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Forum Post: Occupy has leaders??? NY times article.

Posted 2 years ago on Sept. 20, 2012, 1:34 p.m. EST by hazencage (58)
This content is user submitted and not an official statement

According to multiple people who have been involved with planning and executing Occupy Wall Street protests the New York City Police Department targeted key organizers for arrests in advance of Monday’s Occupy anniversary demonstrations. These arrests may have prevented the movement from, for the first time, presenting a focused, single message at the center of the protests.

Though Occupy Wall Street has long resisted identifying any leadership, there are core members of the movement who have been instrumental in guiding its path thus far. One man, who Politicker has witnessed organizing several major Occupy Wall Street actions and coordinating with other political figures, said he was arrested over the weekend and prevented from participating in the Occupy birthday bash. The Occupy Wall Street organizer, who requested his name be withheld due to his legal situation, said his arrest prevented him from executing plans to focus Monday’s demonstrations on campaign finance reform.

“I had thousands of signs printed with messaging on them…having to do with voter rights suppression and money out of politics,” he told Politicker.

The organizer we spoke with said they decided to try and focus Monday’s demonstrations on campaign finance reform, because it connects to many of the disparate concerns raised by occupiers throughout the past year.

“It is the issue everything relates to; the housing crisis, tax and income inequality, prison industrial complex, name an issue,” he said. “As long as our electeds are taking corporate and private money, special interest money, it’s going to be hard to get anything done in this country. Simply, we need to get money out of politics and stop suppressing people’s right to vote, stop rigging the electoral process.”

He also said he believed the Occupy Wall Street had become overly concentrated on physically taking over Zuccotti Park, which was the home of the movement’s original protest encampment.

“This was never about occupying the park, it was about the issues and when people become a little more concerned about what plot of space they were going to get in the park and where their tents were going to go, I think a lot of people lost interest,” said the organizer.

However, the Occupy organizer told us, if they had not been arrested, they believe Monday’s protests would have been a chance for the movement to present a cohesive call for campaign finance reform.

“A large group of us were already coalesced and there were other groups that were going to participate in it with us. That message would have been visible,” he said. “The visibility would have been overwhelming. You have 1,000 people holding up signs about voter suppression and money out of politics, people tend to notice and that’s the narrative on the six o’clock news–all these people are down there and they have messaging. … Having those signs and having a large unified group of people holding them up would have said that this is an issue that were really concerned about and a lot of us are pushing this. It says that we’re not just people occupying a park.”

Along with his own arrest, the organizer also identified the arrests of several protesters with the activist group Code Pink as an effort to hurt the movement’s leadership ahead of Monday’s demonstrations. Jodie Evans, co-founder and co-director of Code Pink, told us at least five members of the group were arrested in conjunction with the Occupy Wall Street anniversary protests.

“They were swooping in and taking anyone who looked like they were leading an action,” Ms. Evans said of the police.

According to the Occupy Wall Street organizer, though Code Pink is its own group, their work has been essential to the Occupy protests and they were involved in crucial planning for the anniversary events.

“There are many different groups and people that are part of this movement to bring about systemic change and I think Code Pink is definitely a vital piece of that,” he said.

Ms. Evans told us that campaign finance reform was a main focus of Code Pink’s involvement with Occupy Wall Street.

“Money out of politics is definitely one of our issues,” said Ms. Evans.

Though they were unable to participate in Monday’s protest, the Occupy Wall Street organizer we spoke with vowed to coordinate future actions that will be focused on campaign finance reform.

“I want people to be able to understand this issue, and I want to simplify the message and I want it to be something that isn’t second fiddle to everything else,” he said. “I don’t know how to say this, but I’m overwhelmed and extremely reluctant to be a leader. I never wanted it. I never said I was one. There are no rules in this movement, things just happen.”

39 Comments

39 Comments


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

Be assured brothers & sisters, we expect arrest, we don't become a cluster fuck if we lose one person, we didn't this past weekend, and we never will. They can't arrest us away, for anyone here who took part in the protests, who was in Zuccotti Park, Foley Square, etc., you should know exactly what I'm talking about. It was beautiful.

