Occupy Providence turns out in the rain, mulls responses to eviction threat

March at Sabin and Francis
Occupy Providence marchers at Sabin and Francis

Bolstered by a contingent of organized labor marching in solidarity, Occupy Providence took to the streets this evening in a show of strength, just hours after they had been given notice by the city that they could be evicted as early as Sunday.

The rally cut short the evening's General Assembly (GA) where a the group was attempting to reach consensus on a legal strategy. The GA declared Sunday "a day of solidarity" and invited everyone to attend, before deferring discussion until later.

Representatives of RI Jobs with Justice, the IBEW, SEIU, Laborers, Painters, and Teamsters were among the groups in attendance, and they used the human mic to rouse the crowd before heading off on a half-hour march with stops at Verizon (where a member of IBEW talked about corporate profits) and RIDE (where a Providence teacher lashed out at the corporatization of education).

GA in the tunnel
General Assembly meets to discuss legal strategy

When they returned to Burnside, the rally dispersed and the core group reconvened the GA in the tunnel in City Hall Park.

Since what they were discussing was legal strategy, I'm going to treat it like an executive session; I was there as a participant, not a journalist. The reporter from the ProJo didn't find the group until most of the detail was worked out. I will just say that I was impressed with the caliber of their legal advice and the strategic thought that went into their decision making. Truly inspiring, to see the level of discourse and respect for participatory democracy in a group of 30 cold, wet people huddling in a tunnel. Their deliberative process put Portsmouth's current Town Council to shame. Some pix up on Flickr.

Hope you will consider stopping by on Sunday.

Editorial note: As should be obvious, I'm writing as a participant observer.