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Forum Post: OWS is becoming increasingly unpopular. Here’s how to fix it: (Hint: We need a smart leader who understands PR.)

Posted 11 years ago on Nov. 16, 2011, 10:47 p.m. EST by Chris3141 (34)
This content is user submitted and not an official statement

A new national survey from Public Policy Polling has found that public support for OWS has declined over the past month. A record 45% of Americans now oppose us, compared to only 33% who support us. http://tpmdc.talkingpointsmemo.com/2011/11/poll-public-opinion-turning-against-occupy-wall-street.php?ref=fpblg_beta

What makes this poll so interesting is that the broader goals of OWS -- reducing corporate power in Washington, reigning in Wall Street, and raising taxes on the wealthy -- are supported by a vast majority of Americans. Despite all of this latent support, most Americans do not support the main organization that is dedicated to fixing these problems, and they aren't getting involved in any activism. Why is this happening?

We are losing support because a committed group of protestors are stubbornly insisting on a leaderless movement. Yes, yes, I know that there are some advantages to a leaderless movement. And yes, I know that OWS has already had some success in raising awareness. The leaderless movement worked well at the beginning, and drew attention to the cause.

But it came with huge costs that are starting to loom large. By insisting on a leaderless structure, we are now left with a large component of anarchists and communists who are scaring away Middle America. These fringe elements are entitled to their opinions, but they shouldn’t be the face of OWS. And frankly, I wish they would form their own separate movement, because they are holding the rest of us back. I’m sorry if I’m making anybody feel ‘excluded’, but I would gladly lose one anarchist if we could gain 100 soccer moms. And believe me, we need the soccer moms if we are going to accomplish anything ambitious.

We could be so much more effective if we rallied around a charismatic leader who could articulate a clear and simple message. And I mean simple, not some laundry list.

I would strongly suggest that we align (or merge) with an organization like www.unitedrepublic.org. It might be difficult for us to admit this, but they have the leadership, organizational skills, and public relations talent that we lack. I am not affiliated with them, but I support their concrete efforts to limit the influence that wealthy special interests have on Congress. I also think that one of their organizers -- Lawrence Lessig -- is a strong candidate to lead a coalition between OWS and United Republic. Ultimately, the goal is a constitutional amendment to allow optional public financing for campaigns, thus addressing the root cause of most of the OWS grievances. This is an ambitious goal that will require strong support from the majority of Americans. That support is already there, but it is hidden. It will come out when we stop scaring everyone away.


P.S. If you like the ideas in this post, email/tweet it to your friends, potential leaders, or other organizations. Don't be shy!



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[-] 10 points by LAPharmaDude (14) from Los Angeles, CA 11 years ago

I gotta say. I'm not a hardcore OWS supporter, but it is the wacky demands that are pushing people like me away. To me the broader goals, such as stopping corruption, etc are good ideas. Its the anarchists and junk that are holding it back.

Also pushing personal responsibility, such as telling people to get educated on personal finance, or telling people to go to school and learn a useful skill (such as programming or something) would do a lot. Because as it is people tend to see OWS as a bunch of hippie freeloaders who want a free ride.

So yeah, getting a leader and pushing out the extremist anarchist/freeloaders would do you guys a lot of good.

Good luck

[-] 4 points by gale (14) 11 years ago

Jep. OWS have to look a little bit more serious. That means eliminating all messages that have no strong support, articulating key ones that have. Without it, we look at some wacky happening as you notice.

[-] 1 points by ChristopherABrownART5 (46) from Santa Barbara, CA 11 years ago

All messages that are demands that do not invoke authority to meet demands need to be set aside for later consideration. There is only one way to gain the needed authority. Article 5 of the US consitution.

Lessig power point on article V http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4gpbfY-atMk

Lots of facts here about Article V. http://algoxy.com/poly/article_v_convention.html

Article V conference, Mark Meckler Lawrence Lessig at harvard 9/25/11-video comments http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T-7ikbvu0Y85

[-] 1 points by gale (14) 11 years ago

Btw, networked organizations work the best in a fishnet way of hierarchy as I can notice. No strong leaders, only actual attractors who enable easy grouping.

[-] 3 points by RedJazz43 (2757) 11 years ago

What wacky demands? To my knowledge OWS hasn't made any demands, wacky or otherwise. In fact, one of the main criticisms of OWS that I have seen has been that it hasn't made any demands and some people have even pointed to the fact that it hasn't made any demands as evidence of its wackiness.

If you want a leader, look in a mirror.

[-] 1 points by Chris3141 (34) 11 years ago

I know that there are no official OWS demands. As a result, a laundry list of hundreds of unofficial demands are made, and get associated with the movement. Some of these demands are reasonable, but many of them are downright wacky, and give us a bad name. Canceling all debts, confiscating all wealth above 1M, etc., etc. That's wacky.

Only a leader can consolidate the demands into a short, concrete list of 2-3 non-wacky demands.

[-] 2 points by RedJazz43 (2757) 11 years ago

The movement is committed to a few things: democracy (whatever that means), nonviolence, leaderlessness, revolution.

By it's nature you can't will a leader into existence, though I prefer to think of OWS as "leaderful" rather than leaderless. If you want a leader look in a mirror.

Personally, I'm against any demands as to me demands puts somebody else in charge of our happiness. The real issue for us is to organize, organize, organize. We are barely at the beginning of the beginning. We are not even in our infancy. We are still in the womb. Once we have a movement in the streets of 30 or 40 million then we will perhaps be at the end of the beginning. Then we will still not make demands because at that point we will be in a position to begin reorganizing society democratically from below. The OWS position for world revolution is either genuine, or it is hyperbole. If it is hyperbole then it is the obligation of those who think it is hyperbole to remove it from the OWS website because it is untrue and doen't reflect what OWS really stands for. If, on the other hand, it is genuine, then demands are irrelevant. We have much bigger fish to fry.

[-] 2 points by Chris3141 (34) 11 years ago

Thank you for the support.

[-] 1 points by fucorporatemedia (451) 10 years ago

Who is pushing the idea that OWS is "extremist anarchist/freeloaders"

The Corporate Media.

Will they stop lying on their own? Of course not.

We have to surround the TV stations and demand they tell the truth about our demands.

These are our public airwaves...we must take them back. Stop the liars from using our public airwaves for personal gain.

"America lets radio and TV broadcasters use public airwaves worth more than half a trillion dollars for free. In return, we require that broadcasters serve the public interest: devoting at least some airtime for worthy programs that inform voters, support local arts and culture and educate our children — in other words, that aspire to something beyond just minimizing costs and maximizing revenue.

Using the public airwaves is a privilege — a lucrative one — not a right"

and no more bullshit 'just shut off your TV'

I did shut off my TV. THAT is not the point.

OWS is becoming increasingly unpopular because of the corporate media lies. They are lying to millions of Americans every day, the same people that don't understand any of what has been going on because of the corporate media. They are already controlling the net, we cannot just rely on it and allow them to control our public airwaves and fill it with 1% corporate propaganda.

A Democracy cannot survive without a free press, and the 1% know that. Why doesn't OWS get it?

[-] 1 points by UPonLocal (309) 11 years ago

It is the Kalle Lasn Progrom your up against...intentional farcical Direct Democracy...a co-opt and confusion campaign from the start...If you really want to win, you create a voting system, raise up the nation in debate and solution development...and a new set of candidates...once you have 51% registered voters.....you become the law of the land...what is happening here will only bring down martial law in time....

[-] 1 points by USCitizenVoter (720) 11 years ago

The US Congress achieved something last week. In the face of an attempt to make school lunches healthier, politicians fought against a plan to limit the serving of fast food. Instead, the red tomato sauce used to make pizzas will remain officially classified as a "vegetable", so that they can still be served to the nation's schoolchildren. The move followed intense – and successful – lobbying by the frozen food industry.

[-] 2 points by Chris3141 (34) 11 years ago

Thanks. Yes, this is another example of why campaign finance is the core issue. Lawrence Lessig has written more convincingly about this than anyone else I know.

[-] 1 points by USCitizenVoter (720) 11 years ago

Just crazy that the lobbyies could get the tomato which is a Friut reclassified as a vegetable to sell their frozen pizzas. Bottom line millions of $$$$ of profit for their industry.


[-] 4 points by KnaveDave (357) 11 years ago

I think there are two major reasons the movement is losing popularity. One is due to its detractors and the ridicule they are piling up. The other is due to the movement starting to take some major wrong steps.

First, I'll go to the detractors: (First you have a movement. If it gains steam, you have a counter-movement. Some of the counter-movement sticks.):

The movement is a “growing mob” (House majority leader Eric Cantor) or “shiftless protestors” (The Tea Party Express) or “pure, genuine parasites,” “bored trust-fund kids” (Rush Limbaugh) or is engaged in “class warfare.” “This is a coordinated movement on the part of unions and Obama supporters to distract the American people from the real problem.” (GOP presidential candidate Herman Cain) or the movement is made up of… people who need to “take a shower and get a job.” “There really isn’t a uniform theme here. They don’t know what they want.” (Bill O’Reilly) or “If you put every left wing cause in a blender and hit power, this is the sludge you’d get. It’s basically anti-capitalism, and they want to redistribute the wealth.” (Jesse Watters, FOXnation) “700 left-wing, radical hippie protestors.” “The people [in the movement] take a crap on cop cars and have sex in public.” “It’s a pig pen out there.” ”They’re trust-fund babies.” ”This radicalism is class warfare inspired by leading Democrats.” “Who gets the bailouts? It’s Barack Obama!” (Sean Hannity) “These are the spawn of the worst excesses of the ideological left…. This is manufactured chaos, manufactured crises. It has been since day one, and we’re seeing all of the ugly, wretched, criminal manifestations of it.” (Michelle Malkin) They have even been called… “Radicals, revolutionaries, Communists and Islamists that are working together to destroy Capitalism and the Western way of life. They’re calling for the violent overthrow of the United States government.” (Glenn Beck)

(Excerpted from my own article...

http://thegreatrecession.info/blog/2011/11/occupy-wall-street-now-unoccupied-but-stronger/ )

Second, I'll go the the missteps of the movement. To the extent you put legitimate working people out of work by blocking their access, you are fighting the 99%. To the extent that you break laws, you are exceeding what the right to assemble and the right to free speech give you. The movement has started in some places becoming more radical in its willingness to ignore laws. Your free speech is not taken from you, if you are required to stand by the side of the road and not in the road.

The movement needs to stay peaceful and within the law in order to retain broad public support.

--Knave Dave

[-] 1 points by Chris3141 (34) 11 years ago

Agreed. I think the first problem is caused by the second problem, and the second problem is caused by a leaderless structure that is a magnet for fringe types.

[-] 1 points by motherof4 (44) 11 years ago

Chris3141, have you gotten the feeling yet that finding a legitimate leader for the OWS movement, one that would be recognized and followed by (at least almost) all of the protesters might not be possible? If there is this much controversy over the necessity and benefits of having a leader, even as simply a spokesperson - clearly that person would have an impossible task. The authority of a prospective leader would be constantly challenged by resistant OWS members, which would highlight the fractious nature of the group - it would be like herding cats.