Don't listen to the media (they'll only report an event or incident if it resulted in a cracked skull or something like that).

Look to our livestreams, OWS media, etc.

Solidarity always !

[Removed]

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

It's too bad that Occupiers are so opposed to the concept of leadership because this guy has some very positive and productive ideas:

The organizer we spoke with said they decided to try and focus Monday’s demonstrations on campaign finance reform, because it connects to many of the disparate concerns raised by occupiers throughout the past year.

“It is the issue everything relates to; the housing crisis, tax and income inequality, prison industrial complex, name an issue,” he said. “As long as our electeds are taking corporate and private money, special interest money, it’s going to be hard to get anything done in this country. Simply, we need to get money out of politics and stop suppressing people’s right to vote, stop rigging the electoral process.”

http://occupywallst.org/forum/common-ground-one-way-forward-there-should-be-no-c/

[-] 1 points by bensdad (8977) 2 years ago

Occupy is leaderless - organized horizontally -
sort of like a corpse


MLK was not a leader - he was a failure
Lincoln was not a leader - he was a failure
Ghandi was not a leader - he was a failure


Ladies & gentlemen - WAKE UP !

[-] 1 points by GNAT (150) 2 years ago

No source link or mention of what the charges were.

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

the government money is politics

Campaign funding miniscule compared to government budget

it ain't the financing that's just cake

it's the system

[-] -1 points by hazencage (58) 2 years ago

wow you sound very educated (sarcasm)

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

Master in Science in physics worked in military research for two years

Terra-policy of truth

[-] 0 points by DKAtoday (22339) from Coon Rapids, MN 2 years ago

I wager that there are many leaders that take part in occupy movements - the people who form affinity/action groups. But the Official Organization does not have an Official leader - that has got to be a difficult position ( state of being ) to maintain - and I applaud the effort to remain so.

OWS and all of the Occupy movements provide awareness of the ills of society and the world that the people of the world face - then they ( organizations ) give them ( the people ) a place to come together and unite and plan actions to confront these ills - and they ( organizations ) encourage the people to find and enact resolutions to issues.

Fostering of Direct Democracy - the people learn and grow as they move along the path.

[-] 1 points by hazencage (58) 2 years ago

so basically its just a public square?

[-] 2 points by DKAtoday (22339) from Coon Rapids, MN 2 years ago

A meeting hall or whatever that includes public announcements/education/reports on the real world.

[-] -1 points by SirJohnKnowsALot (-5) 2 years ago

Announcements, education, and reports is only a fraction of OWS. OWS also protests and also creates grassroots activism with direct interventions like helping feed the poor and helping people reclaim their homes.

In other parts of the world like in Rome, property destruction is also used in protesting to create more tensions. This is similar to the may 68 protests in France, Gandhi's protests in India, and Nelson Mandela's protesting before being jailed. For some reason, even though this was popular in Chicago before (see Days of Rage), it never came across well with Occupy in America (it was tried in Oakland).

[-] 1 points by DKAtoday (22339) from Coon Rapids, MN 2 years ago

That would be what the people who are involved with OWS and all Occupy movements do - yes - like the people of Occupy Homes of Minnesota and other related groups in other states - OWS and Occupy did not start those groups - people did - the people who took a look at their area and saw the need and usefulness - and they have gathered together under the Banner of Occupy - But there is no central governing heirarchy of OWS or Occupy that gives them orders - their actions are their own to take and OWS/Occupy provides a place to gather to discuss and plan make announcements etc.

[-] 1 points by DKAtoday (22339) from Coon Rapids, MN 2 years ago

What timing here is an example of another group sending out a call to action that the people can choose to get involved with and support - or not - as the people so decide - and my opportunity to share this communication with everyone here on this site to do with what they will:

From the Other 98% - Everyone in America has been asking for 5 years now: “When are the Wall Street bankers responsible for crashing the global economy going to be prosecuted?” Now, unbelievably, the statute of limitations on bank fraud is about to run out - and there's still been zero indictments.

