By Jerry Waxman
Make it your motto day and night.
Experiment and it will lead you to the light.
The apple on the top of the tree is never too high to achieve,
So take an example from Eve, experiment.
A song by Cole Porter©
Chemistry lesson question: What happens when two or more distinctly different elements are placed together under the right conditions? Answer: Something else (a chemical reaction) emerges. Example: Water, which is the combination of two molecules of Hydrogen and one molecule of Oxygen. What’s happening at Occupy Orlando and in New York and everywhere else is an ongoing experiment in chemical and physical dynamics. There are no rules or guidelines other than what the General Assembly (GA) establishes by consensus vote. They have the benefit of 200 years of constitutional law, Robert’s Rules of Order, history of the Civil Rights movement, and instant communications with other GAs across the planet. They learn from each other and contribute to each other. Experiments rarely work properly the first time, so Occupy Orlando, as well as all the others, is a work in progress.
Call: MIKE CHECK! Response: MIKE CHECK! Message from Speaker repeated by crowd: It is now 10 O’clock. The solidarity march will start in one hour! The occupation participants must leave Senator Beth Johnson Park at 11:00 PM, the official closing time, but that’s not going to stop the demonstrations. The parade will march and the assembled will find other places to sleep and freshen up. Those who don’t want to sleep will stay on the sidewalks conducting business. The Orlando Police Department has been very cooperative and the GA will not do anything to antagonize them because progress is slowly being made. Earlier at 7:00 the GA met and adopted a list of proposals, all of which must be passes by consensus. Some passed and some did not and were tabled for future discussion. Since it was raining the meeting was held under the overhanging cover of the Chamber of Commerce building. To a casual observer it might have looked chaotic yet it was anything but that. This was the chemical experiment in process. This experiment had some very positive results and they will continue on for other experiments. Sheena Rolle of Organize Now explained “Putting so many diverse people together, most of whom have never met before two weeks ago and achieving reachable goals is a wonder in itself. This is a period where people, who have left their comfort zones, are learning how to work cooperatively, making new friendships, sizing each other up, learning that even though there is still a common purpose not everyone agrees on everything.” There is a chemical reaction happening and the results will eventually produce a synergy that has not been achieved before. People are learning the Democratic process step by painful step
“Yessir, I’m going to stay with the youngsters. When these get too old I’m going to get some younger ones…..keeps the mind active!”
Immortal jazz drummer Art Blakey was commenting on his first Jazz Messengers group in 1951. The group included future immortals Horace Silver, Clifford Brown, Lou Donaldson and Curley Russell, who were all in their early 20’s. Blakey was 32. Blakey was right. This movement, which includes all social strata, religions, income brackets and age categories, is still basically youth driven. They are the ones with the social media technical ability. The Media team tarp….er, I mean tent is a wonder. The team exhibits ingenuity that’s remarkable. They have a secret power source that’s fueling a half dozen laptops doing PR, Facebook updates, press releases and live streaming. As of yesterday they had seventeen legitimate news crews covering the occupation. The live stream went out to over 1700 people prior to 11:00. Like Blakey, I find their energy a wonder and it certainly keeps me occupied. We more mature folks are also an important part of the equation. We have acquired experiences and wisdom that are invaluable to these “kids” and we need to be there to guide them and mentor them.
Former Orange County Democratic Party Chairman, Doug Head, delivered a lecture on how to occupy a city or county commission meeting or how to attend an appointed board meeting and get their voices heard and how to demand transparency. Head should know; he’s been involved in the political process for a long time and at present he’s fighting for fair redistricting in the county, which affects every voter. There will be future speakers to advise on the political process, voter registration, working campaigns and getting involved, not merely protesting. One thing is for sure- when the old heads are gone there will be a smart, capable and future generation of activists to replace us.
At 9:00 PM the media station was a hotbed of activity. Live streaming, twittering, messaging and video editing. Dennis Maclaren was finishing a video he shot yesterday of Right Wing Tea Party operative Tom Trento. Trento had been caught in several lies when he was interviewed by a local TV station with MacLaren recording the whole interview. Trento had been caught previously sending in an agent provocateur red herring to cause trouble. He was put up at the Doubletree Hotel across the street and was found out by the Peace Keeping team. Between the team and the Orlando Police that was the end of that.
The cohesion is working. It’s not perfect yet and will likely continue to have its rough edges for a while, but in the end Occupy Orlando will bring people together, not split them apart
Wherever we go, whatever we do
We’re gonna go through it together
We may not go far, but sure as a star,
Wherever we are, it’s together.
Together, Wherever We Go©
A song from “Gypsy” by Jule Styne and Stephen Sondheim