The decision to appoint a spokesperson or leader is ordinarily a natural evolution within a group's development. The fact that OWS is so stridently against having a leadership structure, and thus having a clear message and a simple mechanism for communicating goals and rules within it's group, says quite a bit about it's likely lifespan as an organization.

It's really not worth trying to talk everyone in this forum into the soundness of your opinion; you are definitely correct in all you say. But there is no one in charge to pay attention or do anything about it. : /

[-] 1 points by Chris3141 (34) 11 years ago

The best hope is that a leader will emerge and take a large fraction (maybe 50%) of OWS with him. The remaining people will be left to just spin their wheels.

I realize even this is a big uphill battle, but maybe I am making some progress. @joshtpm just tweeted this forum post to 29,000 of his Twitter followers.

[-] 1 points by KnaveDave (357) 11 years ago

Humanity always seems to want to institutionalize things for their success, and where you have a leader, things will certainly get institutionalized. Suddenly, instead of a "movement," Occupy Wall Street becomes an "organization." I think it will do best to remain a simple movement. Let it be an effort of people to press their leaders to more responsible action in the institutions we already have. The world doesn't need another institution to solve the problems of the institutions it has. it needs people becoming ACTIVE to press their institutions to responsible results.

--Knave Dave http://www.TheGreatRecession.info/Blog

[-] 4 points by bobwalk (13) 11 years ago

The movement is being taken over by the homeless, drug addicts, the mentally ill, communists and anarchists. These are the people the media will show on TV every night and support will continue to decline. You need to come up with a clear, concise and rational message and reject all of the lunatics that are taking over your movement. If not, you are doomed to failure.

[-] 0 points by Chris3141 (34) 11 years ago

Right. And only a leader has a power to do that. Under the consensus based system, 'everybody has a voice'. This sounds great, but it is a magnet for all the fringe elements who give the rest of us a bad name.

[-] 4 points by din365 (36) 11 years ago

THANKYOU! that's what I have been saying this whole time. it's nice to see another Original OWS'er like me here. the reason why these groups won't stay seperate from the OWS movement is because their own agendas have failed on their own and want to piggyback on the 99% to instate their anarchist or socialist ideals, in spite of it being against the majority.

[-] 1 points by Chris3141 (34) 11 years ago

Great. Thanks for the support. If you agree, please help me promote this idea and tell other OWS members about www.unitedrepublic.org.

[-] 3 points by scottlnyc (2) 11 years ago

I admit, I was at te Union Square rally today and unfortunately only the COOL kids got to speak!!! And I would really like to see some compassionate agenda coming out of this for the poor and homeless, not just free tuition just because

[-] 2 points by rbe (687) 11 years ago

I saw someone post this the other day, and I liked it so I saved it:

"In a normal situation I would have no problem agreeing to come up with a list of demands, but this movement is something different, and you have to acknowledge new ideas, and new ways of getting things done.

I have noticed how crazy OWS is driving the Wall Street establishment. Nobody else had been able to do that. So, I'm saying that you have to stay on course because your enemies don't know what to do with you.

You should judge your effectiveness by the response you get. Right now, your enemies are howling and pulling out every dirty trick they can think of. Meanwhile, your friends are coming out in droves to support you, so, if it aint broke don't fix it. Stay the Course!

It seems like a movement with nebulous goals is a movement that anybody can join because they bring their own goals and anger to the movement. This is a new idea.

You make a big mistake if you start to think that your enemies are stupid, or lazy. The people who hate you are very smart. They have destroyed every protest movement that has gone against them in the last 30 years. On the other hand, they are completely flummoxed by the Teflon OWS! I call that Genius! And suggest that you keep it up. Stay the Course!

In addition, consider the following: Who in the Government are you going to deliver your list of demands to?? The President, John Boehner, Eric Cantor? You'd have better luck delivering them to Rush Limbaugh.

Who is going to negotiate your demands? A leader? A spokesperson? A group of Lawyers? Your enemies are people who think that a Million Dollars is pocket change. How soon will it be before your leaders sell you out? How long will it be before your demands are whittled down to nothing? How long before you become just "Sound and fury signifying nothing?

What'll happen if everybody doesn't agree? A list of hard and fast demands almost guarantees an internal fight. All you have to do is look at the comments on this board to understand that.

In addition, if you elect a leader, what you have done is to Elect a Target. Stay the Course!

America is not Egypt. They only had one simple demand which was that, "The Regime had to go!" That simple demand is why they were victorious. Unfortunately, that won't work here. Stay the course.

I think it is a trap to say, we want this or that. It is much harder for your enemies to attack, and much more effective to just say I'M MAD AS HELL, AND I WON'T TAKE IT ANY MORE! Any politician worth his salt knows that they have to respond with something serious to meet that kind of demand. So, stay the Course!

The President had a whole list of demands, he's charismatic leader and effective spokesperson for his party, and do you see how they treat him. What makes you think you wouldn't meet the same effective opposition? The Wall Street Establishment is very good at saying that your demands are impossible because of a whole host of lame excuses that boil down to "We don't want to do that!

No my friends, as a six decade long witness to history, in my humble opinion, listing your demands and electing a spokesperson to have a unified voice is the road to ruin. New times demand new thinking, and new problems demand new solutions. Stay the Course my Brothers it's driving them crazy!"

[-] 0 points by alouis (1511) from New York, NY 11 years ago

You make a lot of sense. OW is driving them nuts.

[-] 1 points by KnaveDave (357) 11 years ago

Excellent! Very well said. Avoid two things like the plague -- 1) letting the movement become institutionalized as an organization with a leader (keeping it open and in flux and with no central leadership makes it an amorphous and moving target -- hard to hit); 2) letting any political party co-opt the group. (Keeping it as non-partisan as you possibly can makes it open to wider participation. As soon as the movement is identified with a party, it will be ignored or beaten up by every OTHER party.)

--Knave Dave http://www.TheGreatRecession.info/Blog

[-] 2 points by brookspeterr (1) 11 years ago

The below quote is from a blog I visit regularly. I agree it would be beneficial to have at least one goal all can rally behind.

"There has been substantial talk about the "occupy" movement needing a single goal to rally behind. A political pressure point that they can push on.

H.R.1148 - STOCK bill ("STOCK Act") is precisely that point if they could ever assemble the collective clarity to realize that they can never get private enterprise to follow rules that congress won't. The stock act doesn't fix everything but it cuts off a systemic conflict of interest that precludes just about every possible effort at regulating financial sector business ethics."

[-] 2 points by Chris3141 (34) 11 years ago

I agree that the Stock Act (which prohibits inside trading by members of congress) is a political winner, and it will help end a lot of the corruption in a congress. That being said, most analysts think that the biggest source of corruption in congress is lobbyists who make campaign contributions. This is apparently a bigger source of bias than the congressmens' own stock portfolios.

[-] 2 points by Davia (33) 11 years ago

Great post, great idea.

[-] 2 points by Chris3141 (34) 11 years ago

Thanks for the support. Spread the word about merging OWS and www.unitedrepublic.org!

[-] 2 points by Spectator1 (1) 11 years ago

As a very interested observer and supporter of the Occupy Wall Street Movement, I have a modest suggestion to make. I understand that part of the power of the movement is that it is a populist movement that is not based on the ideas or philosophy or a charismatic leader nor is it based on simplistic ideals which are sure to have mass appeal. There is some value in ambiguity in an age in which the media is prone create catchy labels for movements and then spin their news around what they have created. Inspiite of the lack of some sort of "manefesto" one of the main focuses I see inthe movement is addressing the disparity between the rich and poor in this and other countries. At some point I believe the movement needs to establish a more concise, clear, and coherent message to communicate other than it represents a majority of the world's people who are fed up with the status quo. Of course, by doing so, some people will become alienated from the movement. That is inevitable. Right now the movement is caught up in a "have your cake and eat it too" dilemma. Using a general theme such as being fed up with the status quo is appealling to a very large group of people. This gives power to this movement, but in order for the movement to accomplish any meaningful change it has to stand for something more defineable. It needs to stand for something which has the potential to bring about real change in our society. With this suggestion in mind, I would propose four central "causes' for the movement: first, pressure congress to approve a consitutional amendment to end corporate personhood (right now corporations are consider people under the law and have the same rights as we humans; that is ludicrous); second taxes must be increased on the wealthiest Americans (especially the top 1%); third, the present loopholes which enable members of congress to use nonpublic information for public gain (insider trading) must be eliminated; and lastly all corporate political action committees must be dissolved. I am afraid the Occupy Wall Street Movement will fall apart at some point unless it becomes linked with one or more causes or actions which will bring about lasting change to this country so that a very small minority of individuals is no longer in control of a disproportionate amont of wealth and power. Thank you.

[-] 2 points by Chris3141 (34) 11 years ago

Agree on the first three point. Not sure about the fourth point, but I'm glad there is some movement toward articulating demands.

[-] 1 points by Persephonie (50) 11 years ago

I have been thinking about that myself, that the idea of a corporate entity is insane. Businesses can violate laws and the worst they face is fines or the business being taken down. If a normal person, for instance, caused a lot of pollution due to unsafe and illegal practices, they would be facing jail time. The concept of a corporation has allowed many to do illegal things that others would be sent to jail in a heartbeat for, whereas they only get a slap on the wrist as the people are not actually held accountable because it was the "corporation" as a whole that decided to use an unsafe method. Everyone just says they aren't responsible, they were only doing what they were told. I suppose occasionally businessmen have been caught, but many times they aren't as they have no proof of who specifically decided on XYZ so they get away with it. The buck needs to stop somewhere for sure.

[-] 2 points by kroberts01999 (18) 11 years ago

well said

[-] 2 points by okienick (2) from Portland, OR 11 years ago


[-] 1 points by Chris3141 (34) 11 years ago

Or better yet, email/tweet this post to your friends, potential leaders, and other organizations.

[-] 0 points by Chris3141 (34) 11 years ago

Thanks for the support. Spread the word, and check out United Republic!

[-] 1 points by ZenDogTroll (13032) from South Burlington, VT 10 years ago
[-] 1 points by fucorporatemedia (451) 10 years ago

The corporate media is lying every day, making up bullshit about OWS.

We need to surround the TV stations and take our message to them.

They are lying about the movement, hiring their own protesters and interviewing them. It is all BS and we allow it to continue on our public airwaves.

In Egypt they took the protest to the media.

"Egypt's anti-government protesters have laid siege to the state television headquarters, surrounding army barricades and blocking access to the building.

"These people are presenting an alternative reality; even as the country is swept by revolution, they remain inside telling lies," said Samir Abbas, a 37-year-old former tour guide who had joined the crowds outside the Maspero building.

"Just as the presidential palace is a symbol of regime power, so is Maspero. We will stay peaceful, but we won't let their deception continue."

We need to show up at the stations with signs with real demands!

Hold Criminals Accountable now! Illegal Foreclosures, congressional insider trading etc.

Stop speculating on our food and gas, driving everyone into poverty, not only in this country but the entire world.

We have all the laws we need right now to hold them accountable. OWS needs to focus on accountability and occupying the justice system until we get results.

Occupy the Corporate media: Stop the Lies

Occupy the SEC- Demand Accountability for Congressional insider trading

Once we throw some congressional members in jail, the rest will be living in fear and stop trying to pass more stupid ass legislation and trying to start more wars.

