Occupy Phoenix Delays Grievances
Local Movement Cannot Find Consensus On Proposed List Of Grievances, Discussion Heads Back To Committee
The dry-erase board where the three proposed grievances for Occupy Phoenix were written Saturday at Cesar Chavez plaza
By John Guzzon
Modern Times Magazine
Nov. 6, 2011 — Occupy Phoenix could not reach consensus on a list of grievances at their emergency general assembly Saturday morning at Cesar Chavez plaza, deciding instead to send the task back to the working group for further action.
Assembling the grievances was the biggest task for Occupy Phoenix this week. The process began last Saturday and brainstorming sessions were held through Thursday. The proposals were numerous and ran the gamut from reforming the political system to revamping the financial industry.
The multitude of proposals were culled to three for Saturday’s presentation to the general assembly. The proposed three grievances were:
1. The controlling interest of money in politics
2. Systematic inequality and criminalization of our communities which are driving an increasingly inequitable distribution of wealth.
3. The structural incontinuiam (sic) of unchecked greed in Wall Street, corporate America and the government including, but in no way limited to, corporate personhood.
Emotions were mixed among the 50 or so who gathered for the emergency general assembly. Some agreed, others did not, and yet more others just wanted action. In the end, facilitator Justine and the group agreed to send the grievances back to the working group.
“I see a lot of disagreements. And I think we do not have consensus. And that is OK. That means we are making progress because we are finally learning how to communicate with each other in effective ways,” Justine told the assemblage.
The general assemblies at Occupy Phoenix have been suspended until at least this upcoming Thursday and have been replaced by instructional gatherings on what a general assembly is and what rules of order and behavior constitutes successful outcomes.
After the general assembly, approximately 150 people marched through downtown, stopping at bank buildings along the way. The destination was the Downtown City Space, 424 N. Central Ave., for “The 99% Unityfest.” The 99% Unityfest featured live music — rock, hip hop, mariachi, soul, funk, punk, indie, R&B, folk — live visual artists, family activities and presentations.
Early Saturday evening, two more people were arrested in Cesar Chavez plaza for sleeping and police impounded a “canopy” that the occupiers use in lieu of tents. The city of Phoenix has allowed Occupy Phoenix to headquarter at the plaza so long as they do not violate city code 23-30 which bans “urban camping.” The law was passed by the city council to give police more tools to remove homeless people from city property.
For more information, visit the group's webpage at http://occupyphoenix.net/, the #OccupyPhoenix Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/#!/occupyphoenix, the group’s Twitter page at http://twitter.com/#!/occupyphoenix or catch the livestream at http://www.livestream.com/occupyphoenix.