09 October 2011

#OccupyDameStreet - Day Two

Deciding who gets to pick up the trash (answer - everybody!)
#OccupyDameStreet, Dublin, Sunday 9th October
Just taking a break from Day Two of #OccupyDameStreet to swap my rain gear for warmer clothes. As the Very Understanding Girlfriend says, 'there's no such thing as bad weather, just inappropriate clothing!". We headed back down today shortly after noon, with at least four hours sleep under our belts, but as it turned out this was four hours more than most of the Overnighters at the Central Bank got.

Day Two has seen the camp settle down into something more akin to a regular schedule, with the practicalities of an extended camping experience and the reality of what is being done starting to hit home. The early afternoon saw the creation of a number of volunteer committees to oversee food, construction, media (both on and offline), coordination, health, security etc. I spent most of the day on a construction group, putting up windbreaks, lashing down tents and generally trying to stop the whole camp being blown away by a ridiculously blustery October day - who would have guessed that the only open concrete space in the entire city centre would also be a wind tunnel?

Late Afternoon General Assembly
#OccupyDameStreet, Dublin, Sunday 9th October
I was pleased to see that the tent we donated to someone last night survived through to see the light of day, albeit with the judicious use of duct tape - that tent has seen a lot over the last fifteen years (with more Glastonbury mud than any object should ever be subjected to) and despite my protestations on a number of occasions The Very Understanding Girlfriend has refused to throw it out, claiming one day we will find another use for it. Victory, today, was her's, she has been entirely vindicated.

The late afternoon saw a large General Assembly where the Day-Trippers (ourselves included) vastly outnumbered the Overnighters, the overall numbers creeping back up over the sixty mark. For such a random mix of folks from differing backgrounds with different motivations, it was amazing to see how fast consensus was reached on a wide range of issues, and more inspiring to see how disagreements were overcome. One good quote to come from the assembly was that #OccupyDameStreet is a political movement, but not a Party political movement, the sense being that any movement by the people is by default political (small 'p'), even if it exists outside the structures of the Political (large 'p') system.

Late Afternoon General Assembly
#OccupyDameStreet, Dublin, Sunday 9th October
I think today saw the camp start to settle into some sort of a routine after the initial euphoria of Day One, people have gravitated towards particular roles and a daily schedule seems to be coalescing into place, with twice daily General Assemblies planned to act as an interface between Day-Trippers and Overnighters, and allow the camp and movement to be as open and inclusive as possible. While the numbers and composition of the camp will vary from day-to-day, it looks like the camp itself is in it for the long run.

The biggest challenge will come tomorrow morning, when the Central Bank opens for business and the hundreds of employees inside shuffle past - the camp has adopted a policy of strict non-interference with the Bank and its employees, only time will tell if the Central Bank reciprocates. Unlike the #OccupyWallStreet protests which take place in a public park, the area outside the Central Bank is, most likely, private property, which means the Bank could insist that the Gardai remove the camp and its members forcefully if necessary.

Hopefully it won't come to that, and the Bank realises what a PR disaster that would be.

Anyway, off back now shortly for the evening shift, damn but I miss coffee.

Links
More photos from today and yesterday are now up in my Flickr stream here
A further, much larger, set of great photos from Lusciousblopster can be found on her Flickr set here.

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