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Occupied Territory Gathering CA FAQ

by OT Collective Thursday, May. 13, 2004 at 7:28 AM

Occupied Territory FAQ *Note: The meeting spot for the gathering on Friday June 18th has been changed to 3pm-5pm San Pablo and Belmont in Fresno CA. FNB feed, park located under freeway, ample parking.*

Occupied Territory FAQ

*Note: The meeting spot for the gathering on Friday June 18th has been changed to 3pm-5pm San Pablo and Belmont in Fresno CA. FNB feed, park located under freeway, ample parking.*

What Are Some of the Critiques of Occupied Territory?: Recently the Occupied Territory Organizing Collective made the decision that we were going to make the gathering in Fresno this summer completely self managed by the participants of the gathering. Now you the participant, and not some vanguard of individuals, will decide the content of the gathering and the workshops, skill shares, and speakers that will be appearing at the event.

Of course this concept is different from other gatherings, and has spurred some concerns. Many people think that the gathering will complete nothing but becoming a large party, or will attract no one but anarcho-punk, crimethinkers, or “traveler kids”. While one of the aspects of OT is having fun and a good time, the gathering itself is going to be very organized, created to showcase west coast anti-authoritarian activism and anarchist collectives, and also to create a platform to talk about greater organizing and networking on this side of the country.

Where will the Gathering Be?: We will be meeting you in Fresno on June 18th, at the park located on San Pablo and Belmont (right under the freeway, with parking available), from 3pm-5pm. From there you will be given directions to the gathering point outside of Fresno. Please plan to drive around 1 and a half hours outside of Fresno to the meeting spot, so have enough gas.

What if I can’t be there at the park on Friday?: If you cannot make it to the park to get the directions to the gathering, then you will only have one other option. You will need to have a friend go for you, and call you and give you directions on a cell phone. If you don’t have a friend going, please get in contact with a local collective now, or visit the OT website at:

What will the camp be like?: The camp will be structured into a network of freely associated sleeping camps, with various central camps being made up of volunteers taking on responsibilities: in short an experiment in anarchy. The camp will be in a very wooded area, so please back a sleeping bag, pillow, and a blanket. Also bring a flash light, water container, and mess kit/cups.

What Will Already Be Constructed When We Arrive?: The main “heart” of the camp which will already be constructed when you arrive will include a (de)central command area/security home base, bathroom area, and kitchen collective space. To keep the gathering legal, people camping will need to be in groups of 15. These groupings will be freely associated by either geography, tendency, friendship, or even things like sex/gender if folks want to band together if they feel uncomfortable in the sleeping situation.

How will Workshops and other things be decided?: If you have an idea for a workshop, skillshare, talk, or idea for discussion, please bring it to the gathering, and the first night, we will discuss workshop ideas with the general group. Various Earth First! Groups are already planning on doing various workshops, and we know that others have already stated which issues they want to talk about, and what workshops they will be doing. The goal of our format with the gathering, is to create on environment, where people can choose which workshops they want to do or go to, and to maximize the time in which they have at the gathering. Various camp areas will also be set up for continuous discussions, skill shares, and debates.

Upon arriving at camp, our first activity will be a general assembly of all anti-authoritarians. The organizing collective will introduce themselves, and we will go over the logistics of the camp, issues of fire, bears, security, the natural environment, etc. We will then turn our sights on introductions of the whole camp, and will also take time to create a forum for all women and transgender folks to discuss any issues they have about the camping conditions. This will also be an opportunity for other groups such as APOC, or radical queer groups to bring up any issues that they want to address.

We will then as a group discuss what workshops people have “brought” with them, as well as what workshops will be going on, for instance the workshops that various Earth First! groups are going to be putting on. We will then prioritize and organize the setting, time, and place of workshops to various places and times within the camp. For instance, a “How To Stencil” workshop, can probably be kept going continuously in the “Skill Share Camp”, while more room can be made for an EF! talking about how to do tree sits.

Will there be a Forum to Discuss Women’s Issues in the Camp?: Following the general assembly there will be a women’s caucus, for radical women to discuss issues or problems that they see happening in the camp, or camping situation.

