Welcome login | signup
Language en es fr
OccupyForum

Forum Post: ----Forum Recommendations For Action----

Posted 2 years ago on Feb. 18, 2012, 3:46 a.m. EST by GypsyKing (9780)
This content is user submitted and not an official statement

Several weeks ago I created a post to solicit input from people on this forum, to create a list of practical actions that forum visitors can take to support this movement. Many, many great suggestions were provided there, and I thank each and everyone of you who contributed! This post is my effort to follow-up and form a list from those recommendations, and so again, to all those who participated: Thank You!

In this post I don't speak officially for OWS, nor for anyone but myself, and any who wish to sign their usernames here.

The purpose, as stated above, is simply to give those who wish to take action a conscise way to do so, without having to engage in the complexities of the dialogue that goes on here.

I know that many will disagree with some, or all, of these recomendations and all I can say is that I have done my best, in good faith, to represent the views of those whose interests lie legitimately with this movement. I also know that many will ask, who am I to take such an action independently? To that all I have to say is, who are any of us to do so? This is a grass-roots movement, a confederation of individuals!

Those who do not agree, of course, need not sign, and they are welcome to come up with a list of their own recommendations.

Before I post these recommendations, I would like to say a word about the difficulty in arriving at a list of concrete actions. The leaderless, bottom-up structure of this movement forces us to do just that, work from the bottom-up, and this inherently forces upon us rigourous discipline, and active involvement, to make change. We cannot delegate authority because we are all acting as individuals. This is an important condition of this movement that must be understood.

And so, my first and foremost recommedation is to get active in your local chapter of Occupy, and to form or attend a local Occupy General Assembly. This seems a necessity, as this movement is currently structured, and it makes apathy our central opponent.

Of all the input given here, much of it fell into the form of abstract reccomendations - of ideas dissociated from means - and I think that is our greatest challenge as a movement. Many of us know what needs to be done, but few have clearly confronted the question of HOW those means are to be achieved. Therefore, sadly, I will leave these suggestions out . . . but because I don't want so many good recomendations go to waste, I will ask that you read my initial post, "What Is Our Plan Of Action?" where there are many ideas I think are valid to the spirit of this movement.

Finally - there are two distinct branches of action here - one direct protest action, and the other political action. I believe this movement is inherently political, and therefore I have incorporated recommendations for political activity.

If no one besides myself choses to sign these recommendations than there is no one to blame but myself, and I would like to solicit onging ideas as this movement progresses. Here is that list:

  1. Become active in your local Occupy General Assembly.

  2. Improve coordination of protest activities (in concrete terms I think one person on this forum should be chosen to coordinate protest activity on this forum.)

  3. Vote.

  4. Sign web petitions. This is a very effective way of cutting through partisan politics to address specific issues of concern.

  5. Run cantidates in local level elections, at the City Council level, the School Board level, and the State Legislature.

  6. Film controversial votes in these bodies, so that politicians will KNOW that they are on record.

  7. Become an enformed voter. Learn the voting records of your current representatives, and vote accordingly.

  8. Donate funds to this movement, or to causes alligned with this movement. Support other nations with your purchasing power (such as Iceland and Greece) that are on the cutting edge of action.

  9. Withdraw all funds from offending financial institutions, and put them in credit unions. Work to create an Occupy financial institution modelled upon non-profit small lending institutions so effective in raising nations like India out of economic despair.

  10. Do not buy from corporations that have a bad track record.

  11. Participate in voter registration drives.

  12. Excentuate the essentially patriotic nature of this movement, by embracing the American flag during protests.

  13. Do whatever you are able to reduce fossil fuel consumption, and to shift to alternative energy sources.

  14. Create alternative media outlets of every kind, to counter the media's efforts to shape the movement in the public eye.

  15. Do not vote for the Republican Party, or any of it's candidates. The Republican Party is the political arm of the oligarchs, with a firmly established record of supporting their interests over those of the people.

221 Comments

221 Comments


Read the Rules
[-] 3 points by factsrfun (6806) from Phoenix, AZ 2 years ago

Gypsy, great work! I would like to add one, and I do plan a seprate post, I was ask to that felt really nice, anyway,

Take the jobs at the polling places this Nov. not a place to be heard, but a place to meet people who are involed, a place to watch to learn. I think this would be great if we were to "Occupy the Polls".

[-] 1 points by GypsyKing (9780) 2 years ago

That's a really interesting idea. I would never have thought of it. Good expierence in the mechanics of the process, which is always valuable.

[-] 1 points by factsrfun (6806) from Phoenix, AZ 2 years ago

That's why there's more than one of us here ;).

[-] 1 points by GypsyKing (9780) 2 years ago

Yes, and we need more and more . . . !

[-] 2 points by factsrfun (6806) from Phoenix, AZ 2 years ago

We will hammer a message here so strong that they cannot silence it.

[-] -2 points by DKAtoday (28022) from Coon Rapids, MN 2 years ago

Yep. Listen to what people are saying, the people who have not opted-out. Understand what the everyday person is thinking to better include them in the movement. What is it they like , what is they don't like, what is it they think "the movements need to do differently to gain their support".

[-] 2 points by GypsyKing (9780) 2 years ago

Absolutely. I really think that false divisions are just being forced down our throats here. We need to be inclusive, not exclusive. It seems bizzare that I even feel the need to say that. This movement can succeed. The polls bare that out. But we must face this issue squarely. I believe in democracy. I don't want to overthrow the system, I want to reform it. The VAST MAJORITY of Americans feel as I do.

I also believe we need the direct action to continue. It is the Combination that will eventually force change. Neither alone, I believe, will be effective.

[-] -3 points by DKAtoday (28022) from Coon Rapids, MN 2 years ago

That is why we must remain alert to the sounding of voices of division. There are some who are righteously outraged by individuals in various political parties, and they have every right to be. There are also voices which are here specifically to divide us and prevent unity in common cause.

We who are here to promote positive change, must point out our common cause and support the fact that good people support different political parties, and that we all need to act together to remove corruption from government, remove corruption from all political parties.

We must put down infighting and promote positive bipartisan action by a bipartisan movement. United we stand!

[-] 1 points by GypsyKing (9780) 2 years ago

Exactly! A lot of this whole divissive issue is just smoke and mirrors.

[-] -3 points by DKAtoday (28022) from Coon Rapids, MN 2 years ago

It's worse than smoke and mirrors. It is an attempt to keep us down by the corrupt. This must be understood by all who want a healthy and prosperous world for all.

[-] 1 points by GypsyKing (9780) 2 years ago

Thank you for the clarification:)

PS The Republicans are poised to take control of the Senate in the next election. How about we put the kabosh on that?

[-] 1 points by freakyfriday (179) 2 years ago

Considering the GOP is handing the presidency back to Obama, keeping the Congress Republican is our only hope

[-] 1 points by GypsyKing (9780) 2 years ago

Of utter failure.

[-] -3 points by DKAtoday (28022) from Coon Rapids, MN 2 years ago

Lets just keep down the rabid dogs. The ones in office now just caved to the mounting pressure on the payroll tax cut. They had to because their position was untenable.

[-] 0 points by GypsyKing (9780) 2 years ago

It wouldn't have been untenable when everyone was still asleep. Thanks to the people of Zuccotti Park for that.

[+] -4 points by DKAtoday (28022) from Coon Rapids, MN 2 years ago

Yes it took an awakening to start and to remain in the public eye. Lets us continue to sound the morning alarm. The awakening must continue.

[-] 1 points by factsrfun (6806) from Phoenix, AZ 2 years ago

Good advice, and at the same time they learn that we are not mosters. Thank you DKA.

[+] -4 points by DKAtoday (28022) from Coon Rapids, MN 2 years ago

Thank you. I thought that I was just continuing your thought on Occupying the polls.

True not monsters, just everyday working people trying to stand up for what is right and being Demonized by those corrupt in power.

[-] 2 points by factsrfun (6806) from Phoenix, AZ 2 years ago

And that is the power of the forum, they can’t stop us from thinking, people will know the truth when they see it, people always have. Policy positions that are organically grow, not handed down by think tanks. The power of what we do here will really change the world, I really believe that.

[-] -3 points by DKAtoday (28022) from Coon Rapids, MN 2 years ago

Unity against corruption, therefore unity in action, "IS" our goal. For a better world for all.

[-] 2 points by GypsyKing (9780) 2 years ago

I will make just one final comment here, and that is that I thought this issue needed to be aired, as I felt it was creating tension within the movement. I think keeping these things in the open is essential in any reform movement.

Having said that, I will just add that I also think this movement is strong and getting stronger. Perhaps one positive thing to come out of this should be that those directly involved in the GAs come away heartened that there are so many out there who support them enough to care very deeply about whether their interests are being served by things the way they are, and that are willing to make their voices heard!

Together we will move forward! Together we will prevail!

[-] 2 points by Odin (583) 2 years ago

Write letters to the editor, and reach out to family and friends who don't understand what this is all about. When you do close bank and credit card accounts, let them know why you are doing so and ask them to pass it on to their manager.

[-] 1 points by GypsyKing (9780) 2 years ago

Very good point.

[-] 2 points by JIFFYSQUID92 (-994) from Portland, OR 2 years ago

Good GREAT work, GK!

I'll have suggestions later or tomorrow.

Basically because of the election year and Occupy's first Spring and Summer I think the primary concerns are getting out the vote (massive registration and follow-up campaign) and a total Occupy image makeover (picture perfect and camera ready form any angle, loud and clear signs & banners). ##Perhaps there is a Print Shop that would like to align with Occupy Movements in their town(s) and get free Print Shop advertising!???

Love that flag idea! I bet you mean those big fancy ones (if we can get 'em) with no graffiti or just lots and lots and lots of them, so no sneaky camera crew can avoid them. Just one glimpse tells a big glory story which Occupy definitely shares. Justice and Liberty for all.

GREAT WORK!!

[-] 2 points by GypsyKing (9780) 2 years ago

Thanks JIFFY, you are among the good thinkers here that I don't believe Occupy can do without. I simply don't buy the idea that we have to either work through direct action, or politically, and that we can't do both. In fact, I think the idea is self-limiting, and disempowering.

[-] 2 points by therising (6643) 2 years ago

Martin Luther King, Jr.'s "Letter from the Birmingh Jail spoke directly to this issue. This is wonderful letter (aimed mostly at white ministers who were sitting on the sidelines -- "the appalling silence of the good people"). Early on in the letter, King talks about creating tension to bring people to the negotiating table. He says:

"Nonviolent direct action seeks to create such a crisis and foster such a tension that a community which has constantly refused to negotiate is forced to confront the issue. It seeks to so dramatize the issue that it can no longer be ignored. My citing the creation of tension as part of the work of the nonviolent-resister may sound rather shocking. But I must confess that I am not afraid of the word "tension." I have earnestly opposed violent tension, but there is a type of constructive, nonviolent tension which is necessary for growth. Just as Socrates felt that it was necessary to create a tension in the mind so that individuals could rise from the bondage of myths and half-truths to the unfettered realm of creative analysis and objective appraisal, we must we see the need for nonviolent gadflies to create the kind of tension in society that will help men rise from the dark depths of prejudice and racism to the majestic heights of understanding and brotherhood."

"The purpose of our direct-action program is to create a situation so crisis-packed that it will inevitably open the door to negotiation. I therefore concur with you in your call for negotiation."

Here's the entire "Letter from the Birmingham Jail": http://abacus.bates.edu/admin/offices/dos/mlk/letter.html . It's a treasure and is as timely as ever.

Direct action with large numbers of people can make a real difference. Consider this other quote from Martin Luther King, Jr., an occupier from back in the day: "A delegation of poor people can walk into a high official’s office with a carefully, collectively prepared list of demands. (If you’re poor, if you’re unemployed anyway, you can choose to stay in Washington as long as the struggle needs you.) And if that official says, ‘But Congress would have to approve this,’ or, ‘But the President would have to be consulted on that,’ you can say, ‘All right, we’ll wait.’ And you can settle down in his office for as long a stay as necessary."

[-] 2 points by ThunderclapNewman (1083) from Nanty Glo, PA 2 years ago

For those who haven't read this, or perhaps may get the inspiration for an idea through re-reading it:

Non-violence: An Introduction - by Thomas Weber and Robert J. Burrowes

http://www.nonviolenceinternational.net/seasia/whatis/book.php

[-] 2 points by GypsyKing (9780) 2 years ago

I think his vision was profound. The truth is that I think we are in a better situation than the Civil Rights Movement was at that time, because we are not representing a minority but a majority. That gives us added power, and so I am very optimistic about the final outcome of this movement. We have already changed the debate, now let's make the changes. Unite in direct action, and in political action!

[-] 2 points by therising (6643) 2 years ago

I don't think our success will come as slowly as some might think. The forces of momentum and the virtuous cycle snowball like compound interest. And as more and more people awaken to the absurdity of less than 1% ruling over 99% in a democracy, it will get exponentially more difficult for the 1% to hold onto power.

The greed of the 1% is no match for the momentum of an idea whose time has come in a land where the rubber band has been quietly pulling back back back for a very long time.

In that pent up tension lies the secret to both our successes and demise. If we allow it to release and express itself unchecked like a teenage boy on a date with a supermodel, it will fail miserably. If, on the other hand, we channel this pent up energy in an intentional, deliberate and conscious way, keeping our wits about us and engaging in tactical nonviolent direct action, freedom from the tyranny of the 1% will, as Breyton Breytonbach put it, "rise like the sun through the morning clouds.

Here's to that sunrise!

[-] 2 points by ThunderclapNewman (1083) from Nanty Glo, PA 2 years ago

It only took a few weeks for this movement to get to a point of having 30,000+ people participate in the walk across the Brooklyn Bridge. Just imagine the possibilities of things yet to come! Wow!

[-] 2 points by therising (6643) 2 years ago

Great point. That kind of makes everything seem possible. So damn cool! Occupy movement has tapped into something magnificent in America!

[-] 2 points by therising (6643) 2 years ago

Beautifully said GypsyKing

[-] 1 points by Odin (583) 2 years ago

I agree with your asessment GK, to a point, that we are in a better position than the Civil Rights Movement was because unlike then, we are representing a majority of people that have been screwed. We are up against a more formidable opponent though, one that benefits so much from the corrupt status quo, and has gotten very used to holding the reins of power. So unlike the CR movement, we are not only shooting for social change, but economic change as well .... and not really just change...but a sea change. Nobody in this should settle for anything less.

[-] 2 points by therising (6643) 2 years ago

Good point. But I don't think the change will come as slowly as some might think. The forces of momentum and the virtuous cycle snowball like compound interest. And as more and more people awaken to the absurdity of less than 1% ruling over 99% in a democracy, it will get exponentially more difficult for the 1% to hold onto power.

The greed of the 1% is no match for the momentum of an idea whose time has come in a land where the rubber band has been quietly pulling back back back for a very long time.

In that pent up tension lies the secret to both our successes and demise. If we allow it to release and express itself unchecked like a teenage boy on a date with a supermodel, it will fail miserably. If, on the other hand, we channel this pent up energy in an intentional, deliberate and conscious way, keeping our wits about us and engaging in tactical nonviolent direct action, freedom from the tyranny of the 1% will, as Breyton Breytonbach put it, "rise like the sun through the morning clouds.

Here's to that sunrise!

[-] 0 points by Odin (583) 2 years ago

I like your optimism..and I hope that you are right. This could well grow exponentially large very quickly due to circumstance that are difficult to see now, and that potential is enchanced because of all the discontent out there. I watched a three hour interview with Chris Hedges who covered the uprisings in eastern Europe and he said there is simply no telling...it could be ten days or ten years.

I like your analogy with of a "teenage boy on a date with a supermodel", but I did substitute an older gentleman in my mind. Sorry. hee Do you mean that we should keep this on the high road, which I believe we should because our cause is just..or get involved in electoral politics at this time as well as peaceful civil disobedience.. I think we may lose more than we gain by getting involved in the electoral process in the foreseeable future.

Agreed..here's to the sunrise.

[-] 1 points by GypsyKing (9780) 2 years ago

You have a real point there. Without a doubt this will be a real battle, and I don't think any of us should expect to see it won in the very near future. We still have a long way to go.

[-] 0 points by JIFFYSQUID92 (-994) from Portland, OR 2 years ago

Good thinking.

