1) Write in 200 words or less what you believe the role of the Occupy Strategy Group is with respect to the greater Occupy
I see Occupy Strategy as an ongoing national dialogue mechanism which includes feedback both ways between the various occupies and Occupy Strategy.
The role of the Occupy Strategy Group is to focus the lens upon the machinery of power so that the vision of a people centered sustainable society is best able to be built by humanity. This focus will aim upon the core pillars which uphold the power structure. This structure is upheld by: corporate personhood, money having the status of free speech, a media that sets an agenda dictated by multinational conglomerates, the control of the money supply by private banking and a debt-based monetary system. The dissolution of private intelligence agencies and the IRS is imminent with the removal of the core pillars of power as these agencies act in service to power.
We also provide educational resources to understand the struggle that is faced by those opposed to the centralized power systems.
We help coordinate the efforts of individuals & organizations so that they may synergize together to have the whole of their efforts be greater than the sum of their parts.
We develop general plans of action with time tables which serve as guides as the movement navigates forward achieving strategic objectives that are critical to dismantling the machine that is the Privatized Corporatic State of America.
If the Strategy group can do one thing and one thing only and that being "Provide a winning Strategy" to Occupy.
The definition of Strategy
Strategy is a high level plan to achieve one or more goals under conditions of uncertainty. Strategy is attaining and maintaining a position of advantage over adversaries through the successive exploitation of known or emergent possibilities rather than committing to any specific fixed plan designed at the outset. Strategy is about shaping the future and is the human attempt to get to "desirable ends with available means". Strategy is a pattern in a stream of decisions.
The "Strategy group" must be able to explain a winning strategy, demonstrate that strategy and provide a systematic strategic framework (a pattern) that can be leveraged in the future.
The role of this Working Group is to translate the ideals of the movement into demands that could be implemented by some form of legislation, court order, etc., via the current system of government.
To provide a place for regular discussion and learning about the issues. To assist in prioritizing issues toward structural change toward a better world. To develop “tools” to assist activists in focusing their efforts.
2 In two pages or less write what you think our final product will look like. You can give examples, write general thoughts regarding it and/or create bullet points about items which would be included in a final product
The so-called final product needs to be a living breathing document/kit that facilitates/catalyzes dialogue ( that is, reflection, thought and action/theory and practice, experience) between Occupy Strategy and greater Occupy and other activist groups on the left and progressive side of the political spectrum. It should include: I. Goals/Objectives; II. Groups, Organizations, Institutions; III. Revolutionary Theory and Practice Background Resources: Readings, Video.
The "Strategy group" end goal should be to provide strategic plans for the top / root causes for each of the major issues.
For each issue provide What is the problem? What caused the problem? How can we measure the problem? One or more solutions to the problem?
Strategic framework Education Transparency / Accountability Voice
The Strategy Working Group will present to NATGAT a simple list of political objectives which represent the ideals of the movement in a form that could be implemented by some form of legislations, court order, etc., via the current system of government. These political objectives will be backed up by appropriate documentation, visuals, etc.
Strategy: 1. Do what worked before. 2. K.I.S.S.
As many people have noted, Occupy “changed the dialogue” with a simple slogan. This group should continue to be a “voice” for simple truths that have not been well heard before.
Comparing the proposed simple list and Occupy to the Green Party (which I admire) and its platform will illustrate why, for Occupy, a simple, bullet-pointed list will be more effective than an action plan. The Green Party platform is designed to be uniformly implemented by Green Party chapters. The chapters need precise instructions to maintain the kind of focus that will amplify power. Green Party members approved the plan which is essentially a list of remedies long advocated by the left. And the specific list* for which I advocate is much like the Green Party Platform, but much simpler. However, unlike most Greens, Occupiers are largely unaware of specific legislative ways to change the balance of power in the US (beyond abolishing corporate personhood.) NATGAT may approve a “platform” of some kind, but such approval does not mean that local Occupies will enacted or accept it. There are many such Occupy platforms (and manifestos) gathering dust everywhere. A list of demands may be the only thing missing from that mountain of verbiage. And, that is, in part because of the erroneous assumption that creating such a list would give the opposition an edge, that is specific points to push against. Underlying that argument is the assumption that should we reveal what we really wanted, we would lose. If you assume instead that when we reveal what we really want, it will be recognized as truth and we will win because people know what it is that we want. In other words, “Think like a loser, plan like a loser, lose. Think like a winner, plan like a winner, win.”
