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An Open Letter to @ArlettaQ #OPDX #OWS #PayItForward The problem is money. Go (cont.)

While the group gathered I walked around looking at new faces saying, "Welcome to Occupy. It's not a location, it's a state of mind. December 21st 2012, money, time and space are going away, so start preparing."

I told folks that "this Christmas wouldn't be so good, but next Christmas all the stores will be unlocked, and everyone will be able to go in and get what they need, but they won't take too much, because it would be silly to take more than you need to use."
(In reply to ArlettaQ)

An Open Letter to @ArlettaQ,

#OPDX #OWS #PayItForward #Anonymous #DEC212012 #Zeitgeist

The problem is money. Go back and read your entire twitlonger and notice how your entire life experience has been denominated by it. You can't measure the value of things with one number; it doesn't make any sense. In physics we use different units of measurement to define the world, but in economics we reduce everything all down to one number, money. That's why our economy is broken. Money is broken, but it's not just the paper currency but the idea of money. Money is an idea that isn't working for us any longer. We need to stop using money.

Several years ago I decided to stop using money. To do this I decided to start doing free DIY (do it yourself) projects. My first was a free garden. I posted an add on Craigslist asking for seeds and starts and got them. Next I decided to ask for a free bike and got four. I had stopped using my car and a friend asked me if he could use it and I said yes, giving him a free car. I asked if I could use his basement and he said yes, giving me a free space. I decided to stop buying stuff like clothes and just started getting them from free boxes (cardboard boxes of free stuff marked "FREE" that commonly litter the streets of East Portland.) I started getting my food from free porches (places where people take food salvaged from the waste stream.)

I was getting my needs met so I started volunteering for groups that meet the needs of others. First I started volunteering at a place called Bike Farm ( http://bikefarm.org.) At Bike Farm we teach people how to fix their own bikes, and you can buy a membership or volunteer in exchange for stand time and parts. Then I started volunteering for Food Not Bombs. Food Not Bombs takes donated food that would have otherwise gone into the waste stream and prepares healthy vegan meals for anyone who is hungry. At times I was giving extra food we didn't need to the free porch where before I was taking food from!

I enjoy writing and performing my own music. Each winter since living here in Portland I've helped organize music concert donation drives for supplies like sleeping bags, tarps, socks and clothing for the houseless, and helped distribute those supplies along with hot food from Food Not Bombs on the coldest nights. At least twice I've run into people who were severely unequipped for the conditions they were experiencing, and I don't know if they would have made it if they hadn't been found. It is a bad sign that such need exists, goes unmet, and most people don't want to see or talk about it.

I did all this without money. Of course some money was used to interface with the system when necessary, but no one ever paid me, yet I was still very happy and highly productive because my needs were being met. It is a lie to say people would be lazy without money. How many people do you know who are happy working jobs that pay very little, but are still rewarding, because they do the most important work in the world, taking care of other people? We all know lots of people who get up and go to work everyday, work hard, and for very little money. Lets drop that idea right now that we need money because people are lazy. People aren't lazy. People aren't getting their needs met, and are unhappy and unproductive because of it.

Back when I used to work for money I worked in IT (information technology) for the military industrial complex. The military industrial complex is an industry which combines the militaries of governments with weapons contractors to profit off of war. I worked for Gulfsteam Aerospace a subsidiary of General Dynamics, a federal military contractor. Gulfstream is the world leader in making private jets for the 1% and air taxis for CIA torture victims. I hated my job and had to get prescriptions for vallium, speed and Xanax just to function. I was a bad alcoholic. I was raped. I suffered from panic attacks and had two nervous breakdowns. Thankfully the real estate bubble burst causing the recession and I got laid off. I lost my condo, but I was actually happier not having to work for money to pay for it. I moved to Portland, Oregon to escape red state politics and started my DIY lifestyle, volunteering, and this is where I was just before the occupation when our great light of hope shined above the Willamette river.