[-] 1 points by Merchant228 (1) 10 years ago

I'm not sure if that is a good idea.

First, what movement, economic or political, could be considered completely popular?

Second, maybe it is a little capitalistic of me but OWS is a name brand, one that strives to be leaderless. Uniting with another political group makes us, well, political. Right now our total focus is the unfairness of our economic system. So shouldn't a problem with our economics be addressed by economic answers instead of political ones. Also, there is the risk of becoming another Tea Party. It is my opinion that the movement should stand alone.

[-] 1 points by eyenot (2) 11 years ago

Turn it into an anti-war movement. Keep your economic disparity bit tacked on because it's true, but only contextualized as a side-effect of militarism.


[-] 1 points by Chris3141 (34) 11 years ago

I don't see how an organization with the name Occupy Wall Street can be primarily anti-war. I also don't see our economic problems as primarily caused by militarism, although I do agree with much of the anti-war movement.

[-] 1 points by owstag (508) 11 years ago

The short answer is that despite the broad appeal of issues like getting money out of politics and concern over corporate influence on politics, the movement is simply too far to the left and too young to appeal to a broader cross section of the country.

Let's face it, there are a lot of kooks in OWS. But it can still have a positive impact even if it isn't a particularly popular movement. If it makes politicians afraid to be openly bought and sold by corporate interests it has succeeded, regardless of how many jokes are made about it on late night TV, talk radio, or Fox News.

[-] 1 points by Chris3141 (34) 11 years ago

I think OWS is having a positive impact. But I also thing it is underperforming, as the polls show. If we want to get radical change (i.e. a constitutional amendment to change campaign finance -- something that could get support both from the left and right), we need majority support. We don't have that now, because we are giving too much voice to the kooks.

[-] 1 points by gawdoftruth (3698) from Santa Barbara, CA 11 years ago

you are simply dead wrong. we don't need a leader, we need a detailed platform. This is how to get that done.


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.

  1. Merely protesting in the streets will not bring change. In fact merely protesting in the streets is in fact a means to the end of avoiding the real work of a revolution, which consists of the evolutionary solutions, answers, problem solving process, and new political alignment we create.
  2. This forum is absolutely disorganized. It won't be read by most people and it won't and can't function as a core organizational system.
  3. Back at the very start of this, I petitioned the admin to add multiple sub forums and a wiki. Multiple sub forums were promised but have never arrived. I think that this tells us that the intention actually of this forum is message control and containment. The entire purpose really of this forum has always been to keep us spinning in disorganization. We are hanging out on a forum that expressly exists to actually keep us confused and disorganized.
  4. The real work of a revolution isn't going to happen on forums, it needs to happen in a much more organized fashion using collaborative software.
  5. The assorted other details about how to collaborate, how to work open source direct democracy, how to focus in on science instead of isms, how to become hyper rational about this, are details which are essential and crucial, without which we can predict the movement to fail.
  6. Technically speaking we are not 99 percent, we are one tenth of one percent attempting to represent the 99 percent. Our core mission must be to communicate to and with the 99 percent, and get them to join us. This forum will not accomplish that and neither will any of the other main websites.
  7. You can follow other people out to other wikis and other websites, where they will try to get you to get involved with what they want and their program, but frankly speaking, there is no other website and no other operation out there which understands the complexities involved with meaningful organization. In short, everyones being led to get involved here there and everywhere else, scattering the movement in directions which ultimately do not gain us critical mass, criticial momentum, or critical systemic lucidity.
  8. I have managed to get a wiki put up and have already put on that wiki evolutionary details which make it more organized than anything else. I can't do this alone. There are 10 or so wikis now out there, most of which were created in response to my pleas for a wiki, and several of which are in domains owned and operated by some corporation, (wikia, etc) And which we can thus assume will simply be closed, shut down, or deleted if they become useful to the movement.
  9. Probably at least half of the invites you have to go participate at some other site are people who are scamming everyone to waste time and energy, distort the movement, co opt it, and etc. When you walk off into a closet ask yourself how you know that the closet isn't created by some fed, or by some republican, or by some democrat, in order to sway things in their direction.
  10. The only meaningful strategic option we have for real change in this country is to create a new third party, and take every political office in this country.
  11. Once that is done, we can have an article 5 convention. If we have an article 5 convention before getting rid of the oligachs, that just opens the genie from the bottle for them to abuse that process with their corruption and evil.

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.








[-] 1 points by littleguy (44) 11 years ago

You have a lot of links read this one and spread it around:


[-] 1 points by Chris3141 (34) 11 years ago

I agree with most of those points. I just think that you can only achieve them if you have a leader. Virtually all of the successul social movements in the past have had a leader. Civil rights for African Americans (MLK), the Indian fight against British colonial rule (Gandhi), etc., etc.

[-] 1 points by gawdoftruth (3698) from Santa Barbara, CA 11 years ago

there is no systemic reason why that would be so, and you thinking so is not a systemic argument. Contrary to your argument, ows is actually systemically and game theory stronger by NOT having a specific leader. Which successful social movements? the 2000 election was rigged by preventing African Americans from voting. The British Colonial rule is still more or less in effect over the globe including secretly ruling the USA. MLK is DEAD.

There haven't been any successful social movements, or society wouldn't be fascist, twisted, and evil, 30 different ways.

It seems like ignorant arm chair warriors presume so easily that their bong hit inspired strategic thinking is somehow the nexxus on which it all turns. Quite the opposite; you didn't bother to do any reading or research or actual work on the problems, and so your so called advice is about as useful as bicyles for fish.








[-] 1 points by Chris3141 (34) 11 years ago

Well, the fact that you think British Colonial rule is still in effect in the US is about all we need to know about your post.

[-] 1 points by gawdoftruth (3698) from Santa Barbara, CA 11 years ago

the fact that you miss that the "Crown" is still an active political power is pathetic. George W was Knighted. The Oligarchs use the British "Crown" as the economic center and the USA as the Go-to Military system.

Sorry you didn't bother to do your homework.



[-] 1 points by Teamster (102) 11 years ago

If not a leader then an offical spokesperson. Cause they only show the crazy people on the news.

[-] 1 points by freeows (84) 11 years ago

OWS one of main goals is to bring out the social issues and social struggles unfront for the public to see clearly who are responsible and what areas we need to target or demand changes. OWS movement makes the people, US start a conversation among ourselves, to become more aware of issues and study on them especially in this coming up election year. This is a positive thing. And don't just look at the scenes on the streets. Yes, democracy can be messy because we are NOT SILENT LAMBS, are we? We and our society are resilient enough to take care of the mess and shock. Aren't we already in a big mess anyway, wars, financial mess, national debts. China is taking over in many areas, Europe crisis, housing crisis, closing schools, letting out criminals to get on the streets but also letting financial criminal go free with murders, etc, etc? Comparing to all these messes, the street turbulent scenes are relatively insignificant.

[-] 1 points by Chris3141 (34) 11 years ago

The turbulent street scenes are significant because they scare away the regular Americans whose support we need. And it doesn't matter whether or not their fear is justified. The point is that we are scaring them away.

[-] 1 points by Mowat (164) 11 years ago

TPM has a stake in it (part of the 1%), so I would not bet on their assesment.

OWS people must not believe everything the mainstream media throws at them.

Most of the media is in their hands!

Contrary to your opinion, OWS is getting larger and its goals are becoming clearer by the day!

Some of OWS Demands are:

  • Stopping the corruption which allowed bastards like Bernard Madoff to strive in fraud against, and theft of the public
  • Respect for individual freedom
  • Real democracy - interest group should not be able to override public interests
  • Equal education access to the masses
  • Public oversight and regulations over the Federal Reserve, the media, and the government

Some people want this movement to fail. You know who they are!

[-] 1 points by Chris3141 (34) 11 years ago

It's not just my opinion. PPP is respected by everyone who understands polling. And if you check out the poll, you will see declining support over the last month. This also meshes with my own observations.

[-] 1 points by freeows (84) 11 years ago

I don't feel discouraged at all. The way I see is a bit different. It's a smart strategy not to show the leaders and therefore by now, the media and the public have no way to attack them left and right. I like the underground strategies because OWS understands how they can be smeared easily. But hey, imo, I see more and more people become more aware of the social issues put out by OWS even though they are not actively support OWS. People are talking about things not going right. It does not mean you would see them on the streets protesting. They are not that type but they are in agreement with the movement and lot of them are really appreciative since they cannot do this type of things, i.e. protesting, strike, confronting with authories. But lot of them are with us. When OWS is getting HUGE ENOUGH people behind, yes, clear action or demands will be to carried out to THEIR faces, for example, a national convention that sort. ONWARD! Keep on growing no matter what!

[-] 1 points by Chris3141 (34) 11 years ago

I definitely agree that OWS has been successful in attracting attention to the issues, and that a leaderless structure worked well initially. But we now need to transition to a second phase in which we actually engage with legislatures. This requires leadership. If the second phase also involves constitutional amendments, we need a majority of Americans to work for it. And the majority of Americans like leaders.

I also think that you may be a little bit overconfident when you say that OWS will get huge. Check out the declining poll numbers in the poll I linked to. It means we are doing something wrong.

[-] 1 points by freeows (84) 11 years ago

We DO have a lot of so called leaders up there in WH and Congress (whole bunch of them!). Still we are getting into this deep shit! Make sure now what kind of leaders we want. Who really pushed this movement to grow? Who MADE us to get on the streets? The point I am so afraid is the majority of us feel NOTHING TO LOOSE.

[-] 1 points by Pertemba (21) 11 years ago

Are you suggesting ONE brain works better than many together? LOL!!!!!

We need to work leaderless, by having a leader, the OWS movement will get decapitated and over.

[-] 1 points by Chris3141 (34) 11 years ago

Yes, I am suggesting that hierarchical structures are more effective than leaderless structures.

To draw an analogy, a common complaint about many new consumer products and gadgets is that they seem to have been 'designed by a committee'. When too many people try to design a product, it ends up with too many buttons and is difficult to use. Contrast this with Apple products, which were tightly controlled by a strong leader like Steve Jobs. Apple products are amazing, and everyone wants one.

[-] 1 points by littleguy (44) 11 years ago

For you Chris, read it and share it


[-] 1 points by Pertemba (21) 11 years ago

Your analogy is absurd, OWS is not a business. Obvioulsy no everyone can be a "leader" either but democratic concensus by ARRIVING AT ideas and solutions is the way to go. To have a LEADER is disingenious and politically idiotic 'cause it plays into the hands of the elitists who don't give a damn about the people.

[-] 1 points by Chris3141 (34) 11 years ago

This is a general principle about organization. Just as products that are designed by a committee have too many buttons that weaken the overall product, so movements that don't have a leader have too many demands that weaken the overal message.

I don't see how asking for a leader is politically idiotic. Virtually all of the successul social movements in the past had a leader. Civil rights for African Americans (MLK), the Indian fight against British colonial rule (Gandhi), etc., etc.

[-] 1 points by Pertemba (21) 11 years ago

What you don't seem to understand is that we are up against a system that don't give a shit about the people in a very volatile and political context, and mafia style at that. Having a "leader" wouldn't just be idiotic but non strategic as well. Read the history of "leaders" , they all get killed, co-opted or corrupted anyway.