Moreover, there is no need for Occupy to duplicate the work of Move To Amend. Rather, we should offer the more complete vision of HOW to create another world that is now missing from the Occupy atmosphere.
full page flyer, cheat sheet, like what Dennis is talking about. [see one that shows how personhood impacts many issues]
various detailed flyers for each of the top issues, not more than 2 pages each
tomes on the top issues, via links from the wiki (not printed out, but online media)
a list of links for the table/main wiki page
[quarter page flyer such as this]introducing the group, simple, easy, people take this sized flyers in thousands
list of short videos for people to watch onsite at NatGat, CELDF video, some corporate personhood action videos, Polar’s video
list of reading/longer videos for people to watch on their own, or if we are really bored at NatGat, we can do screenings. I feel like this list already exists…see the wiki reading resources
The final product of the Occupy Strategy Group before the national gathering will show the items that are pre-conditions to greater action as the “first wave” of actions. Our efforts will re-shape the context of the National Gathering. We will do this by showing that the topics that make up the agenda of the National Gathering all lead back to corporate personhood & money as free speech. As these topics are each covered, the context will be about how each is helped along with the elimnination of corporate personhood & money as free speech. We will thus provide time frames and general actions to “End the Corporatocracy” End Corporatocracy: Time Frames & Actions. Additionally, we will have begun a campaign to connect the efforts of individuals & organizations to unite in solidarity in the struggle of our age to stage a successful revolution against the Privatized Corporcatic State of America.
1) Begin an effort to contact organizations that mutually support the focus of our efforts which is to "End the Corporatocracy" Example: The following link is to a chapter of people who are a part of Move to Amend from Hyannis, Massachusetts. This made the press five days ago on 5.16.13 as they had a rally to bring awareness to the issue that we also support. http://www.wickedlocal.com/barnstable/topstories/x1409969351/VIDEO-Cape-Cod-group-pushes-for-constitutional-amendment#axzz2Tybsg7nl
The purpose of contacting these organizations is to first open the lines of communication with them so that we can mutually support each other for events like this rally on Cape Cod. Our objective here is to unite efforts and work in union. That is one of our actions and an action that we encourage others to take on as well. We begin with organizations and groups that already understand the issue and support the effort. A visual of the idea being put forth here: (Droplets of water separate are merely individual droplets but united they can form a waterfall of change)
2) Put together information packets that come in a variety of forms. Also, included with the information packets are lists of issues and values along with explanations about how that issue or value is be helped by "Ending the Corporatocracy" and by amending the Constitution.
a) Examples of information packets: Emails that can be forwarded that include links, short videos, power points, a website, social media page, twitter account, songs, essays, documentaries and information "kits."
Additionally, reach out to artists (all kinds of artists), musicians, rappers, singers, song writers, writers, poets, actors/actresses, directors, producers, videographers, photographers who support the cause and will help to lend their time, creative energy, expertise to the effort in one or a variety of ways.
b) Example: Someone from our group is having an event at a church. A team of people working with our cause who are in the same general area as the person or persons organizing the event voluntarily coordinates with each other to be part of the informal "Media Team" who capture photos and videos to edit and share with social media sites to further lend awareness of the effort. Events not only have the impact from the day of the event but from the media that is associated with the day of the event as it gets posted, shared and re-shared online thus having a multiplier effect.
3) Begin an effort to reach out to other organizations and individuals from those organizations to inform them about: who we are, what our goal is, why is our goal important and how this effort directly affects them as an individuals, their group and their cause.
