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April 2012, Week 2

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Wed, 11 Apr 2012 23:55:59 -0400
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Upcoming Events 

1  OWS' 'Spring Awakening' -- in NYC, April 14

2  Rally for the 99% -- LA, April 17th

===================================
1

OWS' 'Spring Awakening' in Central Park Will Kick Off a
Season of Activism, Attract New Faces

    This Saturday's family-friendly event will draw
    some new individuals into the movement while
    also energizing existing Occupiers and
    facilitating cross-organizational cooperation.

By Simran Sachdev 
AlterNet 
April 11, 2012  |

http://www.alternet.org/story/154954/ows%27_%27spring_awakening%27_in_central_park_will_kick_off_a_season_of_activism%2C_attract_new_faces?page=entire

The Spring Awakening 2012, a day of rejuvenation,
celebration, and intense movement-building, will take
place this Saturday, April 14, in Central Park. For
Occupy supporters who may have been disheartened by any
struggles over the winter, this event will help propel
Occupy Wall Street forward over the next six months. It
is designed to welcome new people into the life of
activism and strengthen existing ties of those already
embedded in the movement.

With a background in international affairs and human
rights, I came to OWS in early October to see what it
was all about. I was intrigued by the alternative world
the movement had created in Liberty Plaza in such a
short time. I knew I had to be a part of it. After
attending numerous general assemblies and marches, and
floating through various working group meetings, I
chose the Spring Awakening citywide assembly as one of
my first major projects. Having attended the project's
first planning meeting in December, I have been an
organizer for the event ever since.

The world that OWS wants to create is one of
cooperation and mutual benefit, based on the belief
that our society needs to better learn how to work with
new and different people even if they disagree with one
another, and it was important for us to honor those
ideas in our planning. From the start, Spring Awakening
coordinators sought to bring people from around the
city, including OWS neighborhood general assemblies,
into the planning process to take ownership of the
project. While making decisions via consensus is a
great and necessary tool, it can lead to a very drawn-
out and grueling process, especially when you have a
lot of people with wide-ranging opinions. While some
organizers were definitely disheartened at the slow
pace of our planning, many of us stuck together until
the end for what will likely be a highly revitalizing
event this Saturday. Hurdles and bumps aside, the
Spring Awakening is set to be an exciting, fun, and
productive movement-building experience.

The intent of the Spring Awakening is threefold: to
reinvigorate, to celebrate, and to host interactive
movement-building.

The Spring Awakening is here to reinvigorate any
momentum that may have been lost over the winter. Since
many in the general public are misinformed about what
Occupy has been doing over the past few months, we want
to make it clear that we are still here, as alive and
energetic as ever. The numerous meetings we have been
having at 60 Wall Street, Judson Memorial Church,
Liberty Plaza, and numerous other venues are now
showing the fruits of our labor. We didn't get
disheartened and give up after the November 15th
eviction like the mainstream media has led the public
to believe. Rather, we have spent the winter figuring
out how to propel this movement forward and create the
world we want to live in.

The planning team believed it was significant to hold
the event in the spring because of the symbolism of the
season. Spring is a time of renewal and re-growth,
which, as mentioned before, is what the Spring
Awakening is hoping to bring to the movement. OWS has
been a powerful force this spring even prior to this
event, so we only imagine Saturday to be even better
with this built-up energy. We also can't forget the
Arab Spring that has changed the landscape of the
Middle East, and which helped inspire OWS in its early
days.

The event will also serve as build-up for May Day,
which is expected to be a major day of action for the
movement. The Spring Awakening is meant to get people
energized, while being lower-risk and less focused on
direct-action.

The Spring Awakening will also celebrate OWS's
achievements. Back on September 17th, no one knew how
big this movement would get or how long it would last -
let alone that it would transformed the national
discourse and scare corporations so much that they
would feel the need to buy off the NYPD in an attempt
to shut us up. While looking forward is essential, it
is also imperative to look back and celebrate our
accomplishments. Live music, food, discussions, and
other festivities will give us the chance to reflect
and appreciate our victories.

