Declaration of Interdependence, Occupy Café and Occupy National Gathering
The statement below was the product of the collaborative efforts of ~60 people over the course of one day on July 4th, infused with the thoughts and energy of the overall Gathering as well as the conversations we had together in the Café in person and via Maestro conference from around the planet from 6/30-7/3
(pdf available here):
We are an interdependent world community. Recognizing we are unique
and whole as individuals, yet part of a greater whole as members of human
society, we seek to create a society that heals the social cancers that so
infect our cultures today. Every piece is essential; every pain is shared, as
we are a living organism.
Accepting the responsibility as authors of our society:
we declare that everyone must have an opportunity to participate.
voices are heard and considered. My neighbors needs are my needs and
my neighbors are global; therefore everyones needs must be met in order to
thrive as a global society.
we declare trust in our universal humanity
and recognition of our
capability to transcend fear, and function from compassion and love.
we declare our commitment to respect and steward the
interdependent web of all existence.
We evolve processes and structures
for higher awareness and wisdom of our Earth, people and other animals,
ecosystems, and the entire universe, now and into the future.
Final Statement / Postamble:
We support the inalienable rights of all beings, which cannot be given or
taken, bought or sold. We declare our commitment to these points by
working together in solidarity for a thriving, sustainable Earth.
The above recording is of a presentation Manfred Hellrigl gave to an audience in Stockholm, Sweden, starting out with the following questions... (My notes below are not a 1-to-1 verbatim match to what Manfred is presenting, they also include some interpretations/adaptations)
- How can we secure our standard of living?
- How can we secure a good future for our kids?
- Who will take care of us when we need care?
- How can we deal with growing diversity?
- How can we deal with the growing complexity?
- Who will pay the debt?
- Why are we in debt?
- What's going wrong?
- Who is to blame?
Political dilemma of sustainability - people that face it are un-re-electable.
Who is going to solve these issues if we can't expect it from the
how can it be that the political system developed in a way that it
doesn't solve the big and important issues we are confronted with?
Citizens are treated as customers
Politics/parliament, economy and experts run the system, citizens are a
mere disturbance vulnerable to lobbyism
Study of volunteering in Europe - countries with the least engaged
citizens have the most trouble in the current economic crisis.
We need active, engaged, collaborative citizens
How can we support and promote civil engagement
How can we make people step out of there comfort zone and do something
for their neighborhood, community, town they are living in
How can we get them?
- laws and regulations
- to plea and call
- subsidies, grants
- awards and decorations
Appreciative inquiry: looking for what is working instead of looking
to fix what is not
- Acupuncture points (find the change makers)
- Self-organisation (let them do it their way)
- How to organize self-organisation (example roundabout)
Langenegg example: snowball method
- found the major
- major selected 15 random citizens
- 15 random citizens were invited to come back with 2 more each
- 45 gathered to make a list of key individuals in the community
- 200 people were invited to network
- encouraged to talked about whatever they wanted
Proposal for child friendliness:
- 2000 randomly selected, invited
- 75 agreed to take four days off work unpaid
also included 50 children in a future conference
and open space with 60 experts
what children and adults proposed was at least as interesting as what
Citizens jury is too expensive
Cheaper: wisdom councils
Random selection: can't use brochure/poster to invite. must instead
pick directly/randomly and tell that they were chosen
Problem --> solution --> ok, that may sometimes work
During the first half of June, political activist and writer
Richard Moore was visiting
from Ireland and we turned these two weeks into a project to not only provide him with a deeper understanding of Switzerland's system of direct democracy but also attempt the rethinking of the workings of democracy, civil society and the economy, looking for a consensus on a new way forward.
First we traveled around Switzerland to meet with various people able to offer unique insights into the political system, and dug deep into the psyche of Swiss democracy to look for lessons learnt as well as new ideas to be applied to deepen democracy in Switzerland, Ireland and Europe.
The weekend of June 9-10, 2012 we hosted an intensive discussion on "Deepening Democracy", exploring the directions in which democracy may be evolved. The group of people that participated was comprised of people loosely related to the
project, people from the larger anarchist scene around St-Imier and people with an inherit interest in democracy living in the surrounding area.
All this resulted in the following diagrams and flip charts, and the emergence of the participants as the "beau-sejour" group founding a new organization that we named
with a mission to develop and search for conventions and best practices that allow civil society to better self-organize. These conventions should provide ways for different groups and organizations with an internal structure which allows them to reach consensus, to enter into a harmonization process with other organizations like that, in order to develop a larger whole system consensus. In other words, the outcome of this weekend session was that deeper democracy means democracy that relies much less on voting and instead focuses on consensus processes.
"Think for a moment of the complex reasoning this mama exhibited: first, she had memory memory of her four previous losses, in which bringing her new calf to the barn resulted in her never seeing him/her again (heartbreaking for any mammalian mother). Second, she could formulate and then execute a plan: if bringing a calf to the farmer meant that she would inevitably lose him/her, then she would keep her calf hidden, as deer do, by keeping her baby in the woods lying still till she returned. Third and I do not know what to make of this myself instead of hiding both, which would have aroused the farmers suspicion (pregnant cow leaves the barn in the evening, unpregnant cow comes back the next morning without offspring), she gave him one and kept one herself."
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