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Forum Post: Time for a new Occupy

Posted 2 years ago on Feb. 3, 2012, 11:58 a.m. EST by XenuLives (1645) from Charlotte, NC
This content is user submitted and not an official statement

In regards to the lack of a press release or other condemnation from the GAs about the recent violence that a few have used to paint this original movement with, I think it is time for the sensible, moderate voices among us and start a new movement.

Here's what I would do if I would start such a movement:

"NEW OCCUPY"

  • Nominate 5 people from each city that has protestors to act as the "directors" for that local movement. These five people will be nominated and elected at the GA by every participant in the group. The "directors" could be rotated out every 3 months or after whatever period that the group decides is reasonable. The main point is to have a small group that can moderate the GAs, lead the discussions, provide liasons and professional communications for the police and media, and in general be the "face" of the movement.

  • Institute a dress code on certain "outreach" or "PR" days. I suggest having participants come to protest in "business casual" attire on one day each week. That way, they can't be called "unwashed hippies" and the public who only use the mainsteam media for news would see that, yes, we are just like you.

  • Adopt a no-tolerance policy towards violence. Create a PR on day one that stresses this point, and recite this rule at the beginning of every march. Stipulate that any person caught vandalizing or being violent during a march will be subject to a citizens' arrest. Notify the local PD of this policy.

  • Create a dedicated outreach/marketing group that produces results. Streamline the timeliness of marketing materials by having approvals brought to the group of directors, where the directors can opt to vote yes or no on each marketing piece, or they can move a controversial piece to a GA vote.

  • In order to circumvent police violence towards protestors and all of the issues that correspond with maintaining a singular space for an extended period, change tactics to perform "flash occupations" instead or one pro-longed occupation. This will allow the group to gain the maximum amount of media and public attention while keeping individual participants safe, due to the time that it will take for police to arrive. Right now the Occupy movements have been sitting ducks for police to move in and assault their members. By protesting at random times in random locations the new movement can adopt a "picket and run" strategy that will subvert the police response that will respond in the same way every time. Examples of what I'm thinking about would be that on a day that foreclosure auctions are taking place, for protestors to pick one of auction houses at random, get in, disrupt the auction for 10-15 minutes, and then get out. Then, the protestors could move to a home that is being foreclosed on, protest there for an hour or so, and then leave.

  • We should hold a regularly scheduled protest at least once per month, say, on the first Saturday of each month. This protest would be publicized and promoted with flyers, etc. These protests should be "business casual," have a set agenda, and be setup to bring new participants up to speed. If done correctly the public will know that each month there is "Occupy day" which also makes it incredibly easy for new people to come by and join the movement.

37 Comments

37 Comments


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[-] 2 points by GypsyKing (8719) 2 years ago

I disagree. Every successful political movement has succeeded through creative protest on the streets. The advent of camcorders has given the public a first hand look at the actions of the police, and I don't think they like what they're seeing. Public opinion will eventually turn in the favor of the protesters, if fact I think it already has. There have been almost no polls taken on this movements popularity in months, and I think we know why. The idea that people are turning against this movement is a "talking point" used in the hopes of turning that unsubstanciated claim into reality. It's called manufacturing consent.

I do think you make some valuable suggestions here, I just don't think we should limit the creativity of protest action. We've yet to scratch the surface of the possibilities in this area. If we schedual protests in such a predictable, and frankly boring way, nobody will pay any attention to us in short order. That is not how we go about non-violent revolution.

[-] 1 points by XenuLives (1645) from Charlotte, NC 2 years ago

You're right, there have been no polls taken recently. We've fallen out of the media cycle, and it will get harder to stay in the news as the election ramps up unless we participate in that process...

I agree with you that things need to stay creative. The sky is the limit as far as the flash protests go. What I'm suggesting is that there is a protest where everyone knows what time and date, what to expect, and what the rules are so that our image is improved. Basically, a PR-friendly protest every month. That would be for image, but the flash protests would be where the real action takes place.

