Recap of the General Assembly on Saturday, 11-12-11

November 12, 2011 in General Assembly by Bryan

(Posted on our Facebook page by Chris Chemel)

Hello everyone, sharing today’s events. This morning 2 police officers approached the small occupy group at the farmer’s market before our march. There were about 7 of us at the initial encounter and by the time they left there were about 12 of us.

Captain Paul Edmonson approached our group with a lot of probing questions mixed in with light fluffy questions to make it seem like he was just being friendly.

He alluded that as long as we don’t cause problems there won’t be problems and said ‘I think you know what I mean by that.’, and that we need to make sure this city approves of what we are doing. On the surface this wasn’t a serious issue, but the sum of the conversation meant a lot. He said he knows who I am, and he knows of my previous actions, he knew I was the one who requested our initial permit, and he said to others in the group that he knew of them. No one has previously met this guy, which means the Louisiana State police are aware of our actions and presence(or he was lying to make it seem like they know more than they do). This is the State police, not the BRPD, he is part of the Criminal investigation division. he was accompanied by another officer and what I assume is a street clothes officer, otherwise, just a tag along friend.

What is most important, and what I am questioning if I did the right thing, was he wanted to identify organizers of OBR. I said I was a person who shares information with the whole group and helps coordinate events. Another occupier, Mr.Scaggs, and I gave the officer our contact information. I made it clear that any information that he shares with me I will share with you on our websites. I do not want to be seen as the leader of this group, but he gave the impression that he would be contacting me about this group.

—Please be aware that even though our actions have been significantly smaller in comparison to the rest of the country, we are on state’s radar, and they are monitoring our actions. They are at the stage where they feel they need to talk with a leadership person and I do not want to represent this movement, that is NOT what this movement is about, and any further action that comes from the police will be shared with the community before I, or Mr.Scaggs, responds. I promise I will not make any statements, appear for any meetings, formal or informal, as OBR’s leader, and if they wish to address the movement or make announcements I will direct them to come to one of our GAs. I feel bad that I didn’t do that previously, but I am making efforts to be as transparent as possible with regards to my actions in this movement.

It was about this time that the group ‘marched’ (walked with signs, no chanting) to the capitol. In the park we were met by a veteran waving a large American flag without any stars, and with a snake across the stripes. He refused to shake my hand or introduce himself, but was eager to call us communists and fascists in the same sentence. He yelled at us the whole time we were in the park. He was not interested in hearing what we had to say, despite our initial attempts to have a conversation with him, only yelling his nonsensical statements at the top of his lungs.

…I will finish this post and start a new one about the attendance problems we are facing.

 

The last few GA’s have had dwindling attendance which makes it difficult to make plans and vote on items. Despite the lower turnout, we have planned a lot in the next coming weeks (the minutes will be added later for a comprehensive list).

We need more people to attend the GA’s and more importantly, we need more people to attend our functions.

Next Friday Baton Rouge is having an event called White Light Night. We collected enough money to print of flyers that will be made for us to pass out this evening. We would like as many OBR members to show up @ 6PM at Mid City Bikes in Baton Rouge. There we will give fliers to the OBR members and then go out to the city to engage with the good people of Baton Rouge. The goal is to talk with people on a personal level, strike up conversations, find out how they feel about the occupation of the nation, and in their city. We want this to be a learning experience, a teaching moment, and a great opportunity to humanize the movement and let Baton Rouge that they are a part of the 99%, that we aren’t a group of riff raffs and miscreants. In order to boost attendance and involvement we need to get Baton Rouge to understand that this movement is built of the citizens of this country, not by certain parties, cultural groups, or isolated radicals. Clarifying that the system that currently runs our government isn’t the same one that we were taught about in our primary education or on School House Rock. That the only way to stop this destructive system is to get the people involved. The more people in the movement, the more potential we have to make immediate, lasting, or any kind or meaningful change.

-Chris Chemel