The Beginning of an Organic Bottom Up Structure in Occupy Cleveland

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I want to pass along some thoughts/observations that came out of this weekend while spending some time with the Occupy Cleveland group.

Loren and I made our way down to the strong hold of Occupy Cleveland, as seen in the picture, on Sunday afternoon.  There were only a couple of people at the tent while we were there.  This is the only tent because the occupiers cannot actually sleep at Public Square in downtown Cleveland, although they can remain there throughout the night.  We met two gentleman, John and Jonathan, who were holding down the fort.  They were both pleasant and very helpful willing to answer any question we had.  They informed us of other events that were happening that day regarding the Occupy movement, including Occupy the Hood and an Affintiy Group meeting, both of which we attended.

Those who say that the Occupy movement as a whole has no specific demands or organization, may be correct, but where they see a fault I see truth.  True belief or inspiration can only arise organically.  If this movement is to maintain its momentum, and continue on to become  a true force of change, those involved must be diligent in there belief that change can be brought about by what they are doing.   I think the people of this movement must be wary of anybody that seems too eager to have any type of power within the movement, for they too could turn into the Man.

I am an outsider to the Occupy Cleveland group and have visited them on 3 occasions, so I can only speak to what I have observed.  As an observer at Sunday’s Affinity Group meeting I saw what seemed to be the first attempt at an organizational structure meeting.  There was some arguing and obvious disagreements to how the meeting was being run.  One gentleman was the facilitator and for the most part controlled the meeting but was fair in trying to give all who wanted an equal voice.   The main point of this meeting, as best I could gather, was to be a first step at creating a structure that would not be controlled by a few individuals, but instead run as a entire democratic entity that would be divided into group with more focused goals.  The membership to these groups would be based on which group a person wanted to belong to.  There appeared to be a technical group that handled all computer and media related things and group that would focus on people who needed help because their homes were in foreclosure.  I would guess there are many more groups but those were the only specific ones I heard mentioned.  They would act independently of each other and meet together to democratically make decisions on things that pertained to the greater Occupy Cleveland movement.   This is organization from the bottom up where all the people involved have a say in the direction of the movement.  I didn’t stay for the individual group meetings, but I am anxious to get down to Public Square and speak to some occupiers and see how this is developing.


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