I could see us:

  • pooling money to buy a foreclosed home and turning it into a homeless shelter

  • flash protest inside of a wal*mart

  • flash protest in support of a company that produces in america (positive protest!)

  • flash protests at campaign stops

  • foreclosure auctions (already happening)

  • what about mock foreclosure auctions? We'll 'foreclose' on the big banks that caused this mess, put up foreclosure statements and some police-line looking tape.

  • what about taking a page from the Yes Men and releasing some PR on behalf of those too big to fail banks? "Bank of America today has decided to cancel all foreclosure processes and will now offer an income-based repayment plan to all of its mortgage holders that are in financial trouble."

  • Occupy the Mansions flash protests outside of 1% properties?

[-] 1 points by Marlow (1141) 2 years ago

Xen, when you pare it down as you just did here, it's more likely to reach the majority approval.

( But, asking for a dress code when you are marching and protesting day after day.. no showers, no beds.. etc, well, .. you are going to see these good people as appearing homeless.. Because they ARE! ;^)

... Issues need Defining. ... ... Then consensus. .. ....Then consensus on Resolution. .. 'How' we do that will take Cooperation and Coordination.

After that, it's gravy!

Marlow

.. ( Good Morning Gypsy, and Ty)

[-] 1 points by GypsyKing (8719) 2 years ago

Yes, okay, I'm with you on all of the above!

[-] 1 points by pewestlake (947) from Brooklyn, NY 2 years ago

I think people have a misconception of how the mainstream media works. Mainstream news producers write the story first, then they go and get the pictures that tell the story. If everyone at Occupy is in business casual but the story requires a hippy, they'll go around the corner and find a hippy. If they're in the Bronx and the story requires a white homeless mother-of-three, they'll go all the way to Oklahoma City for the shot instead of going around the corner.

The mainstream media works in narratives. The bad news is that their paymasters set the narrative for Occupy a long time ago and changing names or tactics won't alter that. The good news is audience agency -- the ability of the viewer to see past the narrative to the truth. Even as hate-media denounces and propagandizes, and corporatist media parrots and asks leading questions, the general public has been more active in educating itself. Occupy has grown despite their best efforts. In the age of the permanent spectacle, that's a pretty big deal in itself.

I think this is a worthy discussion and I'm not a charter Occupy member so I only throw my two cents in for others to digest. But I've spent my entire career working in the media in some capacity. The most important lesson I can impart about the media: it's their agenda first, yours last. You want good press, make your agenda their agenda. Good journalists work for bad outlets. Win their sympathies by understanding their passions and playing to them.

[-] 0 points by XenuLives (1645) from Charlotte, NC 2 years ago

I know you're right about the media. I don't like how the media also uses "x arrested at Occupy protest" as news instead of reporting on the thousands of people who were NOT arrested and successfully carried out a peaceful protest in other areas. The media is also obsessed with headcounts (and the misrepresentation thereof) while those on the ground should be more concerned with productivity over numbers (I'd rather have 10 people that are on the same page than 100 that aren't doing anything.)

My suggestion is probably naive with regards to the business casual protest. I know I've worked on press releases, media statements, and other PR materials at previous protests, and they really don't garner attention unless the numbers are ridiculous or there are arrests/violence.

At the very least having a professional look mixed in with the blue collar looks will show average Americans that we are just like them. I think the public needs to see that we are not what the media and conservatives say that we are.

How do you get the media's attention? I understand finding a sympathetic journalist (Matt Tallibi [sp?] from Rolling Stone comes to mind) but how do we connect to these people?

[-] 1 points by pewestlake (947) from Brooklyn, NY 2 years ago

PS: Matt Taibbi is fair but not an ally. He's a real journalist. He may agree with OWS, but he won't report that way. Other good investigative reporters like Greg Palast (Best Democracy Money Can Buy) and John Perkins (Confessions of an Economic Hitman) are naturally fair-minded. But they may not feel the need to specifically report on the Occupy movement itself, rather the issues Occupy is concerned with. Still, if you're sending out Press Releases, all those guys should be on the email/fax bomb.

