November 5th marks Occupy Medford's 4th week in Alba Park. Over the course of these 4 weeks, we have had many great discussions, planned about 9 events outside of GA meetings, and made many friends. We have attracted roughly 3-4 new people each meeting, and our core number has steadily grown, albeit slowly.
For these first few weeks we have focused mainly on public education through sign's and a presence in high traffic areas which focus on moving your money (Bank Transfer Day/Move Your Money) from the major banks which have betrayed the American Dream, to our local bank and credit unions which will help recreate the American Dream in our own back yard.
Bank Transfer Day and Move Your Money were two movements which had attracted people from inside and outside of the Occupy Movement for reasons ranging from the bailouts to the debit card fees proposed by Bank of America on September 29th. This made them a great movement for our group to support in the hopes of effecting immediate change.
Well the hope and hard work payed off! Between Sept 29th and November 5th, over 600,000 accounts totaling over $4.5 billion in new deposits were made according to the Credit Union National Association. We played a role in this! In the Rogue Valley, Rogue Federal Credit Union opened 1,000 new accounts from October 1st to October 15th. 300 more than usual!! (I'll do some groundwork to get the information on some other local institutions, as well as updated numbers from R.F.C.U.)
Because Bank Transfer Day and Move Your Money fell on Saturday the 5th, it seemed appropriate that the 30 or so people who attended Saturday's meeting would begin to switch our focus to education and organization. This in turn created some excellent discussion on the issues at hand between Occupy Medford and our fellow Medfordians who support Ron Paul.
After roughly an hour of issues discussion in the damp, cold weather, the group began to speak about last weeks proposal on groups. Groups are something most of us have heard about. The other Occupied Municipalities use them to focus attention in certain areas and help facilitate a focused construction of certain aspects of that particular movement.
In Occupy Medford it has been motioned and agreed to start with 4 groups: Finance, Public Relations, Issues, and Activities. They are operating on a volunteer basis, have no direct power other than to put forward motions created by the group, and will meet once a week. This first weeks meeting will create a purpose statement and a loose agenda for each group which will be posted in the associated forum linked above.
It was also decided to show our support for local business by having an eat-in at Ali's Thai Kitchen on Friday, November 11th. The planned time for the majority of participants to meet is 1:00 PM. However, it is encouraged that anyone who wants to be a part of this event show up at any time on Friday. We have yet to ask if Ali's Thai Kitchen would approve or disapprove of holding "Support Local Business" signs in front before we eat but if we do get approval from our chosen business please be sure they have the proper subject for the protest. (Non-partisan, unaffiliated with any movement)
Lastly, after the eat-in, there will be an end-the-war protest from 4-6 in Vogel Plaza hosted by the local Ron Paul supporter, David. It is also non-political so again please be sure to bring signs appropriate to the event.
All in all, this week was very productive. As our group grows and continues to become more organized I expect our effect to become more noticeable, our support to increase, and our message to become more focused. Let's continue to learn, to reach out to our community, and to promote truth and justice towards a better future for our nation and our planet. We are Occupy Medford, we will make a difference, and we will not stop until we have witnessed real and positive change in this global community we call home.