[tcrp-news] A new Union? -- Transition & Occupy
Tompkins County Relocalization Project
tcrp-news at lists.ibiblio.org
Mon Nov 28 16:28:51 EST 2011
Dear Friends--There appears to be some
collaboration evolving between Transition and
Occupy folks. There as also been a substantial
amount of tension and sometimes metal sparing
between various elements of both
"movements". The following series of e-mails
illustrates some of both. From the
tus-initiatives mailing list. It will be
interesting (or maybe not?) to see where this leads. Tom
********************** Forwarded E-mail ***************************
>From: Patricia Fenkell <pfenkell at gmail.com>
>Date: Sun, 27 Nov 2011 21:43:24 -0800
>Subject: Re: [tus-initiatives] Transition & Occupy
>To: David Herron <david at davidherron.com>
>We've just attended our first a joint meeting of
>Transition and Occupy Reno. (I wear both
>hats.) An idea of creating a combined entity,
>an autonomous Green Group of sorts, has been
>mentioned to create a green demonstration -
>garden, aquaculture, and or hydroponics farm -
>the park situated over a hot springs. The idea
>to plan and present the city council with a 5 -
>10 year plan to be discussed. As OR has been
>given a 90 day permit at an abandoned city
>park/pool and possibly the adjoining baseball
>diamond, dreams are already beginning to
>sprout. Transition has an open invitation to
>present reskilling classes - schedule
>TBA. Already members joint members of
>Transition Reno and our local Permaculture group
>are helping build a hoop house at the Occupy site for a winter garden.
>Occupy and Transition are a good match. As
>Naomi Klein noted on the videoed panel
>discussion "Occupy Everything," the economic
>and ecological crisis are one. The principles
>of sustainability and resilence that will be
>integral to bringing us
>Love the idea of a "do-acracy." I'll use that for my next protest sign.
>We'll keep you posted. Look forward to hearing how it's going for you all.
>On Sun, Nov 27, 2011 at 6:09 PM, David Herron
><<mailto:david at davidherron.com>david at davidherron.com> wrote:
>In Silicon Valley we're organizing a pair of
>Occupy/Transition meetup's over the next two Friday's. FWIW.
>Maybe we could report back afterwards.
>We're working on bringing together several local
>Occupy groups from San Jose to Palo Alto ..
>+ David Herron
>Transition Silicon Valley
>On Sun, Nov 27, 2011 at 5:53 PM, Jim Barton
><<mailto:smithmillcreek at gmail.com>smithmillcreek at gmail.com> wrote:
>Our Transition group in Asheville tends to be more on the grayhair side,
>though a Transition talk here by the late Frank
>Cook in April 2008 was mostly under 35. So
>setting and invitation group makes a big difference.
>[Strange how "tolerant" people are still nervous
>about going to strange territory
>(punkish kids feel more comfortable in the
>anarchist bookstore, and it's harder to get them
>to a Church; and vice versa for the folks at the Church).]
>I totally agree with Jill that we are in an amazing time.
>As someone hooked into the national Occupy
>discussions (what? you thought there was just
>one?), it is amazing to watch the phenomenon of simultaneous co-arising.
>It may be that the mayors are coordinated
>through an FBI-related phone call, but certainly
>groups on the ground are evolving as they work though the same issues
>[limits of consensus, tendency of
>disturbed/alcoholic/panhandling folks to take
>over the energy of encampments; a move towards
>spokescouncils and stronger Working Groups as
>opposed to nightly General Assemblies held out in the cold weather].
>For me, the highlight of the last month, and
>maybe one of the whole year, has been the calm,
>coordinated, principled nonviolent response to
>the UC Davis pepperspray incident. Here is the video if you haven't seen it:
>It has received 1.2 million views, though that
>feels too small-- almost everyone
>I've talked to has seen it.
>I wonder if, with the cold weather here, we
>might do a national same-day Occupy/Transition
>meetup in January or February? If that idea appeals to you, drop me a line.
>PS- Check out Herbert Gans' take on longterm unemployment:
>He doesn't get Transition, but might be ripe for a debate about it.
><mailto:smithmillcreek at gmail.com>smithmillcreek at gmail.com
>On 11/27/11 8:08 PM, JILL GIEGERICH wrote:
>I've been following this interesting dialog. I'm
>the initiator of Transition Joshua Tree in
>California. I'm also a supporter of Occupy L.A.
>and Occupy Yucca Valley (the town next to Joshua
>Tree). From my point of view, the western
>paradigm has now broken down to the point where
>no single approach will be the magic bullet.
>Just as Eric Garza points out that his
>experience with Transition on the east coast was
>distinctly disheartening in terms of attracting
>younger people, I will attest to the fact that
>at the Training for Transition in Joshua Tree
>the under 40's were in the slight majority and
>that they were all deeply engaged in the
>process. Why do we have these two different
>experiences with Transition? Why is Occupy
>vibrant in one location and fizzles out in
>another? Probably for any number of reasons. The
>real question is "what works here and now?". In
>this moment in history the answer will be fluid
>and temporal and constantly evolving.
