Details: The Occupy Movement is having a national convention; you can vote for delegates and you can run to be a delegate yourself.
The Occupy Movement is having a national political convention this year, at the start of July 2012, and everybody in the United States is invited to choose the convention delegates. In fact, we are calling it the National General Assembly.
There is a website where you vote. You type in where you live and then you choose from people in your area who are offering themselves as candidates to be convention delegates.
Of course you can also register as a candidate to become a delegate yourself. Naturally if you did register to run for delegate you'd put in information about your political philosophy and background and such as that for people to see.
It's going to be in Philadelphia at the start of July 2012.
So what will the Occupy Movement's national convention do? Basically whatever the delegates decide to do. However, the current plan is to continue something Occupy has done so well so far: Steer the national political debate in the United States back to reality.
It's supposed to write a document, a Petition, about what's wrong in this country and how to make it right. We are calling it a Petition For Redress of Grievances because that is what this kind of thing is called in the United States Constitution.
In the Constitution's idea of America, publishing a Petition For Redress of Grievances is something "we the people" are supposed to do whenever we feel it's needed. However, we had better make sure it actually tells the truth, that it describes the problems accurately and proposes good solutions. If not, it won't be any contribution to our country's national debate.
If the delegates are smart enough to get that done, to write a Petition that tells the truth, it will be a very useful step toward creating real democracy in the United States.
The convention is going to be in Philadelphia at the start of July 2012.
Details: I (Stone Riley) am running to become a delegate at the convention.
65 years old. Retired software engineer. Lifelong war resister. Lifelong pro-Earth Pagan. Lifelong pro-human artist / intellectual. (If interested: my art website is at www.StoneRiley.com.)
Currently got a performing art position one day per week in a history museum (storytelling while costumed as a 19th century small town banker) teaching our museum visitors about money. And here's one thing I teach: We human beings have constantly changed money (what it is and how it works) to better serve our current needs throughout history.
First performance success: Lincoln's Gettysburg Address in elementary school.
Been following the climate change catastrophe ever since I used a Scientific American article on that subject to write a little school report when I was in seventh grade (more or less) in approximately 1959. We always had that magazine at home (along with National Geographic) because my father was the same kind of Midwestern self-taught scientist that the Wright Brothers were.
In 1970 did 30 days in army jail for doing anti-war work inside the army during a war. In case you're interested, there is a poem about this on the video.
Was a small business man in computer software consulting for 30 + years starting 1972. This followed a tradition of small business efforts in my family.
Since 1980, as a Pagan minister, I've done pastoral counseling with very many people – human beings struggling through all of life's amazing difficulties – and this has taught me more than any other kind of work I've done.
As you may know, the Pagan Movement is extremely "green" in the sense of being environmentally conscious. I should also mention that we feel great respect for the world's native cultures and this has led me to have strong feelings against imperialism.
In autumn 2011 was present and worked hard at the Worcester Massachusetts Occupy encampment.
Currently working for a local activist organization of unemployed people.
Details: But what's my bottom line as a convention delegate?
I'm going to wear a black and white bandana at the Ninety-Nine Percent Convention. Black and white are the colors of a political philosophy called Nonviolent Anarchism. Its main idea is this:
We human beings really are the real government.
We can build real democracy.
A deep commitment to non-violence is essential to that process.
Non-violent activism is the strategy we can use to win.
And what are my goals concerning what the delegates ought to write in their Petition? First I have a short list of issues that I personally want to see get addressed in a truthful manner. Global warming is at the top of that, and good green jobs, the imperialist wars are next, and then the mass incarceration system.
And then I have a guiding principle: We need to persuade Republicans. Yes we can persuade very many people on the political right. And this is absolutely necessary. But how do you do that? You state your principles very clearly and you make sure your principles arise from love.
Personally, I learned that early. I grew up as an anti-racist so-called "white" boy in the Jim Crow segregated South and I quickly saw that you can speak effectively across the ideological divide without being a middle-of-the-road person yourself. Just speak clearly and speak from love.