[-] 1 points by RockyJ (208) 11 years ago

No we need a dumb leader! (Just kidding) OWS has no leaders.

[-] 1 points by rebootit (1) from San Diego, CA 11 years ago

Has anybody read the book Rebooting the American Dream by Thom Hartmann? It would make a great platfrorm to get behind as it lays out eleven steps for rebuilding our country. These include rolling back tax cuts for the wealthy, eliminating corporate personhood, Medicare for everybody, repealing NAFTA, and more. These are all specific goals we can work towards and accomplish.

Part of the problem with OWS is there are no concrete goals to get behind. The message is too vague and anarchic. I agree with others who say OWS needs an identifiable leader who can voice clear, attainable goals. We need an FDR, Samuel Gompers, Caesar Chavez.

“Why should the wealth of the country be stored in banks and elevators while the idle workman wanders homeless about the streets and the idle loafers who hoard the gold only to spend it on riotous living are rolling about in fine carriages from which they look out on peaceful meetings and call them riots?” -- Samuel Gompers, 1893

[-] 1 points by Chris3141 (34) 11 years ago

I haven't read it, but that platform sounds pretty good. If you think he is a charismatic speaker, then email this post to him.

[-] 1 points by ramous (765) from Wabash, IN 11 years ago

The violence is making OWS look bad. I have been with OWS, sitting in a park and holding a sign almost two months. But we closed our camp when the movement's actions became too violent for us. (close a port? that's not peaceful by any stretch.)
OWS hurts the little guy, the people it claims to represent. And when they come on here to tell them that, they get treated like trash. OWS wants the majority to support them? Then they better start listening to what the REAL 99% wants.

[-] 1 points by Chris3141 (34) 11 years ago

I complete agree with everything you wrote. I would just add that the only way for things to improve is if we get a leader. A single leader understand PR much better than a ragtag group of well-meaning anarchists. www.unitedrepublic.org understands PR.

[-] 1 points by rockyracoon2 (276) 11 years ago

who knows if it's declining or increasing. anything can be manipulated for desired results, especially polls. i believe we should all 100% of us, feel lucky or blessed for this movement. if nothing else, it's given rise to a new voice. people communicating, learning, sharing and growing, among other things.. people beginning to awake and think for themselves

[-] 1 points by Chris3141 (34) 11 years ago

Everybody who understands polling believes the PPP is an accurate pollster. Declining support for OWS is something I've also observed among my friends.

[-] 1 points by boblinton (1) 11 years ago

I wish every one will check out Jill Stien. She is running for Green Party. She would be the best leader for OWS. See her talk at OWS protests on youtoob.

[-] 1 points by Chris3141 (34) 11 years ago

Thanks. She would be way better than a leaderless movement. Email this post to her if you think it could get her attention.

[-] 1 points by barb (835) 11 years ago

The damage has been done by the wealthy influencing Congress and they started a long time ago. There are so many laws that have been tweeked to the elite's satisfaction for so long you have to be an exceptional lawyer with alot of knowledge about laws in history and how they were changed to reflect today's written laws.

It begins by focusing on changing the laws so they cannot be compromised by anyone with the ability to alter them to their satisfaction.

Laws that directly affect every person in the U.S. that pays taxes must be allowed to vote for each and every change. Were we included in the vote for Free Trade Agreements with all the consequences of this that directly hits the heart of every American trying to make a living?

In my opinion, the government and the corporations were fully aware of what this would do to American workers in the near future and that is why in 1992 GWB signed the Housing and Community Devision Act that expanded to lower income families. They knew that the reality of no jobs here would not hit the public's awareness until after they allowed them to purchases homes that they would not be able to keep in the future.

They purposely set up the American people for failure and they knew it was fail safe since it is us the tax payors that will still have to pay for their little joyride of increased wealth at our expense.

The Housing Crisis before the bubble burst, do some research and find out who profited in this intentional corrupt game. Fannie Mae and Freddie Mack still are half invested by the government and the privatized companies and their stock holders.

The government said they were not obligated to help them out but that is not true since they did bail them out. They had too they were invested in Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

Bottom line is our government, The Federal Mortgage Ass, wallstreet, the Fed Reserve banks are all in business together and by signing a Free Trade Agreement without insuring the means for corporations to want to stay here plus their self created housing crisis, the American people are broke.

Years ago, I shared with others my concern over big corporations leaving and what would be the consequences of this and they agreed with me. My question is why was this not expressed by the media on a daily basis warning us of what was to come?

[-] 1 points by rockyracoon2 (276) 11 years ago

soccer moms r too busy and generally afraid healthy community is leaderless ideas evolve

there is a lot of repressed pain. and since the so called leaders don't pay any attention since they have their own agenda already established, any movement ends up being showing of frustration.

there is extremist/anarchist/freeloader in all. some repress some have delt with some let out.

[-] 1 points by rockyracoon2 (276) 11 years ago

any individual or small group leader will end up shot

[-] 1 points by Chris3141 (34) 11 years ago

Not all leaders get shot, silly. Some of them do, of course, like MLK and Gandhi. But because they were leaders, they were able to accomplish their goals. Civil Rights for African Americans are better than they were before 1964, and the British no longer rule India. These things wouldn't have happened without leaders, even if those leaders did end up getting shot.

[-] 1 points by drbob707 (6) from Beach Haven, NJ 11 years ago

Agree, it was a great effort on the 17th, but at some point the movement will have to translate its energy and public support in to getting laws and policies changed. I suggest the following process-or something like it.

  1. Secure consensus on 9 short term and 9 long term objectives/initiatives we would like to see happen. A list of possibles is provided below.

  2. Target certain swing House and Senate races for the 2012 election.

  3. Secure pledges via internet from large numbers of voters in the targeted areas to vote for and actively support the candidate who will support the 9/9 efforts.

  4. Meet with those candidates, pledges in hand, and get them aboard. If no support, run own candidate.

                                   List of Options for Specific OWS Initiatives

    Restoring Economic Equality

Change Corporate, individual Tax System to Spur U.S. Job Investment & Promote Competition. Keep Low tax Rates for U.S. Job Investment. -Credit for demand side- wages, profit sharing -Credit for supply side- new plant, hires, education Higher tax rates for off shored/outsourced operations.

                            - Based on % sales/services coming back to U.S.
                             -Tax Income as earned, not when “returned “ to 
                             -Limit Foreign Tax Credit; remove U.S. Sales 
                              Income from calculation
                             -End Offshore Tax Haven Abuse
              *Increase Very High End Tax Rates; on Income, Especially 
               Capital Gains, Estate, Corporate profit
                             -Discourage “too big”; encourage competition, 
                              smaller companies and investors
              *A Derivatives Trading Tax to discourage nonproductive 
                investment and fund long term Infrastructure work.

Shore up Safety Net programs Restore key government job losses; teachers, police,others Review defense needs; two full war planning assumption Breaks for startup companies Improve education: public school capability and funding methods, preschool, community colleges, college loans, grants

      * Reduce college loan interest rates to mortgage levels

Review and change anti-competitive laws and regulations Market Research and Planning-private sector /govt. jointly Raise minimum wage Foster progressive state income taxes vs. regressive sales and property taxes Foster Union creation and membership Change Home Mortgage payoff formula to provide for earlier loan principal payoff Selectively, address excessive health care charges; prices and excess tests, procedures

Restoring Political Equality; Voting and Influence

Remove Voting Impediments; ---Registration; ID requirements, same day registration and voting ---Make Election Day a National Holiday ---Extend Early Voting, Absentee Voting for all those who cannot readily go to polling places

Public Campaign Financing Low Limits on Private Campaign and PAC contributions; Override Citizens United Case Term Limits for Supreme Court, Congress Post-Election Term Employment Restrictions for the Congress Lobbying Transparency Mass Media Reforms; Free Election Campaign Air Time, Reinstitute Fairness Doctrine, One Station for Free Public Air Time Independent State Commissions for Defining Congressional Districts Military Draft to Supplement volunteer force in war time

[-] 1 points by Chris3141 (34) 11 years ago

I agree with most of those demands. The root cause of all those grievances is campaign finance. Glad you mentioned public financing.

[-] 1 points by RedJazz43 (2757) 11 years ago

Of course only a minority supports us. But it is a substantial minority. Our job is to organize that minority, not carp about how it isn't a majority.

[-] 1 points by Chris3141 (34) 11 years ago

First of all, our support is declining. Check out the poll I link to in my post.

Second, even if our minority support is substantial, it is much much lower than you would expect considering how unpopular Wall Street is. We are squandering an amazing opportunity here. We could have majority support if only we didn't allow in all the fringe elements and unsavory types.

[-] 1 points by RedJazz43 (2757) 11 years ago

Well, if we only had support of 10% or 20% then I'd say we had something to worry about. On the other hand if 3 months ago 10% of the pooulation supported the revolutionary implications of the OWS perspecitve, I'd say that was quite impressive. Right now we have about 33% support and our task remains to organized that passive support and get them out in the streets with us. What fringe elements are you talking about. The initiators of OWS were very influenced by the intellectual currents of anarchism and they continue to be the most coherent and articulate advocates of OWS.

[-] 1 points by Chris3141 (34) 11 years ago

I'm guessing that you have many friends who are anarchists or are an anarchist yourself. You probably see anarchy as a thoughtful and non-threatening idea. But look outside of those small circles, and you will find that the vast majority (>95%) of American's see anarchy as a very threatening idea. And believe me, they always will. If you think they won't, then you've been spending too much time in anarchist circles. I mean that in the most supportive way.

On the other hand, the vast majority of Americans believe that Wall Street is out of control, and that corporate lobbyists have too much power. I want OWS to spur some radical change. We need a big majority to do that, not a substantial minority. And if we want to get a majority, we need to leave aside the anarchists or at least have them downplay their anarchism.

[-] 1 points by RedJazz43 (2757) 11 years ago

No I am not an anarchist, but I do know that anarchism has a very rich intellectual tradition including people like Henry David Thoreau, Peter Kropotkin, Emma Goldman, Albert Camus, Tolstoy, Proudhon, Bakunin, etc. I also know that the initiators of OWS were profoundly influenced by anarchist thought and that they remain the most articulate and coherent advocates of OWS, a fact that both the MSM and most OWS supporters find nearly impossible to comprehend in all probablility because they remain locked in a binary of Republican and Democratic Party politics and find it virtually impossible to think outside that box.

Most Americans I think are apolitical and haven't given the issue of anarchism a nanosecond of thought, though it's undoubtedly also true that the minority that have bothered to think about it don't find it especially appealing. The fact is the initiators of OWS are very aware of this and though they may be very influenced by the anarchist intelletual tradition, they are not sectarians. Among their very first acts was to show solidarity with immediate labor struggles which very quickly brought them the support of sectors of organized labor who are about as far from anarchism as you can get.

As the British fabian Beatrice Webb put it, there are two tendencies in the labor movement A's and B's, anarchists and bureaucrats, and she was a B. Well, there are A's and B's in OWS and without the both of us it wouldn't be the movement that it is.