[-] 1 points by frovikleka (2563) from Island Heights, NJ 1 year ago

This is a grass-roots movement, and it will be won by resistance to the status quo, and education. We must help in restoring a sense of 'outrage' that has been missing in this country for some time. As in any past struggle, we will make mistakes. There will be times that it seems futile, but history has proven otherwise. Both courage, and little successes along the way will beget more of the same, until many more people have a feeling of empowerment. This movement will grow exponentially. 'Perseverance' is the key.

I believe that it is important that we engage in conversation with anyone who will listen. Most of us here know the detrimental effects that corruption, and neoliberal policies have had on us, and our loved ones. While the negative affects may differ....no job...low pay...no health-care...can't pay off college tuition...lost nest-egg...loss of rights...loss of your home, etc.., the causes are the same, malfeasance and corruption by the political, and financial elite.....or more succinctly put, we now have a government that answers to corporate, and banking interests, and not ours.

One good way to educate our countrymen is letters to the editor. Although the CMSM is fairly useless, they still take letters that do not support the corrupt status quo.

And as you may remember, on a 'regular basis', i drop off hybrid flyers at coffee shops here in AK, and have left them off at super-market sale paper bins, laundry mats, libraries, and convenience stores back east.

You can stuff credit card offer envelopes (prepaid!) with junk mail, and 'Occupy Wall Street" written on it, and/or OWS lit in it.

I have also called my elected reps up and basically told them that they are useless.

I have transferred most of my money to a credit union, and told the bank why I did....and I do not carry big balances on my credit cards, and have chastized them on the phone for their corruption.

Then of course the 'piece de resistance' for me In Occupy has been my involvement with Occupy Town Square since January, whose objective is to go out into neighborhoods in NYC to reach out and educate people in creative ways on how we have been betrayed by our political leaders, and what we all have in common, not what divides us. Although my contributions pale to some of the other members, I feel honored to be amongst these bright, determined people.

Oops, almost forgot GK..... the one that brings a smile to you ;-); Stamping my dollar bills with; Not To Be Used For Bribing Politicians, Amend The Constitution."

In any event, I will leave you with this quote; "Success is the sum of small efforts, repeated day in and day out." Robert Collier

~Odin~

[-] 2 points by GypsyKing (9780) 1 year ago

Thanks for that great comment. Yes, I think it's good from time to time to step back and ask ourselves what we can DO to forward this movement's goals. We will know fairly soon how the land lies with the new political configuration, and whether the politicians have understood that we're fed up and mean business, and that any Dems who go with the status quo are are enemies as much as the Repukes are.

They may have gotten the message, or maybe not. If they haven't then we will make sure they soon do.

[-] 2 points by frovikleka (2563) from Island Heights, NJ 1 year ago

Only last night on CNN, of all places, they did a report on the tremendous wealth disparity in this country, comparing it to developing countries in South America and Africa.. More and more the message is getting out.

I agree that we all have to look for ways 'step up' our recalcitrance to this corrupt system. The one thing that I want to do more is write letters to the editor (only one defending OWS so far), and I think many of the good posters here should do the same. Most of us have learned a lot here, and continue to do so, but i think to a big degree, we are just preaching to the choir. I think some of our time would be better spent writing these letters in the hope of reaching out to the mainstream in a more effective way.

~Odin~

[-] 2 points by gsw (2687) 1 year ago

Yes CNN for some reason is talking about this

http://money.cnn.com/2012/09/11/news/economy/wealth-net-worth/index.html

When the middle and poor are getting squeezed in the wealthiest nation.

What can we do but stop buying stuff. No more toys or needless spending. If we don't buy would the top even notice.

Maybe we should start an ows commune, and make it a reality show. That would maybe get some air time.

[-] 1 points by frovikleka (2563) from Island Heights, NJ 1 year ago

Good link, thanks. I've always thought that all ideas should be on the table, but errr...a commune...a reality show?? Ok, I'm cool with that. ;-)

I know that none of my three daughters will be lining up for the Black Friday sales tomorrow morning. When one of them asked me what i wanted for Christmas, I teasingly told her the item was only available at Wall-Mart tomorrrow morning. She told me that i was out of luck! Dang kids! ;-)

~Odin~

[-] 2 points by gsw (2687) 1 year ago

Or start our own corporations, on Ows principles, get a business loans, and start humane businesses, such as a farms, and do an end run around corporations. I think you were exploring this on a forum a few days ago. Beat the walmarts at their own game. Just be owners, not wait for this to happen make it happen. is that a viable plan?

[-] 2 points by frovikleka (2563) from Island Heights, NJ 1 year ago

I do think doing an "end run around corporations" is a good iniative, but it was not me who proposed it a few days ago. To a big degree many small businesses are embracing a more wholistic way of doing business. This new set of ethos is becoming more common. I've seen this here in AK, and in VT.

The daughter who i am now sitting up with is working on her graduate school studies now, and she has put herself through school by producing a high-end cranberry, balsamic, garlic dip, or dressing here in AK. For her it is very important to treat people, the way that you want to be treated. Her vendors know this, and she avoids doing business with people that are not kindred spirits.

In fact, i along with two of my daughters will be shopping at one of her vendors tomorrow. The woman who owns the specialty food store/kitchen shop is a positive force in the community, and often raises money for people in need. She was also elated a while back when my daughter told her that she had overpaid her by $500 on one of her orders.

My daughter's closing on her cell is; "Be the change the change you wish to see in the world." Ghandi

~Odin~

[-] 2 points by gsw (2687) 1 year ago

That story makes me smile. It's great to see the kids grow up, doing well. Congratulations.

[-] 1 points by frovikleka (2563) from Island Heights, NJ 1 year ago

Thanks. You know that you are a successful parent when you cannot afford any of the products, or services that your kids are selling. ;-) Good Night from AK.

~Odin~

[-] 1 points by gsw (2687) 1 year ago

And these stats look like third world is here in America.

http://money.cnn.com/2012/06/21/news/economy/wealth-gap-race/index.htm?iid=EL

Trickle down didn't work. Bush tax cuts for wealthy didn't work. Wars didn't work, for us. Stock market didn't work. Capitalism maybe ain't workin so well, as Gordon gecko took steroids , so how we wake up the people and say enough. We all want a raise, retroactive, for the last 20 years. How about if we all sue the govnt in court, for not promoting the general welfare, which is the only purpose of govnt, according to Jefferson.

[-] 0 points by richardkentgates (3269) from Fort Walton Beach, FL 1 year ago

Can we do both? ;)

[-] 1 points by jrhirsch (4714) from Sun City, CA 1 year ago

We definitely need to target non occupy people with irrefutable evidence, not words filled with hot air, but backed up by simple easy to understand facts from unbiased sources. Then like the Egyptians at Tahrir Square, spread it by social media, friends, family, workers. The basic message needs to get out.

For starters I like using the Social Security Administration's figure that in 2011, a full 50% of American workers, 75 million people, made $26,965.43 or less, to convince them that the wealth disparity in our country is far greater than they imagine.

http://www.ssa.gov/cgi-bin/netcomp.cgi?year=2011

And second this next chart shows how incomes adjusted for inflation have barely increased for the lower 90% of workers over the last 40 years while income for the top 10% have increased dramatically.

http://stateofworkingamerica.org/who-gains/#/?start=1968&end=2008

[-] 1 points by frovikleka (2563) from Island Heights, NJ 1 year ago

Good links, thanks. Yes i agree, it is important that we reach out to people with "simple easy to understand facts from unbiased sources." Many of the people that we need to bring to our side are so busy with the day to day struggles of raising a family, that they don't have the time to do what many of us here have in learning what has, and still is taking place. That fundamentally being a government that answers to banking and corporate interests, and not the people's interests. They inherently know something is wrong, but don't know what it is. And yet, still others are so discouraged.....they just don't feel there is anything that they can do about it.

I don't feel that we should put ourselves above using repetitive catch phrases, or epithets which were successfully used to get us to this sordid point in our history. Those same tactics can be used for good too.

In a hybrid flyer using some of OWS stuff, and my own that i produced before leaving for AK in late October....I outline all the reasons why people should support OWS....taxes on the rich, the lowest they have ever been.....Income disparity in the US is worse than in India, Iran, and China and our degree of economic inequality is simular to some of the poorest countries in the Western Hemisphere....1 in 4 of the nation's children live in poverty....1 in 6 Americans do not have health insurance, etc., etc. I end my one page, both sides (folded, like a book, and printed on bright green, and orange paper) with a challenge, which is:

CHOOSE THE WORLD THAT YOUR KIDS GROW UP IN

SUPPORT OCCUPY WALL STREET, OR

THE CORRUPT STATUS QUO WILL CONTINUE BY DEFAULT

THE CHOICE IS YOURS

I was surprised at how well they turned out considering my lack of computer skills. Anyway, as i have said before on the forum, i drop these off at different businesses on a regular basis.

Here in AK one flyer is posted on the bulletin board of my favorite coffee shop (my 22 mo. old granddaughter's favorite too!), "Vagabond Blues." The supply that was on the bookshelves need to be replenished though.

~Odin~

[-] 1 points by jrhirsch (4714) from Sun City, CA 1 year ago

"CHOOSE THE WORLD THAT YOUR KIDS GROW UP IN"

I like that phrase because it connects deep into peoples minds. It's not just about you, but generations to come.

[-] 1 points by frovikleka (2563) from Island Heights, NJ 1 year ago

Thanks.

[-] 1 points by GypsyKing (9780) 1 year ago

I think you hit the nail on the head. As far as I can see we have talked here, and have learned what we can, and now a lot that is going on here is becoming more divissive - I think frustration is starting to take hold.

We need to reach out now with what we've learned, to put these thoughts we've refined together into action. Let's go out and make the changes we have come to see are needed.

There are good recomendations here, derived from our collective input, and other avenues will open up as things progress. I really believe that in four or five years we will have made this nation and this world a better place.

[-] 1 points by frovikleka (2563) from Island Heights, NJ 1 year ago

I am banking on you being right GK about this being a 'better place" in 4-5 years. I also agree, but i do feel there is a strong probabability that things will get worse before they get better. Please see my response to jrhirsch above. Thanks.

~Odin~

[-] 1 points by GypsyKing (9780) 1 year ago

Yes, it seems we must put our noses to the grindstone for a better world! But when you think about it, what better is there to do. Ifwe all do this things will come out right in the end, although you're right, not in the short run probably.

I'm moving my writing over to my blog now, where I feel I can keep the tone and the pace geared towards more reflection, which seems more in keeping with my current state of mind.

I hope to see you there:)

[-] 1 points by frovikleka (2563) from Island Heights, NJ 1 year ago

yes I will pop by soon.

[-] 1 points by AJx315 (16) from New York, NY 2 years ago

This applies more specifically to the direct action planning for nyc but also to anyone else that can potentially benefit. Its been fairly obvious the police watch and read this site and forum. They are at every march, every rally, every protest with barricades ready and often a blockade of themselves before we even get there. My suggestion, and I believe this has been done before, is that we have a publicly known meetup location advertised on the site and everywhere else, but those planning the event o.lying put the rest of the details on paper and make copies to be handed out the day of at the publicly known meetup location. This will keep the police kept out of the loop atleast long enough for a decent size group to then march to whatever that days event is and will keep the police scrambling and unprepared.

[-] 1 points by GypsyKing (9780) 2 years ago

Agreed totally. I think we must make a distinction between stratagizing in a general way, keeping the larger public involved in the conversation, and direct palnning for action - which is another thing entirely, and needs to find it's own medium for communication.

[-] 1 points by AJx315 (16) from New York, NY 2 years ago

Its very difficult to plan actions, spread the word, but not let the word out to those who want to oppose us (police). The internet is a great asset to spread the word fast but going back to old school methods of straight flyering with details the day of would keep them on their feet. Make public knowledge of the general event but keep specific details under wraps until you're ready to act.

[-] 1 points by GypsyKing (9780) 2 years ago

Yes. This is a difficult question, perhaps ultimately insurrmountable, and that is why I have felt we need to spread actions around, perhaps take the focus off NY, and work in other places. It would be difficult to set up any communications system that they cannot intercept. That is, unfortunately, an advantage they have over us. It might come down to alternating hand written codes, or some really antiquated thing like that. The problem is infiltrators, you can see the complication. Communications is a real serious issue for protests and direct actions.

If that is the case then internet communications in a way become more important, if we become savy about using it to shift actions around and draw increasing numbers to our cause. There is a reason the trolls have focused so much on this forum, and that is because if we use it ingeniously, we can both promote the movement and shift protests from place to place faster than they can prepare for them.

[-] 1 points by GypsyKing (9780) 2 years ago

Since the opposition is now pushing racial division, and inaction, as the goals for this movement, I thought I'd bring this post up once again so we can reconsider constructive means to move forward.

[-] 1 points by GypsyKing (9780) 2 years ago

avaaz.org. change.org !!!

[-] 1 points by RedJazz43 (2757) 2 years ago

IMHO the recommendations on this thread would make OWS indistinguishable from many "progressive" institutions attached to the left wing of the Democratic Party, especially the Progressive Democrats of America. As such institutions already exists what would the point of OWS replicating their program be? I've argued elsewhere that the Democratic Party has historically been the grave yard of all mass movements since the days of the Populists. This is a concrete example of exactly how that could happen here and now. If organizations and institutions already exist to carry out the program proposed for OWS above, then what would the point of OWS be?

[-] 1 points by frovikleka (2563) from Island Heights, NJ 1 year ago

I remember a while back, one poster disparagingly ask me if i were you, RJ. I can understand why he asked that now. We are like-minded, at least on this.

~Odin~

[-] 1 points by RedJazz43 (2757) 2 years ago

I completely agree that the most important thing is to become active in one's local GA and if there is not one near your to start one. I would most especially like to hear people's experiences in that regard, particularly with regard to raising particular proposals and how that has gone, as well as how the organization of local GAs has gone.

Where I do disagree with the initial posting on this thread is seeing OWS as a political movement, or at least as an electoral movement, which is the narrow frame in which most American's view politics. In that sense, from all the articulated data we have from OWS (as opposed to contributions on this web site) OWS is very specifically NOT a political movement. On the home page of this very web site it says:

Occupy Wall Street is a leaderless resistance movement with people of many colors, genders and political persuasions. The one thing we all have in common is that We Are The 99% that will no longer tolerate the greed and corruption of the 1%. We are using the revolutionary Arab Spring tactic to achieve our ends and encourage the use of nonviolence to maximize the safety of all participants.

This #ows movement empowers real people to create real change from the bottom up. We want to see a general assembly in every backyard, on every street corner because we don't need Wall Street and we don't need politicians to build a better society.

There it is. The premise of this very web site is that "we don't need politicians to build a better society." It doesn't say Republican politicians or Democratic politicians or Green or Libertarian or even socialist politicians. It says we don't need politicians. That, it would seem to me, is not only a premise of this web site, but also a premise of OWS. Now, it may well be that the vast majority of OWS supporters and even the vast majority of OWS activists do not hold to this point of view. But given that is the premise of both this web site and the initial organization it would seem to me that intellecually at least we need to work backward from the point where it says "we don't need politicians" to a point where it is argued that we need particular politicians and why. I would suggest it is also a very long walk back from the theoretical position of needing some politicians at some point to needing particular politicians now, especially those of the Democratic Party and the Obama administration.

I am not herein suggesting that the Republican Party is in any way a meaningful political option for OWS, only that the Democratic Party isn't either. I'm also not arguing for a marginal so-called third party, or for that matter even against party building per se. The point is, when viewed from that point of view, it demonstrates how weak our movement unfortunately still is. I would argue that when, at minimum, there is an active GA in every county seat in the nation that meets at least weekly it will be time enough to raise the issue of political action and that further, political action means a great deal more than just running people for office or supporting people who are running for office. It means building a whole mass culture of opposition to the existing corporate domination, not only of our politics, but of our entire culture.

[-] 1 points by GypsyKing (9780) 2 years ago

I will say (sigh) one last time that my recommendation to vote in the next election is only predicated upon the aim of not losing a huge amount of ground, which is what would happen if we chose not to engage that process.

As close as recent national elections have been we certainly cannot take it for granted that the Republicans can't stifle this movement maybe permanently with a win. Beyond the next election it will be up to us to create a viable alternative to the current political situation.

But I have said this to you ten times, and you still haven't responded one way or the other to that line of reasoning. In fact you never respond to ANYTHING directly, but only with these tomes that look as though they were written by a paid speechwriter they are so indirect, rambling, ciruitous, and inscrutable.

I'm sorry, you may be a very nice person, we may even agree about a few things, but this is the last time I will engage you here on any subject. The content of your posts rarely seems to warrent the migrane I get from wading through this long-winded swamp of ego and pomosity.

