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Forum Post: We Must Organize the True 99%, No More TV Gimmicks!!!

Posted 12 years ago on Dec. 4, 2011, 9:05 a.m. EST by OWS4President (32)
This content is user submitted and not an official statement

Have you noticed that OWS has been dropping out of the corporate media's fickle spot light? We can bitch and moan about how we SHOULD be in the media, and about how the corporate media is, well... the corporate media, but we may as well complain that rolling in poisoned ivy makes us itch. OWS represents the interests of the struggling middle class and the poor, the corporate media represents the interests of the corporate and financial elites. And you were expecting... what? Yes, we had our day in the sun, we were collectively the celebrity of the moment, we burned through our Warhol fame unit, but now the honey moon is over and media attention returns to political side shows and child molesting coaches, leaving OWS hungry for another fame fix, but it won't come easy, we'll have to strike new veins, plunge deeper, hit new nerves in the public psyche, throw tantrums, demand attention we feel we deserve, but we deserve nothing, the world owes us nothing, we shall receive nothing, because there is nothing, only the Tao, you know? The more we demand attention, the more we act out and seek attention the more the media and the world at large will become numb to us, the more shrill we become, the more def they become, a tolerance is building even now, just as a tolerance is building to ever greater numbers of people living in poverty, ever greater chaos in our weather, and ever greater erosion of human dignity and freedom. What was once unthinkable is now becoming the new norm, and protest against this new norm risks itself becoming accepted as the new norm. So what to do?

OWS can not continue to replicate it's original success via the same methods which brought us here. We must expand, lay deeper and broader roots, or the movement will topple. We say we speak for the 99%, but why not give the 99% a voice and let them speak for themselves? OWS is quickly becoming a self appointed vanguard of "the 99%" while making only minimal efforts to actually connect to and involve the 99% and make their actual voices heard. Yes, there are some heart warming stories about individuals within the movement making such connections, but the movement as a whole remains a self contained cultural bubble, a kind of activist meritocracy where the more of a civil disobedience veteran one is the more influence one wields in the movement. The more we become a movement of professional activists, the more we move away from the rest of the population which hasn't had the privilege, yes the privilege, for whatever reason, of being exposed to liberating and self empowering philosophy, ideology, culture, social structures, etc. I am not saying that we should let go of this privilege ourselves, I am saying that we should be making far greater efforts to extend this privilege we are so lucky to have come upon to others. Not via passive avoidance internet geekery, not blogs and Facebook profiles or another web site, but also not self absorbed activist bubbles that, if you haven't noticed, are increasingly avoided by a weary public that has no idea what the hell we are doing and quite frankly seems to find us intimidating and even a bit cultish when they see us gathered in circles repeating each other and making funny hand gestures the meaning of which no one bothers to share with them. No, I'm talking about talking. We need to stop looking inward and start looking outward to all those people who aren't the 70 or 80 thousand activists occupying parks, you know, that 99% we keep talking about.

Look at any example of a successful movement/revolution and you will see the effort to involve as many people as possible DIRECTLY, by actively reaching out on a local level, house to house, farm to farm, workplace to workplace, educating people about the mechanization behind their suffering, teaching people how to organize themselves, and then bringing them into an ever growing movement of movements. It's that whole grass roots thing we keep hearing about, and it can be broken down into some very easy to grasp steps:

1) Organize OWS activists locally. OK, Facebook could be good for this, but also flyers, bulletin boards at local establishments, etc. You can think of something, use your magnificent brain. The point is to start a local "cell" (or whatever you want to call it) to expand upon.

2) Together, figure out what economic, political, environmental, etc., issues you want to educate people on, a location you can all gather, how you want to involve the new participants in democratic group decision making, and of course how to educate them on democratic decision making as this is an alien concept to most in the "land of the free".

3) Prepare your "rap" you will use to open conversation on said issues of interest. Present yourself as a local representative of sorts of OWS and try to prepare for questions about OWS.

4) Produce some simple one page flyers you can leave with people. Don't go overboard, just focus on a few points, something to remind people why you bothered to talk to them and why they might want to get involved. Include any contact info of course, and a place to gather if you've planned that far already.

