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View Diary: Organized Labor and Disorganized Occupy (77 comments)

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  •  Hi Richard, Briefly, I recently read Ma Jiang's (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Richard Lyon, organicus, Chitown Kev

    Beijing Coma, about the Tiananmen Square demonstrations...one of the key points he makes is that the students were terribly disorganized, which led to the state eventually getting frustrated.  

    This was especially true after some of the leaders opted for a hunger strike, which is the heavy artillery of non-violent protest (see what Gerry Adams says about this with regards to Bobby Sands).  

    I think what's going on is awesome in the sense of mobilizing enthusiasm, but at some point, some level of organization will be necessary to turn an expression of outrage into nuts and bolts actions.

    Buck up--Never say die. We'll get along! Charlie Chaplin, Modern Times (1936).

    by dizzydean on Wed Nov 09, 2011 at 08:32:25 AM PST

    •  It is rather amusing to follow the dealings (5+ / 0-)

      between occupation campers and local government bureaucrats in places where things have not escalated into violence. The campers want to talk about the banks and the bureaucrats want to talk about the grass. It really highlights the differences in views and values. However, the bureaucrats can hold out longer in that game and they ultimately hold the option of state violence.

    •  I'm not sure what makes everyone think that (6+ / 0-)

      the movement is against being organized. We form working groups and we have meetings all the time to plan current actions and discuss the larger picture of the movement.

      I was just in a meeting last night to plan an Occupy Boston Summit. A first in a series of ongoing dialogues for our community to keep its eyes on the prize, as it were. Continually discussing, "who are we?", "why are we here?", "what are our values?" and "how do we sustain this?"

      It is not disorganized to avoid vertical leadership. It is simply differently organized. Our organization relies on faith in one another. As we were planning this summit, we kept coming back to that. At every turn when we started to get anxious or to feel that we had to formulate the meeting structure to ensure some outcome, we would return to "have faith" and we would relax and keep going.

      It's also a fallacy to believe that no one is allowed to lead anything in this movement. We hand leadership to people at times. It's simply that it's temporary. We understand that, at times, tasks need someone to take the lead. We just don't endow the person with some ongoing power. Task over, back into the ranks.

      For those of us who often get thrust into leadership, it's actually a relief. No one person is given such a burden. It's all shared.

      What frustrates the powers that be about this approach is that they can't find a "leader" to pressure or take down and, thereby, weaken the movement. It's the same with organizations who want to ally with us, but are used to being vertically organized. They want leverage of influence by having a leader to persuade. It's not going to happen because the people of this movement understand the dynamic all too well.

      It's new world order. People are going to have to get used to it. Just because vertical organization is how things have been done in the past, doesn't mean it's the only way to go.

      Please remember to Witness Revolution. It means so much to them that we pay attention.

      by UnaSpenser on Wed Nov 09, 2011 at 09:12:42 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  And.... (0+ / 0-)

        I really do think that younger people (I"m 48) will find organizing in something like this way to be far more intuitive given their experience with the internet, plus some other factors -- like growing up in a world that is far more precarious than when I grew up.  I had less of a reason to question hierarchy than you do.  We haven't really done a good job by you guys.  Sorry.

      •  Thanks, Una, excellent point (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        UnaSpenser

        What this:

        "We understand that, at times, tasks need someone to take the lead. We just don't endow the person with some ongoing power. Task over, back into the ranks."

        reminds me of, is, at the Tar Sands rally last Sunday, we were doing call and response style chants, and who did the "calling"--who determined what the next chant was--varied.  For a while, I was leading with a chant of "Show me What America Looks Like (This is What America Looks Like)."  Then it shifted away from me to someone else, and, yeah, it was a relief.

        Being ignored is the difference between being a one percenter and an American.--sweeper

        by SouthernLiberalinMD on Wed Nov 09, 2011 at 10:17:26 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Maybe...though how long can such a structure (0+ / 0-)

        function?  Guess we'll have to see...

        Buck up--Never say die. We'll get along! Charlie Chaplin, Modern Times (1936).

        by dizzydean on Wed Nov 09, 2011 at 04:53:24 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  maybe OWS (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Richard Lyon, katiec

      will not be the organizing mechanism but rather the impetus that moves people to built their own political mechanisms either inside or out of our FUBAR electoral system.

      Seems to me that one of  the reasons people are drawn to Occupy is that most of us are well aware no matter where you stand on the fake political spectrum that the organizations that are supposed to represent and fight for the people are so corrupt that they are useless. OWS is not talking 'incremental change' or victories for compromise'

      They are talking about the heart of the matter the fact that we have lost our democracy. Any organization  that offers nuts and bolts at this stage is going to exact a heavy price for useless bolts and nuts made in China. OWS gives people the courage to face what they already know. Let it grow organically and autonomously. Let people come to it as they are.    

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