I support the Occupy Wall Street/Occupy Together movement. The wealth gap is a whole ‘nother macro thing, but this post is focused on my (admittedly limited) efforts to help the Occupy Philly tech crew boost their inclusiveness. Last night I did a little canvassing then talked to the tech crew on-site at City Hall. Before I left, I formed and discussed the recommendations below with the people I caught up with, and they liked the ideas. The folks I talked to at the tent were very busy but took time out of fighting fires and the General Assembly to talk about the issues. They were interested and receptive and I thank them for taking the time to reflect on their work process with me. The first suggestion came directly from the media working group, so I can’t take credit. Here’s an email I sent to the tech organizing list this morning.
Subject: [Occupy-Tech List] Tech inclusiveness–good first steps!
Hi all, a quick then not-quick summary of some tech inclusiveness work I did last
night. Just a first pass, but could be helpful right away. Also, a medic gave
tech a thumbs up and no complaints, so congrats!! You all are rock stars, thanks
for all the work you’re doing!
tldr: The tech tent team is overworked and underappreciated, and the occupation
is alienated from tech infrastructure. I talked to people last night and came up
with 6 initial recommendations to reduce workload by increasing inclusiveness.
1) Ask the Art working group for help making a FAQ poster to put on the front of
the tent. This could cut down on spurious requests.
2) Recruit a tech tent greeter to field questions and triage tech support
requests. Preferably a woman or person of color. Minimal tech background
needed. This person could also update the irc channel and tech mailing list as
to current tech needs that people can bring from outside.
3) Ask for a bigger tent (heh, pun unintended but appropriate). The tent is
cramped and there’s no room for: