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Forum Post: Animal Farm meets Animal House: The Six Leaders of the Allegedly Leaderless Movement

Posted 12 years ago on Nov. 6, 2011, 4:15 p.m. EST by TechJunkie (3029) from Miami Beach, FL
This content is user submitted and not an official statement

On Sunday, October 23, a meeting was held at 60 Wall Street. Six leaders discussed what to do with the half-million dollars that had been donated to their organization, since, in their estimation, the organization was incapable of making sound financial decisions. The proposed solution was not to spend the money educating their co-workers or stimulating more active participation by improving the organization’s structures and tactics. Instead, those present discussed how they could commandeer the $500,000 for their new, more exclusive organization. No, this was not the meeting of any traditional influence on Wall Street. These were six of the leaders of Occupy Wall Street (OWS).


Daniel, a tall, red-bearded, white twenty-something—one of the six leaders of the teach-in—said that the NYC-GA needed to be completely defunded because those with “no stake” in the Occupy Wall Street movement shouldn’t have a say in how the money was spent. When I asked him whether everybody in the 99% had a stake in the movement, he said that only those occupying or working in Zuccotti Park did. I pointed out that since the General Assembly took place in Zuccotti Park, everybody who participated was an occupier. He responded with a long rant about how Zuccotti Park is filled with “tourists,” “free-loaders” and “crackheads” and suggested a solution that the even NYPD has not yet attempted: Daniel said that he’d like to take a fire-hose and clear out the entire encampment, adding hopefully that only the “real” activists would come back.


The newly formed Spokes Council claims to adhere to the “statement of principles” adopted by the New York City General Assembly, including “direct-democracy, non-hierarchy, participation, and inclusion.” The Spokes Council differs from the NYC-GA, however, in three main respects: the Spokes Council has the power to exclude new groups that don’t receive a 90% majority vote for admission; in the NYC-GA, everybody technically has the right to speak, whereas in the Spokes Council each Working Group has a spokesperson, who can be recalled only by a 90% majority; and the NYC-GA allows one vote per person, whereas the Spokes Council operates more indirectly, granting each Working Group one vote.

When I pointed out the contradictions these differences present to the Council’s stated principles, the leaders of Sunday’s teach-in insisted that the Spokes Council was the most participatory, democratic organization possible—the same slogan they repeated last month about the General Assembly. I felt like I was watching a local production of Animal Farm.


After the Structure WG’s teach-in ended, I put together a short summary of what I’d heard. I waited for two hours while the General Assembly slowly got to the announcements--the only part of the NYC-GA open for anyone to participate.


When my turn came to speak, I brought up the plans of “the leaders of the allegedly leaderless movement” to commandeer the half-million dollars sent to the General Assembly for their new, exclusive, undemocratic, representational organization. Before I could finish, the facilitators and other members of the OWS inner circle started shouting over me. Amidst the confusion, the human mic stopped projecting what I, or anybody was saying. Because silence was what they were after, the leaders won.





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[-] 3 points by RichardGates (1529) 12 years ago

http://fritztucker.blogspot.com this is the source of the article

research and education my friends

[-] 1 points by TechJunkie (3029) from Miami Beach, FL 12 years ago

Interesting, thanks, Richard.

Do you happen to know if the part about the Spokes Council using a one-vote-per-committee system is true? If so, that's representative democracy, not direct democracy.

[-] 0 points by Jimboiam (812) 12 years ago

Bingo. What they have come up with is not really different than our current political structure which they decry. They want to take the say out of making decisions from the 99% and give it to a small group of representatives who have their own agenda. Pretty ironic isn't it? The very people railing against the system are perpetrating the same fraud against the system.

[-] 1 points by BeheadedOne (23) from Queens, NY 12 years ago

Four legs good, two legs better! Let the co-opting begin :(

[-] 1 points by radicalhumility (56) 12 years ago

It's real funny what happens to people when there's money involved. I could imagine anyone justifying to themselves why they might "deserve" a fat chunk if it was just sitting there, donated. But I believe deeply that the majority of hardworking people who are devoting their days to facilitating the movement are out for heavy monetary gain.

They should openly offer to post any and all records of expenses, donations, money used, paid, or taken.

[-] 1 points by TechJunkie (3029) from Miami Beach, FL 12 years ago

Contrary to some peoples' impression, I didn't intend to allege any kind of nefarious intention among any OWS leadership to take the money and run. I'm not close enough to the situation to formulate a valid opinion on that. I posted that here to see what I could learn from the conversation that followed.

Personally, I think that it would be possible for a small inner circle to maneuver to control the money without the aspect of bad faith. I think it's natural in any group like this for a small group of leaders to emerge who have a lot more power and influence than everybody else. That's just natural in any group. I don't necessarily assume that they're being devious or acting in bad faith, even if there really is a small group of six people trying to secure the funds for a new, more-exclusive organization. They could be living out Animal Farm while also fully believing that they're doing the right thing. I'm still withholding judgement until we know more.

[-] 1 points by yoss33 (269) 12 years ago

that blog article was disturbing to me. I don't think anyone but the GA and overall consensus should decide on where the money goes.