ENOUGH. Tell Attorney General Eric Schneiderman it's time to indict Wall Street for major fraud - or tell the world why not.

Eric Schneiderman, the Attorney General of New York, said when he was appointed in January that we wouldn't have to wait six months to start seeing results on prosecuting Big Bank crime. It's now eight months later, and there has barely been a peep from Schneiderman or his Financial Crisis Task Force, even as the statues of limitations are starting to fly by.

No fig leafs, no tokens - a real investigation of the biggest banks, or nothing at all. Sign our letter if no banker is Too Big To Jail.

AG Schneiderman has done superlative, excellent work in the past on keeping megabanks from being above the law, and made all the right enemies in the process - and we've been delighted to praise and defend that excellent work. But that's not a free pass to let the bad guys go free. It's simply not right to let the worst global banking fraud in modern memory go unprosecuted while the rest of us pay for the crash in bailouts and get kicked out of our homes.

He's one of the few public figures who's talked the talk. Let's walk the walk, and prosecute the big banks NOW.

Thanks for all you do to make this movement real.

Sincerely,

John Sellers, The Other 98%

[-] -1 points by SirJohnKnowsALot (-5) 2 years ago

This is exactly why Occupy is dying a slow death. It spread it's wings too far because so many people want to create affinity groups using the Occupy name.

Incidentally, do you know what the first occupation was?

[-] 1 points by hazencage (58) 2 years ago

i have an idea, but i think the idea of occupying public spaces started to emerge in the early 2000's.

[-] 1 points by SirJohnKnowsALot (-5) 2 years ago

Occupying public spaces is much older than that. Please read about the history of anarchy.

The first occupation for Occupy was not NYC, but was in Daratan, Malaysia. They were the first to follow the call of AdBusters. Sadly, that occupation no longer exists.

[-] 1 points by hazencage (58) 2 years ago

Follow the call of adbusters....

[-] 0 points by DKAtoday (22339) from Coon Rapids, MN 2 years ago

U R another mortician? So Sorry To Disappoint U then! OWS/Occupy movements are only a year old and are doing just fine and are healthy and are growing.

[-] 0 points by SirJohnKnowsALot (-5) 2 years ago

I'm not a mortician. I wish you were right and I wish they were growing. Unfortunately, this is not the case. Have you been to an occupation or an Occupy protest? I have been to five different ones in three countries and all of them are much smaller than before and their numbers are still falling.

I'd love to know which occupation is growing? Do you know?

[-] -1 points by DKAtoday (22339) from Coon Rapids, MN 2 years ago

So sorry to cut this conversation short trashy - but I have some personal business to attend to. So feel free to play with your selves while I am gone.

Wonder how long this sock of yours will remain before you are booted again.

[-] 0 points by SirJohnKnowsALot (-5) 2 years ago

I guess you don't know of an occupation that is growing? Sadly, I don't either. Honestly, I wish I could say otherwise.

This sock puppet will remain for a few more minutes. Then I have to go to an Occupy event, and when I come back I will change users again. How are VQkag2 and your sock puppets doing? Have you been manipulating votes again? I see you're approaching a score of 20,000 points. Bravo!

[-] -1 points by SirJohnKnowsALot (-5) 2 years ago

Occupy has always had leaders. I'm surprised people actually think they don't, especially those who come to this site.

This site is controlled by jart, zoe, and a few unnamed moderators and news writers. It's not a community project at all.

As for ground occupations, those who structured the movement at the beginning, lead the general assemblies and prepare the protests are the leaders. The structure of the movement has barely changed from the start and it impacts the protest a great deal. The agendas presented at general assemblies are designed by the leaders. People can come and agree or block propositions raised, but this is peanuts compared to the main structure of the protest. It's also worth noting that many decisions are made outside of general assemblies.

The idea of not naming leaders was/is to avoid what happened at the anniversary; so that leaders are not caught and arrested. It's a Marxist strategy.

