Forum Post: Occupy Wall St. is not a leaderless movement.
Posted 11 years ago on Oct. 28, 2011, 5:58 p.m. EST by rusjay
from New York, NY
This content is user submitted and not an official statement
Occupy Wall St. is not a leaderless movement.
Published by Rusjay on October 27th, 2011 - in News www.ConjureAIR.com
Occupy Wall St is a revolution full of leaders.
OWS chooses not to appoint a “Head Leader” or “President” because everyone who has participated understands that everyone is a leader.
I am one of the many leaders. Every participant is a leader!
The term “Leaderless Resistance” is being used against the 99% to try and give a general notion to the general public that the occupiers are an unorganized group who lacks foundation. Thos who has attended an OWS General Assembly knows that this notion is false.
People who choose to use their voice are leaders. The General Assembly respects and hears any individual’s voice. Equality and freedom of speech is the basis of the Democracy that rules every General Assembly. This type of Democracy is the reason why OWS general Assembly is incorruptible which makes it a formidable force. Each individual is encouraged to speak any concerns, questions and friendly amendments. The General Assembly addresses any false information and corrects them in front of everyone.
We should change the general information in the OWS webpage to reflect this idea.
The “leaderless” verbiage is paraded by the media and the oppressors to force the hands of all OWS into appointing a single “leader” to try and make it political. WE MUST NOT COMPLY!
If OWS ever appoints a single “leader” or “president”, that individual will be targeted to bring down the whole movement.
The oppressor will deploy the common tactics of name smearing, dirt digging, corruption and lies to try and take down the “leader” and everyone else that is part of the resistance.
We must all understand that once a single “leader” is appointed to be the voice of the whole movement, everyone becomes a follower. This will create a division between the people and the different groups all across the world. This will create inequalities between everyone who participates and that my friends will be the beginning of the end.
DO NOT COMPLY! We do not need a single leader, we are all leaders!
Article Link: http://conjureair.com/?p=469
If you think "leadership" is a privilege, you're doing it wrong.
If you think "leadership" is about "being the voice of the whole movement," you're doing it wrong.
If you think "leadership" is invested in some individual, such that "THEY" can target the one person and "bring down the whole movement," you're doing it wrong.
If you're worried about "divisions," you're doing it wrong.
If you think your GA is "organized," you're doing it wrong.
If you think "we are all leaders" is a logically coherent statement, you're doing it wrong.
Tired of this kid stuff.
so you'd rather be a grown up with business as usual?
Are those really the only options you can think of? Kid games or business as usual? I encourage you to think harder; take the shackles off of your imagination!
Make some suggestion with your criticisms.
On the one hand, you're right. We should be making suggestions.
On the other hand: to who? Where? At GA? Where you have to hand-convince a thousand kids of wildly varying cognitive abilities (see below, rusjay's comment: "think harder? Don't need to!" Really, guys?) that this isn't working for a lot of people - a task that would take weeks - even before you can get around to making suggestions? Here? This place is a cesspool, and the kids at the park don't even read this shit. At the NYCGA site? Ok, maybe. There are only like a hundred people there, but maybe they're the only ones willing to pay attention.
Have you asked around at the park? Most of them think everything's going perfectly - they have no idea how disconnected they've made themselves from the larger world, from people who aren't at the park. And they have no incentive to improve, either. They think a couple hundred people at a handful of cities is good enough.
This is the scope of the world, now. That's my point. This is the scope as far as they can see it, and it feels pretty close to the GA system's maximum capacity. I can't say for sure; I'm not a systems analyst. But it amazes (i.e. frustrates) me how Occupy was able to gather so much momentum in its opening weeks - and be completely, utterly incapable of taking advantage of it.
I understand your frustration. I am not able to attend much and must help from home. I see a lot of untapped resources (supportive people) online and would like to see more synergy between the two. I will figure out how to help that happen or join in if I'm beat to the punch.
I do not share the opinion that OWS should be tasked with thinking up the solutions to issues. They are not legislators. They are protesters. What they are doing well is shifting the national conversation toward the issues that matter. At least they matter to me.
You do not need their consensus to offer support or outreach. Nor to help clarify the understanding of the issues. Help build this in whatever way you are able.