[-] 1 points by pounidis (1) from West Windsor, NJ 11 years ago

there is still lots of good will toward OWS's agenda and plenty of bad press working to discredit it. I don't know that a leader is necessary but at least one clear acheivable goal that folks could act on would be very helpful at this juncture. There is so much sympathy and support out here and I hate to see it getting eroded by the negative attention and dissipated energy. I've been defending the lack of focus and holding my naysayers at bay saying 'give them time, it's just getting started' but I have to confess it's frustrating to not have a clear way to participate other than being there in person. I'm sorry that the camps are being cleared but I hope the upside will be a more specific vision with concrete aims, one that people like me who can't be there 24/7 can rally around and show the world and the doubters that we are capable of amazing transformation.

[-] 2 points by Chris3141 (34) 11 years ago

Glad that you see the clearing of the camps as an opportunity, and I'm glad you think we need to coalesce around some specific demands. I just think it's possible to do that without a leader.

I also don't think the bad press is entirely the press's fault (and I'm not sure you do either). When all of America hates Wall Street, yet our movement remains relatively unpopular, it means we are doing something wrong.

[-] 1 points by WarmItUp (301) 11 years ago

How does the support of 33% or a third of the population make the movement "unpopular" I think that is a pretty good sign that things are moving forward as planned? probably the most support for any movement in recent history

[-] 2 points by Chris3141 (34) 11 years ago

My point was about change in the polls over the last month. Disapproval of the movement has risen by 10% since last month.

Moreover, 33% support is actually pretty low considering that the vast majority of Americans think Wall Street has too much power and that there is too much corruption in Congress. In other words, OWS isn't living up to its potential.

[-] 1 points by JoeTheFarmer (2654) 11 years ago

In my opinion the problem is the whole idea of "occupation" and disruptive tactics. They have never worked in the past. People are more sympothetic to simple peaceful weekly protests and evening meetings.

Another issue is the lack of a clear message. Just listing a bunch of greivances is not productive. There are just too many messages blurted out.

[-] 1 points by Chris3141 (34) 11 years ago

Thanks for the post. I think the 'occupation' might have been useful early on, because it brought attention to the cause in a way that conventional rallies couldn't. Sometimes all publicity is good publicity.

BUT: I think you are right that the occupation has now run its course, and is now doing more harm than good. The tent cities aren't drawing any new attention to the cause. The only thing they were drawing in were the unsavory types who give the rest of us a bad name.

The next step should be large public rallies with credible speakers (with microphones). And a constitutional convention to fundamentally reform campaign finance, the root cause of most of the OWS grievances.

[-] 1 points by RockyJ (208) 11 years ago

You are wrong, OWS is growing everyday. Don't listen to the talking points spewed out by the propaganda machines that's trying to discredit the movement! They are fearful of the movement or they wouldn't being spreading the lies! It also appears some people can't grasp the thought of a leaderless movement. People gathered around a charismatic leader; the Rev. Jim Jones & looked how that worked out for them!
BTW what's preventing you from joining & supporting the United Republic or what ever organization you like?

[-] 3 points by Chris3141 (34) 11 years ago

I want OWS to succeed and I want United Republic to succeed. I have supported them both, and I think that they could be most effective if they joined forces.

The poll I linked to showed that support for OWS has declined by about 10 percentage points over the last month. This is not a 'talking point'. The polling agency is described as very accurate by Nate Silver, who if you know anything about polling is an extremely knowledgeable analyst.

As far as leaderless movements, yes I grasp the concept. And I acknowledge in my post that there are some benefits, especially early on. However, every successful historical movement I can think of has eventually required a leader, or at least a clear leadership structure. Civil Rights in the 1960s, women's suffrage, Indian independence from colonialism. The list goes on and on. Yes, no leader is perfect. But don't let the perfect be the enemy of the good. Without a leader we are just spinning our wheels.

[-] 1 points by LChamp (1) from Malibu, CA 11 years ago

As a loose group with no direction other than we all know the banks screwed us, and made out while the rest are suffering, it won't go very far. The fat cats all know this. So I agree, a leader is needed. Some in the movement will not like that, but it is a reality. The press needs someone to put up on a sound bite, and to interview on the Sunday morning shows.

Be Happy to help if asked... Here is some of my feelings...

OK... the first 3 things that must change to get the country back on track...

  1. Eliminate ALL lobbying! The elected people MUST represent the people, not the corporations. If special interests want to make their point, do so at a hearing, and be allowed to send a 2,500 word document to a central clearing house that distributes it to the President, Senate, and the House of Representatives.
  2. Destroy the current tax code and start over. Go to a maximum constitutional 1%, with a maximum of 2% VAT on all purchases but food. go to a 3 tier income tax with a flat rate, and 3 sacred deductions. Mortgage interest on the home you reside in, donations to charity up to 10% of your gross income, $2,500 per dependent child. The rates: Less than $20,000 / year, 0%; $20,001 - $75,000 / year, 10%; $75,001 - $250,000 / year; 12.5%, and above $250,001 / year; 15%. Set the corporate tax at 10% of profit. Budget problem solved.
  3. Establish our one trade act! If a country imposes a tariff of an item exported from the USA to their country, then we place the same tariff on that product coming to the USA. They drop theirs, we drop ours. Let the global market work. Opinions are like asses, we all have one. This is three of mine. You know, there are over 3,500 "Think Tanks" on K street in Washington DC. So what are they "Thinking" about.... I'm sure it is all for the good of the American people. In 1985 there were 348 of them. Good to know there are so many folks "thinking". I do not agree with the position of the Tea Party at all, but this is what the country is based upon. People can stand up and speak, and run for office if they don't like what is going on. Well, they did! For that, I applaud. A "Common Sense" party now needs to do the same thing three fold.

For example, take a look at this petition... http://www.change.org/petitions#search/fix%20taxes

[-] 1 points by JoeTheFarmer (2654) 11 years ago

You cannot eliminate all lobbying that is part of the first amendment!

......, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

[-] 1 points by Chris3141 (34) 11 years ago

Right, the best way to level the playing field is to give more power to small donors (via matching funds), rather than limiting the power of corporate donors.

[-] 1 points by TrevorMnemonic (5827) 11 years ago

It's actually just as popular as ever. The haters just have more free time to flood this place with hatred.

OWS is not anticorporation and anti-banks. It is against corporations that abuse their power and are infiltrating our government. It is against the abuse of the monetary system that the federal reserve is responsible for. We have a debt based privatized monetary system that is not in the constitution. The abuse of Wall Street, the federal reserve, and the government has caused our US dollar to decrease in value drastically over the past 14 years.

Propose a bill to end the patriot act.

Propose a bill to end massive contributions from lobbyists, unions, and corporate influences. The "supreme" court ruled McCain-Feingold unconstitutional. Obviously the supreme court is corrupt. They claimed that "McCain-Feingold" denied "free speech" even though 1: Money isn't free and 2: 100% of US citizens still would have had freedom of speech and the ability to contribute to campaigns. So how was the supreme court able to say it suppresses free speech? Another fact, a lot of corporations are owned through many investors. Sometimes these investors are foreigners. I didn't know foreigners in other countries were allowed to participate in our government. The government is supposed to be governed by it's people. I feel like most members of the government have never read the constitution.

I'd say propose a bill to nationalize the federal reserve but that bill has already been created and is being reviewed by the Financial Institutions and Credit Committee. Look up The National Emergency Employment Defense Act of 2011.

All these rich people keep telling us that our country is in massive debt... all the while they keep making more money. These rich people are members of congress and the president.

"Both parties are rotten - how could they not be, given the complete infestation of the political system by corporate money on a scale that now requires a presidential candidate to raise upwards of a billion dollars to be competitive in the general election?"

THE WAR IN IRAQ IS BASED ON LIES from Bush to Obama it's still the same war monger.

[-] 1 points by Chris3141 (34) 11 years ago

No, it's not 'just as popular as ever'. Go read the poll I linked to in the article. It is becoming unpopular because smart PR is basically impossible when you don't have a leader.

[-] 1 points by bre0001 (50) from Brooklyn, NY 11 years ago

You don't need a leader, you need split the money you collected and go home. It's time. By the way, good luck with getting any of that money.

[-] 1 points by Chris3141 (34) 11 years ago

Not sure where you're coming from on this, but going home will obviously kill whatever momentum we had. The money we have should be used to transition to the next phase of the movement: buying permits for public rallies with credible speakers and microphones, and organizing a constitutional convention to fundamentally change campaign finance, the root cause of almost all OWS grievances.

[-] 1 points by bre0001 (50) from Brooklyn, NY 11 years ago

You don't have any momentum. Good luck with the money you think have. Wait and see what happens to that if it already hasn't disappeared.

[-] 1 points by Chris3141 (34) 11 years ago

Yes, that's my point. We had momentum last month, but we have lost it because we are overly inclusive to fringe elements.

[-] 1 points by TheScreamingHead (239) 11 years ago

Hi! I'll be the leader. I'll whip you fucks into shape LOL


[-] 1 points by bre0001 (50) from Brooklyn, NY 11 years ago

There you go folks, finally someone steps up to lead this thing. Let's give him all the money to hold. Sounds reliable. Just look at the username he chose and you can see that.

Heil ScreamingHead!

[-] 1 points by TheScreamingHead (239) 11 years ago

TheScreamingHead to you. And you don't even get the reason I chose that name, do you? DO you? You're not very smart, bre0003000324892809432021.

[-] 1 points by myspace (1) from New York, NY 11 years ago

I am not a full time supporter but like everyone i want my financial freedom back and i appreciate that an organization like OWS heads towards that. I made a small contribution in the form of a blog post about the financial crisis and the movie Margin Call in which i talk about OWS and give their twitter and website. I hope this will help a bit at my level! http://myspace-lyrics.com/margin-call-occupy-wall-street-protests/

[-] 1 points by Chris3141 (34) 11 years ago

Thank you for the link One of the best ways to promote the goals of OWS is to support www.unitedrepublic.org. This group is much better organized, pragmatic, and knowledgeable than OWS, but aims for similar ends.

[-] 1 points by Echoes310 (15) from Wantagh, NY 11 years ago

You've hit it spot on. Here's a video by the way that I feel greatly applies to what you have said and teaches us something important. http://www.ted.com/talks/lang/en/derek_sivers_how_to_start_a_movement.html

[-] 1 points by ChristopherABrownART5 (46) from Santa Barbara, CA 11 years ago

A concept can lead.

Article 5 of the US constitution is a lawful an peaceful rebellion. Lawrence Lessig knows the value of Article 5. It is our first and last constitutional right. It is the actual democratic control over the principles of the republic and only the states have that through the people of them.

Article V conference, Harvard 9/25/11-video comments http://vimeo.com/31464745

A message board where you may register in your states forum and discuss article 5 strategy with others of your constituency.


[-] 1 points by Chris3141 (34) 11 years ago

Thanks for that excellent video.

[-] 1 points by michael4ows (224) from Mountain View, CA 11 years ago

Part of the trouble is the OWS vilifies people with money and comes with unworkable proposals like a "guaranteed minimum income" from birth on. It doesn't appear to focus meaningfully on...

  • reducing corp power and influence in DC
  • restoring reasonable regulation in the financial sector
  • making modest adjustments to the tax code to more appropriately tax financial income as well as wage income

Instead people see whacky nonsense like...