On the day of the occupation I was just like everybody else, fed up with corporate greed controlling our lives and causing war and environmental destruction. I saw many other people I knew from my last two years in activism in Portland. I saw many people I had never seen before. I came prepared to spend the night with a large poncho and moving blanket, first aid kit, and supplies for washing out tear gas and mace from people's eyes; but nothing of that sort ever happened. Mayor Sam Adams marched with the 99%. The police provided for our safety. We rallied in Pioneer Square and the surrounding streets. We occupied Chapman and Lownsdale Squares and even Main Street. We hung a flag for our Cascadia bio-region and served Food Not Bombs on "The Promised Land". We had GA (general assembly) at the elk on Main Street. We cooperated with the Portland Marathon so they could use the space too. We broke into caucasus on the grass in Lownsdale square to discuss our occupation. Some of the faces were new, but many I recognized from the Rosehip Street Medics, B Media Collective, Coronal Summers Monday Funday, Drop Out, the ISO (International Socialist Organization), Rose City Cop Watch and the list goes on. It was an amazing weekend, but things changed.

We got a message from Anonymous to hold the square for the winter, to inspire the public with our toughness and tenacity, and our size would balloon in the spring. This was bad generalship by Anonymous and it failed. First they do not know us nor the enemy they are positioning us against, we are exponentially out powered, and the weather is not conducive to the stated mission, camping. It does not make sense to take your most dedicated revolutionaries and put them out in the cold on your enemies home turf to face illness and hypothermia, get beaten, maced, arrested, and ultimately disappointed in an obviously losing battle. All of us were sick with the flu and bronchitis the entire time and a veteran almost died of meningitis. Anonymous also magnified our distrust of each other by publicly outing the Ghost Committee. We have a Zombie Committee, why not a Ghost Committee? The question we should be asking is "who is Anonymous?" They're a hacking affinity group, that's it. We need to trust local GA's, committees and spokes counsels to make decisions, and not be over awed by Anonymous.

There was a large contingency of rainbow gatherers at the occupation in combination with street families that created the most epic anarchy camp ever right across the street from the Justice Center, City Hall, the Multnomah County Courthouse and the Federal Building. Every week day Frank Ford, political prisoner Lamumba Ford's father, used a megaphone to rally small support from the camp to protest in front of the federal building. People openly smoked pot and drank beers while police officers stood just feet away on the other side of the park. Despite police presence, there was constant tension every night amongst rival groups of street kids. I had to stand down A-Camp bullies from fighting with Juggalos (fans of the rap group Insane Clown Possie) almost every night. There were lots of musicians. People brought in big amps and there was lots of Sublime covers played, with people singing along to "Love Is What I Got". I had constant deep and meaningful conversations with people from all walks of life, including even an information gatherer for county law enforcement and a private consultant for Home Land Security. It was both euphoric and dystopic simultaneously and we did this for over four weeks.

There was one pivotal moment, midway through the occupation, when a group of us, mostly queer, decided to have a dance party in the Bank of America building on 2nd and Morrison. We marched over beating drums and went right inside and danced until we got tired of it and walked out. Security called the police and a small number of bike cops came over from the camp and did nothing. After we left we decided to go to Wells Fargo just one block southwest of the encampment. We sat outside and banged drums, chanted and joked until we got bored and were just sitting down when a man came out wearing a suit and pulling a large briefcase, took one of our guitars and played us a beautiful anti-war song from the 60's that I'd never heard before (certainly not a pop hit.) Then one of the security guards walked down and engaged us in conversation.

