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Rio Grande Valley Zeitgeist Movement
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Saturday, December 4, 2010

McAllen Artwalk After Action Report

Date: Friday December 3rd, 2010
Time: 6-10pm
Location: North Main St.
Participants: 14

The Rio Grande Valley Zeitgeist Movement was represented at McAllen's Artwalk festival, with many members contributing flyers, DVD's, live music performances, t-shirts, a table, chairs and even a laptop which was playing the Zeitgeist Addendum film. Our activity was basically focused around three separate areas and activities. Initially, we were set up with a table in front of a friendly art gallery. Next, we moved to a crowded area where a man on a loudspeaker was arguing with passers by about various religious views. Thirdly, we moved to a grassy area where we distributed our remaining flyers and DVD's while one of our members performed live music and sang about changing society.

We initially set up a small table with our information and DVD's so all those who were travelling on the sidewalk would have access to it. We were also using a laptop to display the Zeitgeist Addendum film. Unfortunately, a local code enforcement officer informed us that we were not allowed to use a table on the sidewalk, even if we had permission from the storefront owner who we were in front of. One of our members received a citation, and we were forced to remove our table from the area. Fortunately, we maintained our location and continued to pass out flyers and continue to show the film. After several hours, and interesting conversations with various members of the community, we headed north to a more populated area.

There was a large crowd growing around a very passionate man on a loudspeaker who was arguing with an unruly crowd about various religious topics. There were heightened emotions and voices raised on both sides of the discussion. We took the opportunity to speak both with the crowd and the man on the microphone and tried to make people aware of our movement and our message. While this lead to generally mixed results, several of our members made their opinions known to all and sundry who were around to hear them, and we had some good interactions with various members of the public. I personally engaged a couple of people and we discussed our different views about a resource based economy in comparison to older forms of communism. Another person actually was stating his opinion that our current monetary system was just and even a positive force in our lives. While I don't believe I was able to make either change their opinion, they both came away with a discussion of their beliefs and values and hopefully this will lead to deeper introspection and a realization that we need a new direction.

During this time, one of our members was able to provide us with our freshly printed shirts, and many of us put them on in solidarity with the Venus Project and the Zeitgeist Movement. We decided to move farther north, and stopped in front of a nice tree in a grassy area. This is where one of our members produced a guitar and harmonica and proceeded to draw a small crowd with her music and voice. We distributed the last of our flyers and discs, and shared some thoughts on how the evening had gone. We realized that this event was a first time for activism for many of us involved, and that while we still had a lot to learn and experience, we were grateful for the opportunity to engage with the public and hopeful that we would become more proficient at it in upcoming events. We concluded by asking some very nice people to take group photos to help commemorate the outing.

I would like to thank everyone involved in last night's Artwalk activism. Not only to our members who gave of their time, materials, resources and talents, but also those in the public who took our flyers, asked us questions and discussed with us their views on how we can make a better world for all people. We ask that you join us and people all over the world to help make our vision of a better society a reality.