Floated this idea as a comment in a couple of diaries, and because it got a somewhat enthusiastic response, I decided to move it forward another step by posting a diary to see if the idea will catch on.
So many of us have expressed regret that we cannot be there on Wall Street with the protesters, and we all have real good and often serious reasons why we can't be there. So I thought, why not set up a Protest by Proxy?
The idea is quite simple, really. We give our proxies to people who are actually out there on Wall Street and those demonstrators can wear a number reflecting the number of proxies they hold.
And by "reflecting" I mean use reflective tape to post the number on your person. It's not a sign, it can't be taken down. But when people start walking around with numbers on their jackets, someone is going to ask what it means. Maybe organizers can figure out a way to post and track the running total on a larger sign.
We would have to treat it seriously. By that, I mean we all have but one proxy to give and it must be verifiable if it is to be literally taken as the number of bodies that would be there if they could.
Our own AoT gave up her (his?) job to travel all the way to Wall Street and has expressed commitment and weariness. She has expressed willingness to hold my proxy, so I suggest we start by giving our proxies to her or to any other Kossacks who are there and willing to accept proxies. Please post in the comment section if you are one of those people who can represent our numbers on Wall Street! (Ministry of Truth, I'm talkin' to you and others!) Demonstrators who wish to participate will need to be contacted, and they will need to give persons asking for proxy representation three things:
1. A paypal account or other method of electronic funds transfer
2. An email account, phone number, twitter account or any combination that will allow us to transmit our proxies and keep in touch.
3. There needs to be a physical address to which we can send items. Below, I talk about the post office - I'll be glad to help pay for a post office box that could be shared by the demonstrator/proxy-holders, but it is the people on the ground who need to find us a way to send you things.
In turn, you need to get contact information for the person for whom you are holding proxy.
We would also treat this very seriously in that we would take responsibility for the person holding our proxy. If AoT gets arrested, I'm going to help bail her out. If AoT needs an umbrella or a dry bag, I'm going to send it to her. I'm going to send her encouragement when and if she becomes discouraged, and a joke to cheer her up if she's down.
If I want to donate to the cause I can donate to the media group or through any of the channels currently available, but I can also send my money to AoT, who can spend it on herself, help out her mates on the street, donate it to the organization that most needs cash, put it in the bank in case she needs bail, or save it for the day when she needs it - don't forget - AoT actually quit her job to go.
So I have messaged AoT asking her to set up a paypal account or some method for the electronic transfer of funds. I've also asked her to find some way for us to physically transfer things to her. I'll pay for or help pay for a PO box - my google turned up this address:
90 Church Street
NY, NY 10007-9994
Alternatively, she could let us know the address of a Fed/Ex, UPS or other mailing service nearby. I wanna send homemade cookies!
Finally, we need to be able to send her our formal proxies, and I expect she might have a preference as to how we do this, but I've asked for her info. Although I think it is important that these proxies can be verified, I would think we should be able to transmit them electronically, but I'm no lawyer.
Speaking of being no lawyer, I'm thinking we should use some kind of standard form to grant proxy, so here's a shot at something that could be cut and pasted, but someone with more expertise than I should really do this up for us:
I (undersigned), do hereby grant full proxy to (insert name) to represent me as a person who would, if at all possible, participate fully in the demonstrations represented as #OccupyWallStreet. The intent of this proxy is to include me in the count of the number of demonstrators on site.
In exchange for serving as my proxy, I promise to support and protect (insert name) to the best of my ability as long as she/he is able to remain on the site as a demonstrator.
(name, address, phone, email)
Well what you all think? Could this work? Could it be helpful?