Monday, 5 December 2011

Why the OCCUPY movement MUST move into government

Dear Reader,

Please share this blog in its entirety, cut and copy, twitter, FB or scan off. Feel free to circulate my ideas to progress the Occupy movement with forward thinking people and movers and shakers. Thank you.

Having followed the Occupy movement with great interest, I have spent some time trawling through websites and blogs. I have to say I am blown away by the efforts and sacrifices by supporters having taken to the streets and 'occupying' the internet in an effort to change the system. Many are people who do not usually speak out, they cross political divides and who do not usually have a voice. Forget stereotyping by right wing opponents the supporters are truly diverse. This is not just an American movement but a global one. And yet I'm concerned for it's future. As admirable as the movement is there are problems that need observing and working out before it dies a death.

Firstly, there are numerous amounts of messages coming out, regarding a multiple of issues that supporters feel strongly about. All are shouting to end inequality and unfair practices, however the priority message differs towards - employment, social security, health, defence, poverty, debt, environment, climate, preservation or (to coin the phase of many a 'Miss World' contestant) "World peace". Without focus, supporters will move to a niche rather than a collective. Globally the Occupy movement needs more coverage too, otherwise the world will view this as an American protest and again it will tail off. The UK protests are very limited now.

Secondly, I am quickly lost in the maze of information and effort. It's clear that this movement is in its infancy and just getting comfortable in its skin. However, any movement needs organisation and leadership to succeed. So I wanted to seek out the mainframe but couldn't determine who that is. I settled on Occupy Wall St as the front runner, although Occupy Washington DC is equally as good. and are also excellent for collective information. It is easy to get overawed by the hundreds of occupy groups, but as yet no true representative location. I fear the quagmire will scare the average person away. Analysis of social networks suggest there are approximately 900 Occupy groups in the US and 350 in other parts of the world.

Thirdly, while it is truly amazing watching people organising themselves to collectively occupy a park or a building or a vacant property or a senator's office, my concern is that while the 'die hards' can and will dig in, others will lose focus, particularly whereby the focus is to stand or sit around for long periods of time in various locations facing hostility and risking arrest. To what ends - pneumonia? As much as I applaud the effort and hope things will change, no arrogant or corrupt power-monger will be changing their attitudes. Politicians and leaders of any group are in positions of power because they enjoy ruling. Even if they initially intended to serve you, over time they generally become tyrants. They may appease you, certainly when they want to be elected but real change will not happen. Not if your focus is to occupy for the next twenty years. This I say not to demotivate but to refocus and encourage effective strategies. You must progress or you risk stagnation. Make no demands but create change yourselves.

Below is an updated post, I hurriedly published on the OccupyWallSt. site a few days back. I have kept it simplistic as it needs much more thought and organisation beyond my own intelligence and time constraints. I would hope this would be read by those wanting progression and direction. Again as I don't know where the best brains of the Occupy movement are, so I would request that whoever is reading this would share my thoughts. Thank you.

Philosophical Ranter :)

1. You need a focal point and spokespeople to prioritise your message. You must show the issues transparently so that the people understand the fight and why they should join in (For me it is World Poverty and equalising third world nations to our own level of social structure, to someone else its the environment, to someone else it's local social security, to someone else its health...etc). Make no demands but PRIORITISE THE MESSAGES

2. You have lots of support but... Which site do I follow? Which Twitter page? Where do I discuss my points? Is it here where the movement formally took hold or should it be a national or global occupy website? I believe the movement really began with the Arab Spring and Egypt's martyrs. Therefore shouldn't we ensure that our brothers in the middle East are given a focal platform too. With no leadership there is no direction and the movement will continually go round in circles. This is why Vietnam opposition took 3 years before 50% of Americans got behind it. You need to grab the attention of all Occupy twitter, fb, Google+, Websites etc., have a common and centralised meeting ground where a negotiated message of direction is formulated. So COMMON FOCAL POINT

3. You need to fight fire with fire by getting onto the political stage. Attach other bodies that support the greater good (Global charities, civil liberty groups, marginal political groups, selected media, environmentalist, philanthropist, humanist, unionist, disillusioned politicians, student unions - this list is endless) and get representation. You have a huge support base at the moment. Don't lose it by losing focus!!! Push for fair representation in government - globally if possible. In the very least you will break up the vote and other politicians will sway towards marginals to booster their own campaigns. Remember too how popular the Green Party became a number of years back throughout Europe. They even got elected. This could really work globally, if you can get professional. So make no demands but gain REPRESENTATION IN GOVERNMENT

4. If you ran the country what would you do about the points you are fighting against? Would you cap profit? Cap the rich? And what is acceptable wealth? How would you manage change? Have you solutions while you are dismantling empires? Would you incriminate past exploitation and corruption on a global scale and how would those punishments take shape? What about issues like oil dumping, or mis-selling products or even conspiracies such as 9/11? So OPEN AND PROGRESSIVE MANIFESTO

5.You need financial backing. But you also need to be selective as to where the money comes from otherwise you will be slaughtered in the media, politicians and by social critics. The fat cat corporations will either throw weight to block your voice or to corrupt your basis. Be transparent with all funding and canvass hard from everywhere you can gain support ethically. So ETHICAL FUNDING

6. Transparency is key in ALL areas, particularly your manifesto and funding, leadership and supporters. And within your 'Common Focal Point' you also need to be transparent towards who you oppose. Target specific businesses, banks and corporations etc., who are damning the world by feeding themselves. Targeting a corporation or a particularly vile business on a monthly or even weekly basis is educational as long as it is honest. Share this focus with the world and suggest the actions. CLEAR AND FOCUSSED ACTION AGAINST GREED, INEQUALITY AND FAIRNESS, WORLDWIDE.

7. Transparency needs to be transparent! What I mean by this is the language you use, the formats, the displays, the layouts. They need to be very easily understood and accessible. Simplistic and clear. It's no good discussing issues using 'university English' or have a format website that resembles the FT or a minefield of information. If you want to grab the majority of the country and of the world, you MUST appeal to the mass audience. The masses did not go to college and NEED to understand what you are talking about before they switch off through boredom. TRANSPARENCY FROM TOP TO BOTTOM

8. Hold your hand up if you pursued the wrong direction or backing. Don't be embarrassed or ashamed to say ' We got this wrong' or We're no longer pursuing this direction because...'. Humility and honesty is admirable. Even a movement is 'human' and people respect that. And be careful who you ally with. They could be infiltrating and sabotaging your operation from within. So HUMILITY AND HONESTY

9. Finally, regarding tactics for progression from an Activist. 'Occupy' has done great job delivering awareness on so many levels. Even mainstream media are 'outting' corporations and banks through documentaries etc. But the Occupy tactics needs to progress. Highlight who they are, highlight why they are so vile and encourage the world to BOYCOTT that company. 'Outting' through a global-public watchdog would be amazing if you get it right. You can absolutely hammer a company and by doing so put fear into others. This could die a death or grow and grow like never before. If successful you will hit corrupt global banks and even the political parties. OUTTING AND BOYCOTTING

If you like this blog please also read Please now everybody go off and Occupy CNN and Fox. Make no demands, because that WONT make a change. I hope you will. I wish all of you who are actively involved in some way, the very best of luck in changing our globally corrupt social-economic structures which are based on debt and suffering for the betterment of a few. Power to the people and Good Luck.