[-] 1 points by pewestlake (947) from Brooklyn, NY 2 years ago

You can't connect with them. It's their job to stay disconnected. The only thing you can do is trigger the fight/flight instinct by presenting them with a shiny object. That's why naked women protesting fur coats always gets the media -- shiny object. Think of the media as a flock of magpies. No matter what, they will always flock together to the thing that is the most shiny. They all want the hot story for the ratings and the ad money but nobody knows what the hot story is so they go with spectacle over substance. Almost every time.

The only places you can get a fair hearing is with people like Rachel Maddow. The right wing hates her because, just like Pelosi, she's very good at what she does. The Current TV crowd are natural allies. But public broadcasting will always walk a straight and very boring line and corporatist media will always push an us/them narrative. Whatever you want to do to get the media's attention, it has to disrupt the flow or you'll just fall into the same old categories.

Honestly, I hate to be this crude about it, but if you want the media to do your bidding, show them some tits. ;-)

[-] 0 points by XenuLives (1645) from Charlotte, NC 2 years ago

LOL.... Sounds like a fun one-off protest idea. IDK how many of us would agree to that, but as it gets warmer...

[-] 1 points by pewestlake (947) from Brooklyn, NY 2 years ago

Hey I'll show them my tits but I don't think they care. ;-)

Seriously, though. Keep that as a mantra. Show them something shiny and they'll come. Pump out another policy press release and they'll yawn. To get the message across, combine the shiny object with the object lesson. That's why people remember the fur coat aspect of the naked women, they connect, skin for skin. Find the angle.

[-] 1 points by badlimey (48) 2 years ago

There is absolutely a need for a new structure for this movement to ever be able to gain any traction. However, before a structure can be formed it is important that we identify the root cause that has created such misery and inequality.

The Banking Cartels have shaped policy, engineered economic conditions and provided Corporate Welfare on a massive scale while ignoring the needs of the masses.

I wrote an article yesterday, not for the fun of it, but because I genuinely care about making a difference. I would ask that you read it, verify its content through your own research and then discuss it at your next GA.

Whether there are violent influences that have penetrated this loose, undisciplined, unorganized movement is irrelevant. If the OWM ever gains traction the Police will make sure that violence occurs so they can respond with the overwhelming physical superiority and then point to the protestors as instigators.

How naive can you be?

http://mrphister.blogspot.com/2012/03/occupy-wall-street-save-it-now.html

[-] 0 points by XenuLives (1645) from Charlotte, NC 2 years ago

I saw your post and liked it, but I didn't see a lot of specifics for a plan. I saw that you wanted to elect one person to be a "spokesperson" and that the person had to be from DC... That's an idea, but I think it is much more reasonable to elect a group of people to represent the movement at large than to have just one person that can be targeted. I also don't want to hinge an entire movement on the well-being of one person. With a group if one person gets sick or something happens to them, then there are 4 others still keeping things going.

[-] 1 points by badlimey (48) 2 years ago

As an extension of what I wrote each chapter should have a spokesperson. You don't attract popular support by looking like a stereotypical anarchist or hippy.

You put fear into these people when they stare at someone who looks like them and talks like them.

If bringing common sense, structure, discipline, actionable plans, and most importantly a properly defined end goal, alienates the anarchists and hippies that will latch on to just about any oppositional cause then I would suggest that this is not necessarily a bad thing.

We are not playing this "game" by our rules, we first have to play and win according to the rules in play. We can do that.

Thanks,

Barrie Featherstone, Houston, TX. http://mrphister.blogspot.com/2012/03/occupy-wall-street-save-it-now.html

[-] 1 points by FreeDiscussion5 (12) 2 years ago

You are worried about trolls posting? LOL. YOU have posted 5 times to your own post. MAN,,, you sure have the following. Let's go with your plan. Get the corporate jet fueled and ready to taxi. YOU are the MAN.

[-] 1 points by LetsGetReal (1420) from Grants, NM 2 years ago

I like many of your suggestions for a new movement Xenu. I think a new name would be better though. If it hasn't been already, the name Occupy will soon be so strongly associated with the general assholery of a few that it would be a handicap.

http://occupywallst.org/forum/oakland-to-host-ftp-event-saturday-evening-black-a/

I also have grave reservations about the consensus process as it has been used. I think it is far to unwieldly to work in anything but very small groups.