I have to disagree on two major points.
First, Occupy must lead the conversation on what's wrong - and that leads the conversation on how to fix it. It is philosophically untenable to say, "something sucks, not sure what!" And then on a practical level, the very people they would task with fixing it are the ones who - due to enormous conflict of interest - can not be trusted to enact a fix in good faith. This is a systemic problem with our government in its current state. There is an inherent conflict of interest between the existing power structure and the protesters.
Second, I have no problem with your proposed solution of "help however you can," and in fact only a few weeks ago I suggested the very same thing, almost verbatim. What I'm saying is that although that suggestion is still good, it is not enough by itself. The concept of "greater than the sum of its parts" is being sidelined, here. Two problems:
1) The important stuff can not be done by individuals. And there's no way within the GA system to organize and coordinate groups of people. In war, this is the difference between an elite squad with a specific mission vs. the Mongolian Horde tactic. GA is the latter, and will always be the latter.
2) Individuals cannot act without a solid understanding of the philosophical foundation of the protest, which very people seem to have. And that's not because people are stupid. It's because the GA and consensus structure actively works against a unifying foundation.
People have a wild-eyed (and frankly stupid) idea that "democracy" means "a system where everyone is happy." That approach will guarantee that nothing concrete is ever declared or accomplished, because there will always be someone unhappy with it. The proper understanding of "democracy" is "a system where no one's thrilled, but everyone can live with it." The GA structure will never accomplish this. It takes a small (accountable, transparent, and scope-limited) organizational body to craft a statement of philosophy that everyone in Occupy can live with. That would be an enormous first step in a larger mobilization - even just of the proactive individuals you and I want to encourage.
A simple Google search will provide the reasons we protest, but not many people go searching for information. They prefer to let it come to them. The MSM will never clarify the messages and can be expected to distort them. This is a huge obstacle for which I have no idea how to overcome. Possibly getting the message nationally broadcast during other events or during televised acts of civil disobedience.
I didn't mean to imply that our legislators should come up with the fixes. I would rather have honest (ethical) experts in their respective fields offering solutions.
Vas Littlecrow, as an individual, has done some very important stuff.
The protesters have shown a great ability to coordinate groups of people. Albeit mostly reactive, but effective. (see Occupy Oakland) Thankfully, in civil disobedience the horde usually gets the last word.
Unfortunately a small, accountable, transparent and scope-limited organizational body is just what the MSM would love to tear up. The GA will evolve, in time, and become quicker and better able to act.
PS - last note:
"A simple Google search will provide the reasons we protest, but not many people go searching for information. They prefer to let it come to them."
Does anyone else see the fundamental inconsistency of saying "we need to rally the 99%" and "we are going to expect most people to do things they prefer not to do, and we are specifically not going to do things that most people would prefer us to do?"
Not in list format because I'm trying to be combative. Only because I'm short on time. Forgive me.
1) Google search provides five thousand inconsistent, often mutually exclusive reasons why some people are protesting.
2) The way to overcome media distortion is clarity.
3) Honest and ethical experts are great for explaining how. Occupy should be explaining what.
4) Reactive and defensive ensures you are always playing defense.
5) "Great" is such a relative term. The organization for the march on the 15th was "great," in that we outsourced organization of the march to the police. I might have mentioned that already. The police lead the march, told it where to go and how to get there. Because the police were absolutely not shy about imposing authority, and the march had no opposing structure to reclaim authority over the march. "Great."
6) I am sick to death of hearing about how we are making all these decisions because we are mortally afraid of media distortion. Gosh, the big scary media is going to win! We have to do all these end-runs to avoid the big scary media - and no one seems to be paying any attention to the cost of these end-runs, or comparing them to what it would cost in just challenging the media. Get it? We're doing the MSM's job for them by distorting our own message(s) because we're so scared of MSM distorting our message!
Look, I'm not naive, and I've said plenty of times that I don't expect the media to give us a fair shake because we are challenging their parent companies. But that doesn't mean our best bet is pre-emptively tucking our tails between our legs.
don't need to..
have you participated in a general assembly?