[-] 1 points by RedJazz43 (2757) 2 years ago

I feel really badly that you view my postings as being largely composed of ego and pomposity, especially as I am one of the most intellectually insecure people I know, but also because I have really tried (clearly without any success at all) to make the point that my views are only my own, though I also try to ground them in what I understand to be the bedrock of which OWS is all about, based on the few written documents of OWS.

I'd really try to make my comments more suscinct except it has been my past experience that often among some people who contribute to this forum, any critique of the Democratic Party is often mistakenly interpreted as an endorsement of the Republican Party which is not the case.

In some respects, leaving aside any differences in style, our approaches seem to be ships passing in the night. That is, it does seem to me, from both the written evidence and from talking to OWS activists that OWS is a "nonpolitical" movement, at least in the American sense of viewing politics and the electoral process as co-terminous. You don't seem to address this directly except to point out that a lot of people on this forum seem to be in favor of electoral activity. That may be true, but is it consistent with OWS values, not simply as I see them as a particular ego, but rather as they are explicitly stated in the few written documents of OWS and by OWS activists? Insofar as I am conscious of it I do not mean for that question to be either pompous or ego driven. Rather it is both sincerely meant and not rhetorical in the sense that I see it as the beginning of a discussion that would be valuable for me at least.

Whether they are close or far apart, I don't see elections, national or otherwise, as having anything to do with what OWS is all about, at least insofar as OWS has publicly articulated what it is all about. I don't see how the fact that there are many people who claim to support OWS who support electoral action in general and the Democratic Party in particular changes that. For better or for worse I have yet to see any policy statement coming out of any GA that would support electoral action of any kind and I suspect that at the moment any effort to move OWS in that direction would tend to split the movement.

[-] 1 points by factsrfun (6806) from Phoenix, AZ 2 years ago

Gypsy, hand written letters do make an impact, I am going to write three, 2 for senate 1 for the house asking for a minimum wage increase maybe white house too, that’s 4, almost 2 bucks in postage, that should get their attention! (I hope a lot of people do.)

No body commented on the “Occupy the polls” idea, you know taking the jobs, I still think it would good for those who really want to train themselves for the coming battles.

[-] 1 points by GypsyKing (9780) 2 years ago

Yes, I wish people would take those poll jobs too. It woud also help to keep the election on the up and up, and that is a serious issue now I think.

[-] 1 points by factsrfun (6806) from Phoenix, AZ 2 years ago

opps I see I am on a bit of a repeat, please forgive me,

true about keeping an eye on things, works both ways, people mostly know we need a paper record not just electronics, but seeing it understanding how a hacker can make all that work for naught makes people into true belivers, if we don't keep the pressure for paper records (votes) we might still lose this thing, anyway good morning if I haven't said that already :)

[-] 1 points by GypsyKing (9780) 2 years ago

Yes, good morning and goodnight. I'll talk to you again tonight, which will be morning:)

[Removed]

[-] 1 points by GypsyKing (9780) 2 years ago

In light of all those now recomending our inaction in one variety or another, I thought I'd bring this post up once more so we can focus on some of the things we Can Do.

Thanks for your patience.

[-] 1 points by francismjenkins (3713) 2 years ago

I think the focus should be on organization building, and getting boots on the ground (people protesting in the streets). We should be printing newsletters/newspapers, coordinating with college campuses nationwide, have "issue awareness" campaigns (knock on doors if that's what it takes, have people handing out newsletters and fliers at public gathering locations, etc. etc.).

No one in America should NOT know that OWS exists, why it exists, how average people have been made victims of political and corporate corruption and collusion, etc. etc.

But anyway, all your suggestions are good ideas!

I would add, Abramoff has a great idea, CREATE A PLEDGE THAT'S MADE AVAILABLE TO POLITICAL CANDIDATES TO SIGN, WHICH HOLDS THEM TO SPECIFIC PROMISES.

There's also no reason to shy away from "conventional" protest tactics. The occupation tactic is not for everyone (and not everyone will be willing to do that sort of thing, even if they agree with the core ideas).

[-] 1 points by GypsyKing (9780) 2 years ago

Very good comment, thank you!

[-] 1 points by Listof40 (233) 2 years ago

This is a good start, overall i like the list and points...

What about something in here to address discussion principles and revising ideas based on educational approaches, to help with organizing ideas...

If we advocate for organizing approaches for further discussion on each idea, or for future areas of importance, it can help with focus...this will help strengthen working methods and overall communication... so adding focus to this, along with the other points, will also help build common agreement on basic aspects of implementing as well...

[-] 1 points by GypsyKing (9780) 2 years ago

This is s good idea, thanks. I would like to say here that a number of people have PMd me, expressing the belief that these are MY views, but although I happen to agree with most of them, they are an honest reflection of the views expressed by the people of this forum.

As such, I see them as a fair reflection of growing frustration that this movement is not achieveing the goals that it must achieve in order to reach it's ultimate aims. Having a movement that is politically non-alligned is predicated upon the movement's ability to reach fundamental benchmarks, and it is my opinion, and clearly the opinion of many here, this has not yet been the case, and people are becoming frustrated.

The point is, I think people are only willing to hold to this situation for so long before they seek other means to redress their grievances, and the GA's must effectively address this situation in the near term in order to remain the central guiding element of this movement.

[-] 1 points by Listof40 (233) 2 years ago

It is good to bring ideas of those on the forum forward...

There is generally much agreement on issues overall, and also then those looking for ways to address these... 

When looking at the areas to address or suggestions, and also how to approach action on them, working through each idea can help build agreement with seeing the elements that affect each issue... 

It can help for those participating if ideas are given consideration in some measured way, like having a forward process to this to build the ideas on, or for implementing, and also as a way to help move things along as well...

Any positive intention and support can help, would say looking at ways forward on these issues is a good thing...

[-] 1 points by GypsyKing (9780) 2 years ago

Thanks. I see this whole process as a good thing, not as divissive, or counter-productive. One thing I have taken away from it is a conviction that this movement is here to stay. There may be disagreement over tactics, but there is broad agreement upon goals, and there is determination, and something new as well. That is, I see that this movement is truely inter-generational, and I think that gives it a power that no movement has had on the left in my lifetime, and I think that is positive.

My point is that I think this movement is here to stay, and something that the people in the halls of power are going to have to reckon with.

[-] 1 points by Listof40 (233) 2 years ago

Things in general are moving forward, people can see the problems, yet many in the public are not sure for how things can change...

Some may see real progress as not very accessible in the system around them, as this is continuously shaped by many factors...

However, when the mainstream dialog changes or broadens, this then provides new outlets to engage in...

Systemic problems are becoming more obvious, people are connecting the dots... so the public is more aware, and movements like this are very helpful to this... much of the actual problems however are still in full effect... 

The advantaged minority can manipulate the necessities and economic well-being of the majority, which then drives the social momentum... in other words, the advantaged minority is effectively the 'virtual majority', with how it controls discussion and by disadvantage, and thereby can effect what people are comfortable engaging on, and this controls what is publicly put in play on the table...

So it is important to expand ideas out, to where we can see we are all connected, and so others can see benefits, this builds ways for us to engage further...

[-] 1 points by brightonsage (4494) 2 years ago

Thanks for the seriously good work. I have read this whole thread (don't know why I didn't find it sooner) and it is remarkable for two things (in my mind). The positive and relevant, troll-free dialog and your patience and persistence.

I copied your list and DavidGilbert's list and am going to reread them and give them some serious thought. There is a lot behind both lists and a quick read produced a lot of head nodding agreement.

OK, I reread your list and you did a great job. I humbly make a couple of suggestions.

  1. Capital gains should be taxed at 35 percent. I believe that there should be a lower rate for small investors/seniors. So many of them are depending on that income stream that I believe some lower rate is warranted.

  2. I agree except re Greece. I was there last Fall and I can't find many good guys in that situation. I could explain it but they are soooo corrupt. So corrupt they make the Italians look good. If they 1) just collected the taxes they have levied they would double their income and 2) if they eliminated their loopholes for the rich, they would double it again. It is so ingrained in their culture it is going to take generations to get back to reasonable. It is almost as bad as Russia.

I wish this site would produce the complete posts made by a person like (I think) occupyr does.

Finally, regarding tactics, I have posted a couple of times a suggestion that we use flash mob type of demonstrations, targeted and, as you suggest coordinated, through local coordinators who can police their conduct, dropping those from the list who are violent or discrediting the movement in other ways. We can tolerate and support a diversity of opinions, beliefs etc. as long as they don't bring discredit on the whole movement. Antisocial behavior loses credibility that we are trying to bring about a better society. Means must be consistent with ends.

I think you agree with this but even if you don't. Again, my thanks for what you do.

[-] 1 points by GypsyKing (9780) 2 years ago

Thank you. I was not aware of the situation regarding corruption in Greece, or rather, the extent of it which you describe here. This points out the difficulty encountered by any movement that intends to affect reform. The Greeks 450 AD were the least corrupted of all peoples. Times change - nations change. All I hope is that we do not go the way that you, and many others, have said the Greeks have gone.

Thank you also for adding these suggestions.

[-] 1 points by JesseHeffran (3903) 2 years ago

That is some good stuff. Your work is very commendable. You have a fun and social weekend!

[-] 1 points by GypsyKing (9780) 2 years ago

Thank you, you too

[-] 1 points by Puzzlin (2898) 2 years ago

Yes, and many of these items I do now. Also, as note to all, some of these items are more effective then others. Such as really voting and not for the a$$ clown repugs. All of this entails getting educated to make your voice have as much impact as possible. This is an education process and start and/or keep learning how to be effective Learn. Learn. Learn.

These posts matter the most, since they are ACTION!!!

Swatting trolls is some good gaming fun but we have to put the rubber on the road sometimes!!!

[-] 1 points by GirlFriday (17435) 2 years ago

Great post!!!!

I would like to comment on this: "Become an enformed voter. Learn the voting records of your current representatives, and vote accordingly."

I would say that this is huge and effort needs to be made in asking the right questions and becoming as knowledgeable about issues as possible. If that means that you (general) get off your ass and locate studies and information in a clear and concise manner and present them to those who have already been elected then that is what you do. If that means that you shoot off letters to the editor and send off this information to your local daily then do it.

[-] 1 points by GypsyKing (9780) 2 years ago

Exactly right! I think this forum could help (among the many ways it helps, in spite of what some say) as a clearinghouse for such information.

[-] 1 points by GypsyKing (9780) 2 years ago

I would submit that those who think what goes on here on this forum is irrelevant are completely wrong. What goes on here is the MOST important part of this movement, because it is through dialogue that people can arrive at truth, and having this movement grounded in truth is what will make it succeed.

As RedJazz pointed out, there are perhaps 20,000 people as of yet involved in the General Assemblies, yet I would imagine 100 times that number have visited this forum. To say that that is irrelevant is rediculous.

For myself, I just intend to call it as I see it here, to seek the truth with those of us who know that in arriving at truth we can succeed. It is this process that our opponents have tried so relentlessly to disrupt, and for good reason. They know it's important.

[-] 1 points by MattLHolck (16833) from San Diego, CA 2 years ago

web petitions need to include full names

the signers need to be visible to the public

[-] 1 points by GypsyKing (9780) 2 years ago

This isn't a petition.

[-] 1 points by MattLHolck (16833) from San Diego, CA 2 years ago

in reference to #4

[-] 1 points by GypsyKing (9780) 2 years ago

Oh, I understand. That's a difficulty I assume people must determine for themselves. I don't have a problem with it myself. I assume there are people in the other camp with enough technical sophistication to find out who anyone is, if they want to. But I just speak here for myself.

[-] 1 points by MattLHolck (16833) from San Diego, CA 2 years ago

by email tracking and network tracking

if the network experts already know who one is

the public might as well know

[-] 1 points by GypsyKing (9780) 2 years ago

That's right., and besides, I'm not going to run from engagement in politics, or the awareness that I am engaged in politics, in a democratic society. To do so would be to accept defeat before even begining the journey. I look at Syria, and just thank God that I can still engage in that process without the terrible sacrifices they are being forced to make! We still HAVE democracy - we would be CRAZY not to use it!

[+] -4 points by DKAtoday (28022) from Coon Rapids, MN 2 years ago

Right GK.

Democracy is the best system. We just need to keep corrupt influence out. That is our fight today, tomorrow and till the end of time.

[-] 1 points by GypsyKing (9780) 2 years ago

These people who seem to be advocating and end to politics, or politicians, have yet to convince me that they have a better alternative.

That was the trap that Marx fell into. He was great with his critiscism of what was wrong in his day - he really was. But he simply didn't have a vision of what to replace it with, and so when they tried to implement his ideas, they just fell back into dictatorship.

The whole process of democracy exists precisely to prevent dictatorship. That is it's genius, and that is how strong the tendency is for human society to revert to one kind of dictatorship or another. The tendency towards dictatorship is WHAT WE ARE FIGHTING. The only tool I am aware of that has worked is democracy.

[+] -4 points by DKAtoday (28022) from Coon Rapids, MN 2 years ago

Exactly so. The closest we will ever come ( I believe ) to a perfect operating system until we ourselves become perfect. The problem with any system though is that we are not even close to being perfect and so the need for constant vigilance to oppose corruption and the hijacking of the system.

[-] 1 points by GypsyKing (9780) 2 years ago

I can just hear the wisdom of Jefferson in this remark. That was what those who founded this country said loud and clear; that no system was beyond corruption, not even the one they designed with the explicit purpose of preventing corruption. Not unless the public remained vigillant. Well, we became apathetic - or at least a lot of us did. Now we need to re-awaken and resolve to never go to sleep again.

[+] -4 points by DKAtoday (28022) from Coon Rapids, MN 2 years ago

And so we are here together. Let us continue. Let no one mistake our intent.

This is "OUR" country!

Whose country?

"THE PEOPLE'S COUNTRY"!!!!!!!!!!!!!

[-] 1 points by GypsyKing (9780) 2 years ago

Signed, GypsyKing.

[-] 0 points by GypsyKing (9780) 1 year ago

Just thought I'd re-post this, as it seems the forum is starting to suffer from a lack of focus. We should remember that some are here to instill a state of chaos, and so we periodically need to refocus on the practical - on what is achievable and what is not.

Thanks.

[-] 0 points by justiceforzim (-17) 1 year ago

Oh, is chaos bad on an anarchist's website?

[-] 1 points by GypsyKing (9780) 1 year ago

Not if the goal is not to accomplish anything.

[Removed]

[Removed]

[-] 2 points by GypsyKing (9780) 2 years ago

Hi there Trassy. I don't know why you don't just announce yourself. The use of all these different names seems to be somewhat sneaky to me. If not, then please announce yourself in future. What do you have to hide.

Furthermore, as I explicitly said, I am not representing Occupy here, but simply expressing an opinion. If we aren't allowed to have political opinions here, than . . . well. This whole endeavor is just some kind of Trojan Horse, wouldn't you agree. You would know a lot about Trojan Horses.

[-] 1 points by factsrfun (6806) from Phoenix, AZ 2 years ago

Some say I'm being exclusive because I say the time for the GOP has past. The reason I do is that I feel we need to have an honest conversation if we are to come up with good ideas. Here you point out how hard it is, just to try and have a conversation let alone solve the problems, with today’s conservative.

[-] 2 points by GypsyKing (9780) 2 years ago

They're mostly just obstructionists, plain and simple. They don't have an ideology at all, other than perserving the status quo, which sucks. We must relly end the Republican Party. They have disgraced themselves beyond all redemption.

Just look at Newt Gingrich! I wouldn't let him teach kindergarten! Not in a million years! None of them!

[-] 1 points by factsrfun (6806) from Phoenix, AZ 2 years ago

I agree with you, but I do think they have a dream too, it's just not my dream. I don't think, many of them are even aware of what really drives their movement. I speak to this in my bio. Again great work Gypsy.

[+] -4 points by DKAtoday (28022) from Coon Rapids, MN 2 years ago

GK - Unity! Get rid of the rabid dogs, support the healthy individuals.

[Removed]

[-] 2 points by GypsyKing (9780) 2 years ago

How could everyone know this "character" was you, when you just created it today? You see, this perpetual habit you have of lying undermines your credibility.

[Removed]

[-] 0 points by RedJazz43 (2757) 2 years ago

If these are truly the sentiments of people who visit this forum it just goes to show how truly clueless they are regarding what OWS is all about. Besides participating in and forming GAs or occupations, nearly all the other proposals have to do with the electoral process. If anyone spent just 10 minutes at any occupation or GA they would very quickly discover just how antithetical the whole notion of voting and the electoral process is to the vast majority of OWS activists. Not just the Republican or Democratic Parties, but the whole process. Indeed, one of the primary arguments advanced for not making demands is that to do so tends to legitimate the very structures of power that the movement opposes.

