Thursday, October 11, 2012

Planning for the second annual Occupy Thanksgiving PDX 2!

Occupied America
Occupied America (Photo credit: FredMikeRudy)
October 11, 2012
From: Sarah Morrigan

Today apparently is the last day of Portland's dry, warm, sunny season.  Believe it or not, the holiday season is only around the corner.  Thanksgiving is only six weeks from today.

Still reeling from the eviction, Occupy Thanksgiving PDX last year brought together the community spirit as well as plenty of great food to a kind of pop-up occupation at the Wallace Park in Northwest Portland (see for the report-back).

We are doing it again, and hope to do it in a grand scale.  Last year's Occupy Thanksgiving PDX was pretty improvised and organized almost entirely with help of Twitter and Facebook.  Considering the concentration of Occupy energy that was still present at the time (we were doing daily GA/Spokes at the Pioneer Courthouse Square and Director Park back then -- and the Food Team was still making dinner every day!) and ready attention by the media, it was pretty easy.  This year, it seems that a solid advance planning is the way to go.

Occupy Thanksgiving PDX was started with this original vision:

We are occupying Thanksgiving Day.  
We occupy it because: 
  • This is a quintessentially American holiday, and is an important part of American cultural narratives.
  • This is also a holiday that commemorates the fact that the European colonizers began their expansive ambitions and conquest and genocide of the First Nations, in the name of "freedom" -- something this holiday tends to sugar-coat.
  • On this day, there are many -- and growing number of -- Portlanders who are unhoused and, since most of other Portlanders have a privilege of being able to stay home, take a day off, and spend time with family, they are left outside often with no place to go and nothing to eat.  We recognize this social inequity.
  • Today, Thanksgiving Day is the official beginning of the "Holiday Season," which is essentially an orgy of consumerism orchestrated by the top 1%.  Many publicly-traded big corporations count on this season, and the Fourth Quarter earnings report affects share prices significantly.  We occupy this day to reclaim the Thanksgiving as a time for community, sharing, and abundance.
-- from

This year, for the second annual Occupy Thanksgiving PDX 2, we would like to continue this vision.

This is our wish list for some of the "requirements" we see in order to achieve this vision better for 2012:

  • An indoor space that can be utilized for all afternoon and evening (preferably all day), since weather may be not hospitable.  We are shooting for a place we can reserve for an entire day and early evening since part of the reasons we do Occupy Thanksgiving PDX is that everything is closed and we believe that no one should be forced out to the streets in rain and wind especially on Thanksgiving Day.
  • An adequate kitchen space.  As this would again be a potluck, and we do not anticipate whole a lot of on-site cooking, it does not necessarily need to be industrial.
  • A capacity to accommodate about 50 people, with consideration that some people come and go throughout the day.
  • A good public transit and bicycle accessibility, and preferably full ADA compliance.
The first kick-off planning session will be held on Monday, October 15, at 5 p.m. at the Occupy Portland headquarters (1131 SE Oak St., Suite 5).  This also doubles as our first anniversary celebration, so you are strongly encouraged to come celebrate the founding of Interfaith Solidarity with us.

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