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Watercooler: Plugging In

Hi y’all.

I’m surprised how alert I am today after such a busy weekend. After spending all day on a bus to the TPP protest and back Saturday, on Sunday I spoke to the Third Coast Activists after a screening of Koch Brothers Exposed.

I’ve been attending these Third Coast Sundays gatherings since they began in January. A lot of the people who attend these events are occupy skeptics — activists, some of them of long-standing involvement in the Austin community, who either never came to our group or who came and chose to stop attending. As we’ve participated in their event, I felt like their respect for us has grown.

In my speech, I said clearly I wasn’t out to convert anyone. The Occupy banner is an important one to me — an emblem of a kind of anger, a kind of passion, and a kind of hope — but I don’t care that much if others’ march under it. What I care about is that we find ways to work together — to take what we’ve learned in the streets and harness it to others’ passions, others’ experiences. It also helped that it’s becoming easier and easier to rattle off our achievements every time I do a speech like this: over one and a half million dollars moved out of the big banks, guerilla and community gardens throughout the city, successful campaigns against a destructive charter schools and high-stakes standardized testing, to name a few.

Many people are fixated on telling Occupy what to do — how it should remain relevant, whether or how it should vote, which tactics it should and should not embrace. It can get frustrating; instead of a lecture I’d rather we all work together at creating solidarity, something Noam Chomsky says is a special gift of the Occupy Wall Street Movement.

It doesn’t look like I have a way to get to the NATO conference, so I’ll be watching on Twitter and streams alongside the other Cyber99. The next relatively local action I’m looking forward to is at the Exxon Shareholders Meeting in Dallas.

This is what I’m thinking about today. What’s on your mind? What music is setting your feet tapping?

This is today’s open thread.

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Kit OConnell

Kit OConnell

Kit O’Connell is a gonzo journalist and radical troublemaker from Austin, Texas. He is the Associate Editor and Community Manager of Shadowproof. Kit's investigative journalism has appeared in Truthout, MintPress News and