog, tweets, personal conversations with other codepinkers.

P: Pies are a treat; make one using a recipe from “Peace Never Tasted So Sweet” and bring it to the “occupation”, or have a pie-baking party with your local group and then bring down a bunch of pies.

Q: Questions, especially open-ended ones, are a great way to start a conversation with “occupiers.” What brings you here? Which of the issues is the most urgent to you? What have you been doing today? And of course, be ready to answer questions as well.

R: Record your experiences – write a blogpost , a local action report & post photos on our flickr page.

S: “Step Up, Step Back”: Encourage those who talk a lot to say less, and those who don’t talk much to speak up. If you tend to dominate the conversation, consider stepping back to let others have the floor; if you tend to shy away from participating in discussions, step up to take the floor.

T: Tweet your thoughts and photos. Use @occupywallst, @womenows, @occupy[yourcity] & #ows, #globalrevolution.

U: Umbrellas are going to be needed more and more as we go into the winter. Take up a “collection” from friends, decorate them with slogans, and donate them.

V: Videotape women and girls at your local “occupation” asking them the simple question, “Why are you here?” Upload your video(s) to youtube and include them in your local action report. Lisa Savage got some really interesting answers, watch her video here and here.

W: Women’s presence and voices are needed in the Occupy movement! Encourage women you know to join the conversation and participate in a Women's group or start one. Call out sexism as necessary, and bring your womanly wisdom to the movement.

X: Xerox/photocopy flyers or other materials for your local Occupy folks.

Y: Youth – this movement is by you and for you. Encourage all the young people you know to join and lead in occupations, they are our future!

Z: Zero waste is what we are striving toward, help set up, and/or use the compost and recycle buckets.

Note: This list is based on actions that CODEPINKers from Augusta, Maine to Los Angeles, California have done or are doing!

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