Posted 1 year ago on Jan. 30, 2012, 5:46 p.m. EST by ARod1993
This content is user submitted and not an official statement
Honestly, I'd like to see OWS move beyond simply protesting and occupying things, and look at means of changing the political and economic landscape as best it can. To begin with, we should look at setting something up along the lines of Politician Market (which started out as a joke but has a hell of a lot of potential to get things done) to allow for crowdsourced lobbying on the part of OWS participants and sympathizers.
Beyond that, we need to start looking at the 2012 and 2014 election cycles. 2012 is coming up way too soon, and I'm not particularly happy with the fact that we haven't started moving on that already. For the most part, we should be working alongside and providing support and publicity for the 99% Declaration in the hopes of developing a document that we can use as our own Contract with America in the hopes of making it a litmus test for politicians running on the state and national levels. If we release the thing in 2012, then it will most likely have little effect until 2014. Generally speaking, you get about half the turnout in off-year elections that you would during a presidential election year, which means that any group that can get warm bodies in voting booths has a seriously disproportionate degree of say in who actually gets elected. That's even more true on the primary level, but if we want to take advantage of it we need to look at how quickly we can get funds and from where so that we can be prepared.
Come 2014, we need to pick races in which nobody really likes the incumbent much and try to find challenger candidates several months in advance (say, January or February) so we have time to set them up properly with a strong campaign staff (if there's one thing this movement has it's activists by the ton so as far as I'm concerned that should be the easy part) and a fairly strong source of funds, with all of this support being contingent on adherence to 85% or more of the content of the 99% Declaration.
Once we have our people, we're going to have our work cut out for us running the campaign for them. Ad blitzes, door-to-door campaigns, money bombs, push polls, the works. Trying to run a non-corporate campaign with crowdsourced funds from small donors is hard as hell, but if the Paulites can do it, then I'm pretty sure we'll be able to as well (if we're willing to work both hard and smart to see this through)
In order to make this work, we're also most likely going to have to rebrand the movement. "Occupy Wall Street" worked really well in the first month or so when coming out against rampant abuses by financiers was all we had to do. By now the whole world knows what we're against but now we have to figure out what we're for. The answer is sitting right in front of us: the 99 percent (slogan-wise, at least). If we become the "Defenders of the 99 Percent" then we have something less tainted to build an ethos around than the images of the tent city in Zucotti Park.
There are simple things that we could start doing now to turn our image around and pull this movement back into the field of view of most of mainstream America. First off, set up a PR workgroup composed of sober, articulate, clean-cut moderates who are capable of appealing to people fairly far outside our standard political and socioeconomic demographics to convince them to vote for people we trust. Shell out a few hundred bucks on a suit and tie and get them some public speaking lessons and see how many talk shows you can get them on.
While we're at it, we're going to need to start coordinating and planning protests and rallies better. People shouldn't be getting notifications on here about "Occupy this!" or "Demand that!" two or three days before the event in question is supposed to happen. We need to pick a few big events at least three or four weeks in advance and go out of our way to hunt down people, organize rallies, clean ourselves up, and once we're actually out on the street avoid unnecessary trouble with LEOs. That means for God's sake, someone keep the goddamn black bloc out of anything we do. We should be prepared to put our best face out there and our best foot forward, and we should be looking for unity and discipline when we go out there.