Apparently most of your respondents either choose to ignore the both explicit and implied revolutionary sentiments of OWS or tend to view them as mere hyperbole, which is again, a point of view of which they would be quickly disabused of if they spent only a very brief time at any occupation or GA.

Very early on in the movement Yes magazine published a list of 10 ways to supprtv the movement. I list them below to show how they converge and how they diverge from the perceptions of forum participants:

1) Show up at an occupation or GA near you. 2) Start your own occupation or GA 3) Support those who are occupying with material contributions to the movement. 4) Get into the debates and discussions in a public way. If you can't start a full fledged GA, set up public forums 5) Tell your own story on facebook, twitter, in letters to the editor 6) Be the media. Attend demos with a video recorder or camera phone. Document the events 7) Speak out publicly on the issue that means the most to you. 8) Insist that public officials treat the movement with respect and respect the right to assemble 9) Study and teach nonviolence 10) Help the movement grow by being resilent and be engaged.

None of this has a damned thing to do with electoral politics, much less the Republican Party or even, for that matter, the Democratic Party.

[-] 10 points by GypsyKing (9780) 2 years ago

Yes, well I assume you are saying the people on this forum have nothing to do with the Occupy movement. That is exactly the problem. Any movement that makes itself so insular that it excludes it's own adherents is going to fail. The greatest consensus here is that the movement must become political, but I guess all of us don't count because guys like you are on a political purity trip! Hate to tell you, but that has lost this movement a lot of credibility; and who the hell are you to tell us what to think anyway? Not to mention the fact that you chose to not recongnize my first recomendation.

Just whose side are you really on?

[-] 1 points by factsrfun (6806) from Phoenix, AZ 2 years ago

Howdy.

[-] 1 points by forjustice (178) from Kearney, NE 2 years ago

I agree with this. If you refuse to vote, follow your representatives in government, or tell them what you want, how do you expect to ever have a government that represents you?

[-] 2 points by GypsyKing (9780) 2 years ago

Yes, the question really is - is democracy the problem? I don't think that we want to throw out democracy, we want to reform it. The problem is, our democracy has been corrupted, so how do we reform it? That's a big problem, once corruption has progressed to the point that you really no longer have anything but an empty shell of democracy. Yet still, democracy itself isn't the problem. We still have the institutions of democracy, how do we achieve it's reality again?

I think both through direct action and through the political process. The one reinforces the other. I also think it's time we came up with that @#*&! list of demands, so that we KNOW EXACTLY what it is we're demanding!!!

[Removed]

[Removed]

[-] 2 points by GypsyKing (9780) 2 years ago

Thrassy, you are like the gravedigger in Hamlet. Have you never heard of equivocation, or metaphor, or any of the subtler forms of communication? I'm not going to split these tedeous hairs with you again. It's pointless and above all boring, which is I think mostly your intention.

[Removed]

[-] -1 points by RedJazz43 (2757) 2 years ago

OWS is a tiny, tiny movement. According to the figures of Occupy Together, there are roughly 20,000 people actively engaged in occupations and GAs. That's not very many when you consider that we live in a nation of more than 300 million, but it's expodentially huge compared to the handful of dilletantes that participate on this list. OWS really doesn't amount to shit yet compared to the population as a whole in the US, but the dilletantes on this list don't amount to shit compared to the number of activists in OWS.

[-] 3 points by GypsyKing (9780) 2 years ago

OWS is not a tiny movement. As I said in my last response to you, a majority of Americans agree with our goals. If the movement is tiny, than that says more about our methods than about the state of current political reality.

[-] -1 points by RedJazz43 (2757) 2 years ago

What are the goals of OWS? Where are these published? I am not aware of any OWS goals. I do know that the NYC GA very early on published a Declaration of the Occupation of New York City in which it advanced more than 20 grievances. But grievances are not goals. You could extrapolate from those grievances goals that are extrodinarily revolutionary, but the vast majority of Americans are not consciously revolutionary, so it cannot be reasonably said that the majority of Americans support the goals of OWS whatever they might be.

I do think that a very substantial portion of the population was considerably inspired by OWS taking to the streets (which is, after all, what OWS did), but it is exactly that which inspired them, not an electoral campaign.

[-] 2 points by GypsyKing (9780) 2 years ago

You seem to pose a lot of negatives. That is what it seems to me you mostly do.

[-] 0 points by RedJazz43 (2757) 2 years ago

I think OWS is wonderful. I think it is spectacular. I think many of its activists and virtually all of its passive supporters don't fully appreciate just how wonderful, how spectacular and how radically different it is from any social movement in living memory.

The reason I often reflect back on the Populist movement or the earliest years of the old Socialist Party is that it terms of their asperations it seems to me OWS is much closer to them then it is to any social movement in living memory. In terms of its vision it seems to me (according to its published documents and my participation in GAs in several major cities on the east coast) to be much more radical than the movements of the 60s, which were about ending a single war, or rights for specific groups of people. I think it is even more radical than the labor movement of the 1930s which was really only about establishing bargaining rights for workers. From being more or less actively engaged in some occupations and reading the few published documents of the movement it seems to me that what it is all about is a fundamental transformation of the social order internationally and the establishment of a truely just, democratic, loving and peaceful society. I don't think that is at all negative, but I don't think prematurely engaging in the electoral process before the movement is ready will get us there either.

Regardless of that, and regardless of what I personally think, objectively, at this point, given the nature of the decision making process in OWS I think it unlikely in the extreme that OWS will turn toward electoralism any time soon, though a minority within it might and undoubtedly many OWS activists will probably vote on election day.

[-] 1 points by GypsyKing (9780) 2 years ago

I simply don't see these things as being mutually exclusive, but if you do, than I suppose we must just disagree. I really don't like arguing with people I essentially agree with. Our positions are really not so far apart, I don't think.

[-] 0 points by RedJazz43 (2757) 2 years ago

I see OWS as incipiently and unconsciously revolutionary. That is, I think it is revolutionary whether the people engaged in it are conscious of that or not. By revolution I mean a fundamental transformation of the whole social system which reaches far beyond particular elected officials, existing mass parties, specific legislation or even Consititutional amendments and even the Constitution itself. That's what I mean by revolution and that's the potential I see in OWS. Moving toward electoral action as a movement at this point in its development would only deflect it while it is still in its infancy.

I base these views not on my own biases, but on my reading of the few documents OWS has produced and on my occasional participation in various GAs.

I'm glad that OWS is as big as it is, though I wish it were expodentially larger and I do what I can with my limited skills and health problems, to build the movement. I'm also glad that it is as politically diverse as it is, which I find very exciting, but I don't pretend that I agree with everyone within the context of that broadness.

I'd also like to have a discussion about the shortcoming of the OWS decision making process and the issue of the black bloc and what to do about that, but I don't see any of that discussion going on here.

[-] -3 points by DKAtoday (28022) from Coon Rapids, MN 2 years ago

Scroll to the top of the page and click on the "About" button. That is about as official as you are going to get from this web-site. For the rest pay attention to the true supporters input.

[-] 0 points by RedJazz43 (2757) 2 years ago

Among other things it says "we don't need Wall Street or politicians to build a better world." That seems pretty radical to me and not at all electoral. It also says that the revolution continues world wide. Some people pay no attention to that or see it as hyperbole. I take it seriously as do most of the occupiers I have encountered.

[-] 1 points by GypsyKing (9780) 2 years ago

I see it as a distant vision, and one worthy of achieving, but I don't think we can hold our breath waiting.

[-] 1 points by RedJazz43 (2757) 2 years ago

By no means am I for holding my breath or waiting for anything. I am for building the movement which will take considerable time and energy. This may not be antithetical to taking electoral action, but it's not the same thing either.

I know a lot of movement activists who say that they plan to vote for Obama but will not work for him. Logically that makes no sense to me. What those movements connected to the Democratic Party find useful about the Occupy movement is not the votes it can provide for Obama but rather its organizing energy, the troops that it can potentially provide to ring door bells, make phone calls, lick envelopes and provide all the other organizational skills and grunt work necessary for a successful campaign and to the extent that OWS activists choose to do that they will be robbing the movement of their organizational skills and activist enthusiasm. People argue that it is possible to do more than one thing at the same time, but look at the example of the very recent antiwar movement which basically disappeared as an oppositional movement in its enthusiasm for Obama in 2008.

There a dozens of similar examples. I joined the civil rights movement in 1963 full of enthusiasm following the legendary March on Washington only to find the movement basically commit suicide the following Spring when it declared a moratorium on demonstrations out of fear of an extremely unlikely Goldwater victory. The movement never really recovered from that self imposed moratorium. What it eventuated in was an essential take over of the movement by its most irresponsible elements and the rise of Black Power. To reorient OWS as a whole to electoral action is essentially to abandon the direct action wing of the movement to its most irresponsible elements, the black bloc.

You may view my concerns in this regard as hysterical, but they are no less real to me.

[-] -3 points by DKAtoday (28022) from Coon Rapids, MN 2 years ago

See that is the thing about OWS, Occupy and 99%. It is hard to gauge the size of support or participation because there is no membership listing, no drive to have a roll of members signed on board, and so no roll of members to attack either. But you can see effect as unpopular legislation gets put on hold or as needed legislation that was being roadblocked gets passed. Where new legislation gains support through petitions and bad legislation gets dissent expressed against it in petitions. OWS, Occupy and 99% are moving forward.

[-] 0 points by RedJazz43 (2757) 2 years ago

I am basing my estimation of Occupy activists on the Occupy Together web site, which lists every occupation and GA it can find along with the claimed number of activists at each site. The number they come up with is about 20,000 nationally, which seems reasonable to me. OWS is an activist movement. That said, I don't think there is much meaning in arm chair dilletantes. It is true that if OWS puts out a call it can get tens of thousands to come out to a single demo, which is a kind of penumbra or concentric circle of support, but I think it is reasonable to see the core of the movement being the 20K or so people who are most active and we need to build that core. For example about 130 K were active in the Nader campaign in 2000. That could have been the basis of a serious party, but it was frittered away. There are perhaps a million and a half shop stewards in the US, about 10% of them are the serious activist base of the labor movement.

But in a nation of 300 million we need to think in much much bigger terms. Once several million people are occupying, or at least actively participating in a GA, then, perhaps we will be in a position to seriously talk about a next step from a perspective of being able to maintain our own independence.

[-] 2 points by GypsyKing (9780) 2 years ago

Arm chair dilletantes? Who are you, Lawd God Allmighty? How dare you condescend to people here that way? Many on this forum have been here since this movement's inception; many camped in Zuccotti Park. Some of us are finding ways to move forward. Apparently some just want to find ways to stroke their own ego.

[-] 0 points by RedJazz43 (2757) 2 years ago

I could be wrong and if that is the case I will certainly re-evaluate my perception. I really have no idea how many people participate on this forum or how to measure that, but my general impression is that it's not more than a few dozen (again, I'm willing to be corrected).

It has been my experience that about half the people who contribute to this forum are actively hostile to OWS. Most of the rest, to me, don't seem to have had much actual contact with any occupation or GA (again, I could be wrong, these are only my very subjective perceptions and I am more than willing to revise my views if I am presented with alternative evidence).

For want of a better term, even if it is the case that a substantial number of contributors to this forum are in fact OWS activists, they do seem to have what I would characterize as a liberal rather than a radical perspective. I am basing my own evaluation on both the few published documents of OWS and my personal experience in several GAs on the east coast, which seem to me to be considerably more radically in their practice and world view than is the case with many people on this forum. Again, these are my personal, subjective perceptions and I am more than willing to stand corrected if the evidence warrants.

[-] 1 points by GypsyKing (9780) 2 years ago

I'm talking about the traffic on this website, not just the contributors. Furthermore, this site was invaluable to the people in Zuccotti Park when they were there, and will be again in future actions. Finally, I just think you underestimate the power of the internet as an orginizational tool, and as a method of promoting coordinated action. We need to advance these ideas, rather than squelch them.

[-] 1 points by RedJazz43 (2757) 2 years ago

So you take seriously people who aren't even kibbitzers but simply want to take a look at what the kibbitzers are talking about? That doesn't seem to me to be a serious movement in my understanding of the term.

I don't know how invaluable this site was to people at Zuccotti Park or what the distinction needs to be because of the eviction. I would go back and forth between Zuccotti and when I was home hang out on this site and mostly to me they seemed like ships passing in the night, not having much to do with each other and most of the people participating on this site seemed to be curious "supporters" but not really very knowledgeable about the movement or engaged with it. Again, of course, these are my subjective impressions and I am more than willing to stand corrected.

[-] 1 points by GypsyKing (9780) 2 years ago

Naw, now you're merely dissimulating. You haven't laid out any vision of your own, and you haven't addressed any of my points. Your only real intention, as far as I can see, is to feel superior, and you haven't even given me reason to justify that attitude, other than that you visited Zuccotti Park a few times

[-] 1 points by RedJazz43 (2757) 2 years ago

I am not consciously "disemmulating" (whatever that means).

My vision is a fundamentally transformed world which is more just, democratic, loving and peaceful than our current circumstances. Since I see that kind of transformation as very fundamental it is hard to envision it in its entirity, though I think it will definitely be post corporate, probably post money (at least in terms of how we currently understand and use money), post nation state and post national borders. Of course we are a very, very long way from that politically, if not necessarily temporally (it is really astonishing how rapidly things can change when they do--who would have predicted the fall of the Berlin Wall six months before it happened).

Meanwhile, I am for building a culture of opposition. I see OWS as being the tiniest seed for the beginning of that kind of culture of opposition. I didn't event the term "culture of opposition." I get it from historian Larry Goodwyn's evaluation of the Populist movement. From my personal experience in most of the social movements of the past 50 years and my reading of American history OWS, consciously or not, seems to have a good deal more in common with the radical social vision of the Populists and the early Socialists than it does with any subsequent social movements, whose vision tended to be much more narrow.

I draw these perceptions both from the few documents which OWS has produced and from long discussions with dozens of other occupiers.

I am sorry that I seem to be conveying an impression that I want to feel superior, which I have to attribute to very poor social and communication skills. I actually feel quite humbled by the whole OWS experience.

Because of health and work considerations I was only able to actually occupy about 6 or 7 days a month, but I also visited both Occupy Philly and the two DC occupations on several occasions. I will say that those who were there and who occupied on a more permanent basis were always very open to what little I was able to contribute and I was never dismissed because I couldn't be there more often. In fact, I continued my participation even after the eviction and on several occasions I was on of only a half dozen or so people who stayed in the Park surrounded by several dozen police and security guards.

[-] 1 points by GypsyKing (9780) 2 years ago

Too many vague generalities. Not enough practical means of attaining them, which was what this post was originally about, before we started playing ring aroung the rosy.

[-] 0 points by RedJazz43 (2757) 2 years ago

Well, a lot of people said that of the Declaration of the Occupation, but to me it was one of the most inspirational political documents ever produced by an American movement.

The problem with specific demands (as I see it) is what happens if you win them? Where does the movement go then?

Having a vision of a truely democratic, peaceful and egalitarian future gives us something always to strive for.

I'm not, however, against "impossible" demands, by which I mean very specific demands that the system is incapable of granting or at least the people running the system think are impossible to grant. I'm not even opposed to what have been called transitional demands--that is demands that seem reasonable to most people but which the system is incapable of granting without being thrown into crisis.

Such demands might include cancelling all student debts. Ending all foreclosures. Housing all the homeless. A living wage. Deep cuts in the War budget, certainly say at least 10% more than the War Department (as opposed to most elected officials) is advocating. Passing the Employee Free Choice Act. Repealing Taft Hartley. Reforming the Wagner Act to give union organizers much more freedom of action in the work place. That, of course it just for starters. I don't see how Obama or for that matter nearly any elected Democrat is going to bring us any closer to any of that than is any elected Republican.

Ultimately I'm not opposed to OWS putting itself forward as a political alternative to the existing parties, but to do so now would only reveal its weaknesses, not its strengths. Meanwhile we need to keep building the movement and make our demands on the system as a whole and all elected officials.

[+] -4 points by DKAtoday (28022) from Coon Rapids, MN 2 years ago

It is kind of like an ice-berg in it's way. Only the tip showing above the water is really visible. The tip is small the whole berg is huge. Easy to underestimate.

