11-22-11: Occupying … Without a Space to Occupy?

November 22, 2011 at 8:10 am Leave a comment

A sign for the Occupy Baltimore protests at the edge of McKeldin Square.

The mayor has said she will remove the Occupy Baltimore protestors from McKeldin Square “at a time of her choosing.”  Even if she lets them remain there indefinitely, it may become difficult for the protestors to stay during the winter months.  We wanted to know:  what do the occupiers plan to do…when they no longer have a space to Occupy?

Sheilah discusses the rights of the protestors with David Rocah, a Staff Attorney with the ACLU of Maryland.  We also asked several members of the city government to join us, including the city solicitor and deputy mayor to join us, but none accepted the invitation.

Then, we learn about the form of decision making used by the Occupy Baltimore protestors–it’s called consensus, in which everyone’s voice is heard.  It allows everyone to have a say — but it can some times lead to meetings that last up to five hours.

It’s not a new method – consensus has been used for years by groups including the Iroquois League and the Quakers.  Sheilah talks to the activist C. T. Lawrence Butler, a co-founder of the “Food Not Bombs” movement, who wrote a handbook called “On Conflict and Consensus” in the 1980s.  It’s a guide groups can use as they make decisions.

Then, producer Stephanie Hughes talks to Occupy Baltimore member Joy Davis about the goals of the movement, and how it may go forward.

[audio http://stream.publicbroadcasting.net/production/mp3/wypr/local-wypr-994740.mp3]

The Occupy Baltimore protestors have been camping in McKeldin Square since early October.

Entry filed under: On Air, Policy, Politics. Tags: , , .

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