- Posted November 6, 2011 by
This iReport is part of an assignment:
Occupy Wall Street
Occupy Phoenix: Bank Transfer Day
The idea for Bank Transfer Day came to Kristen Christian: "If we shifted our funds from the for-profit banking institutions in favor of not-for-profit credit unions we will send a clear message that conscious consumers won't support companies with unethical business practices."
And so it came to pass that by November 5, 2011 over a million people had moved their money and credit unions saw $4.5 billion in new deposits. The idea had gone viral. Occupy Phoenix is one almost microscopic virus, useless by itself but powerful together.
The day started with huge dark rain clouds to the north opening to a partially cloudy sky over the city. A General Assembly was held late morning at Cesar Chavez Plaza to discuss the three most unifying issues identified by a series of barnstorming sessions. Anybody was free to speak either from where they were sitting or by standing in the center of the gathering.
As people spoke, others would raise their hands and be added to the Stack, a list kept by a neutral person who would call upon the next person. All of those speaking had their words repeated phrase-by-phrase by those in the crowd who expressed their opinions with hand gestures: Yes/Agree, No/Disagree, Point of Process - a Valued Interruption, Block, etc. This way, everyone's voice is heard and every opinion is respected. The goal is consensus, general agreement, not simply winner-take-all majority rule.
Consensus wasn't reached that afternoon on the unifying issues but was reached on having the three issues more clearly defined in further brainstorming sessions.
Sometime after noon a march began to Downtown Civic Space Park by way of three major banks, Bank of America, Chase, and Wells Fargo. The usual chants included "We are the ninety-nine percent" mixed together with "You are the ninety-nine percent" directed toward people in cars who often honked in agreement.
Things were quite calm at the park except when people began going up on the stage and cutting their bank cards to the applause of all.
Interestingly enough there were quite a few children who were kept busy over at the Kid Activity center.
Later on in the afternoon, three people were arrested by Phoenix Police Department; two for breaking urban camping laws and one on a felony warrant. No details were available at this time.