Archive for Observing OWS

Moccupy!

I shot a quick documentary from my cellphone on the night of December the 8th. It’s about 8 minutes long, and genius that I am, I had my phone oriented incorrectly so I had to rotate the footage, resulting in a restricted viewing window. Limitations aside, it came out alright. It was really a fun night, a win against a likely negative portrayal of OWS. I’ll do a roundup of footage and press, for now, here’s the nyt on the event.

 

 

Introduction, Part 1 of 3

Greetings!

My name is Felipe T Ribeiro, I am a part time (but full hearted!) Occupy Wall Street supporter. I’ve been active in the Internet Working Group at the NYCGA (NYC General Assembly), acting as a proponent of documenting extensively what is happening “behind the scenes” [1] at Occupy Wall Street. I say part time because I have my share of the rent to pay which means I can’t abandon my work (I work as a freelance art handler in NYC, mostly for private clients, but occasionally for galleries when my bank account drops below my age). To give you a sense of my level of participation, I’ve only attended six meetings – two for the FLO (Free/Libre/Open Source Solutions working group), two for the IWG (Internet Working Group) [2],  and two General Assemblies, so although I am sympathetic to and aligned with the OWS movement (even at this undefined stage), out of respect for the people currently freezing their asses off in open spaces around the country (the world?) as I type this from the comfort of my bedroom, I can’t call myself an Occupier. 

And that’s what this website is about – my observations about the effort to get the massive numbers of people who support the movement involved (but aren’t going to their closest occupation location for any number of reasons). Since I’ve become involved with OWS, I’ve learned that collaboration is actually not simple to accomplish in a productive fashion. And while it is uplifting and encouraging to have sudden influxes of people who want to get involved and help out in some way, it’s actually pretty difficult to harness this energy when the infrastructure to do so is still being coordinated and implemented.

At any rate, I met up with the internet working group right away and proceeded to assimilate what step they were at in terms of building up a platform to extend and leverage their support base online. It was hectic, there were many bright, enthusiastic people but it became apparent that the big drawback to leaderless organizing and organizations is the lack of continuity – significant time is spent getting newcomers up to speed and familiar with what is happening, while those who were involved with a particular project channel their energies elsewhere.

Oops, I’m breaking my own rule – I want to keep each post to about 500 words. So I’ll end here, but my next post will be a bit more about my plans for this website – it’s got a separate forum and an attached wiki. Both are pretty much playgrounds for ideas, pretty bare at the moment. So here are the links:

Main site: www.weoccupy.in

Forum: www.weoccupy.in/upinhere

Wiki: www.weoccupy.in/thiswiki

Thanks for reading!

Felipe

[1] I use the term “behind the scenes” in quotes because, by the criteria that matters most – intention – there IS no “behind the scenes”. In other words, there is every intention for full disclosure, total transparency, and real time documentation, as much as is humanly practical, given the nature of the movement.

[2] On the evening of the impending Bloomberg showdown, (the night of the 13th to the 14th of October), I went to sleep with a sinking feeling, sad that the occupation was going to get violently displaced. Did I post about their plight online? yes. Did I encourage folks to call the city at 311? yes. Did I go down to the park that night or early the next morning like they asked? No. I only live about a 45 subway ride away, 35 minutes by bike. I could have, but I didn’t. Will I regret this for a long time? yup.