[-] 1 points by RedJazz43 (2757) 2 years ago

Any other way of viewing it is wishful thinking. Somebody sitting by their TV or telephone and answering a poll that they support OWS or think OWS is a good idea, is not an OWS activist and it is not people sitting on their asses that are going to fundamentally change our society. That is not an underestimation. If we are a serious movement we have to be serious about our real activist base, which, thanks to modern communication is quantifiable.

[-] 2 points by GypsyKing (9780) 2 years ago

I believe your thinking is too compartmentalized. We are already having an effect upon political policy, which is what most of us want. I haven't heard what it is that you want.

[-] 1 points by RedJazz43 (2757) 2 years ago

I want to build the movement. My perception of OWS is that it is the most radical social movement that has appeared in living memory. It is my perception that there has been nothing like OWS in American society since the days of the Populists in the 19th century or at least since the early days of the Socialist Party in the first 20 years of the 20th century.

What they were about is not just getting people elected to office or passing some legislation. They were for a fundamental transformation of the social system. Their engagement in the electoral process was really ancillary to that and they were much much bigger than OWS before they even began to consider engaging in the electoral process, even as a mere educational effort. What they were really all about in the short term and in the interum was building a culture of opposition. That, it seems to me is what OWS is really all about if you really look at it up close and that is what attracts me to OWS. That is also why I think our primary efforts right now have to be about what we need to do to build the movement, which, put most crassly, means to me, recruiting and engaging activists, making activists and building a movement of tens of millions of activists. Once we have a movement of that scope, oriented toward building a culture of opposition, we will still be a minority, but we will be in a much better position to consider a serious next step.

[-] 1 points by GypsyKing (9780) 2 years ago

You think the internet is a hinderance to creating a culture of opposition? I just don't understand what you are driving at. The Democratic Party, in my view, will be through after the next election. Then we go from there, but to not engage in the next election leaves the field open to the Republicans, whose victory would be an unmitigated disaster. I don't believe we can afford the luxury of ignoring that fact.

[-] 0 points by RedJazz43 (2757) 2 years ago

I don't think the net is necessarily a hinderance to building a culture of opposition. I could be though. It could become a substitute for real activism and it's important (and not so easy) to understand when it is actually fostering them movement and when it is becoming a substitute for real movement.

Most of the discourse that I've engaged in at occupations, in GAs and at working group meetings have absolutely nothing to do with electoral politics, much less the Democratic or Republican parties. I only see those discussions emerging seriously on sites like this, which from my perspective is all to the good as I personally think any electoral engagement at this point in the development of OWS would be premature.

I would make one exception to that, which I have also seen no discussion of. OWS has been very active in opposing foreclosures. It is generally the Sheriff's Department that enforces evictions. It is also the case that Sheriff is the only elected office which is mandated, by virtue of its office, to bear arms. I think it would make a lot of sense for OWS to run people for Sheriff who are committed specifically NOT to evict people, but on the contrary to use their office to defend them and even, perhaps to deputize them. Having a police force on our side would also come in handy for enforcing occupations. If we had our own sheriff, he could deputize occupiers so we could have a serious stand off with municipal police forces.

[-] 1 points by GypsyKing (9780) 2 years ago

Okay, I agree that you might be a hinderance, and I agree concerning running people for sherriff. Otherwise, our vision is largely at odds. I believe in inclusiveness and action in all it's forms, outside of violence. I believe to exclude ourselves from the political process is unrealistic and coutner productive. We will have to agree to disagree.

[-] 0 points by RedJazz43 (2757) 2 years ago

Outside of a couple of articles by a couple of intellectual heavies there has been virtually no serious discussion of the relationship between OWS and the black bloc that I have been able to find. It is not sufficient, I don't think, merely to say we oppose violence. The very real and concrete question is how do we deal with advocates of violence within our movement? How can the movement be consistently nonviolent? There is a lot of thrashing about and knashing of teeth about this, but virtually no serious discussion. I don't pretend to have any magic answers, which is precisely why I think it needs to engage as many people as possible in a serious discussion of the issue.

In terms of the electoral process, regardless of my personal views of its immediate efficacy, I just don't see it happening. That is, right now I don't see OWS as a movement taking a turn toward electoral politics and I don't see people who think that as important having a serious strategy as to how to turn OWS toward electoral action. Certainly the SEIU tried in LA. They were so unsuccessful that they ended up splitting the movement and big as the SEIU is, it's split on the question is definitely a minority split.

So it seems to me that what is unrealistic is any expectation that OWS will take an electoral turn, whether one is for it or not.

[-] 2 points by GypsyKing (9780) 2 years ago

I have posted two or three threads directly relating to this question of non-violence. Your thing about OWS not turing towards electoral politics simply depends on how you define the movement. You chose to define it in narrower terms than I do. We just go round and round here. You are determined to frame the question within certain narrow paramaters that I am not willing to recognize. So be it.

[-] 0 points by RedJazz43 (2757) 2 years ago

Some people who say they are sympathetic to or even active in OWS might strenuously advocate that OWS take a turn toward electoral politics, but how are they actually going to implement such a perspective?

However one defines the movement, what are its decision making bodies? My perception is the only decision making bodies of the movement are the various local GAs and perhaps also working groups.

If there are other decision making bodies of which I am unaware I'd be genuinely curious as to exactly what they are. Of course there are perhaps many people who say they sympathize with OWS who have very little personal contact with any occupation or GA. They may or may not choose to vote or even work for a particular political party or candidate. But posed in that way it seems rather vague and not the effort of an organized movement.

I suppose it is true that people who are sympathetic though unconnected to OWS might be convinced to vote or even work for a particular candidate or party, but to do so would not make them any closer to the movement than they are now and it certainly wouldn't make them either more knowledgeable or sympathetic to the movement, which at its roots remains largely antielectoral or at least nonelectoral, or at least that is my personal perception.

[-] 0 points by Odin (583) 2 years ago

"...building a culture of opposition." I agree. It is far too early to think about electoral politics. While I have not been to any GA's, i have been close to a lot of people who go on a fairly regular basis, and you are right, no one is talking about electoral politics at this point. If we enter that arena now, we just get labeled a left-wing radical group, we sully ourselves by engaging with them, and are more likely to lose support that we could get from the center.

[-] -3 points by DKAtoday (28022) from Coon Rapids, MN 2 years ago

Thanks to modern communication the bulk of the ice-berg is communicating and uniting in common cause. We move forward largely unrecognized right now, very definitely unacknowledged by the corrupt.

[-] 2 points by therising (6643) 2 years ago

Gosh, you're so authoritarian and dictatorial. Odd for such a democratic movement. You seem to be speaking for leadership. I thought each of us were leaders. I thought we were a "leaderful" movement. Why are you so disdainful. Don't you realize that it's not either or, it's both. We need to attack the hijackers from the inside and from the outside.

By excluding the inside approach, you and people who think in extremes like you cut us off from some of the mechanisms and actions that could help unseat the corpopolitical forces that have inserted themselves between us and our republic.

You are, as far as I can tell, ready to trash our entire system and throw the baby out with the bath water. That is absurd. You have nothing to replace it with. Internet voting? Please. Give me a break. We need representatives. We can't be experts on everything.

Besides, who exactly would be setting that Internet voting agenda?

I can't for the life of me understand why you would divide a movement that you claim to be trying to build. You say we're the 99% and yet the majority of the people who support Occupy want to genuinely restore our republic, not trash it. Our fathers, grandfathers, great grandfathers fought to protect this republic. We have no right and no good reason to trash the whole system, especially when we have nothing to replace it with.

Let's focus on the goal. Let's get the money out of politics and address the widening wealth gap. With such huge challenges ahead of us, why in god's name would you isolate and disparage the majority of supporters of this movement.

Seriously. Why would you throw the baby out with the bathwater? I'm asking an honest question here. Our founders were, although flawed, true radicals. They came up with a beautiful system. Just because corporate interests have bought off politicians and regulatory agencies doesn't mean that we can't restore our republic. They wheedled their way in and we can wheedle them back out.

If we really mean it when we say we want to make decisions from a position of unified strength rather than demands from a position of divided weakness, then we're obviously going to need to be inclusive. Your insistence on disparaging a good chunk of your supporters just because they want to put pressure on Congress to effectively overturn Citizens United with a constitutional amendment seems absurd.

The movement has plateaued and has stalled and will continue to sputter until we unify. Please stop trying to divide us. Please stop disparaging those of us who also embrace a diversity of tactics. You're missing out on support, effective methods and real change that can get the corporate foot off our neck long enough to do even bigger things. This means something to people on the ground.

Notice I am not disparaging the GA's. Others have. I am not. I think they're great. I think the occupy movement has done momentous things and the progress has been incredible. But like most others, I do not have blinders on. It is clear the movement has plateaued and it's time for unity. Please embrace unity. This is a genuine request from a genuine supporter of OWS.

[-] 1 points by RedJazz43 (2757) 2 years ago

It has not been my intention to either be or even appear to be authoritarian or dictatorial in any way. I am firmly commited to democratic principles and their extension. If I have conveyed any other impression I have to ascribe that to very poor communication skills and offer my deepest apologies.

I very much hold to the movement notion that we are all leaders and my own views are not to be taken any more seriously than those of anyone else's. Not moreso, but not less so either.

OWS would not be nearly what it is were it not for its mass base of people who tend to be moderate or perhaps liberal in their political views and many of whom are openly and frankly unformed in their politics. On the other hand OWS would also not be what it is without the vision of the consciously radical folks who were the movement's initiators. Back in the 1960s the radical student group SDS held that it need both liberals and radicals, "liberals for their relevance and radicals for their vision." I think that is as true today as it was then.

I very much do not want to see the movment divided and in fact one of the primary reasons that I oppose an effort to turn the movement in an electoral direction is that, in my view, it would be divisive. In fact we already have evidence of that in LA.

If you read the Declaration of the Occupation of New York City, really the only political document produced by the movement to me it is clear from that that to the extent that the movement has any goals, they are significantly more broad, more sweeping, more fundamental and more radical than merely getting the money out of politics, but that too is only my reading.

[-] 1 points by therising (6643) 2 years ago

Thanks for your reply. Now we're getting somewhere. In my humble opinion, one flaw in what you are saying is that you seem to equate anarchism / nonpoliticalism with radicalism. Anarchism and nonpoliticalism are easy, relatively speaking. You don't have to be for anything. On the othe hand, it's pretty damn radical what our founders stood for and did and I feel it's just as radical to suggest surrounding the Capitol this summer to create the necessary tension to push through a constitutional amendment to effectively overturn citizens united.

Martin King, Jr. was radical. He fought to save our republic from forces that were eating away at it. Do you agree that he was a radical? He was political.

My point, obviously, is that you've drawn a false dichotomy.

[-] 1 points by RedJazz43 (2757) 2 years ago

No, actually there are all kinds of radical democratic tendencies. One of the great shortcomings of American politics is that nearly everyone is stuck in the binary of two essentially conservative parties--the Democrats and the slightly more conservative Republicans. Only in America would someone like Nancy Polosi be considered a leftist. The range of democratic politics to the left of the Democratic Party is extremely rich, but all but entirely absent in American political discourse, much less practical politics. There's Paineite radical democracy, there's social democracy, there's Green politics, there's independent labor politics, there's revolutionary democratic socialism, there's libertarian socialism (a term that was consciously stolen from the left by the Chicago school), there's council communism, there's anarcho-syndicalism, there's anarcho-pacifism and there are very serious debates between and among these various tendencies, but none that 99% of the American public would ever have heard about. King was essentially a centerist democratic socialist (a tendency I left out). Except for his fealty to the Democratic Party I'd put him as a left social democrat, but the whole issue of the way in which the Democratic Party has successfully co-opted the American left for the last 100 years is the central organizational question for the American left.

I am not here advocating that OWS try to start its own party or that it support some so-called third party. That's just another brand of sectarian irrelevance. But I'd argue that what constitutes an American left is so tiny and irrelevant that it's just as inconsequential inside the Democratic Party as it is outside the Democratic Party. I'm for a very fundamental realignment of the American Party system of the sort not seen since the formation of the Republican Party. That was no minor or inconsequential third party, but it wasn't about supporting Whigs or Democrats either. It drew in former Whigs (like Lincoln) along with anti-slavery Democrats, Loco-Foco Democrats, Barnburner Democrats, as well as the small Free Soil and Liberty Parties.

There was a similar effort in the 1880's in the formation of the People's (or Populist) Party. It was successfully co-opted into the Democratic Party by the Bryan campaign. Independent remnants of the Populist Party went on to form the Socialist Party, which was itself crushed by Wilson's Justice Department for its opposition to America's entry into World War I. Since then there have been successive social movement which remained politically independent like the Populist until critical moments when the choice clearly became either to form their own electoral expression or be subsumed by the Democratic Party. In every instance the Democrats were successful in co-opting them.

Right now OWS is way too weak and poorly organized to have any significant impact in the electoral arena, either in efforts to transform the Democratic Party into a social democratic party, or to launch a new mass party. One can only work and hope that it will not ever be thus. Meanwhile, people as individuals will do what they will do. Some will vote and even work for the Democratic Party. Some will vote and even work for some so called third party. Some will basically ignore the electoral process except for a few minutes on Election Day and some will ignore the electoral process altogether.

I don't see that there is much to be done about this. I think there is a fairly large body of people who basically carp that OWS should support the Democratic Party in November. Others have called for OWS to support the Green Party or launch its own party. But given how poorly organized these sentiments are and the decision making mechanisms of the GAs, I don't see any of these tendencies going anywhere in the immediate future. After all, all it would take is one person at any give GA to stop such a proposal and opponents of electoral action in OWS, while a minority, are still significantly numerous to block any consensus on the issue. So, even if I were sympathetic to the idea of OWS supporting some kind of electoral effort in November, given the organizational nature of the movement, I don't see that any such proposal is likely to gain any traction, at least not in the organized sections of the movement.

Personally, I aways vote but never (since my first vote in 1964) for a Republican or Democrat. Right now I suspect I'll vote Green. It feels good to vote, but I don't see it having much consequence. It's essentially an existential act. It will really begin to matter once there is a real mass party of opposition, but that won't happen overnight and probably not this year. It is my estimation that the best way to make it happen is to keep building OWS. Establish more GAs and more occupations in more places and make a serious effort and reoccupation in major cities in the Spring. If I could conceptualize a next step after that it would probably still not be a turn toward the electoral arena. It seems to me that the logical next step for the movement would be to begin to occupy work places, to re-institute the occupation (or as it was then called) the Sit Down movement of the 1930's. Had labor remained on that political trajectory then we would probably have a mass labor party in America today. Once several hundred thousand working people have occupied their work places, I suspect one of the major discussions to emerge out of such a movement would be the organization of a new mass party based on working people and the super exploited.

I appreciate that there is a lot of speculation there, but you are drawing it out of me. I'm simply reflecting on the most optimistic way that I see events unfolding and the best role we can play as individuals in that process. Even if I took a pessimistic view and saw the nation on the verge of genuine fascism, I still think the best defense against that kind of eventuality now would be to continue to build OWS and make it as strong and independent as possible.

[-] 1 points by therising (6643) 2 years ago

Cool. Well, why didn't you just say so in the first place? I admire your depth of knowledge, your broad view of the world and your strategic sensibility. I also admire your radicalism. I'm all for that. I see our viewpoints as aligned and entirely compatible. I especially agree with this part:

" It is my estimation that the best way to make it happen is to keep building OWS. Establish more GAs and more occupations in more places and make a serious effort and reoccupation in major cities in the Spring. . . It seems to me that the logical next step for the movement would be to begin to occupy work places, to re-institute the occupation (or as it was then called) the Sit Down movement of the 1930's. Had labor remained on that political trajectory then we would probably have a mass labor party in America today. Once several hundred thousand working people have occupied their work places, I suspect one of the major discussions to emerge out of such a movement would be the organization of a new mass party based on working people and the super exploited."

I think we're pretty much at the same spot. Our only real difference is pretty minor: I don't see how it can possibly hurt to work from both the inside and the outside and you seem to perceive great danger in some hammering away at citizens united from the inside while others hammer away at the entire mindset and system from the outside. I think both are good. I believe in a diversity of tactics :)

I suppose you're just afraid we'll lose our heads and get all distracted and dazzled by the party system while we're working on the inside. Give us a little more credit man.

