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day after

day after

Part 2: Occupy Charlotte Contentious GA 11.23.11

4y ago


Part two of ten. The oath is read in part three. The night before Thanksgiving, Occupy Charlotte held its most contentious General Assembly (GA) to date. I filmed it on my phone and on my camcorder. (View the Ustream here: I've decided to make the raw video available -- complete with my goofs behind the camera, break to replace the battery, etc. -- to avoid complaints from all sides. I will also make a highlight reel for those of you who just want the summary. I'll link it here once it's complete. I also returned to camp on Thanksgiving and asked campers to reflect on the GA and the holiday. The reason the meeting was contentions had to do with an oath drafted by about a dozen Occupiers -- most of whom don't camp. A handful of men opposed the requirement to sign the oath. Three of those men were new faces to me. (I've been covering Occupy Charlotte for Creative Loafing, Charlotte's alt-weekly, since Oct. 1, when they held their first meeting at Marshall Park.) The day after this GA, those three men moved on. They said they'd come from NYC and DC occupation sites and claimed that some of their personal belongings had been stolen. During the GA, one of the individuals refused to adhere to process guidelines and another continually "jumped the stack." The crowd responded by shouting, "Stack! Stack! Stack!," at one of the men, meaning he should join the "stack," or the line of people who wanted to speak their minds on the topic. The oath, which is read around the 25-minute mark (found in part three), is worded as such: As a member of the Occupy Charlotte movement, being a representative of Occupy Charlotte therein, I pledge for the success and health of this movement to 1) be non-violent, including refraining from threatening or abusive behavior towards others, 2) be drug and alcohol free, including not possessing drug paraphernalia, 3) possess no weapons, 4) respect the personal space and property of others of Occupy Charlotte, 5) recognize that all of the resources donated are for use of the Occupation -- I recognize that they are privilege, not a right, granted to those who actively participate for the progression of this movement, 6) recognize that I have a responsibility to promote the public health and sanitation of our shared environment through proper hygiene and cleanliness, 7) not engage in sexual harassment, sexual misconduct or any other sexual disruptive sexual behavior, 8) abide by all federal, state and local laws. As someone who believes in personal responsibility and accountability, I will uphold this oath. I recognize that violations of this oath will lead to my expulsion from the Occupation site. I understand that the movement reserves the right to pursue police and or legal action for violation of this oath. Furthermore, I understand that I have an obligation and a duty to this movement to report any violations of this oath. I understand that I am a representative of this movement and that I have a responsibility to conduct myself in a manner that is beneficial to the movement. And at the bottom, there is a signature line and a place to print your name. And everyone who occupies on this lawn should sign this, and your receipt will be the Code of Conduct, which it will be your responsibility to enforce."