We gather again!
For the third year, the Occupy movement
invites all to gather together to review the year, share knowledge and skills,
celebrate successes and analyze disappointments, and prepare for another year of
fighting for the better world that we all know is possible.
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From Philadelphia in 2012 to Kalamazoo last
summer, and this year in Sacramento (July 31 through August
3), Occupy has been heading west, bringing its hopeful, resistant
message. We are the 99% -- so we say, but are we really?
On July 30, the day before the gathering, independent yet
connected, there is an anti-racism training customized for the movement by the
Catalyst Project: Antiracism Training for
The training is designed
primarily for white folks, who often think that they are unaffected by white
privilege, that they are beyond the bigotry of past generations -- we may be
surprised at the unacknowledged baggage that we carry, and we are sure to look
at the world from a wider perspective after spending time together examining
things we rarely take the time to consider.
Special thanks to Delphine Brody for
honoring the undone business of Occupy National Gathering 2013, which never
quite pulled off a similar suggested training. Space for that is limited, so
e-mail us to sign up -- but the gathering itself will be held primarily on the
grounds of Capitol Park: north side Thursday and Sunday, west
side on Friday, so there is plenty of room for all!
Already confirmed are a panel discussion on
Environmental Justice, focusing on nuclear, water, and big oil, with a Native
American perspective: speakers include Chief Caleen Sisk and Moke Sisha, as well
as Faye Kennedy, John Kraintz, and Jan Rein; music by Fresh Juice Party; a
memorial for Occupyers lost this year, including Monique
Robinson; activist Darryl Cherney presenting the film Who Bombed
Judi Ban?; workshops by Alternatives to Violence; and much
Nancy Mancias will reprise her role from "NatGat2012", the first
Occupy National Gathering in Philadelphia, and again co-facilitate the
FemGA on Friday evening -- a general assembly facilitated from a feminist
perspective. There will be a giant puppet hands workshop by Sacramento's own
William Spirit, and a Debtors' Assembly led by Daniel Hong from Occupy Portland,
who organized the I-5 Caravan from the Cascades. In these days of government
overreach, there is also a Know Your Rights presentation by Claire White of the
National Lawyers' Guild.
For those who cannot attend in person, look for livestreaming. We have three confirmed streamers coming, including Patti Beers and Clark Sullivan, who
will be leading teach-ins for those who want to livestream their own
events. Punk Boy, the Los Angeles livestreamer whose radio
show recently included three Occupy National Gathering organizers, will also be
coming to the gathering.
There is also the possibility of a few sessions from
remote locations: Mark Taylor-Canfield, from Seattle, on Press Freedom In the
United States, and Jan Spencer, from Eugene, Oregon, on Suburban
Permaculture. The dream of the '50s and '60s has become the nightmare of the
'00s, but with planning we can reclaim the land and create
healthier, sustainable options.
Coming from East Oakland, California, is Pancho
Ramos-Stierle, speaking on Guerrilla Gardening, Occupy the Farm, and Disobeying
with Great Love.
The Occupy National Gathering begins with
a sunrise blessing
by William Underbaggage of the Inigendous Nations Network. There will be times for
skillshares, teach-ins, and topical discussions, created by Occupyers -- a
favorite of the first two gatherings; open space for
spontaneous discussion, artwork and activism. There will be speaker's corners, including
poetry and the spoken word.
A custom workshop will be held Friday
afternoon: Say It Loud! by the San
Francisco Mime Troupe (performing in Sacramento's Southside Park on Saturday and Sunday of Occupy National Gathering Week). Saturday night has time
to Step Up, Step Back -- Occupy facilitators will actively encourage those
who have not done public speaking before to find their voice and practice what
they've learned from the Mime Troupe.
From the Overpass Light Brigades to the
closing GA, there will be lots happening in Sacramento from July 31
through August 3 -- we are going back to our roots; we know that the
world is watching: This Occupation Is Not Leaving! Come join us!