  • wall street bankers are pigs and should be jailed, burn them down
  • nationalize the banks
  • confiscate all wealth above 1M
  • guaranteed income of 75K for life

Most people definitely don't want to destroy our system of government and replace it with lord knows what kind of chaos. Part of the trouble is that too much of that whacky nonsense bubbles up and it drowns out genuinely good ideas about how to improve things.

Also some OWS sites are pretty damn scary... like say Oakland... there's no way i was going anywhere near the guys with hoods threatening people walking by with violence.

[-] 2 points by Chris3141 (34) 11 years ago

Thank you. Couldn't agree more. I would add that the whacky nonsense bubbles up because OWS insists on being overly inclusive. Only a leader can help maintain a clear message. If that ends up excluding some people who want to guarantee income of 75K for life, that's a good thing!

[-] 3 points by michael4ows (224) from Mountain View, CA 11 years ago

Wow... i got -8 points in no time for my previous comment... truth hurts i guess?

And what that also tells me is that OWS is probably not for me. I'm in favor of those bullets mentioned, to the extent OWS is too... great... but if OWS insist on socialist policies and anarchist tactics... count me in the 'unfavorable' column. (looks like i might have to change my username here)

[-] 1 points by infokat (25) 11 years ago

Chris, I can honestly say I have not heard the guaranteed income for life nor do I agree to student loans being forgiven (you make an agreement, you stick to it). I do find it unfair that the interest racks up so quickly and if they come into default and a graduate is really trying that limits their ability to a job, apartment, insurance etc due to a damaged credit rating. Personally I am fighting for corporations to pay their fair share of taxes, stop outsourcing (since keeping their tirllions offshore allows them to not pay taxes), campaign contributions, lobbyists. I would like to see term limits, Glass Stegal act reinstated. I have spoken to many in OWS to try to impress upon them that we are past the "camping phase" and now need to move on to at least one or two concrete ideas to begin reforming the corrupt system. I come from Middle America and believe me there are many that are suffering due to what's going on. However, to earn their support we must show we are certainly not a bunch of "rag tag" "dirty" "hippie" "kids" who don't work and are clearly establishing political reform in our country which is our only hope to unite and reclaim America.

[-] 1 points by motherof4 (44) 11 years ago

I agree with Chris3141 100%. Over 2 weeks ago, I wrote an article on a similar topic dealing with the tendency of some of the OWS protesters to lean towards socialism and anarchy, as opposed to simply ending corruption and crony capitalism. I think I speak for much of middle America when I say, when you favor anarchy, I'm 100% against you. On the other hand, few would disagree that the time has come to break up the power structure of crony capitalism and corruption in Congress.

[-] 0 points by Chris3141 (34) 11 years ago

Thank you for the support. I wonder if a split in OWS might ultimately be best for the movement. The pragmatists among us would work on really changing policy, while those who favor a leaderless movement would be left to keep spinning their wheels.

[-] 1 points by infokat (25) 11 years ago

understand and agree with you and Chris on the issues of anarchy and socialism and guess what? I worked the info desk OWS NYC. Most of the people involved are meeting at offices and trying to research the best way "to break up the power structure of crony capitalism and corruption". I grew up in a great capitalist system in America, spent six years of my life defending it in the military. It was a system where Americans had opportunities to work hard and achieve "a dream". That has been taken from us due to the corruption. Please understand that when an organization grows as big and quickly as OWS some things are going to crawl out of the woodwork to take advantage. We had to continually ask groups i.e. anarchists, political campaigners, independent, illegal merchandise sellers to move away, lest they be "associated" with OWS. Most of the people who really worked there had jobs, apartments, etc. I was a Republican, now I'm disillusioned with both parties and am merely an American who wants our America restored.

[-] 1 points by motherof4 (44) 11 years ago

I think they're too disorganized to intentionally split, but after it dies a natural death, those that are committed and have the means to stay with the cause will join United Republic or some other similarly situated group. Anarchists by nature aren't joiners and thus rarely get anything done. Socialism is never going to take hold here - I commented many times in this forum, if OWS wants to hold onto any national support they should distance themselves from socialist rhetoric, because it's divisive.

The OWS movement has a chance to make a difference, but it's already losing a great deal of steam and public support. If they don't organize and get their message into soundbites quickly, it'll be over soon. Most people right now consider them to be primarily college graduates (with computers) without jobs (not exactly a high sympathy group).


[-] 0 points by outsidethebox (27) from Dorset, VT 11 years ago

Bernie Sanders is the perfect spokesman for #OWS. He is an avowed socialist, which is what you are all proposing, although in a somewhat inarticulate manner- but an acceptable and honorable proposal.

The wit and wisdom of Bernie Sanders can be found at http://sanders.senate.gov/.

And thank you all for what you have accomplished. You are the unsung heroes of a new paradigm. Many of you have endured conditions others would never tolerate. We honor you. Your sacrifices will long be remembered and appreciated. Thank you.



[-] 0 points by ChristopherABrownART5 (46) from Santa Barbara, CA 11 years ago

Chris3141 wrote: We could be so much more effective if we rallied around a charismatic leader who could articulate a clear and simple message. And I mean simple, not some laundry list.END------

That probably won't happen. However, to rally around a concept that provides lawful guidence as does article 5 of the constitution, is to embrace a strategy that will gain the authority needed to meet demands, AND give something for soccer moms to relate to.


[-] 0 points by alouis (1511) from New York, NY 11 years ago

David Graeber, please check in.



[-] 0 points by infokat (25) 11 years ago

I am 57, a vet, have a lovely apartment in Battery Park City. I have been at the info desk (until they came in and banned the press, beat and pepper sprayed people) for six weeks. Most people who "work" there come and go from jobs and apartments. If people would actually read this site they could see that there are working groups for political reform" (as in term limits), etc. that meet offsite to work out what they hope would bring back the system we all enjoyed for many years.

Most of the press is controlled by big money. They show you what they want you to believe. Even though they beat and arrested a NY Daily News reporter the night of the eviction, they still wrote negatively about OWS.

I'm not sure how many real Americans can tell me they have not been negatively impacted by the economy in some way. Oil prices, food prices, unemployment, outsourcing, foreclosure, pensions and 401ks looted,cuts to education, health, safety, infrastructure, the list is endless. If you think it's going to get better, think again. There are solid facts that corporations do not pay taxes (in fact they receive refunds), the banks and select corporations receive huge bailouts of tax payer money. Lobbying and campaign contributions buy politicians who set up and allow the theft of our American capitalist system and hurt Americans. The 1% who control 40% of our country's wealth have access to those we have entrusted to look out for us. The federal agencies are involved in disbanding New York OWS because?

However, perhaps we should all go home and watch tv and spend Saturday at the mall. We'll just mindlessly wait for the painful end of our great country.

[-] 1 points by Chris3141 (34) 11 years ago

Thank you for your service, both in the military and at OWS. I appreciate that working groups are working for political reform. But this message is getting drowned out by fringe elements and street violence. OWS could be much more effective at it if they rallied around a charismatic who was linked to a skilled organization (such as United Republic).

[-] 0 points by OneVoice (153) 11 years ago

I have never been a fan of polls. Is this poll truly accurate or has media propaganda played a strategic role in its attempt to erode public support? I will give you one small example and you can multiply it because it happens every day. The New York Post has taken a biased point of view of the OWS movement and have used the ability to manipulate their negative viewpoint through the use of photographs. A few days ago the front cover showed a "disabled" NYPD officer dragging a OWS supporter out of a bldg. The "disabled" NYPD officer was labeled a "Hero" by the New York Post. The same photograph could also be manipulated under the heading, "Disabled COP?" The power of words and photographs are effective propaganda tools. The OWS movement still has the support of a wide variety of age groups and social backgrounds. Polls and think tank statements make interesting reading and that's about all they are good for.

[-] 1 points by infokat (25) 11 years ago

Rupert Murdoch (owner of Fox News and the NY Times) also owns the New York Post.

[-] 1 points by Chris3141 (34) 11 years ago

I know the New York Post is manipulative. But there is zero chance that Public Policy Polling made up these numbers. Nate Silver (who if you know anything about polling is somebody to trust) describes them as very reliable.

[-] 1 points by OneVoice (153) 11 years ago

I'm not disputing the poll results. However, I do believe that newspapers like the New York Post influence these poll numbers. Poll results are based on a number of factors. How a question is written can affect the answer given. I believe that there are media sources like the New York Post that have attempted via outright propaganda to cast a negative viewpoint about the OWS movement and have extensively used photographs to distort facts. Can you imagine a front cover photograph of Newt Gingrich cashing a Freddie Mac check at a Bank of America? Or how about Nancy Pelossi physically embracing an employee at Wells Fargo on receiving an IPO tip that was not part of public record? Then, on the following day, have the Public Policy conduct a poll about OWS.

[-] 0 points by nomdeguerre (1775) from Brooklyn, NY 11 years ago

A leader could be manipulated, bribed, blackmailed or otherwise co-opted against OWS's interests (or even murdered). As a non-voting member (I'm not downtown) I think things are fine as they are.

[-] 2 points by Chris3141 (34) 11 years ago

You are of course entitled to your opinion, but this is the sort of paranoid fringe talk that makes our movement look bad.

[-] 0 points by nomdeguerre (1775) from Brooklyn, NY 11 years ago

don't be naive.

[-] 2 points by Chris3141 (34) 11 years ago

Rephrasing: You are right that all of those things are risks, but they aren't as big as you think they are, and they are massively outweighed by all the advantages that come with having a leader.

[-] 0 points by Glaucon (296) 11 years ago

Here's a post I wrote concerning the leadership dilemma in Occupy: http://occupywallst.org/forum/the-anarchic-dilemma-do-anarchies-self-destruct/

[-] 0 points by Commiesrstupid (5) 11 years ago

You guys need a guy with a Hitler mustache wearing a uniform. He could say things like " we need more living space " or " we need to get rid of all the republicans, and put them in camps " LOL!!! Your whole movement is a joke! If your goal is to change our government, then why are you protesting in New York? The government who is working for wall st., is located south of New York in a place called Washington, DC.

[-] 1 points by Chris3141 (34) 11 years ago

It sounds like you support the broader goals of the movement, but you don't like their method. Try to help make it better.

www.unitedrepublic.org is committed to solving the corruption problem in DC.


[-] 0 points by bdc301 (7) 11 years ago

May I suggest Joseph Stalin?

[-] 0 points by 53percenter (125) 11 years ago

Every comment on this page has a large number of "down twinkles". LOL

[-] 0 points by JOHNUSACITIZEN (62) 11 years ago

I could not disagree more... out-fox Fox news? REALLY?!?!

We each have different talents, experience, and fields of influence. We must use our strengths, WITH those we met during this time. Those we REALLY met, and know we can work with and trust.

However, ALL OF US should already be doing the basics, which take no special talent, just a little time:

  • KNOW our leaders, both their words and actions. votesmart.org is a huge help (just one example, not an authoritative source but very useful.) Learn about the leaders who represent us. Find out what they do, don't do, discuss with our friends, and then at least call and write them often to express our assessment of their performance in representing us.

