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Occupy Oakland Media Collective


In response to today’s decision* by the Occupy Oakland General Assembly to disband the Occupy Oakland media committee and expel all current members, several members of the current Occupy Oakland media committee have decided to reconstitute ourselves as an autonomous collective which will produce media about Oakland and Occupy Wall Street, including Occupy Oakland.

Decisions have consequences.

We need the free press we don't have, not agitprop. Whatever helps keep Occupy transparent and accountable is good. That's the only basis for solidarity, so far as I can tell. Of course, OMC might not turn out that way, but let's find out!

NOTE * GAs make decisions, eh. They are decision making bodies, and not informational or advisory bulletin board-like constructs. Cue the "no true Scotsman" argument....

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RanDomino's picture
Submitted by RanDomino on

This validates what I was saying. The GA may have issued an opinion, but that opinion has been ignored by the people who are forming this group. The GA can't stop them.

Submitted by lambert on

It's a straightforward exit, voice, and loyalty issue. Faced with an unjust process forcing policies they couldn't accept, and with no voice and no reason to be loyal, they left.

By Occam's razor, no validation of anarchist theory at all.

Same as many of us in the Democratic Party, for example.

RanDomino's picture
Submitted by RanDomino on

The Party, maybe, but not the government or its jurisdiction, or at least not without having one's property unduly seized.

Anyway, look at this media collective- they're exiting the 'jurisdiction' of the GA, and yet still staying part of Occupy. Would a non-Anarchistic, hierarchical, 'organized' movement allow such a thing?

Submitted by lambert on

To answer your rhetorical question, sure, why not? Happens all the time in clubs and Protestant denominations, for example. Not so much in armies and political parties, but even political factions can split and maintain themselves under some notional umbrella.

Your error, which seems habitual and pervasive, is to conflate less hierarchical with not hierarchical, conflate anarchism with both, and then conflate Occupy with anarchism.

The real issue, IMNHSO, assuming that OO continues as it has begun, will be to separate them from the rest of Occupy in the public mind, so the outcomes of their institutional pathologies don't impact others. Solidarity, donchya know; A "healthy split" that's actually a split. Instead of remaining "just friends...."

RanDomino's picture
Submitted by RanDomino on

I'm sorry, I wasn't aware that there was another ideology that advocates for either less- or non-hierarchical forms of organization.

Yes, people who don't consider themselves to be anarchists can organize horizontally, but if we're talking about organizational forms then we have to have some kind of systemic analysis or principles behind the methods. Either that or we bounce along from decision to decision as our whims dictate, with no higher level of thought than that of a slime mold. That is the choice if we don't ask, "Why are we doing this? What higher principles does this reflect?"

As for OO- always the obsession with "the public," which is simply a code for "middle-class white liberals".

Submitted by lambert on

Just like white middle-class suburban assholes equal the Black Block.

* * *

Too bad, but there you are. As for "ideology that advocates for either less- or non-hierarchical forms of organization," you've considered reading the Federalist Papers, which was "less" with respect to a monarchy? Dear Lord.

UPDATE Last I checked, the white middle class were part of the 99%. Did I not get the memo?

RanDomino's picture
Submitted by RanDomino on

"part of", sure, but there seems to be this idea that they're the ones whose attention we need to capture, and who we're not allowed to offend in any way. They're not the bottom 99%- more like the top 20%. Systemic change won't happen if it relies on the consent of those whose are privileged within that system!

Anyway, this is all off-track. The point remains that the splitting of a group into dissident factions, each of which carries on its goals without interfering with the other, is actually completely acceptable within a Consensus-based system; and the inability of a GA to deny a breakaway group the right to exist proves that it is not, at the end of the day, a decision-making body: How could it be, if its decisions can be disregarded?

Should the OO GA decide to use violence, such as a lawsuit (backed up by the violence of the government), then, yes, whoever is pushing those decisions should be opposed.

reslez's picture
Submitted by reslez on

Splits are inevitable. GAs are not well enough defined to prevent the sort of wild experimentation that is now happening. There will be local differences, and local differences need to exist if Occupy is to have any relevance.

The challenge is to successfully incorporate Occupations of different stripes, because they will all be associated together in the mind of the public no matter the actual differences. And because some Occupations will go off the rail, to have a strategy in advance that can adjust.

The reason Occupy is anarchist is because there is no enforcement mechanism. Occupy does not compel or coerce anyone to participate, nor does it deny the use of the "Occupy" name to splinter groups. There is no authority that currently exists that can do this. Once this authority exists you can never go back. Occupy must continue to reject formal leadership or the coalescing elite at its core will gain legitimacy. And sell out. Or be torn to shreds by the media.

The most you would hope to do is socially pressure these splinter groups into dropping the Occupy name. And since it's currently the GAs themselves voting for the proposals you disagree with, it seems more likely the result would not be one you favor.

Submitted by lambert on

at least if we go by the list of grievances by the NYCGA.

I do understand why, from a marketing or public relations perspective, anarchists would prefer to claim that "Occupy is anarchist" rather than what is true, that Occupy is a movement in which many anarchists participate and which uses many anarchist organizing principles, but... But PR is all it is. It's.... "tiresome."

Hey, all I'm trying to do, from my little corner up in the margins, is do what I can to prevent [snark removed]. Further than they already have. Think of this as an act of solidarity. Correct me if I'm wrong, but it was my impression that as a 99% that was my prerogative.