Daily updates of the movement will continue, but I thought it useful to report on a few ‘affiliate’ organizations. You will also notice below a ‘Spotted in the Crowd’ list; interesting to see who is popping in on the protests.
Occupy Wall Street is not a formally organized group. One of the beauties of OWS is its ‘grassroots’ inception and the lack of an umbrella organization (oversight) that often tends to fail movements.
OWS often appears very much ad hoc. The recently published First Statement is an indication of their focus on impetus and message vs. structure. The Statement sets the stage for the release of the other documents that will further explain and layout the OWS mission. Those documents are: 1) A declaration of demands. 2) Principles of Solidarity 3) Documentation on how to form your own Direct Democracy Occupation Group.
The three remaining documents will help delineate the exact meaning of a unpublished blanket statement that serves as the OWS ‘mission statement’.
#OCCUPYWALLSTREET is a people powered movement for democracy that began in America on September 17 with an encampment in the financial district of New York City. Inspired by the Egyptian Tahrir Square uprising and the Spanish acampadas, we vow to end the monied corruption of our democracy … join us!
As the group maintains an aversion, in fact refusal to adopt, an organized structure, watching their development is nothing shy of phenomenal. I have noticed, however, that news media is ferreting out people who seem to appear as spokespeople. I think it is impossible to affect ‘change’ as the group suggests without some form of structure. Ad hoc structures will lead to human dynamics that tend to work into any group of 6 or more people. Those dynamics are more often than not, not good for the comprehensive group or movement.
Affiliate organizations: (New York Observers listing)
Adbusters: The magazine that kicked it all off. Although the magazine (published out of Canada) has mostly handed off the reins to OccupyWallStreet.org, it still chimes in with daily updates and orientation guides.
Credo: “Inspired by the Egyptian Tahrir Square uprising and the Spanish acampadas, we vow to end the monied corruption of our democracy.”
They have a lot of demands for the President and corporate America, and refuse to pare them down.
COMMENT: The wording there is most interesting as it seems to be a bit in the form of, say, thinking aloud vs. a strong statement of commitment to reinstating Glass-Steagall.
The set of words really denotes the lack of an organized structure but, Adbusters seems to have their heart and brain in the right place. Opinion? Before they move further along the linked demand will have to be either eliminated or more formally structured. They seem to be shooting at a moving target.
As I read about the New York Assembly, it seems to be what I call the ‘mouth-piece of the organization.
Created August 2, this freeform consortium acts as de facto decision-makers for the protesters. The group, which includes anyone who wishes to attend, works in a horizontal, or “hyper-democratic” fashion: no one individual is bound by the group’s decision, consensus is reached when no one objects to a decision, and everything takes forever to get decided because everyone is allowed a chance to speak. But in the end, a majority vote determines a given course of action.
According to the New York Observer‘s Adrianne Jeffries:
There are three key components to the meetings: the “human microphone,” in which the people closest to the speaker repeat his or her words in unison for the rest of the crowd; the “stack taker,” who manages the list of people who want to speak; and a set of hand signals that include “spirit fingers” to inidcate assent and arms crossed in an X to indicate a question or objection.
Principles of Solidairty (a worthwhile read)
COMMENT: Despite claims of little to no organization the New York Assembly appears, to me, to provide a great deal or organization.
Anonymous: “Those guys with the Guy Fawkes masks,” basically. Anonymous is the civil disobedience group that first got attention by going up against the entire Scientology organization in 2008′s Project Chanology. It was one of the first groups to sign on to the Occupy Wall Street cause as well, joining sometime in August according to The Nation.
COMMENT: I am guessing this is the militant wing of OWS; I should say activist wing.
US Day of Rage: Another early sign-on, this group was originally spearheaded on the Internet by IT designer Alexis O’Brien with the goal of assembling protesters via Twitter hashtag #USDOR. They, at least, have a mission statement and a list of demands:
We demand that Citizens United versus FEC which deem corporations to be people when it comes to political contributions be overturned.
We demand that corporate personhood be abolished.
We demand state and federal electiosn and campaign finance laws be reformed.
New York’s Labor groups: New York’s labor coalitions have voted unanimously to join with Occupy Wall Street in an October 5 protest. This includes The New York Transit Workers Union, which will join an October 12th protest in solidarity.
Some of the key players
Patrick Bruner: Working in the public relations team at the protests.
Hero: Another P.R. team member for Occupy Wall Street. The media team can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Wylie Stecklow: Lawyer whose firm was hired by General Assembly. His counsel is around to offer legal advice to the protesters.
The list of organizations involved with OWS is growing. Again, I will admit to ‘uber’ curiosity to see how these groups interrelate over the long run.