Through Our Lens – Occupation Sustainability

Nick Paris

City on a Hill Press
October 27, 2011

Occupy Santa Cruz (OSC) activists have held their post at the courthouse steps for nearly 25 days now. They have several tables lined with occupation literature and are easily visible to anyone traveling down Water Street. Their ideals resonate with most people who pass by and throughout the day drivers will shout and honk in support. It is also common to see pedestrians interrupt their walks to curiously approach the site where they engage in dialogue with occupiers, which sometimes results in them holding up a sign and helping out.

Open to new members as well as old, OSC holds daily general assemblies to discuss strategies, progress and to address the concerns of members and citizens. At these meetings, people take turns discussing issues and produce solutions that are voted on and recorded.

Not only do they listen to each other, but they regulate themselves as well. If a member of the group disrupts a meeting or acts inappropriately, members will band together to approach that person nonviolently and either convince them to stop or make them leave.

Self-regulation does not ease tensions with the police, though. Officers occasionally come by with digital cameras to monitor the occupation and have made threats of raiding the camp for drugs and other illegal items. Occupy sites in Oakland, San Francisco and San Jose have already been subject to raids, leading to many arrests. It seems that a raid in Santa Cruz is imminent, but the OSC members are aware of mounting governmental pressure and have discussed plans of action in the case of a raid.

As time passes, the movement only grows stronger; eventually the 1 percent will be forced to confront everyone else.

You Should join us
We Are The Change You Want


The San Lorenzo Camp


Salvation Army


Occupancy USA
Meditating near signs
Local Donations


Information Booth
Information booth attendant
Improving Camp


Impending Raid
Getting Informed
Getting information


General Assembly 1
Family Occupation