Reply to comment

an excellent piece . . .

I think this hits the nail directly on the head: "the apparent lack of accountability and transparency in the movement's decision-making structure remains a real source of concern for me, and is something worth discussing as we continue to build this movement in the months ahead."

From roughly a thousand we had in the intial action here, Occupy Cincinnati has winnowed itself to a sincere but tiny coterie of people, capable of mounting episodic small but spirited residue for rallies, etc. The issue here isn't who has the biggest pom-poms and can posture most noisily but how we can reverse this trend and make the movement as big and powerful as we can.

I've repeatedly argued that we need a serious strategic discussion, but there seems to be remarkably little interest. Even the members of local socialist groups have rather shrugged this off as part of what they see as an innately unstructured movement. However, as with the old SDS, an ideology of structureless doens't mean there aren't a range of structures and assumptions. It just means that we're pretending that we have a consensus that places them beyond discussion. We don't.

The group schedules five meetings a week--three GAs and two for committees--and this does not count optional meetings on the weekends. Any one of these may make--and has made--major decisions, like that to reoccupy a park and which park to occupy, which relates directly to how many arrests will take place and how much of time and attention defense work may demand. There are no clear agendas posted or announced beforehand (or afterwards). Democracy isn't measured by the number of meetings but by their quality, transparency, and participation.

Regardless of anyone's intentions, almost nobody with a job or a family or responsibilities of any other sort is going attend these, the few excpetion being those who work or see themselves as professional activist. Again, regardless of intentions, this approach reduces what should be a large and growing movement trying to reach out and engage as much of the 99% as it can to rather small circles of people who, for one reason or another, have the spare time to do this but dont' have the numbers to constitute more than a brief bit of filler in the local news, when the media's bored covering local scandals.

Two things we could do RIGHT NOW that would improve our prospects of building a movement habitable by the very peoples we MUST involve. First, there needs to be transparancy with real agendas, reports, and priorities. Second, the number of meetings must be commeasurate with what we are actually doing or going to do. In the grand strategic sense, we have to measure our successes and failures first and foremost with how well we are able to engage and mobilize as much of that 99% as we can get.


The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly.
  • Allowed HTML tags: <b> </b> <br> <br /> <a> </a> <em> </em> <strong> </strong> <cite> </cite> <code> </code> <ul> </ul> <ol> </ol> <li> </li> <dl> </dl> <dt> </dt> <dd> </dd> <div> </div> <img> <style> <font> </font> <blockquote> </blockquote> <hr>
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.

More information about formatting options

By submitting this form, you accept the Mollom privacy policy.