5) There are millions who share our values and concerns but we have to find them. How? Easy, just look for them. I've canvassed, knocking on doors is easy. Can't take a little rejection now and then? This is a great way to thicken that soft skin. Plan as a "cell" what locations to hit, anything public or private that makes sense, homes, businesses, again, use your brains, map out territory to cover, it's fun.

6) Hit that turf, have some interesting conversations, a few arguments, a few doors slammed in your face. A few people will really be interested, try to get them to commit to participating in your local group. Don't be scared. "OK, so I'll see you on Saturday at x_?". Let them know their participation will be sooooo appreciated. And it will be.

7) Wow, a few new people actually showed up! You've already organized as a cell, just introduce the new participants to your decision making process, tell them more about the goals you have in mind, make sure they feel included and that their thoughts, opinions, feelings, are very welcome and even essential to the group as a whole. Brainstorm, get inspired together!

8) Ask the new participants if they know anyone who could get involved.

9) Share your experiences with talking to people, sharpen up your rap, be more prepared.

10) Repeat the whole process. Be fruitful and multiply.

11) Stay in contact and organize with other Occupy groups and of course organize with the national and international movement when larger demonstrations are planned.



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[-] 2 points by fwankie123 (490) from Immokalee, FL 12 years ago

Simplify the message and move on it!

Signed Pledge From Democratic U.S. Congressional Candidates Running In Primaries In 2012 For The Support Of The OWS National Movement. The Quickest Path To REAL change! "Occupy Congress!"

"I pledge in writing that if I am elected to the U.S. Congress my top priorities will be passing legislation that includes the following:

Get Big Money Out Of Federal Politics - Pass the Fair Elections Now Act (S. 750 and H.R. 1404). A law where political candidates for federal office would raise a large number of small contributions from their communities in order to qualify for Fair Elections funding. Contributions are limited to $100.00. Strictly voluntary by the candidate to avoid legal issues. Revise the Fair Elections Now Act to include 100% discount (up from 25%) for TV air time for political advertising.

Create Jobs Now - A ten-year federal program that involves a New Works Progress Administration (WPA) and Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) to create over 5 million jobs rebuilding America that includes infrastructure banks run by engineers, not politicians to extricate ourselves from the Great Recession now and increase productivity later. Pay for it by taxing all Wall St. financial transactions at 1%. Raises $400 billion a year. A 3% annual surtax on incomes over $1 million. Raises another $200 billion a year.

End The Housing Crisis Now - Congress can and should modify the bankruptcy laws to allow primary residence mortgages to be eligible for restructuring by making banks lower the principal balance on all underwater mortgages to current market value and refinancing these loans to current market interest rates."

[-] 1 points by OWS4President (32) 12 years ago

"Simplify the message and move on it!"

Done and done ;^)

Come next August you will hear all about the new grass roots OWS movement taking root across the nation. It would be nice if other people could be motivated to begin the process now, but I guess I will have to get the ball rolling myself. Don't worry I'm used to being the responsible one, no biggy.

[-] 1 points by OWS4President (32) 12 years ago

P.S. A great list of demands, but it should be a list of demands produced directly by workers who have fought for and won democratic representation on the boards of directors of their employing corporations, not a list of demands diluted via a political party, and abstracted via a political process, both of which are beholden to corporate and financial interests. Even Dennis Kucinich could have his plug pulled and has on occasion changed his tune to avoid political assassination (On issues such as the 9/11 "investigation", for example), but you can't pull the plug on 300 million workers. Calling for anything less than direct democratic representation on corporate boards is a sell out.

[-] 1 points by JadedCitizen (4277) 12 years ago

All sounds good but need some clear guidelines of what goes on those flyers. The messages need to resonate and not be so radical they turn people off.

[-] 1 points by OWS4President (32) 12 years ago

Yeah well whatever, just go for it, I am. Mistakes will be made, mistakes will be corrected, but only through trial and error direct communication with real people. We could sit on an internet forum all day every day and pick apart any ideas for action while we crotch scratch and read about nihilism interspersed with porn clips, but if we did that before Sept 17th OWS wouldn't even exist. Action now!


[-] 0 points by technoviking (484) 12 years ago

corporate media wants to silence us... we are a threat to them... yes yes yes.

let's face it. we're not as "exciting" to watch as the kardarshians.

[-] 1 points by OWS4President (32) 12 years ago

Thanks for the pep talk, moving on then...