The security guard told us the problem was the idea of ownership. He said we don't own things, nobody owns anything, we use stuff and that we need to abandon the idea of ownership, stop using money and move to a Pay It Forward Society. He said he'd been coming to our GA's and what the occupy movement needed was a message that it stood for, and that he was trying to help us work on that message. He came by later to the Food Not Bombs tent in Lownsdale Square and we discussed his idea further. He invited me to meet his wife, of which both together were working on the idea of a Pay It Forward society. I was an immediate believer and started discussing the idea with everyone I came in contact with. The most common responses were, "how do I pay for utilities?", "money is a good medium of exchange", "that's communism!", "is that like Zeitgeist the movie?", "that would never work because people are evil", "that would be great if everybody did it", "there's too many people and we need a die off", "or how would we transition to that?"

Not knowing the answers to these questions I found myself often stumped. It was ironic that we were protesting Wall Street with an occupation movement, implying we were willing to shut down Wall Street, when in reality Wall Street could collapse at anytime and we wouldn't like that, so we were protesting it, circular logic at its best. Before I even new of Sam Adams press conference announcing eviction I had already packed up my tent and decided to stop camping, but would still attend GA's. The next night after the press conference the security guard and his wife attended the GA with me where we discussed what to do in response to the eviction. Everyone was trying to figure out how to hold the camp, but the security guard said, "we didn't own the park, nobody owns the park, we were just using the park, and other people want to use it now, so we should take everything down, and clean up and leave." Such an elegant solution to the problem rang true to me so I wrote an open letter to the occupation and city advocating we leave the park ( http://www.twitlonger.com/show/e4oht6.) I printed a 100 copies of the letter, passed it out the next day, and did a You Tube with the help of one of my open source friends.

Of course most people stayed, and we had an epic show down with the police. I stayed home, drank whiskey and watched it on Livestream because I couldn't bare to be down there and see one of my friends get hurt during our Tahrir Square moment. Thankfully it is was mostly peaceful except for police scare tactics and small numbers of individuals not committed to non-violence. It was a magnificent show of solidarity and self expression that everyone talked and is still talking about. The next day I went down for the second battle with the police occupying the camp. Some hold outs from the relaxation tent had to be dragged out, with some choosing to be arrested for civil disobedience. I had to help medic a guy who took two baton hits to the lower back, receiving a slipped disc; and got shoved by a KGW camera man trying to take a shot while I was making room for a stretcher to come in.

In the midst of all this I was thinking if we could abandon an idea like ownership, and stop using money, and everything turned out okay, wouldn't we start abandoning other useless ideas in mass? What about time? We had agreed the previous night to hold GA at Pioneer Square at a certain time, but everyone was at the front-line, and our number of on lookers were growing. It was decided by the front-line at the frustration of organizers to have GA right there. Doing it somewhere else at a different time didn't make any sense, when what we needed to do was right where we were at, holding the line until we decided what to do next. It seemed like time and location were limiting our options so we ignored them. This is when it dawned on me that time and space were also ideas like money that didn't make sense anymore. I decided on my own to leave and go to Pioneer Square to talk to those not able to be at the GA because they were too vulnerable to be in a confrontation with the police, and minutes later the GA finally decided to go to Pioneer Square as well. We arrived at the square to the sight of a giant Cascadian doug fir tree being prepared for Christmas.

While the group gathered I walked around looking at new faces saying, "Welcome to Occupy. It's not a location, it's a state of mind. December 21st 2012, money, time and space are going away, so start preparing."

I told folks that "this Christmas wouldn't be so good, but next Christmas all the stores will be unlocked, and everyone will be able to go in and get what they need, but they won't take too much, because it would be silly to take more than you need to use."

It reminded me of our camp kleptomaniac who faked schizophrenia as a cover for scatting around and dodgingly peaking in tents. Every time I tried to talk to him to see if he was hungry or needed anything he would turn away, curse and threaten me in anger. But that last night he finally looked me in the eye and smiled. How silly was it to steal something in a camp where every thing was free and your needs were being met. That's the saddest part about losing the camp, that it was meeting peoples needs, people who we would otherwise not have any idea they were suffering; and the truth is now these lost souls are suffering again despite our best intentions. Of course they're going to come to a camp where there's food, medics, a library and an art tent. How un-empathetic have we become as a human species to look down upon these people in disgust. For a Christian nation that is quite un-Christ like. What would Jesus really do? He would whip out the money changers, that's what he would do!