Yes. Two in Zuccotti and one in Wash Sq. Park. That's enough for me. Are you wondering why you're always playing reactive defense, why you didn't have toilet permits, why you weren't prepared for the generators being seized, why you don't have a plan in place for supporting Occupy sites being raided? I'll tell you -
I'LL TELL YOU
WHY IT'S BECAUSE
NO ONE HAS ANY
AUTHORITY TO MAKE
ANY PRACTICAL DECISIONS
EVEN IF THEY HAVE NOTHING
TO DO WITH IDEOLOGY.
so you want to instal a president so someone can make a decision for everyone? been there.. done that..
I have attended one GA and a small number of group meetings. I dont think my small experience is enough to paint "the truth" - but I found the "process" and the "no leader" concept alien, stifling, illogical and inefficient beyond belief. One meeting was set up TO PICK A DATE for a predetermined action. IN FOUR AND ONE HALF HOURS - "process" could not set a date. Another meeting, set up to ammend our already "consensused" demand - started by throwing it out.
The heart of democracy is majority rule - not without hearing everyone. And a leader who can be fair and consistent and receptive to all.
Just because this method is new does not mean it will succeed.
The American revolution had many leaderS - we may have fucked it up, but Franklin, Washington, Adams, Jefferson brilliantly LED us to liberty. Lincoln LED us to one nation. Jobs LED this company to brilliance. King LED us to equality ( almost ). peripherally - many OWS people seem to be insulted when I bring up the idea that we need to act in ways to show we are in the real world. Leaderlessness - good or bad - makes OWS seem alien or wierd. No statement of purpose - makes OWS seem alien or wierd or immature.
Using words that the murdoch machine can easily use against us is not being fearful - it is being wise. Using tactics that have succeeded for our "enemys" - such as stressing VOTING to exert OWS power - like tp did - is smart. Sadly, many people deep in OWS seem to be "process fundamentalsts" first and revolutionaries second.
Wikipedia is the soul of OWS where all leaders are voluteers.
To those who say that this leaderless movements need specific demands.. They are Wrong!. The problem here is we don't want to demand from corrupt 1% who are controlling the evil. We want to fix the 1%, not pray to them asking them to fulfil our demands. We have clear demands but there is no one who can fullfil it hence protest to change the system is the only way to deal with this. For example can you demand that there shall be 'NO FED' tomorrow. Who in this world can fullfil this demand, no one including president can do this, we the people has the power through continued protest to accomplish what we want, to what extent needs to be seen.
Not having leader is good for this occupy mission. 1% Folks are waiting to see leader emerge from various occupy missions only so that they can target him or her and find ways to put them behind bars or get them in various other legal traps. Not having leader is good for occupy and bad for 1%.
However clear plan must emerge from those who are leading the ows so it can help guide rest of ows supporters. Show the 1% who care least about humanity that you will be brought to justice by this leaderless movement.
someone who sees it... kudos
The problem continue to be that there is no clear agenda for the movement. The cause is just, the battle is worthwhile and the participants are noble. But if you want Americans to engage in the debate, there needs to be an agenda - a list of of specific changes we want done. Examples: (1) Cap mortgage rates (2) Revise the Corporate Tax Structure (3) Criminal penalties for financial malfeasance, etc, etc.
The Civil rights movement was successful because ultimately, despite the grand nature of the cause, MLK was able to raise specific issues that Americans ultimately could see the sense of (riding in the front of a bus, no segregated schools, etc.). He would not have made the same progress if he simply occupied Selma.
Someone needs to articulate the manifesto - the specific things we want done - call it the Economic Bill of Rights - but it needs to be articulated or you will soon lose folks because they will not be able to get grasp of the concept of economic justice until such time is someone articulates what it is.
As always - in support: www.wordsofwhizdumb.blogspot.com
i agree.. but we can't just focus on wall st.. that would be an injustice for the cause.. we need to also make demands for everything that this cancer has touched... EVERYTHING.. :D
Exactly! we dont need a leader, every voice should be heard, and no one voice and no one way be better or louder than anothers.
The movement doesnt need a leader but it NEEDS some specific demands!
That makes no sense. You said that the term “Leaderless Resistance” is being used against the 99% to try and give a general notion to the general public that the occupiers are an unorganized group who lacks foundation."
