Occupy Wall Street Strategy
Occupy Wall Street is an open
This type of protest has been very
effective over the last year in toppling regimes in north Africa. It’s
proving relatively successful in the US too.
Open source protest is an organizational
technique. Probably the only organizational technique that can assemble
a massive crowd in today’s multiplexed environment. Essential rules of
open source protest include:
- A promise. A simple goal/idea that nearly everyone can get behind.
Adbusters did pretty good with “occupy wall street.” Why? Nearly
everyone hates the pervasive corruption of banks and Wall Street. It’s
an easy target.
- A plausible promise. Prove that the promise can work. They did.
They actually occupied Wall Street and set up camp. They then got the
- A big tent and an open invitation. It doesn’t matter what your
reason for protesting is as long as you hate/dislike Wall Street. The
big tent is already in place (notice the diversity of the signage). Saw
something similar from the Tea Party before it was
- Let everyone innovate. Don’t create a leadership group. The
general assembly approach appears to work.
- Support anyone in a leadership role that either a) grows the
movement or b) advances the movement closer to its goal. Oppose
(ignore) anybody that proposes a larger, more complex agenda or those
that claim ownership over the movement.
- If a new technique works, document it, use it again, and share it
with everyone else. Copy everything that works.
- Spread the word of the movement as widely as possible.
That’s the gist of it.
What’s the real goal of this protest?
Frankly, it’s probably a recognition that the center of power in the US
doesn’t reside in Washington anymore. It’s on Wall Street. This
protest dispenses with the middle men (the US government) and goes
straight after the real power.
My guess is that the Adbuster team that
launched this open source protest felt that an October financial
meltdown was possible, hence the September start-date. If the meltdown
does occur, this movement is going to go global, just at the moment when
the banks are going to be at their most vulnerable. Regardless, this
effort is going to set the groundwork for a fast launch in the future
when the next financial meltdown occurs.
What’s the big picture? Global guerrillas
are getting better at building open source protests. We are going to
see more and they are likely to become a prominent feature of the
geopolitical landscape. It will also be interesting to see if open
source protests could end up taking down a Too Big To Fail bank (i.e.
Goldman) or a US President in the next 5 years. That would be very cool
JOHN ROBB USAF RETIRED
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