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Occupy Wall Street Strategy

Posted on Tuesday, 4th October 2011 @ 04:25 AM by Text Size A | A | A


WALL STREET (the theory)


Really simple:

Occupy Wall Street is an open
source protest.

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
    message out.
  • 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
to see.



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