Notes from Community Night in Lexington, KY, the longest continuously running occupation in North America.*
Early evening, Night 61, the grounds of JP Morgan Chase:
At the Libertarian Municipalism reading group, held 5:30 PM at Natasha’s, Martin, Michael, Danny, and Jaclyn decided to focus on organizing 2-4 markets spaces throughout the city. The goal is to open things in March—new spaces for gathering and exchange. The group felt this would be a good way to practice and enact group readings on “libertarian municipalism,” otherwise described as a set of directives for taking over city leadership through a network of neighborhood General Assemblies. This week’s original readings seemed too theoretical and several steps beyond where we’re at in Lexington, so Marty’s digging up another reading for next week that will have more nuts and bolts on connecting local action to the theory of municipalism. Contact Mudd at Martin.Mudd@gmail.com for more information, or just show up to the Occupation on Mondays at 5:30 to join in the fun and market planning.
Your humble reporter missed most of Monday’s night’s General Assembly (GA) due to run-over from the libertarian municipalism meeting, but did catch the end, where Austin announced that Lexington has become North America’s longest running occupation.* This city established the third occupation, and with cops in New York recently evicting occupiers from Zucotti Park and with Chicago unable to establish a lasting occupied foothold, we Lexington residents are now #1.*
After GA, this reporter met with Ian to discuss plans for developing a People’s Budget for the Lexington Fayette Urban County Government (LFUCG). He’s wants to engage as many people as possible from the community—social organizations, churches, community groups, etc.—to perform a line-by-line audit of the city budget and to create a people’s budget in its place. (Ian imagines General Assemblies growing as new participants show up to help draft/debate the People’s Budget). This reporter suggested Tanya Torp, who has been meeting with community groups; a geography grad student he has yet to meet who has research interests in city funding; and David Schankula, who has looked at budget processes through is coverage with Barefoot and Progressive. Contact Ian at firstname.lastname@example.org if you are interested in developing a People’s Budget. Ian imagines a several month process.
Night 61/62: LGBL at the Courthouse Bocce Fields
In light rain and ultra-soggy conditions, Danny Mayer rode a perfect botch on the opening jack to an 11-6 victory in the night’s opening round of Lexington Guerilla Bocce League, held Monday nights at 10:00 PM. The Courthouse grounds were spongy, Mayer told reporters after the match while receiving liquids in the player’s quarters at Sidebar, and air temperature remained at a balmy 50 degrees. “I stuck my throws, and Michael was over-geared for the night,” Mayer explained about his competitor. “His extra layers were either a hindrance to his current performance—leading to a number of poorly rolled balls—or they were a learning experience for learning how to throw in cold-weather. Either way, I beat the shit out of him tonight.” After the opening match loss, Benton, who was still recovering from an epic Turkey-night drunk, seemed groggy, weak and confused. Mayer took the second match quickly, dropping 11 on Benton before he reached 3 points.
After match play, the rollers held forth with several Sidebar patrons on global developments. H5N1 now has human-to-human transfer capabilities. A student in Kansas called the governor a dickwad—a sentiment that goes viral after she after she refused her sycophant headmaster’s demand that she apologize to the governor. American Airlines filed for bankruptcy; more unrest in Greece and Spain; fiscal strife in Italy, Germany and France; and Wall Street roared back after losing 5% last week—the worst Thanksgiving week going back to the 1930s.
Early on, morning 62, after coffee
After a quick coffee run at 1:42 AM, this reporter returned to Occupy Station Camp at 2:30 AM for the final push to the end of shift—7:00 AM. Errol, a long-time Lexington occupier, sat around the heater talking to Dwayne, a homeless man on his way to the labor way-station on Newtown Pike at Second Street. Dwayne claimed that arriving 30 minutes early, at 4:00 AM, usually nets him a day-time job that will find him working 9 hours and taking home $40-50 in earnings. Dwayne’s drop-in was one of several tonight. John ordered a midnight meat-lovers pizza; Kate, Jacob and Tessa squeezed under the tent during the 11:00 PM downpour and brought a friend visiting from Australia. Earlier, a Spanish teacher teaching at UK dropped in with some comrades from Spain who were filming life in Occupied Lexington.
Five weeks doing this now, and something has become clear. The one time we consistently have lots of traffic but few occupiers? Tuesday mornings (probably all mornings), from 7:00-9:00 AM. Few to no occupiers, but high car volume. It would be good to see those who are early risers (most likely-non-students) to commit to occupying during these high-visibility shifts. When suburbanites drive through Lexington’s one-way Main Street on their way to work, they see an empty encampment devoid of energy and movement. No wonder the image of Occupiers is one of lazy people who want easy handouts. UK faculty (most of whom do not teach before 10:00 AM)—are you getting the message yet? There’s an Occupation going on here. Your help is not just requested. It’s needed.
If you would like to have any information included in future Monday Night Comunités, contact Mayer.Danny@gmail.com by the Sunday before. We’ll do our best to send out any messages over the Monday Night wire.
Monday night/Tuesday morning occupier
*Continuous European conquest and occupation of the entire continent since 1492, excepted.