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#occupyboston #occupywallstreet #occupyLA #occupydenver #occupytexas #occupynola #occupychi #occupyphoenix #occupyseattle #occupypdx  et al. and growing as I type.

How do we keep it peaceful, growing and focused?  How do we get and keep the attention of the media? How can we contribute, participate and keep resources and donations from being spread too thin?

I think we need an "umbrella" hashtag. Also I think we need to build momentum for Oct. 6th in D.C. and beyond.

But most of all I think we all have to work on how we are articulating our message. For me it is this:

DEMOCRATIZE OUR POLITICAL PROCESS, CORPORATE OR INDIVIDUAL WEALTH SHOULD HAVE NO MORE INFLUENCE THAN THE AVERAGE INDIVIDUAL. CAMPAIGN FINANCE REFORM NOW! NO MORE PACS! MORE PUBLIC ACCESS AND CONTROL OF MEDIA!

I'm new here, this is my first diary, I got started here a little more than a week before Occupy Wall Street started. I'm really liking the community I've found here. It's not perfect but then what is... all we can do it to keep working on things.

Originally posted to flyinghogfish on Sun Sep 25, 2011 at 07:11 PM PDT.

Also republished by Occupy Wall Street.

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Comment Preferences

  •  This is a ripoff! (2+ / 0-)

    The Wall Street protests are more than a demand for a package of reforms.  Rather, they represent a fundamental rejection of capitalism at its roots.

    What they would replace it with is murky, but I think the mood is for the overthrow of Wall Street, not its reform.

    "I don't mind if you don't like my manners, I don't like them myself. They are pretty bad. I grieve over them on long winter evenings." -- Marlowe

    by jeffroby on Sun Sep 25, 2011 at 07:26:41 PM PDT

    •  Exactly. Trying to make the electoral process (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Publius2008, SwedishJewfish

      more "honest" just isn't going to do it.  This is the problem we now face, what do we want and how are we going to get it.  That's hasn't been resolved collectively.

      S.A.W. 2011 STOP ALL WARS "The Global War on Terror is a fabrication to justify imperialism."

      by BigAlinWashSt on Sun Sep 25, 2011 at 07:34:53 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Hmm, (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        AoT

        I think it's about various things to various people.

        Election reform is certainly one thing people are talking about.  

        Not the only thing though.  But as the writer said, that was what it was about to them.  Not to anyone else.

        This is not any one person's movement.  Not yours, not their's.

        •  A critical mass of people is needed to back a (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          SwedishJewfish

          movement.  With a conglomerate of issues, that is less likely.   We need a message that will resonate with a majority of people while also conveying a real plan for change and how it can be achieved.  

          S.A.W. 2011 STOP ALL WARS "The Global War on Terror is a fabrication to justify imperialism."

          by BigAlinWashSt on Sun Sep 25, 2011 at 08:53:15 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  Zooworld. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        BigAlinWashSt

        Ordinary political process is dead. The Supreme Court killed it. In Chambers. With a gavel.

        by Publius2008 on Sun Sep 25, 2011 at 08:09:54 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  I hear you guys, but don't think OWS (0+ / 0-)

        has indicated this in any way.

        They can be interpreted as a wholesale rejection of capitalism, and some of them probably feel that way.  Some probably just feel that Americans have gotten a raw deal and they want things to be set right--as in Wall St being reined in and perps jailed, etc.

        Until the actual occupiers state that they are for a wholesale rejection of capitalism, I don't think we should impose this view on them.  It's pretty clear that they think the top 1% have corrupted the gov't and control the media and have screwed over the bottom 99% out of their jobs, pensions, homes, etc.  What their solution to this is is not yet clear, IMO.

        I'm waiting to hear.  If they state that they are anti-capitalist, I'll support them.  If they state that they are for regulated capitalism, a la the New Deal, I'll support that too.

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

        by SouthernLiberalinMD on Wed Sep 28, 2011 at 03:18:22 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  That may be true but that is not a message (0+ / 0-)

      that will grow the movement large enough to force changes.

      What must happen first is population buy-in. A mass of Americans must buy-in or sympathize with the message.

      If the message isn't one that will garner widespread buy-in you'll never have enough people to force changes.

      Instead of 99% you have 5%. and that gets you jack, jack.

      Tonight during the late general assembly meeting the idea of a strong concrete message and action item was discussed. Wall street investigations and prosecutions was pretty popular along with major changes in the way things work there.

