Back from the biggest #OccupyMaine GA yet!

First, an update on the whole "permit" debacle/miscommunication - if the Occupy folks are able to verify independently what I reported in my previous post, then they say there is no issue between them and the city. And they asked me to stress in my writing that the Occupy people are very grateful for the city's cooperation, including the police, fire, and parks and recreation departments. (An aside here: the city says Occupy should call them; Occupy says the city should make the call to resolve issues. Can someone please drop the ego and get some conversation going between these groups, so lawyers don't end up writing letters to each other from now until the end of time?)

Next, highlights from the GA:

The Southern Maine Labor Council, representing 7000 unionized workers in Southern Maine, last night passed a resolution supporting the Occupy movement, according to an SMLC delegate who made the announcement to loud cheers at tonight's General Assembly. "I'm looking forward to us turning out a lot more people," SMLC delegate John Newton told the crew of nearly 30.

A daily schedule is emerging, with facilitator training happening in Monument Square daily at 5:30 pm, and the GA at 6 pm. For tomorrow, Saturday, and Sunday, there will be yoga at 10 am. Marches are slated to happen Saturdays at 3 pm. There will also be some events on Columbus Day, including a family-style event with face-painting for kids, as well as a teach-in, where people express why they are part of the 99 percent.

On First Friday, there will be something going on at the Occupy area of Monument Square - artists, bands, something else.

The cold is a danger, said medical team member Demi Colby. "It's okay to be warm," she said. "It's okay to ask a neighbor to share a tent. It's okay to get naked with your neighbor if you have to stay warm."

Some people are concerned that the movement's message is too unstructured to attract attention; others think its broad scope is part of its strength. The media team wants to be involved in interviews with movement members - "We're not going to tell you what to say. We would like to have someone from media with you when you talk to the media," said the media team's announcer tonight.

Donations requested: money (a generator's going to cost $150; the rental van for storing activists' stuff is $107 for three days); a laptop, webcams, a WiFi hot-spot, and batteries for electronic devices.

There's a library at Spartan Grill now with two shelves of materials relating to the occupation and its issues. There will also be a virtual library online.

The group will be posting flyers on bulletin boards around the city, and handing out materials during First Friday.

Interesting quotes from the speakers at the GA:

"There's more than one thing to be pissed off about in the world."

"There is something to be said for toeing the party line."

"It (drumming past 8 pm) could be hurting the businesses, which is the last thing we're here to do."

"Have an opinion that you can solidly state about what brings you here."

"Fuck the press."

(Let it be said that the Phoenix could, at times, use a good fucking!)


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