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Occupy Wall Street–a new way of organizing protests

Cross-Post from IfLizWereQueen

More Reports are now being produced on Occupy Wall Street from Corporate Owned Media

Today is the 13th Day of  Occupy Wall Street.  Yes, it does look as if Occupy Wall Street has had one of their first big victories: they forced corporate media into hollering “Uncle.”   While the protest shows no sign of letting up, it appears that more and more of the corporate-run media are breaking down and reporting on the story–only because they know that if they continue to ignore a real story, they will lose what credibility they still have with the people.

TIME has even joined the ranks of those reporting on Occupy Wall Street.  Nate Rawlings wrote a piece titled:  Occupy Wall Street Protest:  12 Days and little Sign of Slowing Down.  [Today is actually the 13th day.]

To quote from the article:  ”. . .But while “Occupy Wall Street” has become more organized, its demands haven’t coalesced into a coherent message. The only thing its various constituent groups appear to have in common is a deep-seated anger at inequality in this country. . . Just as it lacks a single message, the “Occupy Wall Street” movement has been defined by the absence of a clear leader.  . .”

Why aren’t these people better organized!

It must be the influence of our Germanic heritage–this demand/need to be organized and with a leader. (If you don’t have goals, how will you know when you arrive?  Movements without leaders are ships without rudders. etc. Our culture is filled with such platitudesIf you don’t have your daily planner, how can you possibly know who you are?) And God knows, no one does top-down goose-stepping management better than Wall Street corporations unless it is the members of the U.S. Congress.

Not only corporate media, but the Internet as well abounds with the criticism of the protesters as unorganized.  Some of the Occupiers pointed out to Mr. Rawlings the movement’s lack of organization was by design.  Perhaps this is the new way, the better way to organize, a more natural and organic way for movements to develop–organically, in a non-linear flow as opposed to the top-down leadership that we are so accustomed to: the leaders create the plan and then tell the rest of us how to get in line and follow their rules.  So much of the rules of our culture and particularly our educational system and its structure were derived from a rigid Prussian model.  Thus, I guess we should not be so surprised that central to all the criticism of Occupy Wall Street is that it is “disorganized”  or “lacking leadership.”

The organic, leaderless model may work best and “Occupy Wall Street” may evolve into much more than a protest. It may become a paradigm shift.

One of the advantages to following the organic model for the development of any system is that it allows time for the necessary adjustments and corrections to more naturally occur as the system develops. (For example, no leaders, no plan, for their camp at the park, but as the need arose for rules regarding trash and other regulations for keeping the park clean, they were published and distributed. They bubbled up to the surface as needed from various members of  the group as opposed to have been arbitrarily imposed by a written plan.)

The organic development model allows time for evolution whereas the top/down, imperialistic  model comes to the movement with the blueprints tucked under the arm of the appointed “leader.”  Often these plans contain rules that are not needed and also often do not contain some rules that may be necessary. These plans are often fashioned by “experts” much like a battle plan and often in what is called a “war room.”  The problem with such plans is that they are often inflexible and difficult to adjust when unexpected changes crop up when they are enacted in real time.  Another problem with these blueprints is that the majority of the people who will be carrying them out had little to do with their development.

Emotion does suffice as the glue that holds the base together–certainly in the beginning.

Rawling reported in his article: “. . .The only thing its various constituent groups appear to have in common is a deep-seated anger at inequality in this country. . .”   My response to this statement:  Nothing binds a group more solidly than a common emotion regarding a particular, group or institution.  Anger, hatred and fear are very powerful emotions. Eventually these people will move onto solution(s) to alleviate these emotions.  To jump right into the solutions package (which is what the top down “General” leaders do)  diffuses the raw power of emotion and often renders their movement impotent.  This may explain why so many protests die on the vine and so few evolve into political movements that bring change.

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Liz Berry

Liz Berry

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