      They're doing more discussion on it. If you want to take part, you should tune into the meetings. They're streamed live and there's moderated chat that at times is interactive.

      I've become re-radicalized. Thanks a lot you bunch of oligarchical fascist sons-of-bitches. But once again, I have no choice. Bring it the fuck on.

      by mdmslle on Sun Sep 25, 2011 at 08:08:16 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  The agenda must be broad enough (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      mookins

      that it will have support beyond a narrow class of activists and be able to reach the heartland. And it's important to remember what Naomi Klein herself would tell us, that what we've experienced the past twenty years or so is not the operation of a classic market economy but a bizarre hybridized system that exploits the market and the state alternately whenever it will advantage a narrow class of speculators.

      The key to the system is the speculators' ownership of the political process by campaign finance and the corporate-owned media. This is the crux. It may not represent all of the reforms that are needed, but it accomplishes the minimum necessary for a new beginning.

      "It's like we weren't made for this world, But I wouldn't really want to meet someone who was." --Of Montreal

      by andydoubtless on Sun Sep 25, 2011 at 08:40:51 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Capitalism driven by unfettered greed (0+ / 0-)

      is not capitalism, it is unsustainable insanity. I think it's fairly clear through looking at recent history and current events what works. Capitalism needs controls and restraints. When the economy became global and capitalism emerged as the global mode was when things started to get really bad.

      Global economy is a reality we have to deal with but we must not allow it to destroy local and national economies. This, however, is exactly what is happening today. Compounding this problem, especially in the US, is the influence of corporations in our government. I think this must be the first thing we have to get rid of. With a more democratic process a lot of the other problems we have will fix themselves.

  •  Peaceful... (7+ / 0-)

    ...is the hardest and most important part, perhaps.

    Much of the provocation by NYPD officialdom is almost certainly being done with the understanding that somebody, somewhere will react with force, even if only to punch back.  That's when we'll start seeing more of this in the corporate media.

    It will be very difficult not to respond to those provocative actions.  And we need for the young people standing on the front lines not to do so.

    "Faced with what is right, to leave it undone shows a lack of courage." - Confucius

    by IndieGuy on Sun Sep 25, 2011 at 07:27:22 PM PDT

    •  If you watch the live feed (9+ / 0-)

      you would know that they are.

      Speeches are saying to keep what happens during the day behind and move forward.  Do not turn the movement into an anti-cop movement.  Remember why they are there.

      Not to overthrow Wall Street- but to get the reforms in place- remove the growing disparity between the wealthy and the middle class.  Call attention to the corporation take-over of this country.

      I wish I could be there.  maybe this week I'll go down for an evening.

      Growing old is inevitable...Growing up is purely optional

      by grannycarol on Sun Sep 25, 2011 at 07:40:08 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Some are here to overthrow wall st (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        grannycarol

        And I don't know that it isn't a bad thing. The point is that we need a major change and not just a couple of new laws or a commission. We need a systemic change that will keep the wealthy from having more political power than everyone else.

        I refuse to represent my political beliefs using numbers. It isn't accurate, nor is it helpful. But I'm around a -10 on both scales.

        by AoT on Mon Sep 26, 2011 at 07:28:15 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  yeah (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      IndieGuy, SwedishJewfish

      couldn't be more true.  Unfortunately, the provocation probably runs both ways to a certain extent.  The dynamics of video cams and livestream are not always so wholesome.  None of that is said to take away from the majority of what is happening there.

      I would really like to see a more refined message, more refined goals and more focused action -- but sometimes you have to play the hand you are dealt.  I am watching this one with some skepticism still.

      Peace
      -M

  •  Keep working on the agenda (3+ / 0-)

    what you are for is more important than what you are against right now (IMO - obviously).   Democrotize is not a substitute for simple nouns and verbs.  Good start.

    Peace
    Mambo

  •  you can occupy Chiriqui, Panama while you're it.. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Horace Boothroyd III

    Good luck. A good message-- being rich doesn't make you superior, we're all equal around here.

    A man, a plan, a canal, Panama

    by Karl Rover on Sun Sep 25, 2011 at 07:29:50 PM PDT

  •  Loved The Response of the Crowd Today.... (6+ / 0-)

    during the live feed I watched.  A speaker would comment, the crowd would repeat the comment back, another comment, another repeat back.  

