OCCUPY (Inter)National Gathering 2013
Attendance encouraged by all Occupiers and interested parties!
Occupy Kalamazoo will be hosting the second Occupy national conference on August 21-25, 2013, following the wildly successful Occupy National Gathering that took place in Philadelphia in July of 2012.
We, the National Gathering Working Group 2013 (NGWG2013), propose a National Gathering of the Occupy Movement, and peoples’ movements worldwide, in Kalamazoo Michigan, to collectively assemble and embrace our different ideologies and perspectives; to find our common visions; to share our strategies and actions; and to leave this gathering with steps we can all take in both agreement and diversity; for ourselves, our communities, our nations, and for all of us all over the world.
We further propose that our convergence begin on Aug. 21 and continue for five days of Community and Movement building exercises including speakers, teach-ins, and free-flowing open discussion at a location to be determined by the Occupy Kalamazoo General Assembly (UpJohn Park is being negotiated). We believe it’s time the people of the world spoke to each other about how to make a better world. We ask you to converge with us, to bring your ideas, your struggles, and your voice and come to Kalamazoo! There will be a special focus on indigenous peoples, race, gender and class throughout the convergences.
The Occupy National Gathering working group (NGWG2013) is a coalition of Occupy movements from cities around the world, uniting in solidarity with Occupy Wall Street and with Occupy and peoples' movements worldwide.
Many people ask why Kalamazoo? Bill Moyer said it best on a planning call, that Michigan is a hotbed of activist activity at this moment in history. Environmental issues plague the state and the Great Lakes; the political situation rallied tens of thousands as Rick Snyder eroded the state's unions; there are Drones bases and a solid anti-war base, and Kalamazoo has a reputation for being the sixth-meanest city in the country towards its homeless population. A homeless Bill of Rights is being worked on by Occupy Kalamazoo.
Kalamazoo is a Pottawatomie word that is said to mean "the Land of Boiling Water". On July 25th, 2010, the Kalamazoo River was destroyed as over 1 million gallons (a publicly stated figure) of Tar Sand Oil, along with 40% of that volume in Benzene, was pumped into our river at high pressure for more than 17 consecutive hours, killing everything in the river for almost 40 miles. The Tar Sand Oil (literally the most harmful kind of oil possible) is so dense that it sank to the bottom of the river. There most of it now sits, loosely covered by sand in the bed of the Kalamazoo. More than 60 people and countless animals and plants are dead because the Oil Company Enbridge found a cover-up to be more cost efficient than addressing their mess. Whereas Enbridge employees were covered in protective gear and would be sent home the spill breached a 500-yard perimeter, trailer parks and homes within 500 yards were told to simply shut their windows. During Christmas Week 2011 alone, 5 trailer-park residents died as a result of health complications controversially linked to the Tar Sands Oil spill.
The focus of the Occupy National Gathering will be leadership building and people powered training, education, and actions. To empower people with trainings to take back to their community and spread positive and effective change in their communities.
- Aug 21st: Renew Kalamazoo and your community.
- Aug 22nd: Making and Supporting Free, Unfettered Media
- Aug 23rd: Fixing Fossil Fuels and Creating an Environmentally Sustainable Future.
- Aug 24th: Economic and Trade Justice, Equal Access and Ending Corporate “Personhood”, Asserting the People’s Sovereignty.
- Aug 25th: Ending War and Our Police State, Building Peace and Cooperation.
A global conversation
A multi-month building action which many countries may participate in, including a massive digital conference taking place August 22nd-24th. Each day will also have a global component and conversation based on the needs and issues of the global community, roughly paralleling, but by no means restricted to, the daily themes. The Global work, like NatGat2 itself, is a work in progress and will be developed by participating groups. Please join our global partner, Via22, for monthly mumble meetings 22nd of each month on the occupytalk.org server, Via22 room. More info on facebook and the Via22 website and Hub on InterOccupy.
Tour of the Kalamazoo River
Home of the Enbridge Oil spill in 2010 "The Largest inland oil spill in U.S. History"
Occupy Summer Support Tour for #OpOK
The Occupy Caravan type Summer Tour for Change has been re-directed to supply much needed support in Oklahoma. The Occupy Summer Support Tour will begin June 8th in solidarity with UTW’s GLobal “UnFuck the World” Concerts happening in LA, Brisbane, London and others. Maike Both of UTW has been working with National Gathering 2013 here in Kalamazoo. Local community empowerment with media and training, holding teach-ins, art and education, potential direct actions, and also donation and fundraising for the Occupy Sandy relief effort.
Join the Summer Support Tour for #OpOK!
The Occupy National Gathering, like all Occupy events, strives to be free and provide Mutual Aid for essentials like food, water, sanitation, housing, transport, media and support. All services are provided free by volunteer teams and participants. Donations to defray unavoidable costs accepted through our fiscal sponsor, AfGJ. Please select Occupy National Gathering under Cause.
At the Gathering:
We hope to be offering multiple housing and recreational spaces. Sign up if you need or have housing or a ride to offer. We encourage Occupys, individuals and organizations to self-organize Occupy Caravans from your city or region to Kalamazoo.
Food: We are donating time on co-op farms, and reaching out to local business and farmers to gather natural and healthy food to provide during the event. Food and Support teams forming! Join the team!
Entertainment: There will be nightly entertainment, including featured artists, poets, musicians, and djs, as well as a campfire and drum circles. Also planning a benefit concert, and encourage artists of all mediums to inquire for space for expression.
Watch the conference on Livestream:
- Occupy Detroit Official Channel: http://www.ustream.tv/channel/occupy-detroit
- Occupy Kalamazoo: http://www.ustream.tv/channel/occupykalamazoo
Join Our Weekly Planning Conference Call
Help Plan Events and Activities, Offer to Speak, Teach, Run a Workshop.
Join the Team to help with one of the many aspects of Support.