If anyone here thinks there is no hierarchy in Occupy, I would tell them to first take a look at this site. Are all users here the same? Of course not, jart, zoe, the news writers, and the moderators have much more power than regular users. And, even if one wanted to devote his time and become a writer or a moderator, one would need the OK from jart. It's not something that gets decided in a general assembly. The same principle applies to all the other groups of Occupy.

[-] 0 points by hazencage (58) 2 years ago

//The idea of not naming leaders was/is to avoid what happened at the anniversary; so that leaders are not caught and arrested. It's a Marxist strategy.//

I wouldn't be scared of being arrested, and wouldn't hide behind a fake name. If you think a social cause is that important then I really doubt you are going to hide behind a fake name.

[-] 0 points by SirJohnKnowsALot (-5) 2 years ago

I don't think they were scared, and they didn't hide behind a fake name. They just decided to call it leaderless so there names didn't have to be mentioned. They just knew that if they got arrested the protest would have taken a very big blow. Did you read the article, this is what the organizer is saying. He got arrested, so he wasn't able to bring the protest where he and the other organizers were planning to.

[-] 0 points by hazencage (58) 2 years ago

It would make communication a lot easier if people not involved or whom have been absent for awhile knew about these people.

[-] 1 points by SirJohnKnowsALot (-5) 2 years ago

We don't even know who the moderators on this site are. That's how messed up this "open community" is. In all honesty, this is the first forum I have used where moderators do not post, but hide in the shadows banning people and comments. It's surreal. I mean, who would waste time moderating a forum if they don't use it themselves? The same problem with the news articles here, we have no idea who writes them. These are just two simple examples, the problem persists on all levels of Occupy. It's a Marxist strategy.

[-] 0 points by DKAtoday (22339) from Coon Rapids, MN 2 years ago

That is funny - your perception of this site I mean - as well as your perception of all of the other groups - For this being jarts site - she certainly does not lord it over everyone who comes here - NO - in fact she allows the individuals that come here an awful lot of freedom/autonomy - hell she even allows creeps like you to come here and dis her. Yeah what an evil controlling person she must be ( NOT ). Go away trashymask - U R not happy with this site and how it is operated ( as you so often state ) - then go and start your own site where I am sure you will be just lovely and impartial.

U say U are concerned about OWS and all Occupy movements - I am sure this is true though not as you are worried that OWS and all Occupy groups will not have success - NO - I think you are concerned that OWS and all of the other Occupy groups are being too successful and are growing and are not gonna be controlled by the establishment - That Is What I Think You Are Concerned/Afraid of.

[-] 0 points by SirJohnKnowsALot (-5) 2 years ago

hell she even allows creeps like you to come here and dis her.

She doesn't. She simply has no choice. If you read the Occupy autonomy paper, you'll see that dissent is supposed to be welcome in OWS. Criticizing is important. It's healthy. It's sad you don't see this. You treat Occupy as if it were a cult and you refuse to bring any problems to attention. This is also a major factor in Occupy's demise.

I think you are concerned that OWS and all of the other Occupy groups are being too successful and are growing and are not gonna be controlled by the establishment

That's because you have no idea why I am here. I care about Occupy, that's why I criticize it! I also participate in many events on the ground. If I didn't care about Occupy I wouldn't bother coming to this site.

I'm sorry to burst your bubble, but if you think Occupy is being too successful and is growing then you're living an illusion. Unfortunately, Occupy is shrinking. Again, if you can name one occupation that is growing, or one city in which occupy is growing, I would really love to hear it. Honestly.

Go away trashymask - U R not happy with this site and how it is operated ( as you so often state ) - then go and start your own site where I am sure you will be just lovely and impartial.

This site was programmed by jart, but it is not her site. It is paid by OWS donations, as such, it is the site of all occupiers. I'll be glad to start another site if OWS donations are provided to me. However, I don't think we should have two sites that function as the hub for Occupy. I think we should have one good site controlled by the community as a whole.

[-] -1 points by jrhirsch (4714) from Sun City, CA 2 years ago

Letting the same person start another site who has been the main disruptor of this site would be worse than the present forum. No thanks.

