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This weekend, in support of the folks at Occupy Wall Street and similar in other major financial centers (including Occupy LA here in Los Angeles), I put the full content of "Economic Resilience" online for free readership. This how-to document for building local community resilience has been freshly updated with new links and additional ideas.

Some other thoughts, specifically addressed to the #Occupy protesters and the themes that are recurring in signs and posters:

Proposed purpose statement:  "Transition Network supports community-led responses to climate change, inequality and shrinking supplies of cheap energy, building resilience and happiness.”

Who proposed this and why

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By Louis Alemayehu, Transition Minnesota, Transition US Trainer

Now that I’m tuning into the Transition movement, I see interesting signs of it everywhere I look —even on reality TV!

This Saturday, several of the Transition groups in the greater Los Angeles area will be hosting local sites for 350.org's latest international rally.  "Moving Planet" will focus attention on the need to move beyond fossil fuels.  Here's how we're doing it in my own local neighborhod, plus some resources offered to fellow organizers.

Here in my local neighborhood, we wanted to merge what we are doing locally with the Moving Planet theme.  We're focusing on solutions:  we're holding a bicycle ride between several of the community gardens which have been sprouting up in our neighborhood.  The ride ends up being approximately a 7 mile loop.  Since many of the gardens are in schools, including an elementary school, we mapped a route on bicycle-friendly streets, with only gentle hills so that full families might participate.

My name is Joanne and I am a knitter. (Yep, it's that serious)  For quite some time I have made excuses, telling myself that "knitting was one of those reskilling things" and it was a powerdown craft. But I got to thinking about it seriously this week.

Here, in the middle of urban Los Angeles, knitting is a pretty elitist hobby. It might be a "reskilling type of thing" good for necessary clothing-making somewhere out on a farm where there are plenty of goats and sheep. Or if I took to raising angora rabbits. Because when the serious hiccups in the economy come, when the darker transportation issues of peak oil set in, the boutique yarn stores I patronize today likely won't be around anymore.

Thanks to Don Hall for sharing this interview with Woody Tasch for Greater Sarasota's EAT LOCAL! Resource Guide & Directory, a project of Transition Sarasota, Florida.

In Sacred Economy, Charles Eisenstein poses the seemingly outrageous idea that money should be sacred. In this he means that a good bit of the mess we’re currently in is because we have lost this sense of the sacred and the special – the connected and interdependent nature of transactions between people.

Eisenstein advocates for a moneyless or “gift culture.” He asserts that, anthropologically, people didn’t have barter transactions as we think of them today. Rather, he says, the transactions were more like gift circles, where borrowing and lending and buying and selling and gifting were virtually indistinguishable.

A status report about Transition in Los Angeles

In early writings about the Transition movement, one of the guidelines was to "Let it go where it needs to go." Don't attempt to control the growth of your budding initiative or local group. Allow it to develop -- "organically" if you will -- however it needs to.  Given the unique dynamic between individuals on our initiating core teams, given the particular issues in our local communities, given the preexisting status of transition-oriented activity around us, what needs to happen next in one localle has been quite different from what needs to happen next in another.

I've already written about the early development of Transition activity here in the greater L.A. area. (part I, part II) At this point in time, our city hub is a little over 2.5 years old. Next month will mark 3 years since the initial public gathering when we first began using the word "Transition" for what we have been doing in the initiating group since 2005.

In these three years, Transition action in L.A. has grown from one active local group with a pretty little food garden, to a city hub (TLA) plus eight-going-on-eleven active local groups holding public meetings under the banner of the Transition movement.

Brussels

You remember how I wrote that my contact in Ireland asked if I wanted to meet at a pub for a pint, and how my contact in England asked if I wanted to meet during a day of volunteering at a farm? Well, my contact in Belgium wanted to know if I wanted a walk in the woods! Louis and I responded with a resounding yes. Marc Van Hummelen is a forest ranger in Tervuren, just outside of Brussels. Tervuren is a municipality in the province of Flemish Brabant, in Flanders, one of the three regions of Belgium.

Upon arriving at the ferry port in Hollyhead, Wales, I boarded a train with my destination to be Chesterfield, England. The train snaked its way through Wales, where all the signs were once again in two languages, English and Welsh (another form of Gaelic). At first we followed the coast, where many off-shore wind turbines were situated. Why do we have such difficulty siting them in Vermont? Believe me, the tourists still come (one of the arguments against them), and clean electricity is generated. It’s a win-win situation.

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