    Very cool.  Very effective.  I'm feeling damn proud of this movement, and it is a real movement.  Not some fake, Koch sponsored grassroots (ha ha) movement.  

    •  The revolution will not be amplified (0+ / 0-)

      The police have taken to arresting us when we use megaphones so we have to use the method you describe so everyone can hear what's being said. We call it the people's mike.

      I refuse to represent my political beliefs using numbers. It isn't accurate, nor is it helpful. But I'm around a -10 on both scales.

      by AoT on Mon Sep 26, 2011 at 07:36:15 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I think we have the potential for a movement (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mookins, bevenro, qosine

    Here are my suggestions:

    1.) Come up with a more cohesive message. I understand the underlying concept of decentralization, but there should be a common theme, and it should be centered around economic populism. Issues around the MIC, the Fed,  the death penalty, civil liberties etc. are all worthy in their own right, but there is a time and a place. They also do not resonate with the public at large, and will only serve to narrow your appeal, and make it easier for the media and casual observers to write this off as a fringe event

    2.) In that same vein- get control over the crazies. I've been to enough protests to know that they will inevitably show up, with their embarrassing signs and antics, but the laissez faire attitude towards organizing is allowing them to hijack the whole event. Case in point- I was watching the live stream today and there was some chick on there waxing poetic about Obama's plans to create a global currency and the New World Order, complete with references to George Soros. Again, these types do tend to show up and you can't control that, but this was on the live stream. This was a person that the organizers were putting forth as being representitive of their movement, and they allowed her to ramble on ad nasuem sounding like a Paultard on meth. There also needs to be some kind of code of conduct. This is not Burning Man or a Grateful Dead concert, walking around topless, smoking pot in broad daylight, all that is not appropriate and will turn a lot of people off.  Again, I realize this is only a handful of people, but nobody seems to be intervening to put a stop to it and I think that goes back to the lax organizational structure. For the record,  this is the main reason I cannot go, much as I would like to. I am a single mom of a young child, which means where I go she goes. And much as I want to teach her about democracy, I do not want her to be exposed to anything inappropriate (yes, I know, I'm a lame mom. She tells me all the time.)

    3.) Please please please please please stay peaceful. Treat the cops with courtesy and respect (I realize most of you do) even if they do not offer it in return. Best case scenerio- you end up winning them over to your side- like what happened with the Egyptian army. Worse case scenerio, they end up beating the shit out of you and arresting you anyways, but the footage that results will be that much more powerful since it would clearly show that there was no provacation whatsoever. I got a lot of flack on here yesterday because I thought I saw one of the protestors hit a cop- after reviewing the video more carefully, I realized that wasn't the case but my perception was colored by the fact that the protestor in question was acting in an agressive manner. Be as non-confrontational as possible. If you are arrested, don't resist, don't protest, don't scream, don't cry. Hold your head high, and act with dignity. Again, it makes for a powerful visual that can help win support from the public. And ultimately the police are not the enemy, and if this turns into a non-stop confrontation with them, that is going to be the only thing that gets reported on and the message will be lost.

    4.) I would suggest dressing up like you would for a job interview, or in work clothes (scrubs, suits and ties, construction gear, etc.) Again, it creates a more powerful visual and will be more appealing to the general public. This is a tactic that was used quite effectively in the Tar Sands protests. Granted, that may be easier said than done if you are sleeping in the park for weeks on end, but I'm sure you could come up with a way- whether it is having everyone chip in to reserve a hotel room for the purpose of using a shower and freshening up, or finding people who live in the area. And please, no more Guy Fawkes masks! They are more cliche than a Che Guavera T-shirt not to mention there is a cringe-worthy irony in protesting capitalism whilst wearing Warner Bros. Studios licensed merchandise.

    5.) Outreach- I have been a bit taken aback by some of the response I have gotten from people who are part of this. Often, when I bring up any of these points or even ask questions, I will get told by at least one person that I have no right to say jackshit because I'm not there putting myself on the line, and that it's probobly best that someone like me not be part of it anyways. I've seen this said to other posters here as well. Far too often the responses are hostile and patronizing. Please stop slamming people who are on your side for constructive criticism, stop telling people that if they don't get the point of all this then they just haven't taken the time to educate themselves or are too dense and/or brainwashed by the corporate run media to understand. Take the time to explain this to them, and win their hearts and minds. It will pay dividends (no pun intended!). And listen to any criticism with an open mind. Please remember that most of us are on your side.