[-] 0 points by SirJohnKnowsALot (-5) 2 years ago

I agree. The best solution would be to have a community site. It would be cool to have a place where the moderators are known and participate, and where they change once in awhile. It would also be cool to be advised as to why certain comments and users are banned, and why certain people who break the rules are not.

For example, you think I'm the main disruptor, but I think that honor should go to VQkag2. He uses sock puppets to manipulate votes, was caught, but he's still free to use the site under the same username. I don't manipulate anything, I just post opinions backed by arguments. I only use sock puppets because I must (I get banned).

[-] 2 points by jrhirsch (4714) from Sun City, CA 2 years ago

Commandeering others usernames, using multiple names in the same post, mixing truth with deception, it's all manipulation. Much like a terrorist using words instead of explosives. You have no right to be here.

It's really a shame though. You're probably the most intelligent person here, but when your moral sense becomes twisted, that intellect tears down instead of builds up.

[-] 0 points by SirJohnKnowsALot (-5) 2 years ago

I wouldn't change usernames if I didn't have to. But, like Occupy says - "You cannot evict an idea." You can evict a username, but not the user. It's called civil disobedience.

[-] 1 points by jrhirsch (4714) from Sun City, CA 2 years ago

Civil disobedience is used to overturn injustice, not to create chaos on the road that leads to justice..

[-] 0 points by jrhirsch (4714) from Sun City, CA 2 years ago

There is no direct democracy here. These so called leaderless leaders are hypocrites.

[-] 0 points by SirJohnKnowsALot (-5) 2 years ago

I stopped believing in Occupy's version of direct democracy after watching this video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3QZlp3eGMNI&feature=player_embedded#!

This is the video in which Senator John Lewis is turned away from the general assembly.

The decision to let him speak was made a priori as it was part of the agenda. That's why the Senator is there in the first place. The main speaker then checks if everyone wants to hear him speak, and after some blocks and some people who want to hear him, the decision is made to refuse his speech. There's a man who then screams "This is democracy!", and the main speaker gets all excited and remarks on the process of consensus with a scream.

The problem is that this is not democracy. The idea that a consensus to hear him speak could not be reached so he shouldn't speak is not a neutral position. It's important to note that a consensus to refuse him to speak was also not reached. In fact, there were people who wanted to hear him, and people who didn't want. Had the speaker reversed his strategy, he could have asked for a consensus on NOT hearing him speak, and when that would have failed to materialized, he could have stated that democracy was made and we must hear him speak since not everyone wants him out. Basically, the leader decides what the outcome will be.

If this would have been truly democratic, the main speaker would have tossed a coin, or counted votes to decide if Lewis should speak or not.

[-] 2 points by jrhirsch (4714) from Sun City, CA 2 years ago

The occupiers seemed to vote both for and against Lewis speaking at the same time. The mic check is a valid way of amplifying a speakers voice when amplification is banned, but this type of mic check was used to lead the sheep in any direction the speaker desires.

Speaking the words of opposing opinions by the mike checkers has got to confuse them when they vote.

[-] 1 points by SirJohnKnowsALot (-5) 2 years ago

Yes. I also don't like the repeated voices and hand gestures. It just reminds me of cult-like behavior too much. I feel like I'm watching some televangelist. But yeah, my impression was that this did not seem like proper direct democracy. It really looks like the leader is leading the people to what he wants. In the end, his decision to not let Lewis speak was quite arbitrary and some wanted and some didn't.

This aspect of Occupy scares me a bit, and I also don't like that the protest refuses all forms of criticism. You'll see this quickly when someone like DKAtoday or shadz66 jumps all over this comments and tries to say that I want to harm Occupy. I don't. I wish it could improve itself, but, without allowing dissent or criticism, this is sadly impossible.

[-] -1 points by hazencage (58) 2 years ago

The only people who oppose the idea of having leaders(aka responsibility) is ad busters and anon. Lol Occupy is being run by a bunch of corporate hacks.