[-] 1 points by XenuLives (1645) from Charlotte, NC 2 years ago

Please stop replying to troll threads and lets talk about this instead.

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

How precisely do you plan to implement this and where? Is there any GA anywhere that would consider such a proposal. I've been to GAs in half a dozen different cities and every one of them is firmly committed to horizontalism without particular individuals being identified as leaders. Why 5? And what is this crap about "business casual?" Every occupation that I have been to has been a combination of hipsters, the homeless, and ordinary working folks, some of whom are blue collar workers for whom "business casual" is a meaningless term. Sounds like a lot of bias in favor of middle class gentility to me. My point is, the occupations are already a reflection of a cross section of society. What is the matter with that? And in the absence of a permanent encampment where are the homeless to stay? Notify the cops? Notify the cops?? You have got to be kidding. There is a reasonable discourse regarding whether or not the cops are part of the 99%, but without question, their job, what they are mandated to do is protect the property and social position of the 1% and the status quo of the social order. Notifying the cops about anything amounts to treason to the movement. There is also a reasonable discussion as to how the movement should and can discipline itself, but I don't think it disciplines itself at all effectively by calling on the forces of the 1% to handle problems which it finds overwhelming. On the home page of this web site it says that we don't need politicians and we don't need Wall Street to build a new society. By extension if OWS has any dignity or a future it also does not need the enforcement agencies of the state to discipline itself.

[-] 0 points by XenuLives (1645) from Charlotte, NC 2 years ago

"How precisely do you plan to implement this and where?"

Wherever people would accept it. I assume that if there was support for this, then it would be an off shoot of Occupy. A separate movement perhaps.

5 people because it is a lot harder to smear or shudder 5 people into submission than just one. Also, an odd number of Directors makes it so that votes can't be split and held off indefinitely. Votes have to be 3-2, 4-1, or 5-0. Also its more representative than a smaller number of directors. In larger groups this number could scale up, as long as an odd number of directors are used (7,9,11, etc.)

Business casual is what middle America wears to work. Dress slacks or khakis, button up shirt, belt, black or brown shoes. Ladies wear angle-length dresses, long skirts, or slacks/khakis. Tasteful blouses or button up shirts. It would give us a great image and instantly silence the critics with regards to how we look.

Yes, notify the cops of a non-violence policy. Don't notify them about the flash protests, however. Like you said, the cops aren't the most trustworthy public servants.

Look, the cops have weapons and PR on their side. Anything THEY say trumps anything that you say, even if they are the wrong party in the altercation. You have to either a) fight back or b) adapt. Otherwise you're going to keep getting pepper spray and batons shoved in your face.

[-] 0 points by Renaye (522) 2 years ago

There are great ideas here to be sure. Trolls will stay away from this post because it is a positive step that OWS should take, and the trolls will not respond to make sure the post doesn't get bumped and seen by too many people. You are fighting against big people and big money who want to make this protest violent. I love your idea though. Unless you can co-ordinate this yourself with a few trusted individuals, then realistically, well......good luck. I await to see what this post brings in the way of people who will sign up with you.

[-] 1 points by XenuLives (1645) from Charlotte, NC 2 years ago

Thanks! I hope more people get to read this and start to think about new ways to achieve their goals. People get caught up in ruts sometimes.

Occupy isn't our only hope, although I have heard many people state that as the reason why they are still supporting it. I want to realize the same goals as the Occupy movement before things got, er, weird. I know that there are others out there, like me, who have more moderate takes on the situation and want to join the cause.

They just need a platform that works for them. Maybe that platform is the 99declaration? I plan on putting up my delegate profile soon, and if I'm elected then I'll be more than happy to use my vacation days in Philly. Maybe the right platform is Americans Elect. Maybe its something like what I proposed?