OWS organizer Colby Hopkins commented, "One of the
greatest accomplishments of Occupy Wall Street is that
it has pushed to the forefront the reality that the
root of all of our social ailments is the
same....Knowing we have a common enemy reminded us that
we need a collective solution. Spring Awakening 2012
will build this movement, in part, by combining
peoples' efforts around various issues and focusing
them on our common enemy."

Another function the Spring Awakening will serve is as
a mechanism for interactive movement building. The
facilitated assembly, taking place at 3pm, is
essential, as it will be a space for a variety of
organizations and individuals to unite on initiatives.
Various organizations are submitting campaigns that
they are currently working on and will form clusters,
which will in turn work on strategic visioning for
their collective initiatives over the next three to six
months. The hope is that organizations doing similar
work will network, combine efforts, and find ways to
collaborate on their work moving forward. This will
serve as a model for a "clearinghouse" that we hope to
establish for organizations, at which groups will be
able to share their work with each other.

How to Participate

There will be an abundance of things to do all day
during the Spring Awakening. Participants looking for
teach-ins, discussions, or more information about
different Occupy groups should visit the open space
taking place on the south side of the park (west of
Wollman Rink, near the 6th Avenue entrance) between 1pm
and 6pm. Be sure to bring a blanket; there will be
picnic-style "blanketing" so we don't face any issues
with having tables at the park. Numerous groups and
performers have confirmed attendance for the open
space, including the Commission on Voluntary Service &
Action,La Union, Women Occupying Wall Street, and Such
As Us.

If you'd like to participate in the facilitated
assembly at 3pm, you can do so under the umbrella of an
organization, or join any campaign cluster that sparks
your interest. A few, out of the many, organizations
and groups that have committed to the facilitated
assembly include theManhattan Free School,
theRestaurant Opportunities Center of New York, ACT UP,
and Healthcare NOW! NYC. There will be an info booth at
the park with more information on where to go.

If you're completely new to Occupy, the Spring
Awakening also has a place for you. Keep an eye out for
"occu-mentors" walking around the park. They will be
ready to have a discussion with you about how your
interests match up with OWS and how you can get plugged
in to the movement.

The event is also meant to be family-friendly and help
parents get involved in OWS. The day is planned in a
way so as to avoid the police confrontation that often
comes with Occupy events. An OWS activist mom, Rivka
Gewirtz Little, says "It is families who are living
under the effects of crushing debt, foreclosures,
joblessness, public school closings, and police
harassment against their children. We as parents want
to get involved with Occupy Wall Street, but we don't
always know how, and frankly it can be scary to bring
our children into the unknown. Yet we are natural
community organizers. We bake enough cookies to support
entire school programs, and pressure the Department of
Education like no one else. Spring Awakening 2012 will
show parents how to take these organizing skills and
plug into Occupy Wall Street and other community based
organizations to make change."

So whether you are a long-time activist, new to the
game, or haven't figured out where to get started, the
Spring Awakening will have a space for you. Don't miss
the opportunity to get plugged-in and make a difference
to your world and communities. 
________________
Simran Sachdev is a human rights activist and writer,
currently working in the nonprofit world and organizing
with Occupy Wall Street on the side. She holds a MS in
Global Affairs, with a concentration in Human Rights
and Humanitarian Assistance, from NYU. Her future plans
are to continue working towards the advancement of
human rights worldwide, both in her personal and
professional life.

======================================
2

Rally for the 99%

By Sharon Kyle L.A. Progressive

http://www.laprogressive.com/rally-99/?utm

Los Angeles, CA

April 17, 2012 4:30PM to 6:00PM

Hosted by Good Jobs LA

Event Description: Tuesday, April 17th - is tax day for
the 99%. But for the 1% - corporate tax dodgers like
Wells Fargo or General Electric and millionaires like
Mitt Romney - it's never tax day.

Event Location: Pershing Square's "Fair Share Plaza,"
Olive Street between 5th and 6th St, Los Angeles, CA
90014

We can't afford more cuts to our education, health and
safety services. It's time for the richest 1% to pay
their fair share.

Rally against Corporate Dodgers with your community!

Want to know more about this organization, read the
letter below or better yet, go to their website - The
99 Spring. There are hundreds of actions taking place
all over the United States in collaboration with this
effort. And there is a fantastic video at the bottom of
this post. Just scroll down.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hmS030lgozY&feature=player_embedded#t=10s

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