    These are all suggestions made with love and in the spirit of partnership and solidarity. Please do not take it any other way.

    BTW- welcome to Daily Kos!

    R.I.P. Troy Anthony Davis
    October 9, 1968 - September 21, 2011

    by SwedishJewfish on Sun Sep 25, 2011 at 09:53:41 PM PDT

    •  wow. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      SwedishJewfish

      what a great comment!

      I'm sorry that a lot of people (as you say in your point 5) won't hear all of these points--

      after all, pragmatism and activism don't always meld well together.  But your comment helps to show why groups such as ANSWER were almost completely ineffective--even though they had large numbers.

      Also, regarding point 2--yeah, the wackos are getting a lot of coverage.  The guardian had a photo of 3 topless women and it made the whole thing look like a farce (although I think I will order a subscription to the guardian ;)

      I have to admit I didn't take it seriously at all for just these reasons until today...

      question:  any ideas as to how you would phrase the 'economic populism' message?

      •  I think "we are the 99%" has a lot of traction (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        bevenro, flyinghogfish, k00kla, qosine

        also someone had a sign that said "I am the 99%, I can't afford a lobbyist!" That was great!

        I just saw a video of the young man who was arrested, talking very passionately about how his parents house was taken by the bank he was standing in front of. He spoke with a rage and a passion that really taps in to what so many of us are feeling right now- and the fact that he was a law student, dressed impeccably, looking like someone who could easily be your neighbor or co-worker really drove home the point that what happened to him could happen to any of us. We need more people out there telling their stories in that way. It personalizes it, and makes it harder to ignore, and something that people feel they can relate to. Millions of people are being foreclosed on, and almost everyone knows someone who has been a victim of the great recession- they need to feel like they have a part to play in this too.

        R.I.P. Troy Anthony Davis
        October 9, 1968 - September 21, 2011

        by SwedishJewfish on Sun Sep 25, 2011 at 10:22:42 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  If they followed your advice ... (0+ / 0-)

      ... they would have had their little rally and made all the right speeches and been ignored, as other well-mannered protests have been ignored before them.

      By being so impolite, they have the whole world watching.  What you consider disorganization is a highly flexible and fluid form of protest that the police cannot stop without doing the kind of things that evoke Tahrir Square and Syria and Bahrain.

      Thank god they aren't following your advice.

      "I don't mind if you don't like my manners, I don't like them myself. They are pretty bad. I grieve over them on long winter evenings." -- Marlowe

      by jeffroby on Sun Sep 25, 2011 at 11:27:19 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Perfect example of #5 (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        bevenro, qosine

        thanks for proving my point. Yes, the world is watching because it's turning into a crazy event, but what kind of message are you sending? What is being accomplished? BTW, you are being obtuse, I never said just hold a rally then go home. You would still be occupying, over a prolonged period of time, just acting in a more organized and cohesive manner.

        Keep doing what you are doing then, keep excluding people and scoffing at advice and feedback. That's the way you want to run things, so be it.

        R.I.P. Troy Anthony Davis
        October 9, 1968 - September 21, 2011

        by SwedishJewfish on Mon Sep 26, 2011 at 03:27:03 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  I'm not giving them any advise... (0+ / 0-)

        I'm just stating my opinion. And by no means am I suggesting they be polite! While I think many around the world were watching from day one it took nearly a week before the national media started paying much attention.

        Violence will not accomplish anything but a harder crack down and bad media. By staying peaceful and persevering the message will get out and the movement will grow. Like the economy we would like to have the movement must stay sustainable.

         

        •  I believe that poster (0+ / 0-)

          was actually responding to me, and he demonstrates why I hesitate to even have this discussion in the first place. People automatically go on the defensive and the go-to response seems to be that everything is going perfectly fine thank you, and you can shove your advice up your ass.

          I have my doubts that this will shape into a sustainable movement for that very reason.

          R.I.P. Troy Anthony Davis
          October 9, 1968 - September 21, 2011

          by SwedishJewfish on Mon Sep 26, 2011 at 03:49:43 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  The whole world is watching: (0+ / 0-)

      "I don't mind if you don't like my manners, I don't like them myself. They are pretty bad. I grieve over them on long winter evenings." -- Marlowe

      by jeffroby on Sun Sep 25, 2011 at 11:31:02 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Best laid plans... (0+ / 0-)

      seldom work out as you would like.

