Occupy Littleton launched with five-person general assembly

Categories: Occupy Denver

occupy littleton thumb.jpg
On Sunday, at 2 p.m. in the Bemis Public Library, five people gathered to launch the first general assembly of Occupy Littleton. If the idea that democracy takes time ever needed proof, this would be it. One person shy of a round half-dozen, the group appeared dwarfed in the city library's largest meeting room as it met to discuss its affiliation with Occupy Denver, its plans for the future and what it actually means to occupy Littleton, Colorado.

"Littleton isn't known for being a hotbed of radicalism," supporter Claire Hanley said at the outset of the meeting. "It's just not. People, when they think of Littleton, think white, affluent Republicans, and we want to make people rethink the whole Occupy thing by applying it to even small spaces."

With that in mind, the meeting focused on baby steps. At this writing, the newest Colorado chapter of the national movement is still shy one fan from having 250 likes on Facebook, which, compared to the almost 27,000 online backers of Occupy Denver, is chump change. (Even Parents For Occupy Denver has more than 500.) The group is not yet anywhere close to maintaining 24/7 occupation, though its Facebook page promises, rather ominously, "Rest assured children, we will. Oh...Yes...We will."

Today, Occupy Denver's first GA is a minor moment of lore, though it was also sparsely attended: Supporters gathered on the state property of Lincoln Park, and when a state trooper warned they would have to leave, half of the group decided to obey while the other half remained defiant. The compromise: The entire group moved their circle over so that the first half could sit off the official park property while the rest sat firmly on the grass.

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Bemis Public Library.
Occupy Littleton follows the same pattern of compromise, though with less immediate ambition. According to the supporters present -- and there are many more who didn't attend -- the group began as a way for the Littleton community to become involved without traveling to or specifically focusing on Denver. They see promise in the efficiency of their smaller size and hope to promote Littleton-specific goals while working inside of the larger Occupy Colorado network. As part of its to-do list, the group plans to promote anti-corporate personhood legislation inside Littleton, fight foreclosures and investigate which banks hold the city's money.

"I thought that if I wanted to be a part of the democratic action, others would, too, even if Denver isn't always an option," says Eric Rothermel, a stay-at-home dad with limited weekly availability for protests. "Let's give those people their own way of getting involved on a smaller scale. The great thing about the Occupy movement is that you don't ask for permission. You just do it and go."

Right now, the group does have permission to use the library for at least three more weeks, though the protesters plan to move outside when the weather improves. In order to produce a statement of purpose, the logical first step, organizers had first to decide how to define the group's relationship with Occupy Denver. "Are we autonomous?" Rothermel asked. "A satellite of Denver?" This comes with several issues to consider: The larger occupation provides support and structure, but it has also received negative attention in recent weeks when protesters set the encampment on fire and interrupted a vigil for the homeless.

After weighing these issues, the group voted unanimously, via raised hands, to cement ties with Occupy Denver while establishing itself on the fringes of its neighbor. Occupy Littleton is still so small that the Occupy Wall Street system of the people's mic is unnecessary, and conversations are easy to hear, if slow. "How did Occupy Wall Street start?" Hanley asked the group before confirming its presence. "Maybe not as small as us, but still small."

The group's second GA will take place at the same time and venue on Sunday, January 22, which means this week includes an extensive amount of homework for the small occupation. First up, the group must create a mission statement in order to clarify its purpose. During the first session, Hanley used a white Mac laptop to Google the statements of neighboring occupations -- Erie, Fort Collins, Longmont, even Legoland -- and kept the aspects the group liked. Before its next meeting, those involved will decide on the best way to piece these together.

"There's a lot of reference to revolution, but I keep telling people to just drop the R," Rothermel says. "A lot of that language seems to scare away people who might be on the fence."

Baby steps.

More from our Occupy Denver archive: "Occupy Denver: Mayor Michael Hancock says public doesn't care anymore."

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GFTW
GFTW

Pepper spray 'em.

Don Geo
Don Geo

Heard u had a program to feed the 24/7 occupation,, where can I contribute?

Erothermel
Erothermel

You call yourself a Socialist.  Your a joke.

Anon
Anon

Homeless!  Lance, get a clue!  Occupying is not just about the homeless.  It's about community.  Something that is not on the radar of someone that lives in their mother's basement.

Tukadoodle
Tukadoodle

Occupy idiots are just that. They ignore our laws and are really a bunch of spoiled scum. They keep reminding America that Liberals are just full of shit and a bunch of spoiled brats living among rats and scum. They are a shining stars of what's wrong with America as the lazy thieving extended adolescents they all are. The only want to steal what their parents have and sit home smoking dope. Liberals are the biggest.world menace for far too long. Every Liberal POTUS is a traitor to America along with the self hating American crowd. Yes Americans are dumb and stupid for listening to a word they say. Just hope they know the truths that 2 or more people disturbing the peace is a riot with 2 already in jail. You bet they are felonies and we are not paying for their Antiamerican crap. They all are just fronts for Obama and like him are lying through their teeth. Sorry but America and the world is done with your fake ”humanitarian/free speech” fraud. Just keep it up as the great example of what's wrong with ill liberals and how utterly bankrupt they are. Yes I'm clinging to my funs and torah to shoot the scum antisemites dead. Blame is all they can do and play the race card for the small minded dicks they are. They are the gift that keeps on gicing every time they open their mouths. They celebrate the world very worst of the worst and let any sicko in. They need a bootcamp then ship the cowards to the front lines. Here come their ”political prisoner” crap so throw them down in the streets. America is tired of this acum now calling everything Obama as racist and par for the course. Just a bunch of theives and crminals stealing what they refuse to work for. It's time to make them pay for the riots they all have planned. It's not the 1960's so go out and buy a gun!

Don Geo
Don Geo

The people are starting to be heard... RIP:  Keystone Pipeline,, SOPA..  next stake in the heart,, Citizens United... this stuff really works,,What have u done lately except bitch???

Ur party cannot even run a closed election and not loose some of the votes, or count in small numbers. and these guys wanna run the country!!! not in my lifetime.

Stan
Stan

Actually, lots of Occupiers have Tea Party and other conservative ties.  You're just an ignorant douche who smoked too much meth instead of going to your much-needed English lesson.  Judging my your violent and incoherent rant, I sincerely hope that you seek some counseling and a free trial of Enzyte's male-enhancement pills.  Even if you're bat-shit crazy and have a tiny penis, there IS hope.

Stan
Stan

*by

Don Geo
Don Geo

The people are starting to be heard... RIP:  Keystone Pipeline,, SOPA..  next stake in the heart,, Citizens United... this stuff really works

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