How will the Workshop Structure Work with the Camp Made up With Affinity Group Camps?: The camp will have main workshop areas that can be used for groups like Earth First! to conduct large open air workshops on direct action etc. Certain affinity group camp areas can be used however, for certain issues during the whole day, if various collectives and people putting on workshops want to condense like minded workshops into one area. Lists and write up boards will also be found throughout camp, if various people want to create discussion areas, or workshops on the fly. Certain camps can be turned into “Animal Liberation Camp”, “Rewilding Camp”, “Radical Unionizing Camp”, etc. This of course will be up to camp participants and camp affinity groups. Once again, an experiment in self-management and anarchy.

What About Security?: Please do not discuss or talk about things such as illegal actions etc. We will have a no tolerance policy when it comes to issues such as this, and we will also not be holding open forums for people to conduct such things as “How to Make a Pipebomb” workshop. There will be a security team working within the camp, in case of possible problems with police or infiltrators.

The road leading into the gathering point will be guarded, and volunteers from various camp collectives will need to lend themselves to stand watch at the main entrance for several hours. The (de)central command area will also be constantly (wo)maned, and in case of police attack, the whole camp will be alerted quickly.

Bathrooms? Water?: Please bring as much water as physically possible for yourself. We will be supplying water for up to 200 people, via large water coolers. The organizing collective will and can make water trips out of camp to get more water if needed. Please shower before you come, as there will be no “showers” besides a simple personal soap/wash bath. Water systems to clean after bathroom use will also be provided.

Bathrooms will be made in the form of latrines, and sustainable use of mulch and compost will be used to cut down on smell and help break up waste. Privacy booths will be constructed around the bathrooms in case you want to take in the newest pamphlet or journal, (or get rid of that sensual late night dream you filthy beast)!

Food?: Like water, please bring as much food as possible. If possible, try and score a bag of bagels, or some delights from the Trader Joes dumpster before you arrive. We will have food in large amounts, but try and at least bring enough food for two meals during the whole weekend stay. All the food that the Kitchen Collective will cook is going to be vegan, and if you are going to be cooking on the Kitchen Collective’s gear, please keep it vegan to halt any dietary problems that might arise from cooking meat on the whole camps cooking wear, etc. If you want to bring meat into the camp, please bring pots and pans to cook it in, both for health reasons, and also to not create problems with other’s diet choices.

How Will We Interact with the Natural Environment?: OT is going to try and be the most sustainable gathering ever. Although even a group of ten people camping in the woods for several days will have a bad effect on the natural environment, we will have to do our best to keep things as sustainable as we can. There will be no trash cans, so if you bring in trash, pack it in, pack it out. Bathroom waste will go in the bathroom latrines only, as well as food scrapes etc. We will take care not to disturb the local animals and plant life, and do our best to return the environment to the way we left it when we are finished.

Experienced people will be on hand to give lessons and tips on how to best interact with the natural environment without destroying it, and primitivists and green anarchists take note: this is your time to shine!

What Can I do To Help When I’m At OT?: Volunteer in various on camp collectives. We need people to do security, help set up structures and camps (although many structures and some camp areas will already be set up when you get there), and we also need people do work in the Kitchen Collective. Don’t feel like you have to do everything, or do it all the time, but please do something to help out the camp, this will be your community - your anarchy!

Must importantly thought, come up with a workshop, dissussion idea, or skill that you want to share with the group.

What Sort of Issues Are you Looking for People to Discuss/Do Workshops on?: ReWilding/Primitive Skills/Wild Walk Throughs Radical Union Organizing/Labor Issues/Current Strikes Moving Beyond Non-violent Direct Action Tactics Animal Liberation Issues/SHAC Campaign Earth First!/Tactics/Issues Food Not Bombs/Homelessness Police/Copwatch/Youth Activism Anarchism in Small Towns Challenging Sexism/Racism/Homophobia Greater Organizing/Networking

Will There Be Some Sort Of Action After the Gathering?: There will be a action after the gathering that is being planned, but the all depends on you the participant coming down and joining us!

Occupied Territory June Friday 18th-Sunday 21st Meet Friday 3pm-5pm San Pablo and Belmont in Fresno CA. FNB feed, park under freeway. Visit Website for Forums, Workshops/Skill shares discussions.



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