I think a lot of folks out there on Saturday were first time protesters, like myself. I'm beginning to comprehend that this is a leaderless movement, taking shape organically. But I think a lot of us could use some guidance from those who have been involved in activism before. Are there any "experienced" protesters in this town? If this movement is going to grow, it's going to have to induct newbies like myself, and guide as as we find our "protest legs".
Hopefully there will be a lot more newbies this coming Saturday for October 15th (http://15october.net/
I made this comment to the post titled "Occupy Seattle Puts the "Civil" into "Civil Disobedience'". I don't think anyone read it there:
Hello. Yesterday I participated in my first protest. I'm in my third decade of life, and this was my first protest.
Overall, I found the experience thrilling, empowering, and enlightening.
But I came into this a newbie. I came into this looking to throw my body and my voice behind some kind of experienced and capable leadership. And apparently so did nearly everyone else, because what I found was a massive, amorphous blob of well-intentioned folks. And when I looked around, searching for a definitive answer to what, precisely, we were doing, I found too many faces mirroring my own confusion and uncertainty.
And this uncertainty fostered self-consciousness, which in turn yielded hesitation and demureness.
Thankfully, though, there were a few commanding voices leading powerful chants. And I found my own voice by relaying these chants forward along the march.
But the demonstration suffered considerably on the multiple levels of BofA Plaza. We were bisected into two distinct clumps, with no communication between the two. Each produced it's own chants and speeches and our power was halved. (We were even riding BofA's escalators up and down between the two clusters!) People were mumbling in self-conscious confusion all around me.
That was unfortunate, yes, but our verve certainly climaxed on the return.
I'm glad I took I part. I hope this movement continues and takes on a more definite shape.