One of the things I most like about the Occupy movement is the fact that things get done. You’re standing around, and suddenly people need to move some supplies and the people around will help. Soup gets handed out(most days, generally). Pizzas get passed around. People from the legal group will work with people willing to get arrested or who are being arrested. In the announcements at the end of the General Assembly, someone will ask for help and usually get it even if there’s some begging. The work groups figure out what needs to be done and then either do it, or take it to the General Assembly. It’s not always a perfect process, and I’m not sure how long it can last after the excitement of the movement dulls. But for now it seems to work.
So when at the end of a recent General Assembly, someone asked for help cleaning the park, I shot my hand up, and was glad to do it. I didn’t mention that I was a blogger, so I’d say everything was off the record, and I won’t get into specifics (and I won’t say it was problem free). But I have to say, I loved sweeping up.
I loved seeing the park clean. I loved people thanking me for helping. I walked home after and noticed how much dirtier the streets were than at and around Westlake. More than going there regularly, more than participating in a General Assembly, more than giving a little money, this really felt like taking ownership of a part of Occupy Seattle. It’s certainly not as much as the people who stay at the park or who work more than me, but it was really a great feeling, especially as someone who has generally stayed more at arms length as a blogger than I might otherwise.
And so I’d encourage people, if you can, to put in an hour doing something. Go to General Assembly and wait for the announcements; someone will find something for you to do. Ask the people handing out food if they need help. Find a work group that you’d be interested in. Of course the more the better, but don’t be afraid to spend just a bit of time.