Forum Post: Here is an article reflecting public opinion, please read first! Shall continue with posting "Novanglus continues!!"
Posted 10 years ago on Nov. 11, 2011, 4:50 p.m. EST by Novanglus
This content is user submitted and not an official statement
Taken from wnyc, a local radio station....
I know the rule is to have a leaderless movement-that is great if you want to obfuscate and confuse things for the press (they are masters at hyperfocusing in on a leader, isolating him/her from his movement, and ultimately killing the movement by ignoring the people involved and their message: look what happened to some in the Tea Party.) Being leaderless has worked so far. But right now looking at Google, there have been in the past 2 1/2 weeks some nasty stories surrounding OWS in several cities: there was a suicide in Vermont today, just for starters. There have been rumors of rape, theft, and drug dealing spreading all over the internet, a forum, while powerful, that is easily able to sway the minds of millions in a very short time. Inviting the homeless in, while a kind gesture, might not have been the smartest public relations move if they are simply taking advantage and have no real commitment to the cause. (Others may also be mentally unstable and thus a hazard to public image AND the safety of all involved.)
I think it might be time to consider some changes in tactics, for example, reorganize the way things are run a tiny bit, just a simple tiny tweak. Currently, we have a Congress full of elected officials that work on committees that do nothing for the public good and often couldn't find consensus if the word stared at them from the morning newspaper while they each sat on the toilet. I think it would be an excellent slap in the face of Congress to formally elect members to committees and have these committee members form a representative body at the General Assembly where ideas can be debated on the "floor" and where there is an overseeing committee or organization of sorts that acts in a leaderlike capacity, something along the lines of the organizers acting like the Vice President is supposed to do as President of the Senate.
I know this shall not be popular, but it shall do some good things that are going to be needed, and soon, because although it is a good principle to have everybody be a speaker, it is getting difficult to carry it off in a group and movement that has gotten so large. Resolutions will come through faster in a mini representative government rather than everyone shouting at once or taking hours at the General Assembly to get every last person heard. I know everyone is tired of not being heard by government, and is reluctant to give any quarter to any kind of representative democracy AT ALL, but there are differences for the OWS version i1) elections remain direct and 2) originally the US Congress was supposed to read proposals for bills and laws sent directly from CITIZENS. If anyone can send proposed resolutions to a committee member to be presented and voted upon at the Assembly, the principle of allowing everyone to be heard is not violated as everyone gets the chance to be heard (and yes, you can still speak at the Assembly itself if you have questions.) Being organized is not a crime. Even the unions who stand in solidarity with OWS have a similar system and they sure as heck aren't the worse for it.
Other than that, it is probably time to run offense on public perception. From what I can see, a lot of folks are rather enamored with their self perception as patriots, but remember, what others think of you, even your enemies, IS important. You don't have to agree with what they think of you, but if you want to win them over, they can't think poorly of you. You have to convince them you are worth their time or eventually they shall ignore you and your movement dies. Older people (including those in power) are going to have a difficult time listening to what a 21 year old pot fiend has to say with a joint hanging out of his mouth: it didn't work in the Vietnam era or during the early 90s with Gen X, and it gave people an excuse to not take seriously the pothead's thoughts on politics. A clean and sober young fella with few piercings and a bong in the trashcan, well, that is a step in the right direction. (This is not a criticism of pot itself, but more a tip on public relations, because there are people outside the protest who see us as a bunch of druggies.) OWS needs to be seen in a better light right now. It needs to add other things to its repertoire. It needs to make a public campaign where delegations to speak in churches and synagogues at Christmas, pointing out how poverty has increased in 10 years, income inequality reigns, and why it is so. (MLK did this constantly.) Just shouting in the streets should no longer be the chief tactic. It loses its punch after a while and people's attention spans are short. Some form of escalation is necessary as well because bluntly OWS is no longer on the front page of Google News and is fading in most major television networks. (I am stating fact, not criticizing.) Without any change it is going to get easier for the enemy to win-and this must be avoided at all costs.