Back at Pioneer Square I saw some of the organizers worrying about the new people from the past night facilitating the GA they had never seen before. I told them, "don't worry about it, we needed more volunteers. We don't want the same people making decisions all the time. We wanna take turns. Come hang out with me on the Do Nothing committee."

I bumped into a guy who I'd seen at Lownsdale Square holding a sign and yelling at people. He said he was a preacher and that he went to unusual events like ours and judged people for their sins to see if he could engage them in dialogue about the root problems of our society. I suggested we start a Judgement Committee so he could help us get the bad elements out of our camp that was making us look bad, like abusing drugs, alcohol and women and not making it a safe space for everyone.

I noticed the bicycle cops across the street sitting on the sidewalk, and went over and said to them, "looks like you're occupying too now, and you're our Safety Committee. Thanks for looking out for us."

I told the Safety Committee about the Pay It Forward society and the going away of money, time and space December 21st 2012 and that we needed to start preparing for it. Of course they were skeptical, but a friendly open discussion was held. Once you hear the truth you can deny it, but you won't be able to stop thinking about it, until you admit it's true, and then you'll have to tell everyone you know and start to act. I told them that the problem was distrust. The reason why we use money instead of barter is if you have something I need, and I ask you for it, but you don't trust that your needs will be met, then you have to have something in exchange, and if I don't have what you need then we need to have a medium of exchange, and that's money. So the problem is distrust. So all we have to do is start trusting each other, and what we are trusting each other to do is to pay it forward.

The most important job in the world is taking care of people, and we need to start doing it now. We don't need anymore jobs. There are plenty of jobs, making sure people's needs are being met. There's no reason for someone in your community to be houseless. There's no reason for babies in Africa to die of diarrhea. We have plenty of food, resources and people to do the work. If we need more skills we can teach people. We don't need people having to work for money so that they can pay rent and buy food. We didn't ask to be born, and we shouldn't have to pay rent or buy food just to live. Mother Earth provides an abundance of resources to take care of us. What we need to do is meet each others needs so we can take care of each other.

Here's how it will work. If you want to get on the Max, you go to the Max stop and wait. You don't care what time it is cause you don't have to be anywhere at any given time. If you have a problem with the Max service you go to TriMet and attend the Transportation Committee meeting, or you join the chat on Livestream, which is projected on a screen to the committee where your thoughts are seen and vote counted, or you can discuss the service with others on Facebook and Twitter at your leisure. The meetings aren't scheduled, but occur spontaneously. You can have committee alerts sent to your smart phone. If there's not enough Max service a call out for volunteers is made, and people who want to run Max trains show up for training. Did you ever want to run a Max train? [Digital] ding ding [Max sound!] Worried about the Max not being set to a clock? We got GPS for that, and it's fareless square everywhere. You'll never have to hear again, "we ain't got the money for that". Think it'll be hard to set that up? Occupy Portland did it in less than a month with Rainbow Gatherers and street kids using existing internet technology. We can occupy TriMet too. We are the 99% and all of us will occupy everywhere, which includes the workers at TriMet.

Worried about where the electricity, internet and industrial materials will come from? Go to their committee meetings. Once your concerns are alleviated you can go somewhere else. Don't want a smartphone or have to use technology? Don't take one, or just turn it off, set it down and walk away. You're not tied to anything, because money, space and time are gone. Wanna leave your troubles behind? Spend some time on the Do Nothing committee. We got plenty of room available. The fun thing about the Do Nothing committee is you can do what ever needs to get done right now. It's harder than you think being on the Do Nothing committee, but don't worry. We have courses available including Advanced Studies in Doing Nothing for Economic Refugees. Wanna take a break? We're occupying so we can set up areas however we want. We can have a room for sleeping, a Relaxation Area, even a Rumors Coffee, but be careful. If we ever get raided by the Safety Committee these two areas will be the most ardently defended. You gotta have coffee!

