In keeping with my New Years Eve 2012 Resolution, I have dedicated myself to committing “99 acts of Revolution (big & small)”. I have been very busy getting involved in all kinds of political oriented activities in just the first few weeks of 2012, so I feel that I am making forward progress towards actually accomplishing my goal Dec 31st 2012.
My #3 act of revolution is to Join A Movement.
I had already done this in 2011 when I got involved in the Occupy Grand Rapids movement on day 1 of the occupation (Oct 8th, 2011). I found myself with the opportunity to get involved in a movement again with circumstances surrounding the Jan 12th, 2012 visit from David Cobb of Move To Amend. David was holding a discussion on ending corporate personhood and the movement to do so through amending the US Constitution. The event was hosted by Occupy Grand Rapids and Fountain St Church. I covered the event for the Rapidian
That night the first real snowstorm of the winter nailed Michigan pretty hard, which caused the cancellation of David’s next stop in Benton Harbor, MI. Taking advantage of the opportunity, a few local activist threw together an informal dinner part to discuss what was needed to put together a local affiliate of Move To Amend in Grand Rapids.
The need for people to step up and institute Move To Amend: Grand Rapids required that at some point, at least one of us would have to step up and take some leadership in setting a formal initial meeting, picking a meeting place, making some calls & emails to get people involved and other basic actions and organizing.
When David asked who was going to be the leader, everyone kind of hesitated for half a minute. We were all a little scared to be the first one to take the reins of such a potentially large project. We all kind of looked awkwardly at each other for a few seconds, wondering who was going to be the one to say “I’ll do it”.
I knew that I had recently developed much of the experience in organizing information and resources to do much of the work that would be needed in the next few weeks, so I spoke up. I volunteered to be the “facilitator” in the group, to take a leaderful position, rather than the position of Leader. I didn’t want be “the boss” or work within a group that was rigidly adherent to hierarchical structure, so I proposed that my role would be defined as that of someone who “makes things happen” without being the supreme authority on anything.
Many of the skills that I discussed in 99 acts of revolution in 2012; #2 came in pretty handy. I created several social media sites; a blog, Youtube & Livestream channels, Twitter, an Gmail account. I also acquired a Google Voice phone number. This allows ONE phone number to reach multiple cellphones at once. If someone wants to contact Move To Amend; Grand Rapids, several people are available to handle that call.
Joining the Move To Amend coalition as an affiliate group meant that while there was much support in place, we still have a lot of information to catch up on, and in some cases, material that we have to create ourselves.
Some of the resources, such as the overall national agenda of the coalition, the pr materials, online content, national level organization of events are all there for us to take advantage of.
Other resources, such as our official process for decision making as a group is our own responsibility. Actively encouraging the inclusion of people from diverse ethnic, religious, social and political backgrounds in all levels of our organization is also something we have to implement and utilize. Even though we were part of a much larger coalition of groups nationwide, each group has the rights to determine how they will function on a local level, within the constraints of the overall movement.
Working within the framework of the coalition, we also have the freedom, and the responsibility, to create our own events to draw attention to our cause and spread awareness of the issues.
In short, getting involved in a grassroots movement will definitely be a conduit for achieving much of my goal of committing 99 acts of revolution in 2012. This one act will have a positive impact on my life, and hopefully the live of others around me, and will open up new opportunities for me to fulfill my commitment for making the world a better place to live in 2012.