OUR VIEWPOINT: Occupy Movement needs to organize
These are tough times financially. One would be hard-pressed to find an economist who could make a case to the contrary. Just as civilization has in history, it again finds itself in the midst of widespread political unrest during a period of monetary woes; this time, it has the name Occupy.
While we at the Telescope understand the underlying point of the Occupy Movement, we do not think the movement can move forward in such an unorganized manner.
With motivating factors similar to those that led to the French Revolution, protestors of many walks of life have taken to the streets to show their distrust of the banks and their dissatisfaction with the government. It is the broadest base of supporters any movement has boasted in the last half century.
However, while the wide demographic range that the participants fit into is a strength for Occupy, it is also its weakness. The abundance of opinions and personal goals amongst the members cause a contradictive understanding of what the movement is all about.
It falls on the protestors to give the media, and by extension the people they’re trying to win over to their cause, a unified and cohesive statement as to what it is they’re marching for.
From the beginning, the Occupy Movement has been without a leader as a way to illustrate this is a movement of the people. To an extent they’ve been successful in that they have reached international notoriety without a figurehead.
On the other hand, the role of a leader is often to consolidate the grievances of those whom he/she represents. If they want to avoid a leader, they need to find another way to come to consensus.
In some locations the movement has spread to, protestors have been experimenting with volunteer committees and open forums to make decisions. Though they are far from perfect, they show a step in the right direction.
The Occupy Movement needs to first, on a national level, establish a set of guidelines by which the chapters in locations across the country can govern themselves.
The best option would be a revolving-door-style democratic system in which representatives are regularly switched out and legislation that has already been ratified has to be unanimously voted against in order to be stricken.
With these parameters in place, the next step is to draft a list of core goals that represent the heart of the movement’s objectives.
Finally, after getting an accurate count on the average number of participants, they should take the list of approved goals to members on the street and ask each member to sign off on the mission statements. If they can get 70 percent of the protestors to accept the terms, the goals would be adopted. If not, it’s back to the drawing board.
No system will represent the movement perfectly, but at least with these guidelines, the protests will no longer consist of unorganized malcontents without a clue what they want. Instead, the strength of the movement will greatly improve and the unification of protestors will allow the main purpose to be reached.