They are emergent cities
If you go to the nearest camp you'll find in there everything you'd need to survive, even during a Canadian winter. For example, only two days after it's initiation the Montreal camp had already a health center, a kitchen that fed easily over 500 people the very first evening, a center of communication and coordination, an information and donation center, a political space (where the assemblies take place), a cultural space (where people play drums, dance, paint...), and obviously a housing space. Believe it or not, we even have the protection of the militia (the Quebecois patriots), who put their tent across the street from the main camp, having great visibility over the area.
|The kitchen, first day|
During the first hours of the encampment I joined the kitchen and I experienced first-hand how a very complex food processing system self-organized in no time. The other centers were also keeping the pace. It was cold and very windy. While the kitchen was continuously serving all kinds of snacks, beverages, fresh fruits and vegetables, while we were reinforcing the tent to withstand the strong wind, transporting water from a nearby hotel, processing garbage, washing dishes, by 5:30pm we were ready to receive the hungry wave of protesters with hot meals. They formed a huge line and in an orderly fashion they came, one-by-one, with a big smile on their tired faces to get their bowl of rice with spicy potato curry and coconut milk, and baked pumpkin. And soon it was dark. Flashlights just appeared from nowhere, and by the end of the night the entire kitchen was illuminated by construction lights connected to a large power supply. The kitchen staid open around the clock, and still operates 24 hours per day. ... Did I mentioned that there was no boss?
Yesterday I passed by the camp and I was again surprised by how fast the infrastructure of this emergent city was growing. Toilets are coming, a large power generator was already there waiting to be connected, the WiFi infrastructure was only waiting for power, the kitchen had a very large tank of water, gas burners, a BBQ and a new large shelf for storage (food is never a problem). Let me tell you something, the occupiers are getting ready for the winter! But again, this new city within the city has no mayor. Its governance is decentralized, distributed.
They are embryos of the new world
The camps are incubators for new systems of governance (watch the Concensus movie), for open and decentralized economical systems with alternative channels of value exchange (currencies), for a new culture, for new education systems... These new institutions are taking shape in these spaces and are now starting to diffuse throughout society. It is a global phenomena. The world is going through a profound metamorphoses process.
Yes,... some people may think that we can't apply this to the entire society. They are dead wrong. The new technology enables the scaling of these systems, this is in fact the essence of what we've been saying form the beginning.