Some more updates from Occupy Providence

It is an exciting time of change and evolution for Occupy Providence! We have plenty of things to celebrate this winter and we are looking forward to an action-packed Spring, for which we are already planning events and actions. Here’s a brief update on what’s going on!

 WINTER DAY SHELTER OPENS AT EMMANUEL HOUSE

OP members tour Emmanuel House

OP members tour Emmanuel House

 

After maintaining a 24-hour-a-day-protest at The People’s Park for over 100 days, Occupy Providence will suspend the overnight portion of its occupation on January 29th, in conjunction with last Wednesday’s opening of the day shelter at Emmanuel House! When city officials cited winter safety concerns as compelling reasoning for Occupy Providence members to vacate Burnside Park— The People’s Park— occupiers voiced their own concern for some of the most disenfranchised members of the Rhode Island community: unemployed and underemployed people and families who are currently experiencing homelessness, and who do not have the means to escape the harsh winter safety concerns cited by the city. Until now, Providence has lacked a day center, sheltering homeless Rhode Islanders at night but closing night shelter doors as early as 6:00am or 7:00am, forcing many individuals to seek shelter and warmth in public spaces until night shelters reopen. Occupy Providence has agreed to temporarily suspend its overnight tent occupation in the park on the condition that the city open an unused facility to be converted into a day center during the harsh winter months, providing families and individuals with shelter, transitional resources and services, and the opportunity to avoid the harsh winter safety concerns insisted upon by officials.

While visiting the day center on its opening day, one OP member observed twenty to twenty-five people utilizing the new center by 11:30am, with more coming in during the span of his visit. This is a victory for OP and for our community! (Read more here)

 OCCUPY WALL STREET/OCCUPY MEXICO VISIT PROVIDENCE

21 members of the Occupy movement from New York and Mexico arrived in Providence this week! They are participating in a 5-week-tour, where they will visit other occupations throughout the North East. Their first stop was Occupy Providence! After celebrating their arrival and sharing food at a potluck, the occupiers collaborated on a skill-sharing workshop! Be sure to follow the group’s travels on twitter @OWSBus.

VIDEO: OWS visits Occupy Providence

OP PLANS FOR SPRING

OP Members begin their re-seeding initiative in November.

 

Despite the temporary suspension of OP’s overnight encampment, Occupy Providence is energized and committed to continue organizing, planning direct actions, and exercising our right to free speech and expression. The opening of the day center is just one of many victories, and OP plans to expand on its already long list of completed actions and events, continuing its struggle against mass economic injustice. In addition to the actions which have taken place throughout winter, OP members are anticipating an action-packed Spring season as we begin to plan and organize for the warmer weather. Occupy Providence members remain committed to leaving The People’s Park in better condition than we found it, maintaining our initiative to re-seed the park’s grass as soon as weather permits. As always, be sure to keep an eye out for upcoming events— OP is more energized than ever!

Update by Jade

Join us for our victory rally/march!

Today, Saturday January 28, OP is going to march and rally in celebration of the opening of the day center!

There is a call for assembly members who feel comfortable protesting over night to join us for a sleep over. Then there will be a dance party! Sunday will be a community clean up day of the park. Burnside park is officially renamed the People’s Park!

3pm-Start rallying at park

3-4 pm -March

Dance party time tba! Come join us for a fun last night in the park before we temporarily suspend our overnight encampment at People’s park for the winter! Please also join us on Sunday when we will have a community clean up day and remove items and tents from the park.

**Occupy Providence working groups, General Assemblies, & Direct Actions will CONTINUE as always. Repeat: there will be NO break in OP activity whatsoever. In fact, we had several non-day center related actions this week, and a major action for the Spring is being planned now. We encourage anyone who is interested in making their voice heard to join a working group & participate in General Assembly. Schedule / Info is always available on the website calendar and on facebook.

Change to the General Assembly Schedule

On 1/27/2012, the general assembly voted to reduce the GA schedule to 2 meeting times a week for winter.

