13 Ways To Look at the Occupation of Wall Street
1) I had brunch on Sunday in Chinatown with a friend who works in local television news. He complained that the Occupy Wall Street people had sent over video that they said showed demonstrators getting maced. It didn’t show any such thing, my friend insisted. After brunch I walked over to occupied Zuccotti Park (two blocks north of Wall Street) and told somebody at the Media table that they had to be careful about claiming more for their video than it actually showed. Then I went home and looked at the video, and it clearly showed several young women, who presented no physical threat, getting wrapped up by police in a plastic net and pepper sprayed in the face.
2) My friend’s other complaint about Occupy Wall Street was that they didn’t have a list of demands. Nobody knows what they want, said my friend. It is true that they don’t have a policy statement yet, nothing to spoonfeed the corporate press. But they are trying. On Saturday night, I sat through their General Assembly meeting in the park and heard the report of the One Demand Working Group. Basically, they wanted to demand that other autonomous groups in other cities join them. Most of the General Assembly pointed their hands down and wiggled their fingers, meaning disapproval (in a supportive way). Several people said that you can’t demand solidarity from an autonomous group, you can only encourage it. And everyone seemed to think the language wasn’t “provocative” or “funny,” which meant it had way too much Process jargon and not enough Anglo Saxon monosyllables. It was suggested (not decided) that the One Demand Working Group try another draft and perhaps combine their efforts with the Principles of Solidarity Working Group.
3) The Process is how stuff gets worked out when you don’t have leaders, only Facilitators who facilitate group decisions. There are lots of Facilitators, so the police can’t nail anyone as a leader, not that anyone would want a leader anyway.
4) The Ad Hoc Caucus of Non-Male Identified Individuals wanted help writing a letter to Stephen Colbert, who had done a report that focused on a Non-Male Identified Individual who was in a state of disrobe while protesting Wall Street on the sidewalk. The report featured only interviews with Male Identified Individuals commenting on the naked Non-Male Identified Individual. The Ad Hoc Caucus of Non-Male Identified Individuals wanted Colbert to rectify this imbalance. Male Bodied Individuals, who were not wholly Male Identified, were welcome at the meeting of the Ad Hoc Caucus of Non-Male Identified Individuals.