Monday, October 17, 2011

The Occupy Movement and Consensus Model

We had some people tonight who kinda wanted to go off and start some shit, and it had to be made clear that they couldn't do that with us, because the thing to do with us is join our General Assemblies and reach consensus with us about movement actions.

Here's the long form of my opinion on individual action, particularly in reference to civil disobedience.

People are gonna do what they feel they've gotta do. If somebody needs to get in a confrontation with cops so that they can sleep at night... well, y'know, they're gonna do what they feel they've gotta do. However! They need to do it with their own reputation and in their own name. The only way to earn the right to say you're representing our movement is to be part of our process. You don't get to say you're representing the occupation movement if you don't respect the consensus process which defines us as a movement enough to get our consensus before you go out and do things that reflect upon us.

We are the ones who are not merely using the consensus process, but we are the ones who have voluntarily taken on the obligation to prove that the consensus process works. Instances like this where people want to fly off on their own as individuals are the biggest test the consensus process can possibly have, and it's at times like this that people demonstrate whether they believe in the process we're advocating for, or whether --when it comes down to it--they don't. If they don't believe in the consensus process, in my personal opinion they need to be doing some serious reflection on whether this is the movement for them.