Three challenges Occupy must overcome.


Hey you nimble dreamers, believers and jammer tacticians out there,

Our movement has reemerged from winter hibernation to find that this spring we are different but so too is the political and tactical situation. Occupy now faces a series of existential challenges that will define the month of May and set the tone for our long-term future.

#1 challenge: Jump over the corporate media

It took the New York Times two weeks last year to wake up to the insurrection percolating in their own backyard. This May Day, we saw an insidious attempt to ignore and discredit us right across the mainstream media. Time to jam the corpo-commercial lie machine and shift the way information flows and meaning is produced. Here is occupier Charles Young’s take on the blackout:

“I know. It’s just a coincidence. Or conspiracy theory. The .01% who rule the United States would never stoop to such stunts to knock Occupy Wall Street off the front page and surround it with mentions of terrorism… But Occupy wasn’t on the Times’ front page, online or in print, either.”

Read more at Counterpunch.

#2 challenge: Block the co-optation of our movement

Last September, the old left didn’t want to touch us. Then Occupy captured the world’s imagination and now they are jumping in to channel our energy into electoral politics and symbolic actions. Founding Zuccotti Marisa Holmes warns that the co-opters are a deep threat to our movement:

“This is an election year. Everything is at stake. There will be many more attempts like The 99% Spring to come. The 1% have no intention of funding a movement that actually poses a threat to their power. They seek to manage social movements via foundations thru resource allocation, top-down structures, and co-opting language. In the past this strategy has proven effective at dividing, conquering, and integrating movements into respectable forms of activism, and it’s starting to take hold… We have realized our collective power, and we must not be pacified!”

Read more in the Occupy! Gazette #4.

#3 challenge: Occupy the future

Our most difficult task of all is to describe, build and sustain the post-capitalist future we want to live in. Here is Slavoj Žižek’s stab to get your juices flowing:

“It is not enough to reject the depoliticized expert rule as the most ruthless form of ideology; one should also begin to think seriously about what to propose instead of the predominant economic organization, to imagine and experiment with alternate forms of organization, to search for the germs of the New. Communism is not just or predominantly the carnival of the mass protest when the system is brought to a halt; Communism is also, above all, a new form of organization, discipline, hard work.”

Read more at the Guardian.

Hey occupiers: the old world has no future; their leaders have no solutions. Now everything from how we live to how we love and how the world is governed is up for grabs. Can we rise to the challenge? Let the tactical brainstorm begin.

for the wild,
Culture Jammers HQ / Tactical Briefing #29 and #30 / On May 12, retake the squares and on May 18, spark the #LAUGHRIOT then join the movement in Chicago

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217 comments on the article “OWS GUT CHECK”

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Page 4 of 22


While I agree with many sections of your comment in regards to organization, creative deeds, and conferences, I disagree with your assumption that we need "leaders". Your comment implies we should create power structures similar to those we wish to change. Moreover, it's regressive and unnecessary. Occupy must be careful not to mimic current and/or previous power structures. That's authoritarianism, not democracy. The revolutionary war isn't a pertinent analogy as to how Occupy should organize and conduct itself. The revolutionary war was won because the French fleet showed up on the coast of Yorktown. What one can take away from the revolutionary war, is that the entirety, or even a majority of the population isn't needed for a successful revolution. The loyalist and fence sitters outnumbered the patriots.

The current battle for humanity against corrupted governments, banker, corporate and military control, must not be fought through war or violence, but through awareness, education and direct involvement.

The technology already exists for direct democracy. Conferences could be conducted online so people aren't restricted by location or movements. And the international chapters of Occupy in Canada, the UK and Australia could be part of the consensus/conferences, so Occupy can expand. Why not have spokespeople, spokescouncils, rather than leaders? Duties could be shared, volunteered, instead of delegated, or assumed. In order to expand this movement, people need to feel that they can have direct involvement, not just as a theoretical supporter, but by making a direct contribution or taking an active role other than civil disobedience or occupations.

Organization and consensus first, then ongoing awareness campaigns to counter propaganda from current power structures, this creates expansion. Then proposed reforms, new ideas and actions, along with the mechanisms and methods for the reform; one of which would be direct democracy. If direct democracy is implemented - online - for Occupy, then a system is in place that can take over the role of corrupted courts and corporate controlled governments.


Direct democracy involves consensus. They couldn't reach consensus with a few hundred people at GA's in NY, all you got were blocks by small groups who were able to over-ride the decisions of the larger group. No consensus meant good ideas were never implemented. Considering this how are you going to build consensus among a larger population of millions? Also how are you going to ensure that your 'enemies' do not ruin online direct democracy by simply blocking everything into oblivion. You cannot have consensus where you don't have uniformity and the US is everything but uniform. You cannot have consensus among groups that do not have shared values and the US doesn't have shared values. I mean for real you could end up with Glenn Beck and all his minons voting in your system.


To give just a small example something like agreeing to a simple Vision and Goals statement.


"Simple" and "Visions and Goals", probably don't belong in the same sentence.

I read the Blueprint and as long-winded and vague as it is, it shouldn't be construed as a tactical or organizational document. It's simply a reflection of those that penned it, absent the methodology to achieve the aims.

Regardless of the dysfunction of certain groups and their inability to come to consensus on the more esoteric, disparate political beliefs and aims, that's NOT an extrapolation of direct democracy or consensus. It's just those particular people, in those particular groups, at that particular time.

They could have taken the original Declaration, translated each complaint into positive statements/visions/goals and then expanded each of those, by discussing, debating, then voting on the actions that could be taken to achieve each vision/goal. That's direct democracy in action.

Occupy is in its infancy, and they can use a situation such as this to redress and retry, in a different organizational manner, until they find an iteration that works. I see it as a positive opportunity to address differences between various belief sets and ideologies, not as an insurmountable dysfunction.

I'm curious. Were you actually there?


Why did you have to taint this otherwise spot-on article with unnecessary pro-Communist commentary?

Like "free-market Capitalism", "Marxist Communism" exists in theory only: No lasting real-world implementation I'm aware of deserves high marks.

We are not fighting the co-optation of the Occupy Movement by Bushbama and the Democrats just to turn around and hand it to the Communists.


Agreed. This is not about today's "capitalism", a monster that Adam Smith would not recognize. Or about "communism", a phantom ideal. It's not about any 18th or 19th century analysis of the way the world works. And it's not focused only on the economy, but rather on our lives. So what is it? Stop being impatient. Only by leaving the question open will we find true answers.


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