I’m super proud of Mom and Ray. They’ve been actively involved in the local Occupy Wall Street movement in San Miguel since they arrived last fall. They’ve attended countless meetings, spent hours working on brochures, event planning and researching topics. During my visit I was eager to attend their presentations, Mom on the state of education and Ray on the need for campaign finance reform.
Both have expressed their frustration with the Occupy movement, despite their firm belief in the need to fundamentally change the status quo in the United States. The loose organization and its commitment to the principle of consensus present some structural and procedural challenges. After three months of considerable time and energy committing to the movement’s objectives in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico, both Mom and Ray expressed weariness and impatience with the (lack of) progress. As with the groups in the United States, the OWS San Miguel is comprised of disparate personalities with contending interests and priorities, resulting in slow momentum and seemingly endless discussions with no tangible results.
But what I saw in San Miguel was superb – an informed, impassioned and articulate team from the working groups presenting on a wide range of topics. Forums were well attended, organized and open for free discussion. Dissenting or questioning voices were welcomed and encouraged. Both Mom and Ray each spoke for nearly 20 minutes and were well armed with clear arguments, substantiated with facts. They fielded the follow-up questions and with knowledge and calm. It was a treat for me to witness how hard they both researched the presentations, and I was extremely pleased to witness all this in person.