By the way, I think you completely underestimate the power of this forum that jart built to connect radicals. So much has come from this hub. This movement became connected worldwide thanks in part to this forum and this website. Many many things have happened just in the U.S. and many groups and individuals have aligned thanks to this forum. Stuff on the ground even occasionally happens as a result of communication of this forum. Here's a small example: Would someone have driven across the country to drop off two generators at Zuccotti Park that helped power the medical section and computers if they hadn't interacted with people on this forum? Would people have driven and flown into NYC from all over the country for mass protests in NYC if they hadn't had a chance to become engaged on this forum?

That said, this forum hasn't nearly reached its potential.

[-] 1 points by RedJazz43 (2757) 2 years ago

There are many OWS activists for which OWS is a virtual full time job or even two or three full time jobs. There is more than enough for anybody to do as an OWS activist which would preclude any other activity. I'm not saying anyone should do that, but the point is, they could, which is to say any time spent doing something other than building OWS is time that theoretically at least is taken away from OWS. That is the flaw in an "inside/outside" stratgy. Now if OWS moves towards a position that some other group outside of OWS was engaged in, that is another matter. For example some OWSers work cooperatively with labor unions largely through GA labor committees. If someone wanted to do that they could do it through a GA labor committee.

I suspect (and hope) that someday when it is large enough OWS will either develop its own independent electoral arm or (better) work with others such as sections of the labor movement and other social movements to develop a mass oppositionist political party, a party that as an institution would look quite different than what we call parties to day in which running candidates would only be a minor part of a whole array of oppositionist activities. It would in essence be the organizing center for a whole oppositionist culture. But IMHO that time is not yet. The movement is still way too small and because of that any such efforts undertaken at this point would only highlight the movement's weaknesses, not its strengths.

[-] 1 points by therising (6643) 2 years ago

By the way, to grow this the way we all want it to grow, at some point people who think like you do (everyOne should visit, join and/or start GA's and then once we're massive we'll start talking about what it is we want to do with that power) are missing the point of how movements grow. We need middle America. We can get middle America. But we won't get them if we keep speaking in riddles and refuse to talk about what our group is about until everyone joins.

My god man. Go e them something to DO. Be approachable, not arcane. Give them a taste of success. I realize you're talking about a revolution of the mind but so am I. I'm just realistic enough to know that it happens in stages an comes from people tasting it, experiencing it. By suggesting that participants on this forum aren't real members of occupy, you cut yourself off from massive support.

You're too smart to have done this accidentally. There is such an opportunity here that you're passing up that I can only conclude that your intention is simply to make sure the spark of connection never happens, that the process that wants to happen is stifled so the flame is extinguished in high minded future talk and the real fire that burns in the bellies of millions of individuals is never connected. You push them aside in your posts. They aren't part of your theoretical high minded club where you fantasize about everyone joining and then learning what theobement is for. You're either dreaming or you're hoping to keep OWS from connecting to middle America. You say we are the 99% but you are clubbish

[-] 1 points by therising (6643) 2 years ago

Well, I get what you're saying. But look, we need the 99% waking up to the fact that they are the 99% right? It is then that we will make decisions from a position of unified strength rather than demands from a position of divided weakness.

It's truly absurd that 1% have ruled over 99%. Once people begin to wake up to this absurdity and see their own role in letting down the guard and allowing this co-opting to happen, they will realize paradoxically that their fate is in their hands so they can change it. Admitting mistake and taking responsibility wonderfully wakes you up and empowers you to control your fate going forward.

We all want this. It seems like something you'd like to see. What I think you're missing right here right now is an opportunity to pull in support from all over the nation, especially from middle America which feels the angst but hasn't yet given it a name. You keep talking about everything being a long way off. DUDE - the opportunity is right here right now. It's like you want the movement to cool off and go theoretical and arcane just when Americans are seeing some of the most profound and sweeping protest and resistance the nation has ever seen.

If you weren't so damn smart, I'd think you were an agent provocateur trying to slow down the serious momentum and potential. Private security, police and co-opted government could never hire someone as smart as you though. Could they?

[-] 1 points by RedJazz43 (2757) 2 years ago

I don't think meaningful movement building is about recruiting individuals incrementally on a one by one basis. In the first instance I think it's about organizing and educating people (and especially groups of people) already in motion, which is one of the reasons why the OWS labor alliance is so important and so significant.

By no means do I mean to slow down the movement. I don't think supporting the February 29 drive to shut down the corporations or the March 30 call for a National Occupation of Washington or the May 1 call for a national general strike is about slowing down the movement at all.

BTW one of the most sophisticated radical intellectual journals of the 1950s, called Encounter, was entirely funded by the CIA!

[-] 1 points by therising (6643) 2 years ago

Well, I hope we can continue our dialogue. I enjoy it. Whether or not you respect me, I do respect your intellect and think that you're in this to win it as much as anyone. You're one of the smartest people on this forum. And oddly you celebrate or support the same upcoming actions I do. We're on the same team. Unfortunately, we, like many, draw distinctions rather than find common ground. Let's see if we can find some of that. I don't know if you've read any of my posts on this forum but is there anything that indicates there is some common ground?

[-] 1 points by RedJazz43 (2757) 2 years ago

People who agree on everything don't have anything to discuss. People say the support OWS. I ask what does that mean to them because it might mean something very different to me. For most Americans I think "support" is either a sentiment or at best something you throw money at and quite frankly I personally don't think OWS needs either of those things. What it needs is people to engage and to engage in OWS right now, for better or for worse, means to join or start a GA or occupation regardless of how disfunctional the GAs are at present. That is what there is. Until someone or more likely some group of people come up with some alternative that actually gains traction among movement activists, the GAs are really, so far, the only organized expression of OWS.

[-] 1 points by therising (6643) 2 years ago

So there are 20,000 people active in GA's and yet at one point 40% - 50% polled by CBS News said they supported the occupy movement. So you estimate support at 20,000. I estimate it at 10 - 20 million.

Here's what I think. Occupy isn't what people SAY it is or what people WANT it to be. It is what it ACTUALLY is. If you accept that definition (which to me seems like the only logical one), then we can all take heart in the fact that Occupy is a movement full of people who want to get the money out of politics and address the widening wealth gap (among other things). Occupy is about restoring fairness, restoring our republic, extricating the corporate hijackers who have inserted themselves between us and our government.

That's what this movement is. And it is HUGE. I don't think we can change that and neither can anarchists, socialists, democrats, republicans or anyone else. Occupy is what it ACTUALLY is. No one can contain it so there's no need to worry. Nothing can stop an idea whose time has come.

This doesn't mean our focus will be narrow. I think it will have great breadth. Some issues will be near and dear to some and others to others and that's the way it should be. That's how things get done...passionate commitment and consistent determination that comes with that commitment. Steadfast. Solid. Indominable. Unstoppable. Nothing is so powerful as an idea whose time has come.

[-] 1 points by RedJazz43 (2757) 2 years ago

No, support is always an elusive notion. What is important about social movements (which American political commentators have difficulty in grasping) is that they involve people in motion. The "support" for those people in motion may be great or it may be small, but the important thing is how many people are actually in motion? In what sense is it a "movement?"

There are by the best estimates approximately 20,000 occupiers and GA participants nation wide. That is the real core of the movement. At any given moment that core may be able to call out several tens of thousands of people at any particular location. Those people are not involved in the day to day activities of the movement, but they are not mere supporters either. Then there are those who perhaps make in kind or financial contributions or perhaps write an occasional article about the movement or are in some other sense actively engaged in the movement. In my estimation they would constitute the outer limits of the actual movement.

It is very sexy nowadays for professional polling enterprizes to poll the public about all kinds of things, from who they'd like to see for President to what kind of corn flakes they eat. So of course these outfits poll people about how they feel about emerging social movements, but I don't think having a positive response regarding a social movement suggests any attachment to that movement in any meaningful sense or even any real knowledge about it.

This is especially true of a movement like OWS which frankly aims to change the world. It can't do that without the active participation of the vast majority. People who have virtually no knowledge of the movement and only a vague sympathy can't be considered part of a movement with such goals in any meaningful way.

I can be heartened by the fact that at the center of OWS is a core of people who really want to change the world from the bottom up and who realize what a trivial pathetic "demand" "getting the money out of politics is" I think the kind of world OWS wants to build is as different from the world we have today as the world today is from feudal Europe, which is about a good deal more than getting the money out of politics and indeed, I'd suggest, with all humility, anybody who thinks OWS is about getting the money out of politics really doesn't know much about OWS.

I tend to think OWS is unlikely to go away also, largely because the problems it is addressing are not cyclical or even specific, but systemic.

On the other hand there are many forces that are militating against its continued existence: the black block, a strong tendency that would subordinate it to the Democratic Party, an arcane decision making process, the loss of encampments in every major city, the hostility of most municipal governments, cold weather, etc.

It is entirely conceivable with all the forces arrayed against it that OWS could devolve into an irrelevant sect on the one hand or simply be absorbed into the Democratic Party, which has been the sad fate of most social movements, though should that happen, exactly because the crises OWS is addressing are systemic and unlikely to go away, I suspect some new movement would emerge to address those issues.

When 10 to 20 million people are actually occupying and not merely expressing some vague "support" to some polling agency, then we will be at the beginning (but only the beginning) of being in a position to actually begin to adress how to seriously change the world. Right now, the movement is not even yet in its infancy. It's really still in gestation so its main project remains to build itself.

OWS is about a lot more than just restoring fairness. It's even about a lot more than overthrowing a government. It's about building an entirely new world, an entirely new society, so much more loving, democratic, just and peaceful than our current society that we can barely imagine it.

Doing that will take more than years. It will probably take at least several decades and very possibly several lifetimes.

One of the things that we will not be able to do is draw a distinction between "us" and "our government" since we will be our government.

I am an OWS activist. I also recognize how pathetically small it is. It has been an inspiration to the labor movement, probably the greatest accomplishment of OWS, but that movement is expodentially larger than OWS and its self evaluation is that it is on the verge of total collapse. If that is labor's self image, it would be well for OWS activists to be a little circumspect regarding the future of our movement.

[-] 2 points by factsrfun (6806) from Phoenix, AZ 2 years ago

4)......set up public forums

Many on this forum believe that the best way for OWS to affect change is to participate in the elections in a big way.

You seem to disagree with that position.

Fair enough.

But to say that those of us who disagree with you have no place here is censorship. Now while I don’t believe in censorship, you make a strong case for censoring you. I think those who silent others are just afraid of their ideas, so I’m in favor of letting even those as misguided as you to speak here.

[-] 1 points by RedJazz43 (2757) 2 years ago

I think a public forum (with real bodies, not in the ether) rooted in a local GA might have a real impact on a local GA and perhaps an electronic forum like this might serve to give people ideas about organizing a public forum that would engage OWS activists from a local GA. In that regard I am most interested in what impact the Left Forum, scheduled at Pace in mid March and which will have dozens of panels on the Occupy movement might have on the NYC GA.

I don't agree with the Randites about much, but I do agree with her assertion that only the state can censor. Movements can decide to frame themselves however they would like. I am basing my own assertions not just on my opinions, but on the public statements of OWS and on conversations with dozens of active organizers. It seems to me that it is an objective fact that OWS started as a nonelectoral movement. It also seems to me that it is unlikely that OWS will take a turn toward electoralism in the forseeable future. To the extent that there are OWS activists who want OWS to take an electoral turn I would be curious as to what their strategy is to get OWS to do that, not because I would oppose it, but because I'm curious about how any individual or group of individuals might move OWS to take positions that it is currently hostile or at least indifferent to.

By no means am I for censorship, though I do think that a turn toward electoralism by OWS now would be premature, but that is only my personal opinion. But should we not try to figure out how the movement should frame itself and what its limits are? What should the relationship between OWS and the black bloc be and whatever it is, how are we to enforce it?

How are minority political rights to be protected in OWS? Right now, as I understand it and have seen it in operation the existing decision making process in OWS does not seem to do that.

[-] 1 points by factsrfun (6806) from Phoenix, AZ 2 years ago

If you read my posts, supporting the idea that we should vote and you disagree, I understand, like everyone else here I’m just looking to be heard.

[-] 0 points by RedJazz43 (2757) 2 years ago

As messy and messed up as they are, I really think that the best way to have a real impact on the movement is to be as active as possible in the GA closest to you. If no GA is within commuting distance, I personally would advocate putting your energy into starting a GA close enough to you for you to be able to participate in regularly.

From there you can try to get it to do anything you would like from sitting in at a bank or a foreclosed home to becoming an adjunct to some political campaign or other. But in that regard, all I can say is, good luck.

Every GA I've been to is dominated by an anti electoral or at least a non electoral perspective. Really, I had no idea that there were so many anarchists in the nation (and I'm not speaking here of black blockers, but real philosophical anarchists). They just seem to pop up everywhere a GA is organized. There are hundreds of GAs around the nation and still about 50 ongoing occupations. I am not aware of a single one that has adopted an electoral perspective and in most instances those who advocate an electoral perspective seem to have been stymied.

[-] 3 points by factsrfun (6806) from Phoenix, AZ 2 years ago

So this is a reason not to take five minutes and vote?

[-] 1 points by RedJazz43 (2757) 2 years ago

I've voted in every election every year since 1964, the first year I was eligible to vote. I think voting rights are important, which is why I choose to exercise them. I also don't think that voting is all that consequential for political activists. Think of it from the top down. How politically important is what the President does in the voting booth on election day compared to what he does every other day of the year? What about members of Congress, or governors, or legislators or for that matter local elected officials? I think the same applies to political activists of course voting is important, but it is the least important of all the important political things that a political activist does.

That said a very strong tendency within OWS does not agree with me at all about voting and basically takes the position that voting, like making demands tends to validate a basically unjust system. I'm not suggesting that I personally agree with this point of view, only that while a minority view it is quite dominant within OWS and will tend to remain so as long as the arcane decision making processes of OWS remain in place. On the other hand I don't have any particular glib solution as to how to resolve that either, though I do think it is worth discussing and even essential for the future of the movement.

[-] 1 points by GypsyKing (9780) 2 years ago

I think the process of setting-up and participating in GA's is a very good Idea. At the same time I recognise that limiting the movement to doing just that, is exactly what it implies, limiting the movement. As I said before, the internet has changed the rate of change. There needs to be an understanding of that, that is that the movement should not limit itself to outdated methods of organizing and effecting change, If it does so, it may find support draining away from those who believe change can and should be attained through faster methods.

All I can say is this - that OWS has not said (and could not say) that it's members cannot engage in the political activities recommended on this forum. Therefore, OWS members are free to engage in these actions if they so choose. I guess at that point the controvery becomes moot.

[-] 1 points by RedJazz43 (2757) 2 years ago

GAs are not a "limiting factor." They are simply an organized decision making process, a governing mechanism for the movement, perhaps not the best one that can be conceived, but right not it is what the vast majority of movement activists are buying into as a decision making process and governing mechanism.

There are problems with the GAs as a decision making and governing mechanism but theoretically at least, they don't limit anything. In theory at least they are conceptualized to facilitate everything and limit nothing. I'll admit there is a vast gulf between the theory and actual practice, but that's solved by developing better decision making mechanisms and figuring out how to get them implemented, not by suggesting that a decision making mechanism (any decision making mechanism) constitutes, in and of itself a "limiting factor."

I absolutely agree that OWS has not said that any of its members can't do anything they want. Indeed, that's one of the problems with OWS. First of all it does not conceive of itself as an organization, so there are no members and since it can't or won't really tell anyone anything it is really powerless (so far at least) to tell people (for example) not to pick fights with the cops in the name of the movement.

That said, I fully expect that a substantial number of OWS activists and supporters will vote in the Fall, most for Obama, but I don't think they can or will do it in any organized way. OWS is simply not organized to facilitate that. Not only is such a position unlikely to get a majority in any GA but it can't even get a minority since the decision making process of the GAs does not recognize the concept of minorities!

If you are urging people vote for Obama and that is essentially what this discussion amounts to, I disagree, but I also don't think it will be very consequential. If, on the other hand you are urging people to do more than vote for Obama, if for example you are urging them to become active in the Obama campaign or other Democratic Campaigns or to join a Democratic Party based organization like PDA, that is another matter. I think that is consequential and I would not only disagree, but I'd have an entirely different set of suggestions beginning with regularly attending their closest GA or helping to organize one close to them if there is not one within commuting distance.

[-] 1 points by GypsyKing (9780) 2 years ago

I find this comment really interesting, because what it seems to say is that altough the GA's do not lead, they are in fact the leadership structure of this movement. Then you go on to say that although they don't prevent people from becoming politically active, they do prevent people from becoming politically active.