For more specialized arrangements we have affinity groups. Because the most important work in the world is taking care of people we can send out specially trained groups to remote locations to find those in need and make sure their needs are met. Immediately this would be housing the houseless, feeding the hungry, healing the sick or clothing the naked. We can give free therapy. We can love the loveless. We can send out bike groups with specialized trailers to deliver goods, or put highly trained doctors and architects on Gulfstream jets to build hospitals in Africa. If people want us to just leave them alone we can do that too. We have a Do Nothing committee for that. Most problems will go away though because the houseless can just camp out for a few days until they find an empty house available and occupy it, and construction workers won't have to wait for a contract they can just start building now. The hungry can just go get what they need from the grocery store. No more food will go to waste. Worried where it's going to come from when it runs out. We'll still need store managers to order food, and people to stock shelves. All the normal laws of supply and demand will still apply, we'll just send the call out when necessary and manage it without money. The Occupy Farm can tweet the Occupy Grocery store to find out if they need donations; and if you want to change the world and save the environment, announce your proposal.

So how do we get there? It's simple. We are going to start taking care of each other. We don't have to live poor to do it either. Those of us who have time can donate it. It's okay to use money cause that's what we have now. The good news is that money will be going away December 21st 2012. That means if you have enough money to get you until then you can stop working for money now and start taking care of people immediately. We need people to start doing that. Lots of us are already doing it. In fact most of us are doing it, we're just constrained by the limits of money. If you don't have any money and you need something just ask. Don't be mean, and if the person doesn't brush you off, engage them in conversation to find out why they are unwilling to meet your need when they are able to. If you have extra money start carrying it around with you incase someone asks, and if you don't trust them yet, just walk with them to wherever they're going and pay for them. Can't find anyone to pay for you? Contact your local occupation. Because money will cease to have value after December 21st 2012 we need to use it up before then. The 1% will think they're getting richer because their stocks will go up, but that's just a trick we are playing on them. Once we build trust in each other we will just stop using their money.

Because money's going to go away December 21st 2012, we can start doing it now, and we need to get prepared. You don't want to still be attached to money when it goes away cause then they'll have to microchip you, send you to a labor camp and have the Safety Committee watch over you, and none of us want that. We all know the money economy is unsustainable and is going to collapse so when it does you want to be prepared. The new currency is Love, and it is so much more dynamic than money, because it is able to measure the true value of all things and meet the needs of everyone. So trade your money in for love now before it's too late. Gold is okay, but in a Pay It Forward society, it will also cease to have value as a medium of exchange, and will probably end up getting melted down and turned into jewelry anyway so everyone will have bling.

We don't need to do anything crazy like burn the money. We can take all the money and property titles and put them into special squares around the world, and set up little squares around the borders of those squares and name them after properties. The 1% who still want to play Monopoly can have life size game pieces they walk around in, and pass out money to each other every time they pass Go. We can give them some little fuzzy dice to play with. They can use all the titles and deeds to trade back and forth. We can setup little green and red tents to symbolize houses and hotels for them to sleep in. Every night they can pay rent to each other. If they want to pay for donuts they can draw cards and pay a hospitality tax. They can setup their own Safety Committee to guard their jail, and take turns wearing duct tape until they learn to organize their own committees. We will bring in plenty of donations to make sure their needs are met. It will probably take about a month for them to be rehabilitated and join the rest of the 99%. During that time we can go in and take pictures and videos and put it up on You Tube to document the experience. When Bill Gates and Warren Buffet start fighting over Park Place our Media Committee can report safety is deteriorating in the camp, sanitation as well. We can send them an eviction notice for the ones unable to give up playing Monopoly, and send in the Safety Committee to clear them out.

