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Fri Apr 13, 2012, 07:22 AM

OWS' 'Spring Awakening' in Central Park Will Kick Off a Season of Activism, Attract New Faces

http://www.alternet.org/activism/154954/ows%27_%27spring_awakening%27_in_central_park_will_kick_off_a_season_of_activism%2C_attract_new_faces/

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The Spring Awakening 2012, a day of rejuvenation, celebration, and intense movement-building, will take place this Saturday, April 14, in Central Park. For Occupy supporters who may have been disheartened by any struggles over the winter, this event will help propel Occupy Wall Street forward over the next six months. It is designed to welcome new people into the life of activism and strengthen existing ties of those already embedded in the movement.

With a background in international affairs and human rights, I came to OWS in early October to see what it was all about. I was intrigued by the alternative world the movement had created in Liberty Plaza in such a short time. I knew I had to be a part of it. After attending numerous general assemblies and marches, and floating through various working group meetings, I chose the Spring Awakening citywide assembly as one of my first major projects. Having attended the project's first planning meeting in December, I have been an organizer for the event ever since.

The world that OWS wants to create is one of cooperation and mutual benefit, based on the belief that our society needs to better learn how to work with new and different people even if they disagree with one another, and it was important for us to honor those ideas in our planning. From the start, Spring Awakening coordinators sought to bring people from around the city, including OWS neighborhood general assemblies, into the planning process to take ownership of the project. While making decisions via consensus is a great and necessary tool, it can lead to a very drawn-out and grueling process, especially when you have a lot of people with wide-ranging opinions. While some organizers were definitely disheartened at the slow pace of our planning, many of us stuck together until the end for what will likely be a highly revitalizing event this Saturday. Hurdles and bumps aside, the Spring Awakening is set to be an exciting, fun, and productive movement-building experience.

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