      I agree with a lot of the points you make but the reality is that what ever we all do is going to emerge in an organic way. The best way those of us who can't directly participate is by continually trying to influence the tenor of the message by any means possible. How we talk about it to our friends, families and coworkers, how we blog about it and follow it online, tweeting is a great tool. If you want a cohesive message try to figure out what you think the important points are and propagate that message online. If we all pay attention to each other and what is going on eventually that message will emerge with more clarity. That is exactly what I'm trying to do.

      Yes, we must keep things as peaceful as we can, yes there are a few crazies in the crowds, but for the most part they are a very diverse group of pretty much normal people. They are doing an incredible job of organizing themselves and keeping things peaceful and focused.

      Our communications tech is what is allowing us to do this. That is another area  in which we must be very focused on protecting and preserving our freedoms.

    •  There is no drug use or drinking here (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      jeffroby

      For numerous reasons, most obviously because it would likely get us raided by the cops. We have had quite a few children of various ages here, from babies to tweens. There are occationally people, including women, with bare tops, but that is legal everywhere in new York.

      I refuse to represent my political beliefs using numbers. It isn't accurate, nor is it helpful. But I'm around a -10 on both scales.

      by AoT on Mon Sep 26, 2011 at 07:42:20 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I've seen people smoking pot (0+ / 0-)

        on the live stream. I don't really care, think it should be legal anyways, but it does give me pause when it comes to the idea of bringing my daughter. So does the nudity , legal or not.

        R.I.P. Troy Anthony Davis
        October 9, 1968 - September 21, 2011

        by SwedishJewfish on Mon Sep 26, 2011 at 08:11:47 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  That's not (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          SwedishJewfish

          Pot, it's rolling tobacco. Although I can understand why that might be an issue as well with kids. We are working on making the space more kid friendly although I can't imagine the nudity will go away completely until it is too cold. We really would like to be more welcoming to a broader group of people so thanks for letting people know your issues with the space.

          I refuse to represent my political beliefs using numbers. It isn't accurate, nor is it helpful. But I'm around a -10 on both scales.

          by AoT on Mon Sep 26, 2011 at 04:44:09 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Oh ok...well that makes more sense (0+ / 0-)

            yeah, it seemed crazy that anyone would be doing that with so many cops around. That's the other thing though-my daughter has asthma, cigarette smoke can trigger an attack. Is there a designated smoking area? Or an area that is more family friendly where there is no smoking and no risk of getting arrested (or having her exposed to pepper spray)? I've heard they were setting up child care, is that in place yet?

            I am a nurse and would like come down to help provide medical care, as long as I feel like it's an ok place for her to be.

            R.I.P. Troy Anthony Davis
            October 9, 1968 - September 21, 2011

            by SwedishJewfish on Mon Sep 26, 2011 at 08:30:13 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

    •  x4 (I'm RT and I don't know why) (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      SwedishJewfish

      I appreciate your comments and sorry you've gotten flack back.

      I have mixed feelings.  Part of me is watching as the mother of a politically active 24-year-old.  Although she would never be caught dead doing #OWS--she's too much of a pragmatist.  :-)

      So I'm the seasoned activist, who has pulled my hair out over and over again in frustration at the clumsiness of movement stuff.

      But for some reason, I'm OK with letting it evolve somehow.  We want results, but maybe the result is the process, the inventing, step-by-step, a way of working together to make an impact when, frankly, the traditional tried-and-true methods just aren't working.  They're just not working.

      I don't know that being nicer, cleaner, better dressed, would work.  Nobody was paying any attention until Saturday!

      I think this is going to take awhile.  Maybe our mistake is to think that if they would just get it right it will make it easier or quicker or better.  

      Hang in there SJF.  I always appreciate your coments.  Even if I can't tip them right now.

      Namaste!

  •  I keep thinking of Cindy Sheehan and (0+ / 0-)

    Her simple organic honest resounding powerful question:

    For What Noble Cause?

    It was perfect. It was spontaneous. It covered so much. It echoed. It mobilized. It had so much potential. Everybody got it. It was perfectly Gandhian. It didn't come from a committee.  

    It was working so well until....she diverted her attention.  Which was understandable. She started following all the connections in all the other directions, and the movement collapsed.

    Something like that.  Pointed, but not quite specific.  Or something.  

    Namaste!

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