Safety at Occupy Columbus Statehouse Site in Question

It seems that the current iteration of Occupy Columbus hasn't taken my concerns seriously. (1) At least, it's impossible for me to know for sure since there are no recent meeting notes or any updates on the status of General Assemblies on the Internet anywhere. However, one way to tell is by the recent accounts of physical violence that have taken place at the site.

On August 24, 2012, Michael Alexzander King writes on the Occupy Columbus Facebook page:

"Hey I don't mean to be negative but that crazy home-less guy named Kevin pulled a screw driver on me, and I filed a complaint on him. I'm telling you this now if he does that again I will defend myself." (2)

And on August 25, 2012, Andrew Parisi writes:

"i stopped by the tent last night on broad street and asked them tell me something about occupy columbus. All they did was scream capitalist pig at me. I vehemently disagreed then got jabbed in the throat. Awesome." (3)

Those currently involved in Occupy Columbus are apparently not only unable or unwilling to create safer spaces during General Assemblies, but they are also unable or unwilling to maintain a safer space at the Statehouse site.

Creating safer spaces for people to both ask questions and join the movement entails much more than simply documenting incidents and acting punatively against perpetrators. Rather, to be successful, it requires a proactive group of people who are willing to look critically at themselves and diligently root out the causes of the physical violence.

As I've written before (4), it's clear that the current folks involved are not interested in doing the work necessary in order to create safer spaces. And it doesn't appear this has changed. This, along with the current trend moving Occupy Columbus away from directly democratic decision-making (5), leads to a slowly devolving movement that only seeks to comfort those who feel like violence and oppression are acceptable in cooperative settings.

Footnotes:
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(1) http://www.occupycolumbus.org/groups/general-assembly-propos...
(2) https://www.facebook.com/OccupyColumbus/posts/377594895647827
(3) https://www.facebook.com/OccupyColumbus/posts/377926735614643
(4) http://www.occupycolumbus.org/groups/general-assembly-propos...
(5) http://cbusimc.org/node/95327

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From Andres Blue (a.k.a.

From Andres Blue (a.k.a. Jaime or Data) on Facebook:

"Putting aside the issue of intolerance of homelessness and bi-polar-like diseases, I have spent a great deal of time with Kevin and he has never assaulted me in spite of my enjoyment of verbal confrontational discussion (I love a good and even passionate debate). I believe the police have been doing their job better than amateurs would know. The statehouse tent sight is a particularly secure sight because of the security cameras on the building across the street. If you feel safer while not at the tent stay away from it. I feel safer trying to bring about change thru the statement that the tent makes and the serious discussion that I have with people on the street while sitting next to it and at GAs. I appreciate everyone's effort to bring about change, but understand that people have reasons for bringing down the tent that I don't understand." (1)

Jaime presents as a white, heterosexual, upper-middle class, able male who loves "a good and even passionate debate." He has all of the characteristics of someone the current iteration of Occupy Columbus at the Statehouse is seeking to attract.

The question should not be ... why would someone think it strategic for the movement to remove the site and focus elsewhere (which is NOT my main goal in writing the articles I've written thus far, but is the main focus of others (2)), but ... why do the current folks involved seem to only care about attracting people like Jaime when it's obvious this repels so many others?

Footnotes:
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(1) http://www.facebook.com/OccupyColumbus/posts/112564335559513...
(2) http://www.columbusunderground.com/forums/topic/occupy-colum...

 

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