Do I understand that right? . . . or if not, maybe you could correct me.

. . . Well, it's been a half-hour now, and I'm still waiting . . . instead of composing another of you long, rambling, and convoluted responses (the intention of which I think are to obfuscate the issues) why not try just answering the question?

[-] 1 points by GypsyKing (9780) 2 years ago

Well, I think it's safe to say that while these questions are being ironed-out, people in this movement are free to use their own judgement about the best ways to promote the interests of this movement.

Meanwhile, stay tuned for the next episode of rambling and rediculous enertia!

[-] 1 points by RedJazz43 (2757) 2 years ago

IMHO the GAs are pretty disfunctional, so if I seem to be contradicting myself in this instance I think it has more to do with my frustration at the GAs than anything else. On the other hand, they are what is. That is, to the extent that OWS has any decision making body it is vested in the local GAs. This is also true in a formal sense. For example, technically speaking the working groups are supposed to be subordinate to the GA and for the most part they respect that relationship. On the other hand, it is also the case that they function independently and make decisions independent of the GA. For example, the Kitchen working group doesn't consult with the GA regarding when, where or how it will serve food, or what kind. The Library working group does not consult with the GA regarding how and where it will choose to display books, etc.

The key problem with the GA decision making mechanism is that it is based on their notion of consensus, which is not about voting (at least not binary voting, up or down), it is not about majorities or minorities, a single person can "block" a vote, but such blocking is only supposed to be done on major matters of principle, which is to say if the proposal were adopted the person would leave the movement. It doesn't account for any less consequential opposition, being opposed to something, but not so opposed that one would leave the movement were it adopted.

Lately the decision making process in the NYC GA as become so sluggish that many of the decisions have devolved, defacto, to the relevant working group.

Most GAs are streamed but watching them that way can be even more frustrating than participating in person.

A lot of participants are extremely frustrated with this, even some people who were originally supportive. On the other hand there is little agreement on an appropriate alternative and even if there was, there are even fewer ideas regarding how to get an alternative decision making process adopted. This is an ongoing discussion, one of several real crises in the movement. I don't think there is much point in going into more detail here unless people are actively involved in a GA where they could compare experiences and learn from each other's experiences.

My point is however, that is where the movement is. I think there are a lot of people who have very little contact with the movement, but think they support it, but how can you really support something that you know little about and what does it mean to support the movement? To say people support its goals doesn't mean much since while it has what might be best characterized as a "mood" it has no specifically stated goals of which I'm aware and I've been modestly active and have many friends who are full time occupiers at several different occupations around the nation.

I find the notion of an internet "community" extremely problematic. I think the net and net based social networks can be very instrumental in fostering a movement, but I don't think they are a substitute for a movement. What the net can do is tell people to get up away from their computers and go to a specific place at a specific time to meet like minded people and in between those times it can keep them informed as to what is going on. But there is not substitute for that kind of face to face communication. I've had the experience right here where people think I've insulted them or I've felt insulted. For whatever reason, regardless of how much people disagree, I've found that they are much less likely to be that insulting in a face to face situation. Indeed at every occupation I've been to I've never felt so much genuine love. It is really marked in NYC where most people most places in Manhattan avoid even eye contact, but crossing the street into Zuccotti you were very likely to be hugged and kissed and told you are loved by the first person you encountered (male or female).

I appreciate that there are very few people (the severly disabled or people who are very geographically isolated) who can't go to a physical GA and for them perhaps an electronic community is the best they can do. That, however is not true for the vast majority and there are occupations is some remote areas of a single person camped out in front of the local Post Office (that being the only federal building for hundreds of miles).

[-] 1 points by GypsyKing (9780) 2 years ago

I don't think this movements worst enemies could have created a more frustrating situation, or a greater degree of obtuseness in understanding the reasons for that frustration, than contained in either this repetitive comment, or the underlying condition that it represents.

All I can do here is repeat what I said above, that until all this is ironed-out, people in this movement must simply take it upon themselves to determine what actions they should take in order to further the interests of this movement.

[-] 1 points by RedJazz43 (2757) 2 years ago

I may be misinterpreting your comment or reading something unmeant into it, but you seem to be objectifying the notion of "ironing out" a problem in the movement (any problem). As the movement conceives it at this point, we are all leaders. For any problem it the movement there is no individual or group of individuals that we can point to and ask or demand that they "fix this" or that. If we see ourselves as part of the movement then it is our collective responsibility to fix whatever problems we see in the movement. There is simply no one else to do it. We are it. One of the problems I have with this forum in general is that despite the fact that some people claim that many of its participants are movement activists, that does not seem to be the case to me. This is especially evidenced for me by the fact that while this forum is full of ideas good, bad and indifferent, there is virtually no discussion about how those ideas might be practically implimented, how to bring them up in a GA, what GA they might be brought up in, whether or not it might be better to bring a particular idea up in a working group before raising it in a GA, what working group a particular idea might most productively be raised in, etc. For those who feel that the movement is bigger than a collection of all the local GAs, I do not understand what decision making mechanism exists for that vague broader body and in the absence of any decision making mechanism (even a disfunctional one like the local GAs) I don't see how it can be determined that this vague broader movement is on any course at all.

In the absence of any decision making mechanism (even a disfunctional one) individuals might make all kinds of choices, but without a way to measure it (which is at least extremely difficult without a decision making mechanism) in what sense do the individual decisions of a disparate number of individuals constitute a movement? The only place I know to make such decisions collectively right now is in a local GA until somebody or some group in the movement comes up with both an alternative decision making mechanism and a plan for getting a significant number of people to buy into it.

[-] 1 points by GypsyKing (9780) 2 years ago

I agree that it is up to us, that WE are the movement. What you don't seem to see, is that many of us are frustrated with the way that ideas go into the GA's and nothing ever seems to come out; that the GA's are structured in such a way as to be a roadblock to action rather than a condiit for action. There is an old joke that goes, "if you want to kill an idea, just sent it to a really big commitee. I think a lot of people are aware of that joke, but in this case they don't find it particularly funny.

This movement has millions of sympathizers, and you see their unwillingness to get involved in the GAs as automatically a sign that they are lazy. It may be that it is a sign that they've seen the workings of dysfunctional committes often enough that they don't want a damn thing to do with them.

In any case the movement has not energized it's base. You blame it on the movement's base, rather than on those whose purpose it is to energize them through a leadership that in turn you admit isn't effective.

That I think, is a mistake, and a critical one.

[-] 1 points by RedJazz43 (2757) 2 years ago

People say that the way to change government is to vote. In OWS, if you are part of the movement, things are much more direct. If you don't like the way things are going in a particular GA in which you are active talk to other people who are active in that GA and see if they share you frustrations. Talk to them about how you both might go about changing things in that GA concretely. I really can't be more specific than that unless you are more specific. What ideas went into which GA which did not come out? What does that mean? Were they brought up as specific proposals in a specific GA? Were they discussed or tabled? If they were discussed, what was the nature and outcome of the discussion? If they were tabled, how were they tabled? Were they tabled to a particular working group? If so, what happened there? Were they tabled to a future GA? Was there an attempt to arrive at a consensus on your proposal or was it blocked? If it was blocked did you speak with the person blocking your proposal to see if it could be reframed in a way acceptable to the blocker?

The point is, when things get stuck in a GA they do get stuck in particular ways. Sometimes those ways are particularly undemocratic, which is especially annoying, but sometimes there are only minor procedural changes that would get a proposal through. The point is the GAs are disfunctional but they are not nonfunctional. For example, some time ago the Occupy Portland put out a call to shut down the corporations on February 29. This was adopted by most major GAs and subsequently plans are afoot for major demonstations and civil disobedience at the corporate headquarters of various major corporations in several cities. Some time ago Occupy LA put forward a proposal for a General Strike on May 1. I personally initially thought this was really nutty, but it turns out that one of my closest friends was behind it and he tentatively convinced me otherwise. It came out of the Labor Committee of Occupy LA so it is not people unconnected with the labor movement. Also the SEIU is behind it, which is one of the biggest unions in the nation and there are links with the immigrants rights movement which has made May Day a national day of protest for immigrants since 2006. Of course labor unions cannot call out their members who are working under collective bargaining agreements as that would violate Taft-Hartley and subject the union in question to prohibitive fines. However, sympathetic unions are organizing after work rallies, people with no official connection to a union are not under such constraints and both union and nonunion people are being urged to take a sick day or vacation day. It is estimated that perhaps 10 million people may participate nationally and more than a million in LA. This, of course, is no where near a real general strike, nevertheless, the feeling is that if that many people participated it would give them a great sense of power and momentum for future activities.

My point again is that while the GAs are disfunctional and we have to work on how to correct that in concrete ways, they are not nonfunctional and continue to accomplish impressive organizing efforts.

The most disfunctional GAs tend to be the largest ones. In those instances there also tend to be many working groups in those localities and people who are active in those areas then tend to shift their movement activity away from the GA and more toward particular working groups. Most working groups function quite efficiently. There are specific ones that don't and which they are and why is interesting in itself.

I don't think that people who don't participate in GAs are lazy. My hunch (and it's only a hunch) is that they are really not all that connected to the movement or knowledgeable about it. I suspect that most of them have never been to a single GA, not because they are lazy but because they really know so little about the movement that they simply wouldn't know where or how to find one or how to go about organizing one in their own community.

I simply don't think it is true that the movement has not energized it's base. While there are only about 20 K occupiers nationally, with very little effort the stronger GAs can get more than that number of people in the streets with very short notice. I also suspect that for many movement supporters their notion of political activity doesn't extend much beyond voting regularly. I'm not suggesting that the only alternatives are voting or demonstrating. A lot of people who are active in working groups have full time jobs and their working group activity has become a second full time job. That to me is part of what building a mass "culture of opposition" is all about, it's really about building a whole separate movement culture, which can be extremely time consuming and extend considerably beyond what is typically understood as "direct action" but it also extends considerably beyond internet discussions, voting for particular candidates or urging others to do so.

This is very strange to an increasing number of people. People don't even join bowling leagues or attend church as often as they used to, so that if they resist the notion that if they join a movement there will be more than enough for them to do, I don't think it is because they are lazy. I think it's because the whole idea is extremely alien to them, so alien that they don't even necessarily understand the suggestion. It's like speaking a foreign language.

[-] 1 points by GypsyKing (9780) 2 years ago

Finally, I would like to add here that personally I have nothing whatsoever against the GA's, or those who form them, and furthermore say that these people are at the heart of this movement. But I think there are issues of effective functioning and leadership in this movement that need to be addressed. It is up to the GAs to show that they can be the functioning leadership model that the millions of this movement's sympathizers are urgently calmmoring for.

[-] 1 points by factsrfun (6806) from Phoenix, AZ 2 years ago

Thanks for vooting.

[-] 2 points by JIFFYSQUID92 (-994) from Portland, OR 2 years ago

"7) Speak out publicly on the issue that means the most to you."

The "issue" that means the most to me is for the Occupy Movement to result in real political change. That the Occupy Movement doesn't just fade away in ineffectual protests. This old political battle over 1% oppression and exploitation of the 99% can be addressed in three ways: 1) Hot war, which would be insane suicide. 2) Continued protests and demonstrations and hope somehow things change. 3) Use the democratic political system for change that our forefathers setup just for the Occupy Movement to succeed (politically). I vote for #3, and so do all the experts in this field.

Occupy did an awesome job of grabbing political attention, but it went down hill from there. This may be new to you and you may think this is your baby, but for myself and many others I'd like to say, what took you? We've been bitching about this tyranny for over 3 decades. Better late than never. Now let's get busy and make this political "thing" work.

For starters, you should acquaint yourself with http://front.moveon.org/ | http://www.pfaw.org/ | http://www.democraticunderground.com/ , American politics and a pair of big boy pants.

[-] 1 points by GypsyKing (9780) 2 years ago

Damn good comment! You took the words right out of my mouth! I do still think there is a place for protest and direct action. But I think without a political arm the energy will just eventually flounder. Who wants to get beat-up over and over again without the tools necessary to transform that sacrifise into tangible gain? If the whole country came out it would maybe succeed alone, but that is not the situation. A majority agree with us but clearly they're not ready to take to the streets - so we must meet them halfway, and simply not stop until we have taken back our democracy!

A lot of people, I think even in this movement, have bought the idea that the movement has already come and gone. That's just a bullshit illusion fed to us by the media, who insists we all have the attention span of four year olds! What a bunch of crap . . . after five months? I don't think so!

[-] 1 points by JIFFYSQUID92 (-994) from Portland, OR 2 years ago

If the whole country (literally) joined OWS in righteous demonstration of injustice and hatred of politics, the loyal 25% (or so) zombies would vote and the 1% and their GOP employees would laugh their asses off, and OUTLAW PROTESTING!!!

[-] 1 points by GypsyKing (9780) 2 years ago

Well, that's debatable, but your point is well taken. Those who think we can ignore the political side are dreaming. You might want to watch a video called "Yes Sir, No Sir, about a similar era, the late 1960's. They can outlaw protesting, but somebody has to enforce that. The ranks of the army are drawn from the lower classes, and if they bring back the draft that's just worse for them. There's always mercinaries however. That's their last resort, and a potentially nasty one at that.

[-] 0 points by JIFFYSQUID92 (-994) from Portland, OR 2 years ago

It's been in my Netflix queue for a while. I'll #1 it.

Remember, because the newbies can't, we've been dealing with fascism-lite. Given the chance, full-fledged fascism is just waiting to bare its fangs. Just look at the cops at these demonstrations. They're in more combat gear than the military in these fraud wars! I don't know why we are not all raising hell. The cops look like Robo-Cops!! For what?? A bull horn or a pizza box?? Armored cars?? etc. Too much.

They (Cons) would outlaw protesting in a heartbeat if they had a majority, or an excuse. Watch out for and remember "Kristallnacht" they are not above that. Some say 9-11 was that.

[-] 1 points by GypsyKing (9780) 2 years ago

Agreed withal! That's why we can't play these dithering games about political purety. We can't afford to lose this time. We need to wake people up!

[Removed]

[-] 1 points by GypsyKing (9780) 2 years ago

Well than, OWS is just going to have to ask all of us willing to be "political" in a political movement to leave. That would be an amusing thing to hear from a radical political movement. And if they do so, then we will see how many are left in OWS without us. You see, it's like trying to hold back the tide.

[-] 1 points by RedJazz43 (2757) 2 years ago

I don't think OWS will ask anyone to leave. It's simply not organizationally equipped to do so, leaving aside the fact that the notion of expulsion is antithetical to its ethos.

But I also don't think that those who would have the movement be "political" (by which, as I understand it, it is generally meant, to support various Democratic candidates for various offices) are likely to be very successful in getting the movement to follow their lead for a number of reasons. For one thing these pro-Democratic Party types are not particularly well organized in the movement. Undoubtedly, some OWS activists will vote for Obama, some will vote Green, a few will vote Libertarian, but all in all, what these folks do on election day has virtually nothing to do with what drew them to OWS to begin with, nor does it have anything to do with their day to day activity in OWS and any effort to turn OWS into a subsidiary of the Democratic Party will kill the movement every bit as much as the craziness of the black bloc might do.

[-] 2 points by GypsyKing (9780) 2 years ago

I think the possibilities for political action go way beyong supporting Democrats. In fact, I believe that would simply be a stop gap measure to see that things don't get a lot worse, between now and the next election. After that our political options will really open up. But there are new methods of political pressure and organization created by the net that never existed before, and I think we haven't even begun to scratch the surface of those possibilities yet. In those areas I think we must allow a new generation to forge a path and not simply become obstacles in their way.

[Removed]

[-] 3 points by GypsyKing (9780) 2 years ago

I don't really see that angle. People within the movement can engage in political action if they choose. It's hard to see how the GA's could stop them, even if they wanted to. I think the whole issue is divissive in an entirely unproductive way, and without any underlying validity.

[-] 0 points by RedJazz43 (2757) 2 years ago

What OWS activists conceptualize as "real political change" and what the liberal kibbitzers and dilletantes on this forum conceptualized as "real political change" are as different as apples and Tuesday (ie, they have absolutely no relationship to each other).

The OWS conception of "real political change" (and I am basing this on the Declaration of the Occupation of New York City, which has also been endorsed by most other major GAs) is not about electing more Democrats, or even reforming the Democratic Party, or passing some bromide like campaign finance reform, or even about Constitutional amendments. It's about creating a fundamentally new, internationally based, democratic, egalitarian, peaceful and loving social system. It's about revolution.

