Direct participatory democracy is a thing to behold

Every time someone writes a letter, blog or article about what they think the Occupy movement should do, where “it” should go or what “its” strategy should be, I see the disconnect that this movement is meant to heal [“Dear Occupy Asheville,” Dec. 28 Xpress].

We are familiar with sitting in our homes complaining about how other people are doing things: how athletes should play, how politicians should behave, what celebrities ought to choose.

It’s something we seem to have forgotten, but the TV is not the public square. We are the public square. That is why we occupy the public square in person. We meet each other on a human scale and take responsibility for the immoral and unjust practices we have allowed to penetrate our culture.

Ninety-one percent of us have lost trust in our leaders in Congress. It's hard to talk about leadership and Congress in the same breath and not snort. We know that less than 0.5 percent of the population is able to buy a member of Congress, all of whom are beholden to the people who funded their elections, not the people who voted for them. Take a minute, because that is a very important distinction: What does it mean to have "representatives" who don't really care if I consent to their decisions?

If you think your ideas are a gift to the Occupy movement, join us at, or join one of the multiple, free weekly teleconferences through or, and talk to people across the nation and world.

We listen to each other and value a culture of respect. Come with an open mind. We make decisions by consensus, so no voice is ignored. Many Occupy cities have libraries of reading materials that are shared freely. You are welcome to donate any of the reading material that you have found helpful.

Direct participatory democracy is a thing to behold. At this time in our history, in crisis, we need "all hands on deck,” and the best critical thinking to heal our ills and set our national priorities back on track.

— Tracy Kunkler

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