>As a member of the TJT Initiating Group we are
>constantly reassessing. Right now we're thinking
>a lot about the TransitionUS suggestion that a
>Transition Initiative try its very best to not
>be seen as political. How's that going to work?
>All you have to do is say "Fair Share" to some
>people and you're a communist. It's unrealistic
>to think that Transition can be apolitical.
>Likewise, the Occupy movements reliance on pure
>consensus is equally as unrealistic in my
>opinion. We are at the tipping point, people!
>Decisions have to be made! A bogged down and
>ineffective decision making process is exactly
>where Occupy is in danger of losing the 99%.
>I see these two powerful movements as mutually
>beneficial. Transition can learn from the
>scrappy chaos of the Occupiers who can learn a
>thing or two from Transition about the benefits
>of an orderly decision making process. Just as
>both these movements can and have learned a
>great deal from the long and honorable history
>of dedicated activists before them.
>Right now Transition and Occupy are dynamic and
>interwoven forces for change in my local
>community. They are both useful as long as they
>work. If they stop working, the community will reassess.
>*From:* Eric Garza <<mailto:minimalystic at gmail.com>minimalystic at gmail.com>
>*To:* TUS mail list
><<mailto:tus-initiatives at lists.transitionus.org>tus-initiatives at lists.transitionus.org>
>*Sent:* Sunday, November 27, 2011 3:39 PM
>*Subject:* Re: [tus-initiatives] Debate about
>Transition on the Energy Bulletin
>Hi Scott: I read through your response below and
>the original post and comments. Why didn't you
>add your comments to the list on Energy Bulletin
>where someone might actually see them? To the
>extent that your claims are legitimate, I'd like
>to see Luane and others respond to them.
>Also, I have to say that I think your
>perceptions of the Transition Movement are
>somewhat idealized. Perhaps things are working
>better for you in Sebastopol than they are for
>us in the Eastern US, but as a mid-30s guy who's
>been struggling to remain involved in the
>"Transition Movement" I can identify far better
>with Luane Todd's experience than yours.
>I went to a Transition Training a couple
>weekends back, and there were four of us (out of
>maybe 30 people) who were under 40. The other
>man who was under 40 (I think he was about 25)
>abandoned ship within a few hours of the
>training starting. I couldn't blame him. I
>considered not coming back for the second day,
>but figured my investment in the class was
>already a sunk cost so I may as well attend.
>How old are you, if you don't mind me asking?
>On Sun, Nov 27, 2011 at 3:24 PM, Scott McKeown
><<mailto:scott at transitionsebastopol.org>scott at transitionsebastopol.org
><mailto:scott at transitionsebastopol.org>> wrote:
> For some folks on this list who might be interested, I thought I'd
> share a back-and-forth debate that has been going on in the
> /Energy Bulletin/
> <<http://www.energybulletin.net/>http://www.energybulletin.net/> that started
> from a posting put up the day before Thanksgiving titled, /Why
> Occupy has taken off/
>by Luane Todd. I felt compelled to make a rebuttal to her article
> to correct what I felt were some gross mischaracterizations about
> the Transition movement in her posting. You can read /my response
> also posted below. There are also some interesting comments in the
> comments field.
> Scott McKeown
><mailto:scott at transitionsebastopol.org>scott at transitionsebastopol.org
><mailto:scott at transitionsebastopol.org>
> Purrington Creek Green Valley Creek Russian River Watersheds
> A Transition participant's response to Luane Todd
> by Scott McKeown
> It has been interesting to observe so many commentators dispensing
> advice to the participants of the Occupy movement, telling them
> what they should or should not be doing. I have also seen this
> happening with Transition: activist pundits, one after another,
> issuing proclamations about how the Transition movement is too
> much this, or not enough that. The latest of these critiques can
> be found in Luane Todds recently published article on /Energy
> Bulletin/ on November 23, titled, /Why Occupy has Taken Off/. In
> her article, Ms Todd excoriates the Transition movement for not
> being as successful as the Occupy movement in attracting younger
> participants, and she charges Transition with being hierarchical,
> top-down, inflexible, and even of all things /religious/.
> While I agree with much of Ms Todds assessment about why the
> Occupy Movement is so attractive, and why it particularly speaks
> to a new generation of activists with its refreshing,
> non-hierarchical style, I was astounded by her bleak and
> inaccurate characterizations of the Transition movement. I do not
> know what personal experience Ms Todd has had with the Transition
> movement, but it has obviously not been very positive, nor has it
> given her an accurate view of what the Transition movement is all
> about. I am not invalidating her experience which evidently must
> have been unfortunate but I feel I must correct her
> mischaracterizations of the Transition movement as a whole.
