Friends, mediation with the drummers has been called off. It has gone on for more than 2 weeks and it has reached a dead end. The drummers formed a working group called Pulse and agreed to 2 hrs/day at times during the mediation, and more recently that changed to 4 hrs/day. It's my feeling that we may have a fighting chance with the community board if we could indeed limit drumming and loud instrumentation to 12-2 PM and 4-6 PM, however that isn't what's happening.
Last night the drumming was near continuous until 10:30 PM at night. Today it began again at 11 AM. The drummers are fighting among themselves, there is no cohesive group. There is one assemblage called Pulse that organized most of the
drummers into a group and went to GA for formal recognition and with a proposal. Unfortunately there is one individual who is NOT a drummer but who claims to speak for the drummers who has been a deeply disruptive force, attacking the drumming rep during the GA and derailing his proposal, and disrupting the community board meeting, as well as the OWS community relations meeting. She has also created strife and divisions within the POC caucus, calling many members who are not 'on her side' "Uncle Tom", "the 1%", "Barbie" "not Palestinian enough" "Wall Street politicians" "not black enough" "sell-outs", etc. People have been documenting her disruptions, and her campaign of misinformation, and instigations. She also has a documented history online of defamatory, divisive and disruptive behavior within the LGBT (esp. transgender) communities. Her disruptions have made it hard to have constructive conversations and productive resolutions to conflicts in a variety of forums in the past several days.
At this point we have lost the support of allies in the Community Board and the state senator and city electeds who have been fighting the city to stave off our eviction, get us toilets, etc. On Tuesday there is a Community Board vote, which will be packed with media cameras and community members with real grievances. We have sadly demonstrated to them that we are unable to collectively 1) keep our space and surrounding areas clean and sanitary, 2) keep the park safe, 3) deal with internal conflict and enforce the Good Neighbor Policy that was passed by the General Assembly.
The passive-aggressive outrage here is precious. "Of course we'd all like to play nicely, but somebody just won't shut up. This place would be clean if some people weren't always leaving their junk around. Everything was under control until someone showed up with her bongos and her history of instability."
How is that later in life? Do these guys get blackballed at Democratic rallies and conventions for being the punks who had Occupy Wall Street shut down? "Oh, we can't caucus with him, he brings his damn drums to everything." The arm of the internet is long, drumming friends. Believe it or not, many people use Google as a background checking mechanism: potential friends, potential dates, potential employers. And it's strange, I know, but not everyone views a stint as the Heartbeat of Occupy Wall Street as totally awesome.
True fact: 99% of women describe protest drum circles as "a turn-off". And by "true fact" I mean "something I just made up because it's funny, but you know I'm right".