Monday, October 24, 2011

When Minutes Take Hours: Thanks to the MinuteWomen and MinuteMen of #OWS

Putting Together Minutes Takes Hours
I was just reading the Occupy Wall Street minutes from the General Assembly meeting from October 21, and the first order of business dealt with the logistics of laundry. The truth of the matter is that the people "on the ground" in Zuccotti Park face daily logistics that most people have never had to deal with--like, say, $3,000 for laundry. That's when it occurred me that, "You know, it's soooo easy for people to criticize from the comfort of their offices or easy chairs. It's convenient to cast aspersions when you haven't uprooted your life and helped build an innovative, inclusive democracy in under a month without basic necessities, such as plumbing." And meanwhile, #OWS is remaining faithful to the ideal of maintaining full transparency, to the extent possible.

A Window into #OWS
There are so many people involved in the success of #OWS, but for a lot of people trying to find out what's happening, it's the rumor mill or waiting for dribs and drabs here and there. Since the minutes represent one of the only truly "official" sources of information, I wanted to take a quick moment to say how great it is to have such comprehensive minutes from the General Assembly. As a technical writer who has transcribed verbal text and typed it up on the fly, this ain't easy folks. It takes lots of time and it's a pretty thankless job. But it's transparency like this that will continue to bring people into the movement. And for those of us who have made the #OWS movement a big part of our daily lives, this kind of information keeps us connected--even if we can't be down there.
Laundry Logistics: Even revolutionaries
need clean clothes (Source: Flickr)

I also want people to know that what #OWS has put together is not a joke, and that this process--while not perfect (does perfect exist?)--is a far sight more inclusive and transparent than our "professionals in the US Congress" (a place where I worked for over 10 years a lifetime ago). The language of these minutes is clear, to the point, and you can't "revise and extend" entries, like they do with the incorrectly entitled Congressional Record.

So, my hat's off to the folks who take the notes and transcribe the minutes.  You can't see all the people supporting you, but we're out here.

Of Note...Oh, and a quick shout-out to Dicey Troop (@DiceyTroop) who works his Twitter magic at very high speed, as he grinds out live tweets during the nightly General Assemblies. Serious opposable thumb action.

Yours in solidarity.

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Donate. Do it...
Please consider a donation. #OWS can use all the help it can get. Have some shit you no longer need? Sell it and donate the proceeds. They're fighting for you, you should fight for them. More on this subject soon. The main donation page is, and includes the following:

You can also mail a check or money order to the Alliance for Global Justice.
Please indicate “Occupy Wall Street” in the memo line.
Alliance for Global Justice
1247 “E” Street, SE
Washington, DC 20003
Or CALL at 202-544-9355 to make a telephone donation.
The following donations are managed by some of our groups:
Donate yourself
Come to Liberty Plaza, formally Zuccotti Park. How to get there.
Liberty st and Broadway, Financial District, Manhattan, NY (map)

Donate Laundry and Shower

If you would like to donate the use of your laundry or shower facilities, please contact the Comfort Working Group.

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Our physical address

118A Fulton st #205
New York, NY, 10038
Non perishable, no checks (money orders okay) , any size package okay

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