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The first weeks of IOPS

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Just a small list of what has been done this month:


- Some of the IOPS Belgium members met for the first time , to share insights, points of view, and obviously some alcohol:


From left to right: Lode, Michael, Frank, Bart, and yours truly.

- We contacted the Gelijke Kansenraad for information on feminism from a Belgian woman's perspective and were offered a book, free of charge and contacts to increase our awareness about women's situation in Belgium. Available on request!

- We offered the 12M/Indignados with a variety of logistics support, and helped a protester in slight difficulties with the authorities. See previous post.


- We got a pretty nice headstart on the IOPS Belgium Library, because of a generous donation from François Houtart's Centre Tricontinental in Louvain-La Neuve of ALL their available publications over several decades, free of charge! Many thanks to Maniseng Peng and the whole team at the CeTri for this wealth of information.


- We met with Bu'u Y'epamanhsa, representative of the Tukano natives in the Amazon rainforest. We got enlightened about their customs, with a LOT of humor , while visiting some places in Brussels, and provided him with transportation to his speaking venue at the Casa de la América Latina (even though we were a bit late, blame my lack of orientation skills). Thanks to Raf from Global Change Belgium for this really cool opportunity! More personal pics might follow.


- We helped the Natuurpunt Lubbeek to start restoring the domestic biodiversity of 4 purchased parcels in the Leuven area. Manual labor, lots of scratches and wounds, some fire,  and some drinks. This is how it starts:


And this is how it will eventually look when finished (previous work done by Natuurpunt):



And some of the idiots that helped:



Also pledged to provide with logistics support (tools, manpower) as soon as the leftmost fez-wearer gets his IT job. Thanks for the contacts, Tim!

- Also discovered that many of our members are pretty proficient writers: Lode Van Oost frequently does translations and own articles for De Wereld Morgen (previously Indymedia), and Mr. Sanchez Estop has written a very clearly-written book called "La Dominación Liberal: Ensayo sobre el liberalismo como dispositivo de poder" under the pseudonym John Brown:



- We will be starting planting the seed of a citizen's wireless network and upgrade of the telecom infrastructure at Buurthuis Opsakee (kind of a youth house near my locale), work should be finished this week. Finally they'll get internet access for the youth in the neighbourhood, worthy of that name. Also, cleanup of PC's and cabling of the offices. Finally, cleaning the attic, we found the following bit of hardware:


This will be installed and attached to a machine made out of old equipment and parts, to allow the youth there to enjoy cooperative videogames, at the youth worker's discretion of course.

- We have started exploring the possibility to collectively buying ground to build an Earthship commune. Initial interest has been shown by some people from the 12M/Indignado movement, Earthship Belgium, and myself, as well as some interest from some IOPS members. The reasons for this are diverse: near-full independence, search for harmony with nature, or just the normal need for a house of one's own.

- I'll be discussing with the 12M people how to approach the management of their website, as the previous webmaster has decided to move on to concentrate on other endeavours.


That's it!

Discussion 9 Comments

  • Paulo Rodriguez 3rd Jun 2012

    Note to self though:

    - Recharge your equipment's batteries, be prepared to grasp any opportunity at any time.
    - Learn how to make a picture worth jack for once.
    - Don't use cellphones to make said pictures.

  • 3rd Jun 2012

    Thank you!

    I love these report-backs. And pictures make such a big difference.

    Congratulations on all your hard work!

  • Paulo Rodriguez 3rd Jun 2012

    Thanks Zane! I wasn't sure about the turkish hats, but my buddy there loved them. And somehow the timing was perfect with the rain and all. We did get some odd looks on the streets, but that's 50% of the fun ;-)

  • LedSuit ' 3rd Jun 2012

    Ditto what Zane said. Pictures make a hell of a difference. Hats look cool!

  • Peter Lach-Newinsky 3rd Jun 2012

    Fantastic work/fun Paulo, fat congrats! Loved the pics too. And that regenerated stream looks fantastic BTW (now for some green guerilla fruit/nut trees innocuously providing an edible commons as well? Happy to provide tips if needed.)

    • Paulo Rodriguez 4th Jun 2012

      I'll have a talk with the grounds maintainer, but I clearly recall there were already some errrr... kastanjebomen, whatever the translation is! At least roasted they are pretty good!

  • Oscar Addis 4th Jun 2012

    Well done Paulo and everyone else in IOPS Belgium. Keep up the good work and organising

  • Peter Lach-Newinsky 5th Jun 2012

    Paulo, yes, I'm sure 'kastanjebomen' are sweet chestnut trees (Castanea sativa), German: 'Kastanienbaum'. Great they're there already. Yum yum. Also good as timber coppice trees in eco-forestry.

  • Olivier Mazeas 5th Jun 2012

    Thanks for the report Paulo.
    It is good to see people from both Occupy and 12M/15O/Indignados finding a home in IOPS!
    Keep up the good work!