Noon until 3PM today, in Drexel Park, Valdosta, Lowndes County, Georgia,
Occupy Valdosta will be having a General Assembly.
This is the slow, messy, talkative, oddly organized, flashy-fingered
decision-making forum descended from the direct democracy of ancient Athens.
The General Assembly method is
why Occupy Wall Street is two months old
instead of being a one-shot one-day march.
George Boston Rhynes asked about
Open record requests and jail deaths
and got the same excuses he's heard elsewhere:
nobody seems to be responsible for supplying information to the public
about what's going on in the Lowndes County Jail.
John Robinson asked about
Contracts on the south side
related to Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and to
Title III Section 3 of the HUD program
and got a clarification from the Chairman that the county has no
Title III projects.
Tony Daniels wanted to know
How can we pursue happiness when we don't even have a job?
and had several recommendations for how the various local elected and
appointed bodies could go about getting us more jobs.
He also illustrated that the Commissions ordinance on Citizens Wishing
to Be Heard is, as we've discovered on many previous occasions,
merely guidelines at the whim of the Chairman.
This is what democracy looks like at the Chamber @ Occupy Valdosta 14 October 2011
We are the 99%,
Marching to Occupy Valdosta, Occupy Valdosta,
Valdosta, Lowndes County, Georgia, 14 October 2011.
Videos by Gretchen Quarterman for LAKE, the Lowndes Area Knowledge Exchange.
Chamber of Commerce, consolidation, CUEE, democracy, education, FVCS, Gretchen Quarterman, LAKE, Lowndes Area Knowledge Exchange, Myrna Ballard, Nimrod Says No, Sam Allen, school, unification, Valdosta Today, Valdosta-Lowndes County Chamber of Commerce, VLCoC, vote, Vote No for the Children, VSU Spectator, WALB, WCTV
Right outside of Palms Quad there's a free speech thing,
but, as you can see, uh.... [gestures around]
You know, like I said.
If someone's violating the law here, and creating a dangerous situation
by, uh, physically disrupting the students or faculty, that's one thing,
we deal with that....
But if it's, even this gnat, we will allow this gnat to....
27 October 2011, free speech, General Assembly, Georgia, Henry Calhoun, Information and Organization, John S. Quarterman, LAKE, Louis Levy, Lowndes Area Knowledge Exchange
, Lowndes County, Occupy Valdosta, OV, transparency, Valdosta, Valdosta State University, VSU
Henry Calhoun found VSU Interim President Dr. Louis Levy,
who came over to the Occupy Valdosta meeting 27 October.
Erin Hurley invited him to come to the
...as long as it's legal and non-obstructive
in terms of people getting in and out of buildings.
We tend to promote free speech.
And if we don't, we'll pay the price for it later.
We actually encourage free discussion and debate.
Besides, I'm a sociologist.
We can take what everyone knows and put them into
four different kinds of perspectives and lenses
just to do battle with each other.
We tend to promote free speech.
Information and Organization,
General Assembly, Occupy Valdosta (OV),
Valdosta, Lowndes County, Georgia, 27 October 2011.
Videos by John S. Quarterman for LAKE, the Lowndes Area Knowledge Exchange.
The "unification" attack on the public schools in Valdosta and Lowndes
County, Georgia is part of a nationwide assault on public schools,
which has nothing to do with improving
public education, and everything to do with private profit and private schools: disaster capitalism right here at home.
And it's not government causing our local disaster: it's local business interests.
What should we do about that?
Critics of America’s public schools always seem to start from the
premise that the pre-kindergarten-through-12th-grade public education
system in this country is failing or in crisis.
This crisis mentality is in stark contrast to years of survey research
showing that Americans generally give high marks to their local
schools. Phi Delta Kappa International and Gallup surveys have found that
the populace holds their neighborhood schools in high regard; in fact,
this year’s survey found that “Americans, and parents in particular,
evaluate their community schools more positively than in any year since”
the survey started.
The first factor: New austerity budgets passed by state legislatures
are starting to have a huge influence on direct services to children,
youth, and families.
But what does Valdosta's first black mayor say about it?
"Just Vote No," the Mayor chants from a podium.
Mayor Sonny Vickers is one of the strongest opponents of the consolidation
plan. "The group that's pushing this has no authority. No kind of plan to
tell us anything. Because they are not on the board. So they cannot tell
us anything specific about what's going to happen," says Mayor Vickers.
22 October 2011, Chamber of Commerce, consolidation, CUEE, Friends of Valdosta City Schools, FVCS, FVCS, Georgia, Lowndes County, No school consolidation, school, Sonny Vickers, unification, Valdosta, VLCoC, Vote No for Consolidation March, WCTV
I don’t consider myself an extremely political person,
but I do believe
that people should stand up for what they believe in. The Valdosta
community has recently come together to do just that.
On Friday, I participated in the
Occupy Valdosta march
with over 100
students, teachers, and other members of the Valdosta community. I was
excited that I got to shed my title of Spectator reporter and
editor for a
day and actually fully take part in an event. The turnout was, in a word,
amazing. Honestly, I was trying not to get my hopes up too high for this.
The rest of her very interesting experiences and opinions are well worth
Here's her conclusion:
Occupy the Voting Booth @ Vote No for Consolidation March 22 October 2011 Part 1 of 2:
No school consolidation,
Vote No for Consolidation March, Friends of Valdosta City Schools (FVCS),
Valdosta, Lowndes County, Georgia, 22 October 2011.
Videos by Gretchen Quarterman and John S. Quarterman for LAKE, the Lowndes Area Knowledge Exchange.
Here Amber, Bobbi Anne Hancock, LHS student Nathan Wilkins,
and VSU professor Karen Noll all march together.
They all Marched to Occupy Valdosta.
(Erin was in Atlanta, and Austin and others were out of town due to
VSU's Fall Break.)
Doubtless there were others; nobody tried to take a head count of the crossover.
22 October 2011, consolidation, education, elections, Friends of Valdosta City Schools, FVCS, FVCS, Georgia, Gretchen Quarterman and John S. Quarterman, LAKE, LHS, Lowndes Area Knowledge Exchange
, Lowndes County, Occupy Valdosta, referendum, unification, Valdosta, Vote No for Consolidation March, VSU