> First, let me express how thrilled I am, as Ms Todd also appears
> to be, about the spectacular rise of the Occupy movement and how
> it has so brilliantly and powerfully focused our national
> conversation on economic inequality, as well as on a suite of
> other critically important issues. I share this excitement with
> thousands of people who are active in the Transition movement,
> many of whom are also deeply involved with on-the-ground Occupy
> actions in communities all across the US (offering teach-ins and
> information about community-building events, or simply standing in
> solidarity). It is also thrilling to witness how this new paradigm
> of non-hierarchical activism is emerging on such a wide scale, and
> how it is being driven by a new generation of activist-citizens
> who have discarded the vestiges of dysfunctional organizational
> dynamics that have hampered so many previous movements. Its a
> glorious new day.
> As for the Transition movement, the most common criticism has been
> that it is too /unstructured/; that it doesnt provide /enough/
> specific details about how to do Transition in a given
> community. That is because Transition leaves it up to local
> Transition Initiatives to decide how best to adopt the Transition
> model and principles for their communities. This hands-off,
> distributed-autonomy approach is a core element of the Transition
> It is appropriate to compare Transition with Permaculture, which
> has principles and not rules. So let us immediately dispense with
> the notion that Transition has any sort of laundry list of what
> we must do. What the Transition movement /does/ provide, in the
> form of several handbooks (/The Transition Handbook/, /The
> Transition Companion/, and others), online resources, optional
> training courses, webinars, sharing forums, etc., is /access/ to
> resources and methodologies that local Transition Initiatives can
> consider adopting, but /only/ if they would be helpful.
> Anyone who is familiar with the Transition model knows that
> Transition offers a list of potential /ingredients/ to use, as
> well as some principles that articulate the ethos of the movement,
> such as /inclusion/, and the idea that decision-making needs to
> happen at appropriately local levelswhich means the movement is
> structured to be bottom-up, not top-down. When a Transition
> Initiative has grown to include multiple working groups, then the
> decisions in that Initiative are made by a core team consisting of
> representatives from each of those working groups. Embedded in the
> Transition ethos is the conviction that the most powerful levers
> of the movement are not in the possession of some small group of
> leaders who make decisions for the entire movement (this simply
> does not exist), but rather are in the hands of the active
> participants of local Transition working groups. The local-level
> participants are the drivers of the entire movement. Does this
> sound top-down?
> Regional Transition hubs are not created from on high by a group
> of self-selected leaders; rather, they coalesce naturally from
> clusters of existing active local Transition Initiatives who come
> together to create learning and sharing networks that are once
> again driven by local Initiatives.
> At the national level, Transition US, the national hub
> organization of the Transition movement, consists of a small staff
> of dedicated people whose sole function is to offer support and
> resources to citizen-activists around the US who are forming and
> growing Transition Initiatives in their local communities. As one
> of those staff persons, I came into the position by co-founding
> and working hard within my local Transition Initiative for the
> last three years, helping it grow it to the point where it now has
> twelve active working groups.
> Transition is a manifested form of social permaculture, with an
> organizational structure that can best be described as a
> /do-ocracy/: those who do the work get to make the decisions.
> There is no hierarchy anywhere in sight. For the many tens of
> thousands of us who are actually doing Transition work in over one
> hundred communities across the US (along with many hundreds of
> Transition Initiatives elsewhere in the world), we know from our
> direct experience that Transition is a post-hierarchical movement,
> as is Occupy.
> Working together, the Occupy movement, the Transition movement,
> and other new-paradigm movements can hospice the old, hierarchical
> models that no longer serve us, and midwife the emergence of a
> more sustainable, equitable, and sane form of society. Part of the
> old thinking we can do without is the tendency to cast everything
> as an /either/or choice/a /false dilemma/. Here we have an
> excellent opportunity to take a more positive /both/and approach/.
> Lets not create divisions where they need not be. Our communities
> and our planet will be better served if we build each other up.
> Scott McKeown
> Participant, Transition Sebastopol
> Training Coordinator, Transition US
> *Scott McKeown* is the co-founder of Transition Sebastopol
>which in 2008 became the 9th
> official Transition initiative in the US and which continues to
> grow, with twelve active working groups today. Currently, Scott
> works as the Training Coordinator for Transition US, the national
> hub organization of the Transition movement in the US.
118 E. Court St.
Ithaca, NY 14850
tjs1 at cornell.edu
Learn more about the Sustainable Chicken Project
http://www.facebook.com/129295929#/home.php (Last updated 08-03-11.)
Compost Educator and Sustainability Scion*
What Does Zero Waste Mean?
"If it can't be reduced, reused, repaired,
rebuilt, refurbished, refinished, resold,
recycled, or composted, then it should be
restricted, redesigned, or removed from production."
Berkeley Zero Waste Resolution
*noun: a shoot or bud of a plant, esp. one for planting or grafting
-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
More information about the tcrp-news