All I know is that the camping out and waiting for cops and 1% influenced officials to "evict" you isn't achieving the results that we want. That hypothesis failed. Lets try a new one.

[-] 0 points by XenuLives (1645) from Charlotte, NC 2 years ago

I doubt the trolls will care to reply to this, because my plan effectively answers any criticism that they have levied on Occupy movements in the past. They would have to actually attack the message instead of just attacking the people behind the message.

[-] -1 points by HoarFriday (27) 2 years ago

Appoint me. I've got my Daisy Dukes ironed and my tube tops ready to go!

[-] -1 points by Carlitini99 (-167) 2 years ago

sounds great. Having Directors will then allow the American people to hold someone accountable when occupy damages our cities or hurts public servants. no mention of getting a permit to protest. everyone else does. if the protest are announced prior as you suggest , how can you have 'picket and run' strategy to avoid police.

[-] 2 points by XenuLives (1645) from Charlotte, NC 2 years ago

I suggested a public monthly protest, with additional flash protests that are unannounced. Like a flash mob, but for activism.

Directors would be useful to point out any police infiltrators to the protests that create violence and then to paint the entire movement in a bad light. The leaders could go "person x was not at any GAs and didn't participate in a working group. Notice also that this person did not wear the suggested business casual attire. They are not part of this group." and then the entire group is spared from infiltrators and bad apples attacking its image. Right now there is no way to pin the blame for anything that an undercover policeman or just a general miscreant does while at a protest.

[-] -3 points by Carlitini99 (-167) 2 years ago

i hate flash mobs, sounds like something Mao would do if he were trying to take over a country. Chances are that someone will get killed at one of these Occupy protest. Or some damage will be done that will alert the tax payers to the cost of occupy. Someone will pay for it, and i would go after any leadership or donors to the Occupy movement.

[-] 1 points by XenuLives (1645) from Charlotte, NC 2 years ago

No, more like those synchronized dance numbers that just seem to erupt in food courts, town squares, and the like. Except with mic checks and chants (maybe some dancing too, who knows?)

You just hate everything about Occupy, don't ya? You're not making anyone quit. No one is giving up because of you. You're an amusement to us, nothing more. You'll have better luck stopping us by going out to an occupation in person than you ever will with your trolling. I bet you would have some great angry sex... a/s/l?

[-] -2 points by Carlitini99 (-167) 2 years ago

i'm constantly amazed how stupid and hateful you all are.

[-] -1 points by XenuLives (1645) from Charlotte, NC 2 years ago

Oh yeah...angry retard sex... mmm hmm

[-] -3 points by Carlitini99 (-167) 2 years ago

why don't you hook up with the dumb law student at Georgetown, maybe you can help her get contraception at Walmart for $9.00. She is kind of plain , but i'm sure that you are no winner either.

[-] 1 points by XenuLives (1645) from Charlotte, NC 2 years ago

She's a lot smarter than you'll ever be, Republitard.

Now go cry in your bible about how you got your ass kicked on an internet forum. Why Jesus? Why aren't you helping me troll the forums? WHHHHHHHHHHHHHHYYYYYYYYYYYYY?

[-] -3 points by Carlitini99 (-167) 2 years ago

IQ Check: Xenu, you are muy estupido, Occupy should get rid of you to strengthen the herd.

[-] 1 points by XenuLives (1645) from Charlotte, NC 2 years ago

We should get rid of you to strengthen the human race.

[-] -3 points by Carlitini99 (-167) 2 years ago

IQ Check. XenuLives below 70 IQ

[-] 0 points by XenuLives (1645) from Charlotte, NC 2 years ago

Fifth Grade called. They want their insults back.

[-] -1 points by Carlitini99 (-167) 2 years ago

i'm only in fourth grade, come on.

[-] 0 points by XenuLives (1645) from Charlotte, NC 2 years ago

OK...

[-] -1 points by XenuLives (1645) from Charlotte, NC 2 years ago

You know what's funny? I predicted that no troll would touch this with a ten foot pole... and they didn't! And the thread was buried... This is how you beat the trolls...ignore their threads and only post in the threads that relate to Occupy.