The last few days at the ATL General Assembly have been weird.
I was there Friday night when it was voted to go ahead with the occupation. There was some stuff
with Congressman John Lewis
that was... well, it's made people flip their shit. One way or the other. Some people are angry at the idea of him speaking there at all. Others are angry at the idea of him being turned away.
The Occupation is going ahead at Woodruff Park. On Saturday, they voted to rename it Troy Davis
Park. I wasn't there for that, so I can't speak for how the voting went.
We have a HQ that was given to us at 60 Walton Street (2nd floor). This is a good place to drop off donations or meet if you can't show up in a more public way.
Today I went down there, but had to leave before the full GA started (at 6 PM).
The vibe is... all over the place. Some people want to work with the system. Some want to reform the system. Some want to destroy the system. Some others simply want to abandon the system all together.
I'll be real honest here, this last one puzzles me the most. Like, I seriously don't even get why they are there. You want to get off the grid and sustain yourself? Go for it. Having actually learned my history, I can tell you from the communes of the 60's: this doesn't work tremendously for the women. When it comes down to the nitty gritty of responsibilities, the women are left holding the bag while the men drum around a circle talking about how pure and free they are. The women are the ones who rejoin society when their kids turn out to have diabetes. Or need penicillin. Or just want a way to clean their menstrual pads that isn't backbreaking.
And as for abandoning the currency system all together in favor of barter? I think I'll skip that, too, thanks. Barter systems work mostly as a one to one "this is what I have" for "this is what you have" system, with the occasional merchant or trader keeping a stockpile of the miscellanous items. It doesn't work so well for actually advancing medicine or technology. It doesn't do so well for a variety of foodstuffs. Let's not even talk about droughts or famines, as not
using a barter system is pretty much why we can mostly get through them.
Honestly though, all those arguments as for why I disagree with that is just icing on the cake of who gives a shit. If they want to live free and pure, go for it, sparky. Force me to do it? Hells to the no. And really, there's nothing stopping you.
So, I don't have a lot of patience for the 19 year olds talking about living free and pure and abandoning the system. It's actually pissed me off a bit. They have near zero life experience of the breadth of knowledge to understand where the stuff breaks down in their scenario. The communes were abandoned for a reason, and I've talked to some of the people who desperately tried to make them work.
So, I don't even know what to say to them. I'm going to have to sit down with them, but I don't even know how to approach them respectfully. I'll have to think on that.
I probably won't be able to go back until next weekend. We'll see. Russell is down with me going at night, it's just that I'm wearing myself to bits.
I'm also working on a side video project for this all that may or may not be interesting. I'll bring it up here if it pans out to anything. It really depends on the partner I teamed up with, as he has the footage.
I'm leaving this public so my mom can wander into it. She lived through the 60's, and knows how hard some of the commune movement was on women.