I spent a few hours down there tonight.
The crowd is diverse, not as predominately young as I perceived from afar. They’re well organized, they have places set up for medics, food, media, etc. The General Assembly hosts a wide variety of speakers, of all ages, gender, race and socio-economic background. The crowd listens intently to the GA speaker, on the people’s mic, and they do call-and-response so those further back in the crowd can hear the person who has been given the soapbox. This was a real honor to watch.
The folks down there are a lot more nuanced than how they’ve been portrayed. They’re not unsympathetic to the people who have to make a living working for some of the corporations that led to the financial crisis, in fact there are some who spoke at General Assembly tonight who work for or had worked for similar corporations. They’re pragmatic, they’re not anarchists. The whole process is surprisingly organized and democractic. They’re working towards coming up with realistic action items. These people aren’t waiting for someone to save them, they’re working towards how they can save themselves.