October 29 2011
Walking through the Occupy LA encampment the other day, I stopped to listen to a small meeting being held on the north side of city hall. A dozen or more occupiers were discussing how and when to serve food.
A couple of people wanted to post serving hours for the free food. There was intense discussion of varieties of food. One person was a vegan, another, wanting protein, was not. And, naturally, there was the question of who would cook or serve, and whether their assignments should be posted.
“Interesting, isn’t it?” said my friend Art Goldberg, a lawyer who has been protesting since his Berkeley Free Speech Movement days and probably even when he was in elementary school. Goldberg had just finished talking to the group on the best and most humane way to treat the mentally ill in the encampment. He said he stops by Occupy LA every day during breaks in a trial in the nearby courthouse.
“If you’re interested in food service,” I replied, rather sarcastically, indicating that the group’s discussion hadn’t grabbed my attention. He said he thought if I had concentrated more, I would have seen the dialogue wasn’t just about serving food .If I had listened carefully, I would have heard the dynamics of Occupy LA played out on a few levels.
I saw what he meant a few minutes later when a young woman came over to us to thank Goldberg for his remarks on the mentally ill. She had been one of those discussing food. Goldberg talked to her about the need to post schedules and to work out differences that had been evident in the discussion.
Continue reading at: http://www.laobserved.com/boyarsky/2011/10/occupy_la_as_a_leadership_scho.php