Why else would the Declaration of the Occupation choose not to raise demands. It chooses not to raise demands because to raise demands would be to engage the very system which we oppose. Why else would it address itself to "the people of the world?"

[-] 2 points by JIFFYSQUID92 (-994) from Portland, OR 2 years ago

You talk in circles without saying anything. Show me your apples and I'll show you my Tuesdays. Do you even know? You don't do you?

Please reread what I wrote you and answer or address it or tell me how to contact the GA so that I can get some real answers.

Please don't tell again that you don't _ because it says _. That's the kind of authoritarian obedience righties live by. R U? Libs think, not obey.

No politics, NO RESULTS! If you can't understand that, don't bother me.

[-] 1 points by RedJazz43 (2757) 2 years ago

There are GAs in virtually every major city in the US and many minor ones and small communities. The Occupy Together site lists all of them that it has been able to find. If you go there you can find the GA nearest you. If none is within easy commuting distance, start your own. There is a link on this web site that can walk you through how to do that. If you still have problems organizing a GA, contact the GA closest to you and if it is of any size someone there will come to help you, though you may have to pay transportation, room and board. I hope that is helpful.

This is not about authoritarianism. Quite the opposite. But contrary to media views, its not about a total lack of organization either. GAs are the basic local decision making bodies of the Occupy movement. Any GA can take any initiative. For example, it was the Oakland GA that initiated the west coast port shut downs and it is the LA GA which is calling for a May 1 General Strike, but it is also the case that the NYC GA still tends to be the guiding force of the movement as a whole and what other GAs tend to look toward for guidance. The Declaration of the Occupation of New York City is so far the only political statement of the OWS movement and as such it tends to be the intellectual point of departure for the movement.

The NYC GA (and several other GAs) has a web site (including a link on this web site), so contacting it is no mystery.

The problem is not one of an absence of politics, but rather that the vast majority of Americans find it impossible to think outside the extremely narrow binary of the Democratic and Republican parties, which is to say a conservative capitalist party and a more conservative capitalist party. Clearly, tiny as it is, OWS is already way past that binary, but so far still, way too tiny to be able to provide a credible alternative beyond saying "no" to what is.

[-] 1 points by JIFFYSQUID92 (-994) from Portland, OR 2 years ago

Thanx, that was the first real communiqué you've conveyed. Sort of.

I know about all the GAs, have you tried talking to one?? No can do. But quit talking to me in parameters and slogans. I've probably been doing this longer than you've been alive.

I'm in PDX and they are a mess.

There are many problems, political savvy and effect are two. I don't think you really understand. Talk to Move-On or Rock the vote.

We are not waiting around. We want to coordinate with Occupy but not getting there.

NON-violence is a good thing to hear from you, because it is the anarchy influence that is another problem.

We have questions for the GA!

[-] 0 points by RedJazz43 (2757) 2 years ago

If it matters (and I personally think it doesn't) I'm 68 years old and I've been active in radical social movements for nearly 50 years. That said, one of the best presentations I've seen at OWS was from an 8 year old, so I'm no ageist.

The two forces in OWS that have been most active in trying to fold OWS into the Democratic Party have been MoveOn and the SEIU. Fortunately, so far, they have been completely unsuccessful in that endeavor and in LA that even led to a split, but the dominant movement still opposes that perspective.

Violence and nonviolence are tactics, not a political philosophy. Indeed, the logic of pacifism is that a consistent pacifist would have to be an anarchist since the state is that institution in society with a sanctioned monopoly on violence. While the black bloc could fuck up the movement, historically speaking it is much more likely that the movement will be co-opted by the Democratic Party. In any event, the black bloc has nothing to do with anarchism. Some black blockers are anarchists, some are liberals, some are apolitical. The black bloc represents a tactic, not a political philosophy. It was people who were strongly influenced by the anarchist intellectual tradition who started OWS and it is they who continue to be the most effective tendency in terms of building the movement.

I'd completely agree that the decision making processes in most GAs leave much to be desired. This is widely understood, appreciated and discussed. However, it is also the case that the local GAs are the only existing decision making bodies of OWS. There are discussions afoot regarding reforming them or displacing them. I consider those serious discussions.

I consider the idea of folding OWS into the electoral process a serious discussion too, as serious as a heart attack and just as dangerous. Working at reforming or displacing a GA I think is much more productive for the long term health of the movement than attempting to incorporate it into the electoral process. That's just my opinion, but I also think it's a much more active debate within OWS than is the discussion of folding OWS into the electoral process and as such more likely to bear fruit.

What GAs do you have questions of? Where do you live? How do you propose to raise these questions? Really the only way to engage a GA is to engage a GA, that is, to participate in a GA on a more or less regular basis. If you do not live close enough to one to do that, then I think the thing to do is to organize one where you are, which obviously would be considerably easier for you to influence.

[-] 2 points by GypsyKing (9780) 2 years ago

Man for a guy who thinks this forum is nothing but a bunch of dilletantes and pointless panty-waists, or whatever, you sure do devote a lot of time to convincing us of our own irrelevence.

[-] 1 points by RedJazz43 (2757) 2 years ago

I think what is relevant is OWS as an activist movement. I cop to having very poor interpersonal and organizational skills. That said, as Alan Ginsberg said many decades ago, I'm putting my queer shoulder to the wheel and trying to convince people (even with my poor interpersonal and organizational skills) to join the movement as activists. That nearly everyone is capable of doing more than kibbitzing on their computers (including me), but that it's also about a good deal more than what one does in a voting booth for a few minutes each year. Indeed, so far at least, electoralism seems quite irrelevant to OWS and is likely to remain that way for the forseeable future regardless of what any of us might want as individuals.

[-] 1 points by GypsyKing (9780) 2 years ago

Either/or, either/or, either/or. You are like a broken record that goes round and round in the same groove. Not much point in going further here. Goodbye.

[-] 1 points by RedJazz43 (2757) 2 years ago

Regardless of my own views on the question, my personal experience in OWS is that as a movement it tends to be hostile to electoralism or at least indifferent to it. I could be wrong but I don't see any substantial tendency within OWS devoted to changing its nonelectoral perspective, nor to I see any strategy on the part of those who advocate an electoral perspective toward changing the perspective of OWS. I'd really be interested in this as most of the people I know who are considerably more active in OWS than I seem as clueless as me regarding how to go about influencing OWS as individuals or even as a group of individuals.

[-] 1 points by GypsyKing (9780) 2 years ago

Wow, this is a point you don't mind repeating over, and over, and over, and over again. It seems very important that you convince us of this view. Seems like you might even be consciously trying to create a rift here based upon artificial and really irrelevent distinctions.

[-] 1 points by RedJazz43 (2757) 2 years ago

I could be very wrong about this and I am willing to be convinced otherwise, but it is my perception based on my reading of the very few OWS documents and conversations with dozens of OWS activists that it is at its roots a nonelectoral movement, if not anti electoral. Indeed, many of the occupiers with whom I have spoken are considerably more anti electoral than am I.

I am by no means trying to create a rift. What I am primarily trying to do is understand how you all might go about changing a movement which appears to me to be at its roots nonelectoral and even anti electoral toward an electoral perspective. Even though I don't think it would be especially healthy for the movement at this juncture, I also don't see it as being especially likely.

All the GAs that I have been to tend to be at least nonelectoral if not anti electoral. There are lots of ways I'd like to change the GAs, but I don't see it as any easy or even likely possibility. Yet, right now, so far as I know, these are the only decision making bodies of the movement.

If you all have some other conception of how to move the movement, I'd be most curious as to how you see that working, not because I am hostile to it, but simply because I do not either understand how it would work or see it as likely.

[-] 0 points by JIFFYSQUID92 (-994) from Portland, OR 2 years ago

Thank you.

Goodbye.

[-] 0 points by RedJazz43 (2757) 2 years ago

I raised what I thought were serious questions that I think are worth discussing, though I can understand why you might not want to discuss them on a public forum. If you would like to discuss how to engage your local GA privately please feel free to forward a note to that effect.

[-] 1 points by GypsyKing (9780) 2 years ago

I think you just tried to kill this post by boring us to death.

[-] 1 points by DavidGilbert (64) from Tampa, FL 2 years ago

@GypsyKing - i like your idea of backing US congressional candidates conditional on them signing a pledge. But, to do what? Some suggestions:

OWS Needs A Specific Political Agenda. 10 Policy Ideas All OWS Members Can Agee On

  1. A constitutional amendment reversing the Supreme Court's bizarre rulings that under the First Amendment money is speech and corporations are people.

  2. Real campaign finance reform with public financing of federal elections.

  3. End gerrymandering by politicians and turn over redistricting to citizen committees.

  4. Reduce financial risks to society by breaking up the biggest banks. Reenact Glass-Steagall. Abolish credit default swaps. Derivatives must be traded on transparent exchanges. Ban "flash" trading.

  5. A ten-year federal program that creates over 30 million jobs rebuilding America that includes new infrastructure, a new national power grid and clean energy initiatives. Pay for it by taxing all Wall St. financial transactions at 1% raises $400 billion a year.

  6. To create a living wage will require generous tax credits for low earners, a higher minimum wage, and guaranteed health care so that wages are not consumed by medical costs. Pay for it by ending the war in Afghanistan and reducing military spending.

  7. Create a progressive federal tax code where the marginal tax rate is raised to 50 percent on income between $500,000 and $5 million, 60 percent on income between $5 million and $15 million, and 70 percent on income over $15 million. There should be a 2 percent annual surtax on all fortunes over $7 million. The estate tax should be 55 percent and kicks in after $5 million. Capital gains should be taxed at 35 percent. End the home mortgage deduction on first homes over $1 million. End the home mortgage deduction on all second homes. Corporations should be taxed by a variable amount based on the percentage of their payroll going to US workers. Eliminate corporate loopholes, unfair tax breaks, exemptions and deductions, subsidies, end offshore tax haven abuse.

  8. Create better schools by properly compensating effective teachers. We should draw teachers from the top 10 percent of college graduates. Teachers should study education at government expense and receive strong professional support throughout their careers. Advocate universal prekindergarten, full-day kindergarten and extending the school day and school year.

  9. Protect the environment by STRICTLY enforcing the Clean Air Act.

  10. Enhance personal freedoms by repealing the Patriot Act.

[-] 1 points by GypsyKing (9780) 2 years ago

I feel a little frustration with some of these ideas because we seem, at the moment, frozen with a lot of really good ideas that we are not finding the mechanism to act upon. I think our most serious delemma right now is finding that mechanism that turns ideas into actions.

I think these are all great idea's - the question is, how do we agree, or disagree upon them? These are things to be delbt with by the GAs, but they don't appear forthcoming.

[-] 0 points by RedJazz43 (2757) 2 years ago

If people want to engage in electoral action they will do so no matter what I say or do, where I say or do it or how I say or do it.

If people want to move OWS toward an electoral perspective now I'd be opposed to it (but only now), but I'd also be extremely curious as to how they propose to move OWS on this question. I do not mean to raise this because I would want to wreck such plans. I don't think I have the capacity to do that. What I am interested in is the whole process of how to convince OWS of anything that it is resistant to as a movement.

For example, I personally happen to think that the decision making process of OWS is deeply flawed and in fact in many respects undemocratic, but I'm also admittedly fairly in the dark as to how that might be changed. I do have a few ideas in this regard, but I'm not especially optimistic about getting them implemented.

[-] -2 points by jaxxen (-19) 2 years ago

"Do whatever you are able to reduce fossil fuel consumption, and to shift to alternative energy sources."

"Do not vote for the Republican Party, or any of it's candidates."

Once again solidifying and confirming that OWS is strictly a Leftist,Liberal,Progressive,Marxist,Socialist,Anarchist,Greeniac, Climate Alarmist, pseudo-movement Puppet that is incestuous with Democrats and Union Thugs.

So much for being all encompassing.

[+] -4 points by DKAtoday (28022) from Coon Rapids, MN 2 years ago

New petition 2/22/2012

Petition the President.

This is part of what I told Him: ( what would you say ? )

We should not be exporting period. The complaint that we are always given about the high price of gas and natural gas and oil is that our supplies are so low. Is this not why new regions were opened to access more oil and natural gas deposits? Stop lying to us. Shut down fracking shutdown new drilling. Regulate the industry and put a cap on the prices. Tax the industry properly and put the money to work creating and implementing true green energy not bio-fuel.

From the Sierra club ( please take part ):

We need to tell President Obama that exporting dirty LNG is dangerous, environmentally destructive, and unacceptable. Sign our petition urging the president to put the brakes on LNG exports.

http://action.sierraclub.org/site/R?i=4RTsJjuLoMPhCGtObg3BwA

[+] -4 points by DKAtoday (28022) from Coon Rapids, MN 2 years ago

OSTA : First we had one, then two sponsors for the "One Subject at a Time Act." NOW WE HAVE SIX!

We've just gained 4 new co-sponsors.

This means that you now have multiple new chances to become more powerful! Here's how to . . .

Do two simple things that will make it more likely that some of these new "One Subject" sponsors will . .

Ask their friends in Congress to become sponsors too.
Also sponsor our "Read the Bills" and "Write the Laws" acts.

STEP ONE: Go to the Facebook pages for each new co-sponsor and thank them for supporting the "One Subject at a Time Act."

Representative Mo Brooks of Alabama: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Congressman-Mo-Brooks/155220881193244?sk=wall Representative Ann Marie Buerkle of New York: http://www.facebook.com/RepBuerkle?sk=wall Representative Robert T. Shilling of Illinois: http://www.facebook.com/congressmanbobbyschilling?sk=wall Representative Allen B. West of Florida: http://www.facebook.com/AllenWestFL?sk=wall

Use your "thank you" to suggest that they send a "Dear colleague" letter to their friends in Congress, asking them to become co-sponsors too.

Also ask them to consider introducing the "Read the Bills Act" and the "Write the Laws Act." Share the links for those bills with them . . .

https://secure.downsizedc.org/etp/rtba/ https://secure.downsizedc.org/etp/write-the-laws/

Many of you have done this already with Reps. Marino and Posey. It's had an effect. In fact, we know it's been a positive motivator for Rep. Marino to seek additional publicity for OSTA and to recruit his colleagues.

STEP TWO: Call and say thank you for sponsoring the "One Subject at a Time Act", and suggest that they send a "Dear Colleague" letter asking other members of Congress to also co-sponsor "One Subject."

Rep. Mo Brooks: Phone: (202) 225-4801 Rep. Ann Marie Buerkle: (202) 225-3701 Rep. Bobby Schilling: (202) 225-5905 Rep. Allen B. West: (202) 225-3026

And finally, if you think we're doing a worthy job, consider making a financial contribution here.

Jim Babka President DownsizeDC.org, Inc.

D o w n s i z e r - D i s p a t c h

Official email newsletter of DownsizeDC.org, Inc. & Downsize DC Foundation.

SUPPORT the "Educate the Powerful System".

Feel Free to Forward or Reprint, as long as attribution and action links are retained/included. But we recommend you delete everything in this footer, i.e., below the words "Downsizer-Dispatch".

Your subscription comes to this email address: dka01@live.com.

If you have difficulties or inquiries, simply hit reply to this message. We're eager to help, including with requests to unsubscribe.

If you do not want to receive any more newsletters (to unsubscribe), click here.

Sponsored by DownsizeDC.org, Inc. – a non-profit educational organization promoting the ideas of individual liberty, personal responsibility, free markets, and small government. Operations office: 1931 15th St. Cuyahoga Falls, OH 44223, 202.521.1200. Normally published 3-6 times per week. The Downsize DC Team would like to thank you for subscribing to the Downsizer-Dispatch, which you did by going to http://www.downsizedc.org/newsletter or by using our "Educate the Powerful System" to send a message.

[-] 1 points by GypsyKing (9780) 2 years ago

This is great!!!

[+] -4 points by DKAtoday (28022) from Coon Rapids, MN 2 years ago

Proactive public involvement having positive effect. Gotta love it.

[+] -4 points by DKAtoday (28022) from Coon Rapids, MN 2 years ago

13) A new Day? A fresh start?

World changers unite!

http://www.hopewellproject.org/ People send this link viral!!!!!!!!!!!

[+] -5 points by DKAtoday (28022) from Coon Rapids, MN 2 years ago

For those just checking-in.

Stay in touch with the process. Article V

http://foavc.org/

[-] 1 points by GypsyKing (9780) 2 years ago

Thanks.

[+] -5 points by DKAtoday (28022) from Coon Rapids, MN 2 years ago

You are most certainly Welcome.

Anything to encourage awareness.