When the camps are not visible, they simply move to the net. From the variety of platforms, networks and tools, here you find a selection of the most interesting resources to participate and to help construct a different future. This is what we have learned during the winter, now get ready for the spring!!
1/ Let’s start with the basics:
It’s important to know that the activities of the indignado / occupy movement develops in two interconnected but actually independent spheres. The tent cities bring visibility to the protests but they tend to die because of the overwhelming task of looking after the needs of dozens or hundreds of inhabitants. All the energies are employed for the own survival of the camp but few can be dedicated to produce ideas, reflections and proposals and to disseminate them. On the other side, less visible but more permanent there are hundreds of established assembly active across Europe. Some left the camps before being evicted (e.g. acampadasol in Madrid) to put all their energies into creating and extending in to neighborhoods and neighboring towns. There may be some discussion about this, but the point is to start preparing your exit plan as soon as you arrive and connect with people ready to engage independently of the fate of the camp.
In my opinion, the camps and the assemblies embody the dualism of this movement: conflict and legitimacy, action and reflection, heart and head, spontaneity and memory. Its role is to spark the reaction and to wake up people so that we can start creating together our own alternatives to this system. Eventually, some want to change the world and others want to build a new one. It’s therefore crucial to keep the cohesion with open communication, trust and lots of solidarity so that everybody is ready to engage with and to approach others’ position.
How to camp:
You find great materials here: http://howtocamp.takethesquare.net/ https://n-1.cc/pg/groups/205653/howto-camp/
There are as many variations as assemblies. All the group must find the rules that they are comfortable with. It must be based on inclusive, leaderless, consensus-based decision-making. The holy grail is unanimity, the compromise is to be able to find consensual agreements and avoid recurring to vote. However, all assemblies will learn from their own experience how to reach consensus-based decision-making: http://howtocamp.takethesquare.net/2012/01/25/consensus-protocols-in-madrid-and-barcelona/
Now that you exist, be functional… and be visible!
Create a blog, get a twitter account, open a facebook page, prepare flyers before your actions, and get a common email account. Make sure that the people can find you. The regularity of assemblies in public spaces is the best option. Claiming public spaces is a core demand and makes people aware.
I know it is a pain and I don’t want to be picky but we need to be earnest, take minutes of the assemblies to account for important decisions, respect others’ opinions and feelings and respect the environment. It’s important to demonstrate that there is a better way.
There have been meetings on local, regional and national levels in at least Germany, Portugal, France, UK, Spain and Italy have. There you put working groups and initiatives in common and get a little look at the world abroad. For international connections, the best way is to find one big international synchronized event. Find who is behind and which countries are participating. Get connected and participate in the preparations and promote your own local event. The next Global Day will be 12 May. Check my linkoteque to find many indignados / occupy groups.
Others may not be so visible, but there must be someone in your city with a blog, a twitter account or a facebook page. Else, create your own and be as the person you were looking for!
N-1 is not as fancy a facebook but you won’t need to impress anyone posting your holiday pics. There are already around 40.000 members and thousands of groups, assemblies and resources pages. N-1 is not just another social network, it includes built-in dynamic pads, collaborative blogs, calendars, tasks and documents. Everything you need to build groups of interests and produce collaborative materials for sharing and disseminating: https://n-1.cc/
There are many others around the world, for Belgium Unite the 99% is an example of one active social network: http://www.unitethe99.org/ Indignez-vous collects the agenda of the many groups and many news. Don’t miss the pearltree with the links to find all active groups. http://www.indignez-vous.be/
There are static assemblies, platforms were a variety of issues are debated and agreed over the time such as 15-M virtual assembly that emerged from the Spanish movement: http://15m.virtualpol.com/
Specially suited for international meetings and country-wide assemblies there are communication tools that allow massive meetings of hundreds of people, even thousands. People from around the world can participate actively in a discussion that is moderated and translated if needed by the same participants following horizontal rules. The most popular one is mumble. Mumble is an open source, low-latency, high quality voice chat software. It requires a server to host meetings and virtual assemblies, so different groups offer theirs own servers in a rotatory basis so that no one has exclusive control over the communication channels. The most popular ones are occupytalk.org, tomalaplaza.net. but there are many others. http://mumble.sourceforge.net/
Web-based pads offer the possibility to create collective documents with dozens of participants editing simultaneously the same page. The include features like timeslider to see how the document develops in time and different colors for each of the collaborators so that you know when and who has made changes to the documents. This tool is particularly suited developing the agenda and for collecting minutes of virtual meetings. It´s very usefull to create collaborative documents such a press release, statements and research notes. The most popular pads are: https://pad.riseup.net/ http://titanpad.com/ http://piratepad.net/
Remember that each us is the best outreach of the movement, so be outspoken, share with your friends and recruit new members!
Be a witness:
Anyone with internet connection from any device can take a local struggle to a global audience. New smart phones, in particular, android-based ones offer a wide variety of non-proprietary communication platforms. Free chating, phoning, and broadcasting are at your reach if you just connect to the web. Live broadcasting can be a way to increase your outreach but also a way of self-defense if you witness injustices and police brutality. Once the information is out, they won’t be able to take it from you.
Promote your events:
Create flyer, banners to share with participants. Sharing in advance the design file of posters and tags can distribute well the work. Don’t rely only on the net and be visible on the streets, hang posters and distribute flyers.
Remember to communicate and propose your own hashtags when you call for demonstration or any other events. Find out the appropriate hashtags in days of mobilisation and twitter what is happening in your city. https://twitter.com/
Other webs such as facebook, google+, youtube, linkedin, forums or your own blog are perfectly good ways to spread the word.
Create your channel and start streaming live TV from your mobile, PC or videocam. You can create your own materials, film didactic seasons, etc. Live streaming is recommended in big mobilisations and during police interventions. How to film a revolution – OWS tutorial http://globalrevolution.tv/ http://bambuser.com/
I have surely forgotten many other interesting resources. If you know others, please leave a post and I’ll keep this page updated. Thanks!