Occupy movement developing own language

Dear editor,

"This, you have got to see," because as they say, seeing is believing.

Dear editor,

“This, you have got to see,” because as they say, seeing is believing.

And if you thought taking on the corporate agenda was a lofty ideal, wait until you experience how the global Occupy movement has tossed the political process out the window.

Comox Valley Occupy has formally adopted the consensus model of decision-making. The traditional model in politics engenders adversarial debate, insisting on the marginalized vote instead of seeking agreement. As an intentional community, we feel that the decision and the process cannot be removed one from the other.

So what does this look like?

Well, don’t get fooled by the “twinkling fingers” as part of the hand language used to instantly provide feedback during discussion and also provide a voice to all, even though you may not be the person speaking.

The hand language system is being used in Occupy from New York to Cairo, and is proven extremely effective. Some of the other aspects are formal roles such as the facilitator and minute-taker, but less familiar include such positions as the stack-taker, who is the individual who will recognize your hand signal to speak and add you to the list of next in line.

“The relationship dynamic became a physically empowering presence during our meeting last night, it still amazes me how different it was, yet how natural — how did we not know this was possible?”

The expectation is that each of us holds these gems of wisdom, so when we step up and speak, we are heard, and equally important is that we listen. We are actively choosing cooperation rather than personal preferences, and as a seriously motivated movement, this process is hugely empowering. Only in seeing will you recognize, and only in doing will you understand.

We are welcoming our entire Comox Valley community to come and ask questions anytime or participate at the general assemblies twice a week at our Occupy site in front of the courthouse on Wednesdays at 7 p.m. and Saturdays at roughly 2:30 p.m.

Caroline Alexander,

Courtenay

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