Location:

  • Inside Mike’s studio (until new location is found)
  • Outdoors (weather permitting)

GA Agenda:

  • Saturday at 2 pm to accommodate better bus schedule. Working groups will meet, there will be community building, and we will extend the GA to allow for more meeting time.
  • Tuesdays at 6pm-working group report backs, proposals. (standard GA.)

Facilitation can still call emergency GA’s.

Come down to the next GA at Burnside Park, Mike’s studio at 131 Washington street, or another location TBA to participate in direct democracy!

 

Occupy Wall Street and Occupy Mexico visit OP!

Hey all. Here’s a brief report back from our first InterOcc event, AKA the Occutrip!

  •  Around 5:45 the OCCU-BUS ARRIVED! Lots of beeping and shouting and awesome vibes!
  •  The occupiers(21) from OWS and Occupy Mexico arrived and lots of hugs were shared!
  • We all got together for a group photo on the statue and started rallying! Lot’s of chanting and singing and dancing!
  • From there we headed to Libertalia for a potluck dinner! Lots of drumming and talking!
  • We held a brief meeting between the Occutrippers and bottom liners (Amanda & Annie Rose) to discuss itinerary and sleeping arrangements as well as bus parking etc etc.
  • We planned a skill share for tomorrow at 12 noon to discuss skills we can share that may help the movement! So if you have anything you can contribute please come down.

The occutrippers all have somewhere to sleep whether it be the park or indoors and plan to take part of any meetings we have tomorrow! They WILL be joining us at our rally tomorrow also! They love it here and we love them being here. Channel 10 showed up (womp womp)

I plan to have a dance party in the domes or outside weather permitting to send them off properly! If anyone can find that generator we used just for one night it would help!

Thanks for reading! Please come tomorrow for the rally and to make them feel welcome.!

In solidarity and struggle,

MaGee (Amanda,Dj MaGee,Dj Autonomous,your sister/friend)

A Victory for Occupy Providence and the people of Rhode Island!

We the people of Occupy Providence have successfully occupied Burnside Park since the 15th of October, 2011. After maintaining a 24-hour-a day-protest, 7 days a week, for more than 100 days, we proclaim that the park is truly the people’s park. Today we celebrate another victory; Occupy Providence has reached an agreement with the City of Providence to open and fund a day center at Emmanuel House for Rhode Islanders who are currently without housing for the duration of winter; in exchange for Occupy Providence agreeing to temporarily suspend the overnight tent occupation in Burnside Park.

Occupy Providence is energized and committed to continue organizing, defending the right to protest, and bringing awareness to economic injustices in our country. We are looking to 2012 as a year of great change for the working class, and we intend to be pivotal to that change.

Our decision to accept the City’s counter proposal for opening the day center does not reflect upon the entirety of our goals in protesting a system where the top 1% controls 46% of the wealth, and the richest 10% controls more than 90% of the wealth. Homelessness is a profoundly important issue that our city, our society, and our country needs to address. For too long, homelessness and poverty have been treated like a personal deficiency rather than a failure of our economic system. The day center is a first step in recognizing the needs of marginalized Rhode Islanders who find themselves homeless. The City, the diocese and advocates all coming together on this agreement is an encouraging new beginning.

However, this is only the beginning. We will continue to go after this culture of corporate greed, “too big to fail” banks, government bail outs, and economic inequality; which is especially egregious in regards to race, sex, gender, age, and class. We will take every opportunity to stand against man-made climate change and the systematic destruction of our global eco-systems by the exponentially expanding industrial and military pollution now threatening our world. We find these issues to be self evidently interconnected and we are proud to announce the victory of opening a day center for persons who would otherwise be up against the elements day in and day out during the harsh New England winter.

We hope this move can inspire the people of Rhode Island to realize that the voice of protest is a powerful one and that together we can achieve the changes we wish to see in our society. Occupy Providence will continue to stand in solidarity with the Occupy Wall Street movement and the hundreds of other ongoing occupations around the country and the world. We send our deepest thanks to those who’ve supported us along the way and we invite you to join us in continuing the struggle in 2012.

We are the 99%. Another world is possible.