But how can you be 99% if you aren't the general public. If you are most of the gebneral public (99%) of the general public then it couldn't be true
some of the 99% doesn't understand that they're part of the 99%...
I think the individual is using the term "general public" to refer to the people that are not actively involved in the movement and could easily be persuaded by the opinions of those who don't understand the value of having a "Leaderless Resistance" .
Maybe you don't need leaders, but you definitely need a clear message to the public.
Be careful of letting anyone lead or co-opt this movement as media, military and political tactics are to divide, separate and infiltrate movements. They cannot divide one cohesive movement based on moral and ethics, because the 1% has shown that they have none.
you mean hijack? it''s def a true and tried method..
Real leadership is the moment some person does something which is right actions ahead of the crowd. Fake leadership is some person in some ranked position of authority. they want us to have hierarchal organization because that would make us vulnerable. Anyone can lead- all they have to do is serve.
I have been active here since the very beginning, and since the very beginning I have been trying to make some core points. These points clearly have not been digested or fully understood by the mob, and so I'm going to try to make a further attempt here again.
For these reasons, I beg of you to please immediately join me on the wiki. We need to have all of these details and all of these ideas put together in an organized fashion, rather than posted in a long scrawl which will never be read.
I love this! It is dead on
i will read more on this..
If there is no leader, then what are the important issues? http://goo.gl/NuCTF
i agree with your logic to create a real movenment of friends requires only good people to do something. Edmund Burke's rebuke to society "for evil to prosper good people must simply do nothing".The time for doing nothing has passed.My family and I are with you in spirit.Regards Liam Sheehy Tipperary,Ireland.
Thank you. Blessing to you and your family
No, thank you, my prayers and thoughts are with you and all of your friends in OWS
rusjay, I cannot tell there is any kind of leadership if you do not answer questions. I've asked here.---
wow.. i did not know that.. maybe they are trying to stay away from political figures? but wow... that's something that should be addressed
rusjay wrote: I am one of the many leaders.END---
Please explain why there is no interest in gaining legal authority to meet any demand made.
So if the GA has a flood of Anarchists on some evening then Occupy will vote to perform their agenda?!?
Should special interests just start flooding the GAs?
they can try.. HAHAHA..
there is this thing called a "BLOCK" meaning if one person does not agree due to moral or ethical concerns... anything proposed can be BLOCKED.. can you do that anywhere else?
can you imagine that? a single person is allow.. is able and is empowered to that degree...
So the special interests can filibuster the GA indefinitely? Wow you're right, that really is innovative........ FACEPALM
you mean a special interest will argue based on common sense... not based on special interest?!? if they can then yes they will have the ability to filibust... but that wouldn't make them a sspecial interest then right?
I wonder if an Anarchist's common-sense is the same as ours?
Union leaders are our leaders. They dictate us. We picked up Walmart and Verizon because they told us. We cannot even talk about having big demonstration in DC.
TV can over throw any leader.. :P
maybe the leadership is just savvy enough to use this idea of amorphic power to advance their own ideological agenda. who is reporting all of these donations. $500kcan easily be alleged to be unearned income.
maybe.. ever been to a general assembly? do you know the process that needs to happen before you can withdraw 1$ out of that $500k?
i've been to many. most of them, unfortunately, seemed to be hour long squabbles over drumming. one shouldn't have to go to a ga for the manner in which the books are kept to be transparent. it can easily be assumed (even if its incorrect) that there are people who are living off of said donations in a manner much akin to being employed.
This obsession with "leaders" reflects an OUTMODED way of thinking. The Neanderthals probably chose as "MR. LEADER" the guy with the biggest shlong... :)
I imagine our own menagerie of Neolithic TROLLS reason much in the same way...
we need negotiators instead of generals..
Explain how your "not outmoded" way of thinking is going to accomplish anything. The OWS is becoming irrelevant by its very "not outmoded" way of thinking that doesn't require leaders or even positions. It has become a childish wail that things are not as they wish they would be yet they cannot articulate how they want things to be.
From what I see EVEN IN THE MSM, OWS is doing EXTREMELY well indeed and is winning the hearts and minds of the American people. Why fix OWS if it ain't broke???
Doing very well at "what" exactly?