  • KNOW who's polluting the environment, endangering our health, damaging our children, in many cases impairing them, depriving them of reaching their potential before they even start to live. (and sometimes, preventing their birth) The Right to Know Network rtknet.org has useful information, though difficult to navigate. Sorting through it all takes time and effort... a great example of what can be done is the 2010 List of the Top 100 air polluters prepared by the Political Economic Research Institute (PERI), at http://www.peri.umass.edu/toxic100/. Then take whatever civilly responsible action you can: complain to them, demand action from your representatives, stop consuming the crap they make, whatever... When we TRY, especially with our friends, we will think of something, many things!

peace... fully struggle on

[-] 0 points by DM10014 (-8) 11 years ago

Dissension in the ranks, and so it begins.

[-] 2 points by Chris3141 (34) 11 years ago

OWS will become much bigger and much more powerful if it breaks ties with the anarchists, the Marxists, and other fringe elements. The vast majority of Americans latently support our broader goals. They will join us if we stop scaring them away.

[-] 0 points by HPolloi (74) 11 years ago

Well, see, now your credibility is completely out the window. What ties with the anarchists are you talking about? You're just pulling stuff out of your ass. This entire post is concern trolling. Go away, troll.

[-] 2 points by Chris3141 (34) 11 years ago

I should clarify: I know there are no official ties with the anarchists. But the horizontal leadership structure gives the anarchists a larger voice than I think is good for the movement.

I wrote this post because I care about OWS and want it to be bigger and more effective.




[-] -1 points by Pimpson (-60) 11 years ago

You're going to continue to lose support because you're a communist ideology. You are violent, unthinking, people. You don't have any aims, your ideas are stupid and you keep loitering and creating havoc, which wastes money and resources.

That 45% is actually an old poll, It's well past 65% now that are against you.

[-] -1 points by nickhowdy (1104) 11 years ago

Cut it out with the leader garbage...OWS is doing fine..People need to stop looking for "leaders" and be their own leader..Making someone a leader for an entire group, just keeps perpetuating the same issues that we are all fighting against. Our whole system is falling apart because of this dependence on "leaders"

[-] 2 points by Chris3141 (34) 11 years ago

No, OWS is not doing fine. It is becoming increasingly unpopular, despite the fact that most Americans would agree with our larger goals. We are really squandering an opportunity here.

Every successful historical movement I can think of has had a leader, or at least a clear leadership structure. Civil rights in the 1960s, women's suffrage, Indian independence from colonialism. The list goes on and on. Yes, no leader is perfect. But don't let the perfect be the enemy of the good. Without a leader we are just spinning our wheels.

[-] 1 points by nickhowdy (1104) 11 years ago

If you want to be lead that's fine, there's a flock of sheep just waiting for you to join up. People are tired of "leaders" and hierarchical power structures..

For some reason, the little democracy they have created in the park is working for them and it just needs to be expanded upon.

If there is a leader, then they'll be someone to be pigeonholed, attacked or assassinated...

[-] 2 points by Chris3141 (34) 11 years ago

The fact that OWS remains unpopular despite supporting very popular broad goals means that the movement is doing something very wrong, and is really squandering an opportunity. It's not living up to its potential.

I want OWS to succeed. But ask anyone who understands PR and they will tell you that a leaderless structure is a magnet for unpopular fringe types who scare away the popular support that we need.

[-] 1 points by nickhowdy (1104) 11 years ago

OWS matters only so much as to highlight what is wrong with what's been going on in this country...It's succeeded already in doing that..As for what happens next this depends on the American populace...

OWS already knows if the American People don't wake up and start fighting against TPTB that it will me indentured servitude for the vast majority of us..

Stop looking at OWS as the only thing...Look to yourself, look to your neighbor, look to your wife and kids...We must all fight this thing together..

Just check out Greece to see our future..There is a plan and if you work for a living, you're not in it.

[-] 0 points by seaglass (671) from Brigantine, NJ 11 years ago

I agree, we could have a collective type leadership, we don't need charismatic leaders, they end up like Obama and Clinton sell-outs to the 1%.

[-] -1 points by teamosil (0) 11 years ago

IMO you're reading the poll backwards. The important number in there is how many people support the goals of OWS, not how many people support OWS itself. That's what protests are for- to raise awareness around issues, not to make the protesters popular.

[-] 0 points by Chris3141 (34) 11 years ago

That is a great point -- I should have clarified. While it is true that the vast majority of Americans support the goals of OWS, there is not a vast movement to do anything about it. OWS offers an opportunity to do this, but the vast majority of Americans are afraid to join because of all the fringe elements in OWS. So we have the armchair support, but not the motivated level of support needed to get stuff done. Does that help clear it up/

[-] -1 points by teamosil (0) 11 years ago

I partially agree. I think the victory in Ohio is in part due to the awareness OWS is raising. We have both Democrats and Republicans proposing bills to reduce the influence of money in politics just in the past two weeks. Elizabeth Warren running for senate. I think the impact Herman Cain's "9-9-9" plan would have on the middle class was scrutinized a bit more carefully because of the awareness in the economic treatment of regular people that OWS played a large role in generating. So, I don't think that leading a policy making agend is the only role that there is to be played in the process.

[-] 1 points by Chris3141 (34) 11 years ago

Right. I don't think that policy engagement alone is the right approach, and I agree that OWS can claim some credit for the victories you mentioned. But I don't think that street protests alone is the right approach either.

I think frequent street marches will continue to serve a purpose. As for the tents, I think they were beginning to do more harm than good.

[-] 2 points by teamosil (0) 11 years ago

Yeah, ok. I'll upgrade "partially agree" to "mostly agree" then :) I agree that marches are better than tents at the moment for sure. But, I actually don't think I would like to see OWS becoming a political party, advancing a platform, or endorsing candidates, even in combination with another organization.

The problem is that policy making is incredibly complex, detailed, work. Trying to form a policy platform based on the consensus of a million people, or electing an inexperienced candidate based only on their stance on a handful of issues is just a plain bad idea. In my view, the Tea Party made a huge mistake going that way and it turned out to be a total disaster for them and the country. They elected a bunch of people who frankly had no idea what to do with the vast majority of issues they had to vote on. All they knew was that they were elected to lower taxes, but all of a sudden they were facing having to come up with coherent policy positions on 30 complicated issues a day, none of which usually had anything to do with taxes. They were not able to do it. Forming a cohesive and informed policy platform takes a fleet of incredibly educated, experienced, smart, policy makers decades to accomplish. You can't just throw newbies with vague mandates into the mix and expect them to be able to pull it off. IMO the same thing would happen to us if we followed that path.

So, my preference would be for OWS to stay on the awareness raising front. OWS should act through the public by pointing out the problems in the system, not by trying to solve them themselves. We should seek to force both parties to address the most important issues rather than trying to become the party ourselves.

[-] -1 points by Endgame (535) 11 years ago

Couldn't agree more. As I've been saying here, it was brilliant for Occupy to begin with tons of factually based complaints and demands and to be completely unstructured. But now that we have everyones attention and the movement has become not only national but worldwide, its time for phase 2.

And that involves the Occupy movement taking all of the demands and putting them into a unified core message of Getting money out of our politics. This is something that transcends partisan politics and it deals with the most important problem in this country. The bribery and corruption in our politics ties into almost all of the problems this country face.

Get the outside money out of politics and we will be able have honest discussions about how to fix those problems without the outside corruption of money.

[-] -1 points by Chris3141 (34) 11 years ago

Thank you for the support. The way money influences politics is the core problem. We need to level the playing field.

I do have one quibble with your post though, and it's an important one. From what I've read in the political science literature, leveling the playing field by reducing the amount of money from corporations has the weird paradoxical effect of actually increasing corruption, because politicians become desperate for cash. The right way to level the playing field is to increase the amount of money from regular people making small donations. This can be done with matching funds for candidates who agree to only accept small donations. This is called public financing, and I think it is the best solution.

[-] 1 points by Endgame (535) 11 years ago

By saying get the OUTSIDE money out of politics im talking about corporate,union and any other organizations. Of course there should be some form of public financing of campaigns. It would be even better if the public financing could be capped.

I think just increasing all the money campaigns can get is a mistake because corporations will always win out. Get the outside money out and let our politician's campaigns be funded by a capped public funding system.

EDIT: gnomunny, that is exactly what im talking about. You just said it alot eloquently than I did lol.

[-] 1 points by gnomunny (6819) from St Louis, MO 11 years ago

I believe that's what some of the more focused members of OWS are suggesting; eliminating corporate and union donations and switching it over to a publicly financed system through individual donations limited to a set amount, say $10 or even $100. There's other ideas related to this also like free and equal airtime for the candidates. Airtime could be paid for by taxpayer money.

[-] 0 points by Chris3141 (34) 11 years ago

I'd be fine with that. If there is going to be a cap on all donations (not just for donations to candidates who participate in a small donation option with matching funds, which is what I was suggesting), that is going to require a constitutional amendment. That's why we need the soccer moms on board.

[-] 2 points by gnomunny (6819) from St Louis, MO 11 years ago

Yes we do. A small percentage of us on this forum fully believe that the occupy sites for the most part should be broken down and OWS should take this to the next level. Too much bad press lately. We also think it needs to move to a more structured, organized format. We should move to more traditional means of getting the message out and building support during the winter months. Recruit skilled eloquent speakers from within the movement to appear in schools and colleges, fliers, possibly mass mailings, billboards, organized marches (especially come spring), TV and radio spots and interviews, etc. These type ideas would add legitimacy to the movement and virtually eliminate negative press coverage.

[-] -1 points by JadedGem (895) 11 years ago

Also, winning back public support will come if people who have the time, donate some of it to working with charities and give back to their communities. People are afraid of investing a lot in a movement only to find out there was a hidden agenda, or are afraid it will be taken over by people who want very different things for the country. The people involved need to listen to people, even people they disagree with and find the common ground. Its time earn back the respect of the people, even if its making soup in soup kitchens, hanging up clothes in the local thrift stores, collecting donations for the food pantries. Its not glamorous. It won't get the adrenaline pumping. What it will do is provide social opportunities to share with people, listen to people, and help people. Earn some good will. Make some new friends. Have the big meetups on the weekend when less people are trying go back and forth to work and more soccer moms can decide to show up.

[-] -1 points by Chris3141 (34) 11 years ago

I agree. I actually think the most pressing public relations challenge is excluding the fringe elements in OWS. But I do agree that a positive engagement with communities could also help.

[-] 2 points by progmarx (66) 11 years ago

" excluding the fringe elements in OWS."

Too late,you've made a deal with the Devil and it will be one of the biggest reasons OWS fails.

[-] -1 points by Chris3141 (34) 11 years ago

Progmarx - Right.... because Marxism has had such a stellar record of success over the past 40 years. If that's what you want to fight for, that's totally your right, of course. But it is obvious to anyone who knows anything about PR that the Marxists elements in OWS are reducing public sympathy, not increasing it.

[-] 1 points by progmarx (66) 11 years ago

Hmmm,I think you misunderstood me. I'm saying it will be impossible to exclude ALL fringe elements because it's already a done deal,they are here to stay to make as much trouble for OWS as possible. The public perception of OWS is already showing to be very negative for many reasons.

