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‘Put the “you” back into democracy’

The word Occupy got a new definition in 2011. A new movement swept the U.S. and the world. It’s now only 100 days old and it’s in the news every day. Yet, what is it all about? The messaging, the actions and the intentional unfocused, leaderless and slogan-less agenda has been hard to understand.

I’ve been discussing this idea with friends for a couple of weeks now and without a doubt I’ve heard different comments or observations from everyone. So much interest, yet so little shared understanding. So we agreed a meeting to voice each of our views is a good and needed next step.

On January 10 at 7 p.m., local folks will be meeting at the Big Picture Theater in Waitsfield to begin this discussion. A "General Assembly" has been scheduled to begin “bringing home” the #Occupy agenda and catalyzing conversation. Please come and participate. Put the “you” back into democracy.

The progressive ideas emerging from the #Occupy conversation are aimed at returning democracy to the people. The people have political power in their voices; and our coming together in greater and greater numbers is the first sign of a growing political movement.

The first phase of the #Occupy movement sparked conversation on deeply felt economic and social issues that the mainstream political parties didn’t address. The movement is now moving into its next phase. It probably won’t be as much about “camping out in a tent,” or the occupation of a public space. But it might be building new coalitions and finding out-of-the-box ways of impacting politics in America.

One of the first definitive actions resulting from the #Occupy movement is the “Move to Amend.” Senator Bernie Sanders in the U.S. Senate and Senator Ginny Lyons are taking the lead in the fight against Corporate Personhood by introducing resolutions to call for a Constitutional Amendment to end corporate constitutional rights and the doctrine of money as speech.

This first "General Assembly" in the Mad River Valley will bring people together to see what their neighbors think about the #Occupy movement.

The event will be structured to provide a short two-minute comment period for as many folks as possible.

It is anticipated that a wide range of opinions, comments, experiences and ideas will be voiced. Please come to hear your neighbors as well as voice your own thoughts. The Big Picture has graciously offered to host this event for free so stay around, continue the conversation and enjoy the atmosphere. You don’t have to bring a tent and we won’t be kicked out.

Coleman lives in Warren.

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