PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — An effort is underway among “Occupy Philadelphia” members to improve unity among the various working groups within the camp, so its message can be conveyed in a peaceful and effective manner.
Elected officials and other leaders have been meeting this week with the “Reasonable Solutions Committee,” trying to address safety and sanitation issues at they coordinate the entire encampment’s relocation from Dilworth Plaza to nearby Thomas Paine Plaza (see related story).
“I hope we are getting back on track to actually working toward the social justice initiatives that we all feel so passionately about,” says Randy Quinn (right), a member of the Reasonable Solutions Committee. “It is important to get the platform, the community, and the occupation in working order so people can start working on their initiatives more effectively.”
But that committee has been criticized by some members of the other 30-plus working groups associated with Occupy Philadelphia, saying that it’s a select group and does not represent the entire voice of the movement.
Pastor Michael Pierce of Mt. Holly, NJ, who has been at the camp since day one, says the need to unify is being addressed.
“And now we are stepping back and saying, ‘OK, where did the process go wrong?’ And very organically, we are going to work this out together.”
Pierce acknowledges that the development of nominally leaderless self-governance has been a rocky road.
“We are getting better,” he said today, “but what happened with this whole division was an example of how we are not there yet. We still haven’t learned how to trust each other and communicate with each other. And democracy is like a marriage — you have to trust each other, you have to listen to each other. Then you can make a decision together.”
Reported by John McDevitt, KYW Newsradio 1060