By the way,progmarx is just a name, not an affiliation of ideology.

[-] 1 points by Chris3141 (34) 11 years ago

You're right. I misunderstood you. I wouldn't mind if a splinter group broke away from the leaderless movement and rallied around a leader.

[-] -1 points by professorzed (308) from Hamilton, ON 11 years ago

Eh, a 'leader' could easily corrupt the whole movement. Think agent saboteur. Obviously, a leader could emerge from the OWS, or another group could be formed with similar goals.

[-] -1 points by Chris3141 (34) 11 years ago

I'd encourage you to read more about Lawrence Lessig. He is completely serious about reforming campaign finance, and is not the type to be corrupted.

[-] -1 points by ZenDogTroll (13032) from South Burlington, VT 11 years ago

We don't need a leader. What we need is a bit of image management, that's all.


-- On Civil Disobedience and Direct Action . . . . November 12, 2008



-- It has been said we should take up arms . . . . November 12, 2011



-- Direct Action - Proposal before the committee: A Demonstration of Tongues . . . . Nov. 13, 2011



-- Trending on Twitter - Corporations Have No Tongues . . . . Nov. 13, 2011



-- Targeted Interdiction - What is it? . . . . Nov. 14, 2011



. -- Targeted Interdiction and Subversion of Institutions - WTF? . . . . Nov. 15, 2011


[-] -1 points by Chris3141 (34) 11 years ago

We have poor image management because we don't have a leader. The movement is overly inclusive, and has allowed in a bunch of unsavory and ill-informed types who give the rest of us a bad name. Leadership is important because it clarifies the message. Yes, this means excluding the people who make us look bad. It's hard to do this is everyone is given a voice.

[-] 3 points by ZenDogTroll (13032) from South Burlington, VT 11 years ago

The natural tendency is to exclude those who seem, in some way, unlike us. If we truly represent the 99 then we cannot begin with a policy of exclusion.

For far too long the policies of division have produced a result that, as Americans, we find has done harm not just to some of us, but to all of us.

Those who engage in violence do not represent us. Some of those who would advocate violence do so to the benefit of those who oppose us. I think this principle should be the fundamental basis for decisions around any policy of exclusion or ostracism from OWS.

[-] -1 points by Fluke (47) from Örebro, Örebro Län 11 years ago

If you are that easlily bought by polls you are screwed...no need for you or that organization.

[-] 0 points by Chris3141 (34) 11 years ago

Polls are a reasonably good measure of public opinion. We need more public support if we want to get anything done.

[-] -1 points by Fluke (47) from Örebro, Örebro Län 11 years ago

That depends entirely on how polls are conducted. One should always ask why there was a poll made in the first place.

[-] -1 points by Chris3141 (34) 11 years ago

I'm very confident in the motives of the PPP pollsters. And the numbers aren't surprising. OWS has received a lot of negative media coverage over the past few weeks. And I don't just blame the media for this.

[-] -1 points by Fluke (47) from Örebro, Örebro Län 11 years ago

I am opposed to most polls because it is easy for me to see how they are used to manipulate opinion. If anyone doubts that they should be extra wary the weeks before an election for example, see how different stakeholders buys polls, framed so that it suits their needs.

The negative media you refer to is part of that game - it feeds the polls and the polls feed back. Provide some answers to why the OWS movement deserves negative media coverage...your welcome, go right ahead.

Oh, and i gladly swap a sucker....sorry, soccer mom for an anarchist .

[-] -2 points by seaglass (671) from Brigantine, NJ 11 years ago

"Don't follow leaders, watch the parking meters" Dylan had it right back then. You put a leader on top and he'll sell us all out in a flash, its just what they do.

[-] 1 points by Chris3141 (34) 11 years ago

Every successful historical movement I can think of has had a leader. Civil rights in the 1960s, women's suffrage, the 18th century Boston Tea Party. The list goes on and on. Yes, no leader is perfect. But don't let the perfect be the enemy of the good. Without a leader we are just spinning our wheels.

There are plenty of candidates for the leadership who are principled enough to be outside of the mainstream, and yet smart enough to understand PR and basic econ. People like Lawrence Lessig, Glenn Greenwald, and Elizabeth Warren.

[-] 0 points by seaglass (671) from Brigantine, NJ 11 years ago

We'll have to agree to disagree friend. I don't believe we'll end up spinning our wheels without leaders. The time has passed for believing in Messiahs. They all end up having clay feet or like MLK or Gandhi getting shot.

[-] 1 points by Chris3141 (34) 11 years ago

The point isn't about MLK or Gandhi eventually getting shot. The point is that MLK and Gandhi were incredibly effective at advancing their goals.

[-] 0 points by seaglass (671) from Brigantine, NJ 11 years ago

I doubt even if we had such leaders this kind of movement would follow them. Many of us feel betrayed after hoping Obama would fill those shoes.

[-] -2 points by sweetsarahmaria (-4) 11 years ago

OWS is a waste of money. The "Arab Spring" approach isn't going to work because we already are a democracy. Stop wasting money by "occupying" and get involved in the government. Find some intelligent, well spoken college students or laid off professionals who are educated in economics, law or politics, and use that $450,000 + to fund a campaign for them to be elected into congress. Fix the system by getting involved in it. There are a lot of people like me who are turned off by the ignorance, ambiguity, and above all waste of inertia, by the OWS movement. Look at how powerful the Tea Party became. Well, OWS has about a year until the next big elections, and obviously there is a lot of financial support out there for the right candidates: educated or experienced in economics, law, or local/ college politics, and with a firm grasp of reality.

[-] 1 points by MyHeartSpits (448) 11 years ago

The Tea Party was financed by the establishment and their message was twisted in favor of establishment. That's why you've seen only an intensifying of the things that the Tea Party originally stood against.

[-] -1 points by Chris3141 (34) 11 years ago

I strongly agree that OWS needs to become engaged with legislatures. But I also think that some systemic change is needed as well. (This goes beyond voting, passing laws, and other activities done within the system.) In particular, I would like to see a constitutional amendment to fundamentally change how campaign finance works.

[-] -2 points by NonParticipant (151) 11 years ago

Obviously from my name, I am not in favor of OWS. What you wrote is a big reason why. I've read much on this website, and there are so many different opinions of what should be done, leaders/leaderless, taking so much time to decide how to spend $300, wanting all donations because selling OWS t-shirts would be capitalistic, etc. I'm not a sit-in kind of person, which is another reason I don't support OWS.

BUT, my biggest concern about this situation is the fact that if, somehow, OWS was able to stop Wall Street, or cause huge turmoil in the government, I don't see a viable plan ready to keep the country/financial stability in place. There would be major major chaos, with nothing ready to address the chaos. I have read all of the GA minutes, and it takes HOURS to make any type of decision. Multiply that by 335 million Americans, and you've got some chaos on your hands.

I agree with OWS's basic premise that some things need to change. But I think there needs to be much more planning, some type of leaders chosen, organizing, etc. If America fell tomorrow, OWS would not be ready to lead. As an outsider, that scares the living crap out of me!

[-] -1 points by Chris3141 (34) 11 years ago

You're right that "stopping" Wall Street would be really bad. Anybody in OWS who actually wants to do this is incredibly naive and should be excluded from the organization. We need investment banks. They can help grow the economy, and they reduce the risk for entrepreneurs who want to start companies.

The problem is that investment banks need to be regulated better. We need a financial transactions tax. We need limits on leverage to reduce systemic risk to the economy. It's very hard to do this without campaign finance reform, since Wall Street lobbyists have so much influence in Washington.

[-] -3 points by 53percenter (125) 11 years ago

People like this are what regular folks are seeing on the news and on the net. I'm sure the vast, vast majority of OWS members disagree with guys like this but you never hear the crowds try to shout them down or disavow them. If OWS doesn't step away from these crazy fringe elements, then maybe the clear thinking people should step away from OWS. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ilq_66LnRaw&feature=player_embedded

[-] -1 points by Chris3141 (34) 11 years ago

I agree that the clear thinking pragmatists should separate from the fringe elements. And by the way, 53percenter, would you support the broad message from the pragmatists? Getting Wall Street under control, reducing income inequality in America (which has risen massively since the 1970s), and reducing the influence of corporate lobbyists who get laws passed that narrowly benefit corporations without always benefiting the rest of us?

[-] -1 points by 53percenter (125) 11 years ago

The first 2 items in your question are too vague for me to comment on but I can comfortably say that I agree with the third because you were very specific in your wording.

[-] 0 points by Chris3141 (34) 11 years ago

"Getting Wall Street under control". Using smart regulation to reduce the amount of systemic risk they put into the economy. This might include a financial transaction tax, a cap on leverage, or other ideas that experts who know more about it than me can think of.

"Reducing income inequality". It's totally fine that some people are richer than others. That's what gets people motivated to work. But right now, the rich are way richer than the poor. I want to reduce this inequality through a progressive tax code. As a start, we could bring marginal tax rates on income back to those we had during the Clinton era.

[-] 0 points by 53percenter (125) 11 years ago

A financial transaction tax will only hurt the small investors and take away from 401k and IRA type retirement investments, etc. I think things that are considered highly unethical, should be made illegal. That includes insider trading by members of congress. That said, it is not Wall Street that caused the bubble and subsequent collapse in the housing industry or the current bubble in tuition costs and student debt. In fact, the student loan problem isn't even caused by the banks. The banks simply gave the students the loans they asked for. I've studied both topic in depth. In both cases, the root cause is government intervention. Let me know if you want a further explanation on these items, I can post them tomorrow. As far as income inequality goes, taxing the rich does nothing good for the poor in the long run. The lazy stay lazy and those who do want to work will have less jobs to choose from because the rich will have no incentive to invest in new companies. No matter how high you make the tax rates, the revenues to the treasury never exceed 19% of GDP. This is because at some level, the tax rates begin to damage the economy. Eventually people lose jobs and less people end up paying taxes. For more info read this...... http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Laffer_curve

[-] 1 points by Chris3141 (34) 11 years ago

Student loans: I agree that this isn't Wall Street's fault.

Financial Transaction Tax: This is outside my expertise. I take your point.

The Laffer Curve: I agree that there is a peak on the Laffer Curve, but hardly any mainstream economist thinks we are to the right of the peak, or that Clinton era rates would be to the right of the peak.

Laziness: I really think this is a common misconception on the right. Most lower income people work really long hours, and often have to hold more than one job. Yes, before the 1996 Welfare Reform there was a problem with government handouts creating laziness. I think that's much less of an issue now. I'd like to see more money in the hands of poor people so that they can spend more and help the economy.

[-] 0 points by 53percenter (125) 11 years ago

You missed my point on laziness, but only because I didn't explain myself well. By definition, a low income person IS working but for whatever reason, can barely earn enough to support themselves. I can empathise with those people since I was one of them in two periods of my life. I've also known many people that have gone through similar times. But I also know lazy people that are simply unwilling to work and would rather game the system or leach off of friends and family. Ironically, the lazy ones I know are all from rich families and have plenty of education to get good paying jobs. Well, maybe not anymore since they are well into their 40's and have nothing to put on a resume. BTW, they are all Liberals and support OWS... NOT KIDDING!