When #Occupymonterey first convened in mid-October at Colton Hall, the site of California’s first Constitutional Convention, hundreds of people arrived, ready to speak up, provide a new message in support of a different civil society, inclusive of the financial sector, and participate in a unique form of democratic assembly that would allow everyone to have a voice. As this paper makes clear, this effort has been underway for a long while before #OWS and #occupy were commonly heard terms, but with the movement coming directly to Monterey, these social and economic issues would no longer simply be swept under the rug. A group of people was now assembling to address them, and to get these issues more directly into the public eye.
Consensus for an Encampment Date, and a Permit Process
It was at the very first Colton Hall General Assembly of #occupymonterey, on October 15, 2011, that consensus was reached for an encampment date, to begin by the 5th of November. Later actions of the Assembly, which continued to be held at Colton Hall, contemplated an encampment at Colton Hall, but resolved to Camp at Veterans Memorial Park in an effort which involved a permit process which involved suggestions for the Veterans Memorial Park location by the City of Monterey that were later accepted by consensus of the General Assembly. This involved a permit process in which the City waived ordinary codes and regulations, including fees, associated with the site, upon request of #occupymonterey. The permit also included access to electricity and amplification at Colton Hall in addition to provisions for amplification and camping at Veterans Memorial Park, at which campers had access to established toilets and showers, a kitchen area and a BBQ / fire area, electrical outlets, and even a wireless internet connection for a limited number of devices (with the on-site connection provided by #occupymonterey).