Welcome to Occupy Boston. We do not represent any one union, activist group, or organization in Boston. We are a large gathering of disaffected, angry, fed up Americans from all walks of life. We represent only ourselves- the 99%. We find it very interesting (and telling) that the mainstream media continually accuses us of being a mass of fractured, disconnected causes, yet once we come together under the Occupy banner, they call us disorganized and expect us to come up with a singular demand.
Please keep this in mind as you attend tonight. We are the 99%. There’s a 99% chance that you are, too.
Our first meeting will be tonight on Boston Common by the bandstand at 7:30 PM (see bottom of page for map). Before you attend, here are some things to remember.
1. THIS IS NOT A PROTEST. Protests will come soon. We know that you are chomping at the bit to get out there and make your voices heard; we are right there with you. We want to make sure, however, that we do this right. Tonight is our first General Assembly. We are meeting in order to get a feel of what we want and need to accomplish, and what we must have in order to make that happen. We will create working groups, and we will create small-scale strategies. Therefore, do not bring any camping materials, and do not plan on camping. However, it will be nighttime; you may want to bring a flashlight, although the Common is somewhat lit at night.
2. We have heard rumors (true or not, we’re not exactly sure) that someone was arrested at a different Boston protest last night because they were holding a bullhorn. Therefore, we will not be using any sort of a bullhorn or microphone when we speak out. We will be using a technique that the Wall Street protesters came up with at Zuccotti Park, called The People’s Microphone. Basically, it’s like a grown-up version of “Telephone.” You can read more about it here. http://www.correntewire.com/the_peoples_microphone_in_zuccotti_park
3. Because our amplification abilities will be somewhat limited and possibly time-consuming, and because attendance numbers are apparently MUCH higher than we initially anticipated, we ask that those of you who wish to speak out keep your statements directly relevant, and relatively brief. We have to be out of the park by the time it closes at 11:00 PM,
and we need to allocate a certain amount of time for the nonviolence training that will happen after our meeting (more on that below) (edit 12:46 PM). Again, tonight is a planning meeting. We want to hear ideas and strategies and needs. To be respectfully blunt, in the interest of time, it is not an appropriate time for you to give speeches about the causes and organizations that you support. However, please feel very free to bring any flyers, pamphlets, etc for any pertinent (or non-pertinent!) events that you wish to spread the word about, and remember that there will be many opportunities in the future. (Edit 9/27 12:07 PM: passing out flyers and pamphlets is prohibited. Feel free to bring them, but someone must ask you for them in order for you to pass them out.)
4. We have some pretty specific needs right now.
*We need attorneys and law students who can help us research laws about camping, erecting structures, and general assembly.
*Soon we will need medics: doctors, nurses, med students, EMTs, and people who have undergone medic training.
*We need media and tech-savvy people who can report on our events and livestream them as they occur.
If any of this sounds like you, please make a point of coming out tonight.
5. The Boston Police Department are our friends and allies. We notice that at least two media outlets have pointed out that the BPD’s intelligence unit is “monitoring” our activities, and we have some concerns that because most of the media story has been about police brutality in NYC, the media may be (purposefully or inadvertently) pitting us against the BPD. Therefore, we have a few statements to make.
*We respect the fact that quite frankly, it is the BPD’s job to consistently check us out and make sure that we are on the up-and-up. We are a completely transparent group, but we are growing very quickly.
*Our interactions with the BPD both over the phone and over Twitter have resulted in entirely courteous and civil discourse.
*We recognize that the members of the BPD are fighting the same struggle that we are. We think this statement about BPD pensions and wrongful media blame on officers instead of Wall Street where it belongs, put out by the Boston Police Superior Officers Federation (a BPD labor union), puts a lot of our feelings into words pretty perfectly. A quote:
The blame for increased costs needs to lie with the Wall Street robber barons who invested our hard earned pension dollars in phony equities and securities which led to a world-wide economic meltdown.
6. Nonviolent resistance training will occur after the meeting. The Massachusetts chapter of the National Lawyers’ Guild will be educating us (and we are so thankful to them for that!). If you plan on protesting, staying around for this training is highly recommended. (edit 12:47 PM: Somewhere some of our wires got crossed. MassNLG will apparently be conducting this training at a later date.)
7. These are the rules & regulations of Boston Parks & Recreation. Know them. Follow them. Respect your fellow Bostonians, and respect the workers who will have to clean up any messes we may leave behind.
The map below gives a pretty good idea of where the bandstand is. It’s the seven spoke wheel-looking circle a bit below the A marker, adjacent to the tennis court. It’s within easy walking distance of Boylston St. Station (green line) a relatively short walking distance from Park Street Station (red and green lines), and not too far from Downtown Crossing (orange line).
See you guys tonight.