Occupy Wall Street has an ad. It’s a 30-second spot with members of the protest movement explaining their perspective, why they are in Zuccotti Park, simply and clearly. And it’s set to run on national television, thanks to a savvy crowd-funding group:

LoudSauce was started founded [sic] by Christie George and Colin Mutchler as a simple way for people to push ideas out by crowd-sourcing funds for large-scale advertising. Mutchler said they don’t stand for any particular kind of politics, just “the right of citizens to use their channels of advertising…and promote ideas they care about.”

Occupy Wall Street started its LoudSauce campaign last week with little fanfare and a goal set for $5,000. Thanks to mostly word of mouth (through Twitter and Facebook), the goal was met by Friday. They’ll be wrapping up the campaign at the end of this week, and the commercial should be on TV in the next few weeks (they said most likely on ESPN).

For LoudSauce, that means buying air time from Google TV ads. They”’ give Google a set amount of money ($5,000 in this case) to be able to reach a set number of viewers (in this case, millions), as well as the specs for their commercial.

Google will then place the ad on television to fit LoudSauce’s specifications, and based on the number of viewers it reaches. The commercial will run until its funding is exhausted.

It’s an innovative way to get the message out for a new kind of protest movement, one that refuses to let other people tell their story. As David Graeber calls them, this was a movement of “horizontals,” people who did not require hierarchical structures, who understood and believed in direct action, who could widely distribute knowledge and decision-making and who didn’t need a singular hero figure to drive them to action.

That is largely the reason for the success of this movement above so many others.   [cont’d.]They didn’t start from a place of setting up a big podium and making a bunch of speeches and going home, patting themselves on the back for a job well done. They started from a place of determining what they wanted the world to look like. And they would offer a chorus of both dissent with how far the country had strayed from that point, and of hope with how much was possible if all the corrupting influences were set aside. It drew people to this message with ease, constructing a broad enough platform – literally, a 99% platform, not with specifics but with a worldview – to do more to change the conversation in America than any progressive political movement in generations. Occupy Wall Street was a part of 10% of traditional media stories in the past week. That number is poised to climb.

Here’s Graeber:

“We are watching,” I wrote, “the beginnings of the defiant self-assertion of a new generation of Americans, a generation who are looking forward to finishing their education with no jobs, no future, but still saddled with enormous and unforgivable debt.” Three weeks later, after watching more and more elements of mainstream America clamber on board, I think this is still true. In a way, the demographic base of OWS is about as far as one can get from that of the Tea Party—with which it is so often, and so confusingly, compared. The popular base of the Tea Party was always middle aged suburban white Republicans, most of middling economic means, anti-intellectual, terrified of social change—above all, for fear that what they saw as their one remaining buffer of privilege (basically, their whiteness) might finally be stripped away. OWS, by contrast, is at core forwards-looking youth movement, just a group of forward-looking people who have been stopped dead in their tracks; of mixed class backgrounds but with a significant element of working class origins; their one strongest common feature being a remarkably high level of education. It’s no coincidence that the epicenter of the Wall Street Occupation, and so many others, is an impromptu library: a library being not only a model of an alternative economy, where lending is from a communal pool, at 0% interest, and the currency being leant is knowledge, and the means to understanding.

This movement will hit some significant hurdles in the next several months. Even the most sympathetic members of the establishment will balk when the matter comes down to specific demands. If you cannot get political leaders in Los Angeles, which has seen banks literally act as fraud agents and slumlords toward their residents, to turn on the banks because of the money they supply the economy, then you’re not going to make much headway anywhere else. But I’ll admit to thinking narrowly here. The movement is about inspiring the art of the possible in a society that is truly small-d democratic.

In a way, this is an old story – youngsters fed up with society lead a revolt – infused with new technology and tools to broadcast the message. I don’t think we know the limits here.

Occupy Wall Street has an ad. It’s a 30-second spot with members of the protest movement explaining their perspective, why they are in Zuccotti Park, simply and clearly. And it’s set to run on national television, thanks to a savvy crowd-funding group:

LoudSauce was started founded [sic] by Christie George and Colin Mutchler as a simple way for people to push ideas out by crowd-sourcing funds for large-scale advertising. Mutchler said they don’t stand for any particular kind of politics, just “the right of citizens to use their channels of advertising…and promote ideas they care about.”

Occupy Wall Street started its LoudSauce campaign last week with little fanfare and a goal set for $5,000. Thanks to mostly word of mouth (through Twitter and Facebook), the goal was met by Friday. They’ll be wrapping up the campaign at the end of this week, and the commercial should be on TV in the next few weeks (they said most likely on ESPN).

For LoudSauce, that means buying air time from Google TV ads. They”’ give Google a set amount of money ($5,000 in this case) to be able to reach a set number of viewers (in this case, millions), as well as the specs for their commercial.

Google will then place the ad on television to fit LoudSauce’s specifications, and based on the number of viewers it reaches. The commercial will run until its funding is exhausted.

It’s an innovative way to get the message out for a new kind of protest movement, one that refuses to let other people tell their story. As David Graeber calls them, this was a movement of “horizontals,” people who did not require hierarchical structures, who understood and believed in direct action, who could widely distribute knowledge and decision-making and who didn’t need a singular hero figure to drive them to action.

That is largely the reason for the success of this movement above so many others. They didn’t start from a place of setting up a big podium and making a bunch of speeches and going home, patting themselves on the back for a job well done. They started from a place of determining what they wanted the world to look like. And they would offer a chorus of both dissent with how far the country had strayed from that point, and of hope with how much was possible if all the corrupting influences were set aside. It drew people to this message with ease, constructing a broad enough platform – literally, a 99% platform, not with specifics but with a worldview – to do more to change the conversation in America than any progressive political movement in generations. Occupy Wall Street was a part of 10% of traditional media stories in the past week. That number is poised to climb.

Here’s Graeber:

“We are watching,” I wrote, “the beginnings of the defiant self-assertion of a new generation of Americans, a generation who are looking forward to finishing their education with no jobs, no future, but still saddled with enormous and unforgivable debt.” Three weeks later, after watching more and more elements of mainstream America clamber on board, I think this is still true. In a way, the demographic base of OWS is about as far as one can get from that of the Tea Party—with which it is so often, and so confusingly, compared. The popular base of the Tea Party was always middle aged suburban white Republicans, most of middling economic means, anti-intellectual, terrified of social change—above all, for fear that what they saw as their one remaining buffer of privilege (basically, their whiteness) might finally be stripped away. OWS, by contrast, is at core forwards-looking youth movement, just a group of forward-looking people who have been stopped dead in their tracks; of mixed class backgrounds but with a significant element of working class origins; their one strongest common feature being a remarkably high level of education. It’s no coincidence that the epicenter of the Wall Street Occupation, and so many others, is an impromptu library: a library being not only a model of an alternative economy, where lending is from a communal pool, at 0% interest, and the currency being leant is knowledge, and the means to understanding.

This movement will hit some significant hurdles in the next several months. Even the most sympathetic members of the establishment will balk when the matter comes down to specific demands. If you cannot get political leaders in Los Angeles, which has seen banks literally act as fraud agents and slumlords toward their residents, to turn on the banks because of the money they supply the economy, then you’re not going to make much headway anywhere else. But I’ll admit to thinking narrowly here. The movement is about inspiring the art of the possible in a society that is truly small-d democratic.

In a way, this is an old story – youngsters fed up with society lead a revolt – infused with new technology and tools to broadcast the message. I don’t think we know the limits here.

David Dayen

David Dayen