At the time of this writing, there is a diary up on Daily Kos which purports to use the consensus model to make a statement about what agenda Occupy Wall Street should adopt.
In a way, You right now are a part of Occupy if you want to be. You are are effectively a part of Occupy Daily Kos.
We're here and we plan to stay. Nobodies making us leave. Well, noboby except maybe Markos. That's up to him.
Ok, now that we're here - what are we going to do,eh?
Well, how about we try and tackle some of those "Solutions" our brother and sister Occupy's are having so many problems with?
While this is a laudable intent, and having spent considerable time at Occupy Portland from its inception, I am deeply appreciative of anyone who wants to support OWS, it is unfortunately seriously flawed before it even begins.
Here is why:
The DKos forum does not qualify as a proper venue to give voice to Occupy Wall Street.
The OWS movement is based on a leaderless consensus model. This is the basis of decision making. When there are leaders, there is no horizontality, no real equality in participation. It isn't possible to have free discussion on a blog when speech is moderated autonomously by one person. Daily Kos is an autocracy. All it takes is one act by moderators to shut the whole thing down with just one intrusion on one participant. The moderators on the site are not trained movement facilitators, nor is their authority in harmony with the consensus process. And the hide rate feature does not require 90% participation and agreement to eliminate comments that may be worthy. Furthermore, since membership in DKos is controlled, with some members having more privilege than others, some members autocratically banned, while those the administration "likes" not banned, the consensus process is already denied before we even begin, because the potential members can't participate at will. This creates a pre-selected membership. Thus, this isn't an "occupied" space. DKos, it's habitués and diarists, can never issue any statement that will be credible to anyone in the movement under such restrictions.
This is one of the reasons the OWS movement goes to PUBLIC parks: Presumably there is no "Admin" there to zap anyone for breaking HIS rules, and thus, the GA's can't be controlled and influenced.
In addition, the person or persons who are initiating the consensus process are self appointed, and have not called for agreement in regards to who would facilitate, nor for a rotation of facilitators, as does the OWS model. Thus, it seems we already have a leader of sorts. This won't work. If we want to do this right, we need a different forum, a GA initial meeting to decide how to go forward, discussion of ground rules.
If any of the people beginning this process at Daily Kos were at an actual GA in a real public space in a real town, all that I am raising here as concerns WOULD certainly be voiced, and voiced rather persistently and loudly. This would not be acceptable at an authentic GA.
Thus, this is not representative of Occupy Wall Street, it's just a bunch of people on a blog on a Sunday trying to decide issues without actually going to an Occupy movement to be part of the protests. If you want to make up an agenda, that's lovely, but it is only an exercise, not the authentic Occupy movement.
When people get out of their chairs and go to these events, and spend time in the rain and the cold, they become part of the movement. It's assumed they actually WANT to occupy Wall Street. It's assumed they accept the consensus process, without leaders. It's assumed there is no person observing who controls admittance. It's assumed they want economic equality. It's assumed they think the system is sufficiently broken to warrant civil disobedience.
This is the only way to be a part of the movement. On a blog like this, it is too easy for agent provocateurs and political hacks to enter into debate to cause havoc and discord.
No authentic Occupy GA will recognize any of this as representative of the movement.
People might respond to my concerns by saying this is benign, that site administration won't interfere, that there is nothing so controversial in the discussion of agenda that would cause the administration to object enough to censure opinion, but I would strongly disagree. The occupy movement is not supportive of the status quo, business as usual approach. If they were, they wouldn't be out in the streets engaging in civil disobedience. All it takes to corrupt the consensus process is having one person fear voicing an opinion that doesn't abide by DKos site rules of supporting the Democratic Party and the election of more and better Democrats.
If even one participant fears banning or losing privileges or "mojo" because he or she holds an opinion in conflict with site rules, then the consensus process is corrupted, and any decisions made are not truly representative of consensus. In fact, if the consensus process goes relatively smoothly on this site, with no incidences of moderation, that in itself could be symptomatic of suppression, because any of us who have spent sufficient time at Occupy General assemblies and events knows the occupy movement always has strong opinions expressed, and there is often heated debate before consensus is achieved. Someone is bound to offend site rules, and end up being censured.
The Occupy movement is not an arm of the Democratic Party. Daily Kos, with its rules, essentially is Democratic Party territory. Thus, this entire attempt to discuss OWS goals and agendas on Daily Kos, surrounded by party loyalists, is flawed.
On Daily Kos, there is no "civil disobedience" allowed without threat of removal. When important voices are removed, there is no real consensus, but rather, a manufacture of consensus.
10:44 PM PT: Many people have misunderstood the intent of this diary. I am not trying to stifle speech, but rather point out that speech on this site is controlled by site rules and goals, and thus any attempt to obtain consensus, as adopted by the OWS movement, will be inherently flawed.
I encourage people to write whatever they like about OWS, including its agenda, but let's not deceive ourselves in believing that real consensus can be obtained on DKos, considering the nature of the site.