Parenting and The Occupy Movement: March 6, 2012

Parents for Occupy Wall Street

Parents for Occupy Wall Street

OGSO was happy to have Kirby Desmarais, who started Parents for Occupy Wall Street, join us for an open discussion about parenting and the Occupy movement. Here are the notes from this discussion.

Why is it important to you to involve our children in protests?

  • Teaching them how to have power
  • Bringing positive attention to the movement by demonstrating that it is planned with concern for families and families have access
  • Because families are so impacted by issues that we are occupying about

Some techniques:

  • Planning a child safe zone for every event
  • Area that is clearly marked that is for children (they use mats that are brightly colored with areas for chalk art and arts and crafts, parents stand around in a circle)
  • “Yellow balloon” – letting law enforcement know when there is a yellow balloon that it means that there are children, a disabled person, or a pregnant woman
  • Asking before consensus is requested for every event – is this a child safe event
  • “Town squares” – organizing events in parks that are family friendly
  • Outreach for occupy – going to different parks throughout the city and holding events with music and other activities to talk about occupy, making them family friendly
  • Dealing with disruptors – preventing disruptive or mentally unstable people from jeopardizing the safety of families who are involved – making a policy for how to deal with disruptors
  • Sleepover – inviting families to a big sleepover that is family friendly