Letters to the Editor

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PROTESTS: Movement needs more dialogue

Letter by Alfred K. LaMotte, Steilacoom on Nov. 7, 2011 at 1:45 pm with 5 Comments »
November 8, 2011 10:13 am

I marched with Occupy Tacoma and found a diverse group of caring citizens. But I fear that the Occupy movement polarizes many Americans.

If it is unacceptable to stereotype the poor, the immigrant and the union laborer, why is it acceptable to stereotype police officers, bankers, the wealthy and business owners? That cop standing there is also the 99 percent. So is that local bank manager and that state congresswoman.

Perhaps we need to dialogue instead of demand. I suggest that the Occupy movement form listening circles. Invite the “other” into your circle instead of demonizing him.

Some Occupiers seem pretty exclusive. The truth is, sidewalk campers who depend on other people’s plumbing and other people’s food are an infinitesimal fraction of America, not 99 percent.

Here are some guidelines for listening circles.

• No judgments, just “I” statements instead of “you” statements.

• Talk about three subjects: how I feel, what I fear and what I hope.

• Listen to others.

• No hiding behind masks and black bandannas: Anarchy is the opposite of community.

• If everyone in my circle is just like me, I’m in the wrong circle.

I hope the Occupy movement will generate positive vision instead of adolescent outrage. I hope it will create legislative goals instead of angry demands. I hope it will generate candidates instead of campers. Before I occupy Tacoma, I must occupy my heart. That means inviting the “other” in.

Leave a comment Comments → 5
  1. I agree, surprising as that may seem to ‘regulars’ who know that I often do not agree with Mr. L.

    However, I would not make the emphasis “how do you feel” in the circle.Feelings are not a reliable way to get at some of the more difficult issues at hand. I mean, yes, let’s show proper respect for feelings of anger, frustration, etc., but let’s not forget to talk about the down-and-dirty concrete stuff either, and let’s start from a place where we acknowledge greed, power-abuse and politics on both sides of the political spectrum.

    I personally an not interested in ignoring the connection between business and politics. The Soros/Dem connection is every bit as significant as any such connections on the right.

    Those “rap sessions” (that’s what we called them back in the 70’s) should start with reality checks.

  2. sozo,
    Humans have feelings.
    Feelings can be physical (hot, cold etc)
    Or mental (I just fell this is wrong etc)
    Mental feelings (aka instincts or intuition) are created by the subconscious mind processing subliminal information.

    The unnatural connection between business and politics is the root cause of most of the problems our country faces.

    However, the Soros/Dems connection is a drop in the bucket compared to the Koch/Repot connections.

  3. PumainTacoma says:

    If they used their time and energy in finding a job or working for a living they might just get some sympathy. But wearing an “A” for anarchist on your shirt, while wearing a mask and setting on fire ATM machines is no way to bring sympathy to the masses. Take your movement to Capitol Hill.

    And if you really want a job then take a shower, clean yourself up, start knocking on doors and giving a 5 minute pitch on why someone would be a fool not to hire you. Make your case and market yourself. Sending out resumes while sitting on your rear does nothing. Pick yourself up and make your case.

  4. Not sure why you felt the need to break down “feelings” as you did; they are still unreliable as one’s sole source of information regarding important issues. In any event, no one can give or take away one’s “right” to have them.

    Your inclination to minimize the impact of Soros’ connection to the left is interesting. If it helps you sleep better….

  5. PLEASE NOTE: I have been posting here for years as sozo and the commments above were NOT written by me. Either someone else is using the moniker coincidentally, or someone is attempting to speak for me.

    Again, I did NOT make the comments above.

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