The occupation is in fact not a location but a state of mind. Where the movement goes from here nobody knows, but I trust the 99% to do the right thing. The last night I was there I left the GA at Pioneer Square and walked back to Chapman and Lowndale Square which was now surrounded by chain link fence and bulldozers and guarded by the Safety Committee. I chatted with them for a while and thanked them for their service and then walked across the street to catch the bus. Then I heard more chanting and shouting, and saw a group of occupiers walking around the squares right through the Safety Committee protesting against them. I thought what are they doing? It's time to let it go! They crossed the street walking past me to city hall and started having a GA. It was none of the organizers from the camp, but the kids who were there "just to party", and a bunch of new comers from the Occufest. They were mic checking and taking turns accusing Sam Adams of every sin in the book, and I mean every sin, all of them. I mic checked and said "Welcome to Occupy. It's not a location, but a state of mind. Lets be nice. Lets be respectful. Lets love one another. I propose... that we have... GA... right here... in the morning... when Sam Adams... comes to work.., and ask him... to join us... so we can come... to a consensus... on where to occupy next."

The next girl proposed they march and protest all night around the camp and city hall, and they left. Their first time around Chapman they still had a little spunk, but as the march winded on back around they fell into a single file line with their heads hung low. This was their way of letting go and I needed to process the loss as well. Waiting at the bus stop I talked to a small crowd who had been there the night before. I told them when we occupy our hearts and minds we will no longer need to occupy space. It was an epipheral moment. Would we be Raptured to some far out dimension after we give up the money December 21st 2012? Riding the bus back I could still hear the voices from the chanting and megaphone magically in my head. By occupying empathy would we develop telepathy? I'll leave you with one request. This Christmas give the gift that keeps on giving and never stop. Goodnight from Occupy.

We are the 99
We will not be divided
We are non-violent
We don't want violence
We don't want any more,
Violence in our society

anok 15.Nov.2011 14:45

anon

This is the most irritating thing I've read today.

First of all, it's not just a state of mind, it's actually a state of mind manifesting itself in reality and going up against OTHER states of mind, like the shit for brains safety patrol guys and the bulldozers and all that shit. Second of all, fuck you for making me have to argue a legitimate point with a 2012 believer. You know the head of the Mayan church doesn't know why people like you believe what you believe, or where it comes from. I can't find the exact quote but he literally said something along the lines of 'it sounds like white people don't have anything better to do with their time.'YES THERE ARE STILL MAYANS IN THE WORLD TODAY, a lot of them ironically are Anarcho-Communists and Zappatistas, who get shot at by the Mexican government over Nafta policies go Bill Clinton and YOUR hippie bullshit, so much for a world without violence. I understand you want peace on Earth. Just go find a corner and hope really really hard. And then shit in the...and see which one...

er something

response 16.Nov.2011 19:30

Lindsey Walker lindseywalkermusic@gmail.com

People don't have shit for brains and when you realize that you will be able to have empathy for them and win them to your cause, or expand your cause to include them. Outsiders had the same attitude towards occupants of Occupy Portland, and I'm sure you and I would agree that is wrong. The Mayans were actually quite evil and exerted the same system of control as other empires based on the pyramid geometry. The 99% movement is a sign that geometry no longer works, and the variables they use for their system of economics are broken. We do not need to be at a certain place at a certain time doing a certain thing for money and that system of control is collapsing. Human evolution is entering a phase where money, time and space are not only irrelevant, but inhibiting our happiness and productivity. The preparation that needs to be made is one of the heart and mind, certainly resulting in a physical manifestation, not contrary to anything I've said. I am physically here manifesting. I agree it is fantastic the Zapatistas are adopting a communal model of direct democracy and support their efforts of self empowerment. I have no interest in freedom fighting as a solution to our problem, and would hate for the political situation in Estados Unidos to devolve into that.

This message was brought to you by the Do Nothing Committee.