SocraticGadfly: More proof #OccupyWallStreet has an #OWS leadership

October 22, 2011

More proof #OccupyWallStreet has an #OWS leadership

More evidence somebody is ... er ... leading! Occupy Wall Street is right here I agree with others that the story is a good write-up. That said,if there's a special central area, an "inner circle," with security, even ... somebody is leading this. Let's be honest. From the story:

Just a bit west of the library there is what appears to be the inner circle of Occupy Wall Street.
Several people, many working on laptops powered by a portable generator, sit in an area closed off by tables. Most people—including protesters—are kept out by beefy people whose blue arm bands mark them as members of the security group.

Exactly what this secretive group is doing is not clear.“They’re media relations, and outreach and planning,” one person said.

So why are outsiders being kept from the area? No one would answer.
And, this is why I'm skeptical of my own left-liberalism, let alone that of others. It's also why I'm a deliberate contrarian at times.

It's not just that this has leaders. It's the lack of transparency. It's the secrecy.

Where did we hear this before?

Oh, yeah. Dear Leader. Remember we were going to have the most transparent administration in history?

To riff on Orwell, "some are less leaderless than others."

This directly connects with my blogging about how the "99ers" website was actually started in June 2010.

The other concerns I have? Such as how a number OWS folks might actually be duped Obamiacs who believe he's being held hostage by the GOP? The concerns I've blogged about before about how for at least some, protest as performance art or whatever might be an issue? I'm not alone on those thoughts.

Meanwhile,  "leaderlessness" claims can backfire. Someone suggests $20/hr minimum wage, then the mainstream media gets blamed for reporting it. You can't have it both ways.

Although you can certainly try! The "General Assembly" of OWS says that it's the only "official" site to speak for the general assembly, claiming that other websites have no right to speak for it. From a Facebook friend:
Posting and reposting such sites is furthering someone else's agenda, not the movement.
To which, I responded:
So, the "movement" is subject to the advice of the General Assembly? Sounds like ... uh, leadership to me!
I have the feeling that, at some point before the end of the month, at least parts of Occupy Wall Street going to devolve into some sort of Trotskyist or Randian farce.

PDATE: Per the New York Review of Books, here's yet more reason to be skeptical, even cynical, about at least a certain swath of the "movement," along with claims of leaderlessness and at least some of the actual leaders:

Adbusters, in a word, a magazine I found pretentious when I first looked at it 15 years ago. From the story author's "welcome to Adbusters" email:

Thank you for joining our network. You are now part of a 90,000+ strong global network of activists, cultural creative’s [sic] and meme insurgents—a revolutionary force that, with your active involvement, just might reshape how power and meaning flow in the 21st century. Together lets live a little more on the wild side, launch a few telling cultural interventions and pull off some surprising pranks, jams and other essential mental resuscitations.
And, even without receiving such a "welcome" email, the "antic, Dadaist tone" is exactly what I saw 15 years ago, too. So, yes, I'm hard on OWS. To riff on Rahm Emanuel, protest as street art is wasting a good crisis, as are the degree of pampered Millennials. Union members who have shown up at Zucotti Park should take over, especially left-liberalish ones like longshoremen.


Sheldon said...

Really though, so what?, the output of people is spontaneous. And these mysterious leaders are sure letting a diversity of perspectives speak for themselves.

Sheldon said...

And the report is from CNBC, sooooo, again, so what?

Gadfly said...

Bottom line: If there's nothing to hide, then why's it being hidden?

If it's being hidden, how do you know it's "spontaneous"? Did a bunch of people magically assemble themselves into an inner circle? Did a bunch of people around them magically assemble themselves into security guards?

My friend, you seem too trusting at least, gullible to myth-making at worst.

I never said it mattered who made the report, myself.

Gadfly said...

And, you're a ranger at Mesa Verde?

Sheldon said...

I guess what I was trying to say is that the people who have come out for OWS are responding to their own sense of grievance over economic injustice. Yes of course, it is being organized, but I think initially the organization has been pretty loose.

I am more suspicious and skeptical of CNBC's reporting and aspersion casting about this mysterious inner circle of people on laptops guarded by security guards than I am about those people and their organizing.

Perhaps the security is there to prevent and/or delay any potential disruptions from provocateurs or police raids as the media people live tweet the police crackdown? Maybe nobody answered the CNBC reporters question because they don't like being misrepresented by the MM. Who knows?

Yes, I work for Mesa Verde NP, but "Ranger" isn't a title connected to my job description, which is reserved for law enforcement and interpretive rangers.

Anyway, I apologize for my drive by comments that did not articulate my reasons for "so what?".

Gadfly said...

Oh, I understand being skeptical about CNBC, too. That said, I've never bought the line that this is "leaderless." And ever since Jason Wettstein, affiliated/connected with Adbusters, got busted photoshopping an alleged crowd photo, the credibility of the organizers has declined with me.

I'm a left-liberal, but skeptical of my own left-liberalism, as well as overarching claims of left-liberalism.

And, I've been skeptical of Adbusters in particular since I first saw it nearly 15 years ago.

And, I appreciate you following up.

That said, I grew up in Gallup, so, when I clicked on your profile, I knew you were either at Mesa Verde or Hovenweep, and figured the former was much more likely.

Sheldon said...

Brilliant deduction on my location.

Hey I know, maybe that inner circle of laptop organizers are receiving direct instructions from Soros?

But I agree, of course it isn't "leaderless" it take effort to call out this many people.

Sheldon said...

Not to beat a dead horse and distract you from your Steve Jobs obsession, but here are some other critique of the OWS leadership:

Gadfly said...

No obsession with Jobs, other than "calling out" the Jobs hagiographers for a man who doesn't deserve it like that. And, I'll take a look at the link.