What kind of b.s. is 'we are the 99%' if you're only representing the interests of a few egos at Zuchatti park, if the article in question is accurate. I was initially interested in the spokes council, now i am veering more towards losing confidence in OWS.

Get it together. Stay true to the Spirit and ALL of the people.


[-] 1 points by TechJunkie (3029) from Miami Beach, FL 12 years ago

Well, but on the other hand, how is the GA ever really going to accomplish anything if they require a 90% consensus to do anything? If you thought that Congress was sluggish and inefficient and dysfunctional...

[-] 1 points by ronimacarroni (1089) 12 years ago

If I were in New York I'd kick Daniel's ass.

[-] 1 points by BradB (2693) from Washington, DC 12 years ago

On the SpokesCouncil… Some (like TechJunkie) here beleive that the SpokesCouncil is a governing entity… I disagree… the purpose behind the SpokesCouncil is to simply reduce the amount of work and time involved with presentations to the GA’s, allowing the GA’s to cover more issues over the same time… If groups of people unite together under like objectives, discuss, improve presentation.. reach consensus levels…etc. prior to GA meetings… more work can be done in less time. “Spokes” is a good discription, but I think “Consensus Clusters” might be better…

[-] 1 points by TechJunkie (3029) from Miami Beach, FL 12 years ago

I have no idea what to believe. I just re-posted information from somebody else. I assumed that an interesting conversation would then ensue.

[-] 1 points by MortgagedTent (121) 12 years ago

Brought to us straight from the globalization movement.

[-] 1 points by TechJunkie (3029) from Miami Beach, FL 12 years ago

If you saw the word "globalization" and translated that in your mind as "pro-outsourcing" then you kind of missed the point of Global Research.ca.

The Centre for Research on Globalisation (CRG) is an independent research and media organization based in Montreal. The CRG is a registered non profit organization in the province of Quebec, Canada.

In addition to the Global Research website, the Centre is involved in book publishing, support to humanitarian projects as well as educational outreach activities including the organization of public conferences and lectures. The Centre also acts as a think tank on crucial economic and geopolitical issues.

The Global Research website at www.globalresearch.ca publishes news articles, commentary, background research and analysis on a broad range of issues, focussing on social, economic, strategic and environmental processes.

The Global Research website was established on the 9th of September 2001, two days before the tragic events of September 11. Barely a few days later, Global Research had become a major news source on the New World Order and Washington's "war on terrorism".


[-] 0 points by MortgagedTent (121) 12 years ago

Then why is this organization pretending to know who leads the 99% and, of course, rather coincidentally, he happens to be complete asshole.

[-] 2 points by TechJunkie (3029) from Miami Beach, FL 12 years ago

As RichardGates pointed out in this thread, the article originally came from here: http://fritztucker.blogspot.com/

When I read that article, it seems to me to be coming from somebody who has been actively involved, who has concerns that could be legitimate about control over a $450,000+ bank account. In my humble opinion, you would be a lot more convincing in discrediting or refuting him if you could come up with something more substantial than calling him an asshole.

[-] 1 points by QuietDay (59) 12 years ago

"I felt like I was watching a local production of Animal Farm".

This made me laugh out loud. It was inevitable. "All animals are equal, but some are more equal than others".

White, middle class males. No really?

[-] 1 points by TechJunkie (3029) from Miami Beach, FL 12 years ago

Yep, the Spokes Council does seem a lot like the pigs from Animal Farm. I think that's just a natural evolutionary phase in any movement like this. The part that makes Occupy Wall Street, and Animal Farm, so funny is not the concentration of power among a group of elites. It's the hypocrisy.

[-] 0 points by vets74 (344) from New York, NY 12 years ago

How's chances this "Spokes Council" matches to anything that David Graeber would call modern anarchy? Doing this Occupy thingie based on the General Assembly approach was his idea originally.

I understand that the total was $1,000,000. That was a direct report from a responsible person at the middle of last week.

Also, btw: many are too old to imagine sleeping outside in winter. Same for diabetics and categories of the handicapped. Youth and good health are wonderful, but active participation should not be determined by those alone.

Seems as though this change goes from NYCGA to a Ruling Privy Council with no pause for monarchy. Cheers.

[-] 1 points by BreadLandPeace (359) 12 years ago

i love it

[-] 0 points by TheREAL99 (120) 12 years ago

"On Sunday, October 23, a meeting was held at 60 Wall Street"

Why are you only now posting this, 2 weeks latter?

[-] 2 points by TechJunkie (3029) from Miami Beach, FL 12 years ago

Because I only saw it today

I noticed it after reading this blog entry that summarized it, which was posted today.

[-] -1 points by TheREAL99 (120) 12 years ago

Ok - Thanks. I wonder if this will come up at tonight's GA?

[-] 1 points by TechJunkie (3029) from Miami Beach, FL 12 years ago

Somehow I doubt that. But if they post the minutes this time then maybe we'll find out. They don't appear to be very diligent about posting minutes any more.

[-] -1 points by TheREAL99 (120) 12 years ago

Watch this Post be "Disappeared" before your very eyes ........