Occupy Hudson has been meeting regularly on Mondays at 7th Street Park (or nearby at The Parlor Coffee & Tea House in bad weather) for months now. This past Saturday, May 19, the group went public with an inviting, low-key event in the park.
Photo: Tom Pletcher
It was an "unofficial" event, and I wasn’t able to stay for all of it. As noted, the atmosphere was low-key and friendly. There was some good music, plenty of hula hoops and lots of engaging and thought-provoking conversation, including a very well-led discussion of the commons (thanks, Christine!).
Hudson city officials had been notified about the event in advance, and everything went off without any hitches or glitches (that I’m aware of, at any rate). Just by holding this event in a public space, Occupy Hudson performed a valuable service by demonstrating the importance of public space.
Occupy Hudson will soon go live with a new website at occupyhudson.org. Watch for it, and check the online calendar for meetings and events. We hope to see you next time.
Sometimes it helps to lighten up a little, and the creative remix of West Side Story that’s been making the rounds the past couple of weeks is bound to generate a smile, at the very least. The new “Occupy” lyrics are clever and nicely performed, and Officer Winski receives a much-deserved comeuppance. Check it out below if you’ve haven’t seen it before (or even if you have).
The ideas behind Rebuild the Dream—and specifically, the Contract for the American Dream—were what got this group started. Now those ideas are fleshed out in a highly readable and inspiring book by Van Jones, also titled Rebuild the Dream.
Jones, author of The Green Collar Economy and an environmental activist and former special advisor to the Obama administration on clean-energy jobs, examines the dynamics behind Barack Obama’s election and the forces that have since emerged to challenge him. He pays particular attention to the Tea Party, and seeks to learn what tactics can be adopted from its 2010 electoral success. He also examines the Occupy movement and suggests what it needs to do to accomplish its goals. Mainly, though, Jones issues a clarion call to join the Rebuild the Dream movement to revive the American economy and restore the country’s greatness.
Jones doesn’t pretend this will be easy, but he does bring great optimism to his focus on achieving change through consensus and bottom-up direction, and through community organizing, “crowd-sourcing,” online petitions, digital projects and conferences. He explains how movements fit into a “Heart Space/Head Space” grid, and how progressives need to appeal to the emotions as well as the intellect (a lesson learned from the Tea Party). Finally, he focuses on the Contract for the American Dream, and how it embodies the values that can make America work again.
If you long for progressive change but sometimes despair of achieving it, read this book. Its common sense and can-do attitude will give you a lift. Then, take action. Join the Rebuild the Dream movement. And if you’re in our neck of the woods, join BlueInGreene as well.
Elaine Fernandez of WiThePeople.com has put together an excellent video interview highlighting BlueInGreene’s principles, objectives and plans. If you’d like a brief introduction to what our group is all about, Elaine’s video—complete with visual aids and theme music—is an ideal place to start. The video is available on WiThePeople’s home page.
A reminder: Catskill’s important Wall Street to Main Street exhibition opens tomorrow at 2 PM. Some of us from BlueInGreene will be attending; perhaps we’ll see you at BRIK or GCCA. We’re sure you will find this exciting collaboration between GCCA’s Masters on Main Street program and the Occupy Wall Street Arts and Culture Working Group well worth attending in any case.
Also, BlueInGreene is having a meeting the following evening, Sunday March 18 at 6 PM, on the Mountain Top. If you’re interested in joining us, send a brief note of introduction to firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll send you driving instructions.
Hope to see you soon.
Wall Street to Main Street is a collaborative presentation from the Occupy Wall Street Arts and Culture Working Group. It will run March 17-May 31 in Catskill, hosted by the Masters on Main Street Project of the Greene County Council on the Arts. The Occupy Wall Street (OWS) movement has focused its energy on justice for the 99%—Wall Street to Main Street offers a platform for creative expression and dialogue focusing attention on a struggling community through a ten-week festival of experiences designed to engage, educate and inspire.
Elaine Fernandez of WiThePeople.com has a great video interview with Fawn Potash, Director of the Masters on Main Street project, on the upcoming OWS exhibition. The video is available here.
Wall Street to Main Street sounds exciting, and it’s a terrific opportunity for progressive people from throughout the region to meet up. Don’t miss the opening in Catskill on Saturday, March 17, from 2 to 8 PM.