Notes from Community Night in Lexington, KY, the longest continuously running occupation in North America.*
Morning? Night? Both go
past without mark. Mist defines
here more than we know.
Monday, 10:00 PM
Libertarian Municipalism: The Libertarian Municipalism/Education Reading group met at 5:30; discussion centered less on Janet Biehl’s The Politics of Social Ecology, and more on beginning steps for organizing several market spaces around town. Martin Mudd, a high school science teacher by day, led the group in discussions and took notes. Here’s how he summed up the meeting.
“We said we would each use this week to look for good locations in our neighborhoods to hold a market, and to identify people to welcome into our respective neighborhood planning collectives. Finally, we asked members to collect resources for organizing and gardening and such and bring those next meeting to share with the group.”
The goal is to select 2-3 markets for the group to focus resources upon; it is hoped that site selections will be made at the next meeting. Mudd continues, listing the criteria our group is using to identify potential sites:
“We identified a number of steps for starting out in each neighborhood we choose for this market project.
(1) Identify bottomliners by contacting friends and organizing an initial potluck/meeting.
(2) At this meeting, do a preliminary community needs assessment. Try to determine the optimal time and place for a market in your neighborhood. Try to utilize a public space. Make this time and place the regular meeting/potluck and begin to transform it into the market.
(3) Use developed networks through Potluck and this group to outreach to neighbors!
(4) As participation grows, gradually incorporate the political assembly component and confederate with other assemblies in Lexington.”
Marty and Jo will begin working on a site slection in Kenwick neighborhood (off Richmond Road). Danny and Michael will start working in North Limestone area. Jaclyn was interested in organizing either on UK campus, or in Beaumont. Anyone is invited to attend and participate in meetings and market development, held Mondays at 5:30 PM. Contact Martin.Mudd@gmail.com for more information.
General Assembly: Later, at GA (for which this reporter again arrived late), the discussion was spirited but clipped, as the 15 members huddled close to stay under the small shelter and out of the rain. In addition to mention of a Human Rights Day rally at JP this Saturday afternoon at 2:00, Media point-person Austin announced that our occupation had been mentioned in an online radio spot and an article analyzing the many Occupation “Declarations” that have sprung up. Occupy Lexington’s declaration was called “one of the more moving of the declarations.” A collective “get well” was registered for Occupier Betsy Taylor’s recovery from surgery.
People’s Budget: After GA at 8:00, Ian and others met to continue organizing for the People’s Budget. Over the past week, group members made contacts with Charles Young Demonstrators, 2 police officers from the Fraternal Order of Police, various Sanitation & Waste Management employees, two teachers, one long-time local activist, and some members of the Fraternal Order of Firefighters. The group decided to develop an email contact list and made plans for reviewing the city’s current budget to get familiar with it. A side discussion ensued on the city’s temp worker policy. For information on the People’s Budget, check this call-out.
Tuesday 3:00 AM
“Sometimes you eat the bear, sometimes the bear eats you.”
Sam Elliott, Big Lebowski
Another rainy night of occupation in downtown Lexington. End of the semester for me, and end of the year for everyone. Things felt tired tonight, or maybe I just did. I’m slogging through, looking forward to 7:00 AM leaving time and some late-morning sleep.
Bocce league was canceled: plenty of men at station camp for league play at 10:30, but no bocce players save under-dressed c urly-frowed John (who is looking more and more like a member of Flock of Seagulls). Occupiers voted down John’s participation this night on grounds that he was more valuable to the movement not sick and mostly dry than otherwise.
But still, despite the downpour and cancelled bocce, things happened at Main+Esplanade tonight. Erroll stayed long enough to refill the kerosene heater. Josephine popped in and talked film with Michael and me. Brad from Versailles showed up again, and we discussed ways to start a “this was made here” campaign at JP Plaza. We got as far as, “If we could get an assembly line of 4 people to work together to make something, either symbolic or useful, as a visual showing that we are being productive on this street corner…” From there, things veered off, as many conversations here do. I like the chaotic nature of it; some things stick, others don’t, the way of the world. I hope somebody makes this one stick.
Tuesday 8:30 AM
It is nice to rely on people, to feel solidarity…particularly nice when it comes under misty cold morning conditions. Jacob was up on the second shout-out and emerged from his tent wary enough for Michael and I to head north to our homes. I peeled off for a quick coffee at Third Street. Last night was too cold and wet to get anything done at night—a real slog—so my morning sleep will have to wait a couple hours longer. Now home, warm and tired, I think of Josephine or Bob or the other homeless people who filter through and support in their own ways this occupation. What do they do after occupying? How do they get warm? Dry? Sleep?
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…