Reaching out to organizations and individuals looks like a letter writing campaign, making phone calls, emailing them, dropping in to introduce yourself, scheduling a presentation with them, connecting on social media sites and any or all of the fore mentioned approaches.In some communities we coordinate efforts to go door to door spreading awareness about the effort, who is involved with it and explain why we are going door to door. (For example, the traditional media will not cover this effort.) We have a criteria regarding how people present when they are going door to door. It is important to look like a professional otherwise the likelihood of getting dismissed before you can present the information will increase. The goal here is to deliver the pitch along with a link/handout that the person can take and go to online in order to access our site and media kit. Additionally, we have three fold handouts or other handouts when able.
4) Plan event days.
These days are planned in our local communities to inform and engage people of the effort, who we are, what our effort is, why our effort is important and how this effort directly affects them as an individuals. Other event days can have local organizations and other groups come together in solidarity for the effort with the intention of informing and engaging people. When possible these efforts will be accompanied by press coverage by informing and inviting the press to attend the event with at least two weeks notice of the event when possible. Direct follow-up with a local reporter one week prior to the event will increase the likelihood of their presence at the event and is a recommended step to take when planning events. Additionally, we will encourage event days to include video and photo footage as to add to the media campaign and spread awareness about the effort. For example, an event day will have their video footage edited and incorporated into a short video recapping the day and the effort - the effort which is the purpose of the day - spreading information and adding momentum to "End the Corporatocracy." These short videos will then be shared on social media sites that support our effort which we have already connected with (see section 1 under Initial time frame for action). Also, the people who would help in this effort would be people on the local informal "Media Teams" as stated in section 2 example b. Additionally, there will be movie nights to educate and inform people using information from our Media Kits.
5) Put together a list of direct actions that can add to public awareness of our effort.
Examples of direct actions: covering billboards at rush hour with messages "End the Corporatocracy," "Human Persons Unite!," "We the Human People," "Persons = Humans," "Person are NOT Corporations," "Honk if you are Human" and many other possibilities of what the signs will say. Then, have these efforts coordinated with rallies, marches and event days to magnify the impact of the collective efforts. Also, hanging banners across highway over passes. Additionally, spontaneous performances of a musical song about ending corporate persons like the Target performance: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9FhMMmqzbD8 or this Move to Amend street performance: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4ustR4JSs7k Another example of a direct action is for a group of people to get together outside an area where many people will be exiting or entering like a baseball stadium with signs. Each sign being a letter and spelling out End Corporate Persons. This would take 19 people to hold signs and then have a few extra people for people to take shifts as well as a group of 10-15 more people handing out information links/handouts and talking up the effort. Another example of direct action is to canvas NFL pre-game tailgating where teams of 10-20 people with hundreds of handouts each walk throughout the tailgate and pass out handouts/links and talk about our effort.
6) Familiarize ourselves with the facts and history of corporate persons.
Become able to clearly present what the problem is and be able to answer questions about it. Once we put together thet information in the media kit we all command that information as a means of being able to spread the message. We also encourage others to take on learning/studying that information and mastering the content as well. We use each other to help in this effort by getting on calls with people in the group and discussing the information with each other. Talk about an essay or documentary, practice our pitches, ask each other questions as if we were unfamiliar with the content and give constructive feedback to one another.
Make a list of 5 or more issues that can be shown to be helped by addressing these pre-conditions and be prepared to share these in breakout groups of three people.
Here are five power dynamics that abolishing corporate personhood will not change:
a. the global labor transition--changing corporations right to speak via money is not going to change the fact that poor people will work for dirt.
b. the tax code
c. the winner take all electoral system
d. privately owned Fed
e. healthcare for profit, leeches, corporation or people, they still suck blood.
List of 5 Issues that can be Helped by Abolishing Corporate Personhood:
The Ecological Collapse of the Planet
Economic Justice/Renewing Communities
Supporting a Free & Independent Media
Ending War/Building Peace
Establishing the People's Sovereignty
http://wiki.occupyboston.org/wiki/File:Flyer,_Corporate_Personhood_Impacts_All_Causes_2012.png See this for my 5]] I didn't do the research, but I think they are excellent examples.
Thoughts shared by members of the group that were in a different form then the criteria of the assigned homework:
Occupy Strategy should work as a repository receiving and organizing documentation from across the movement, summarizing localized successes and failures and providing a forum to build replications and combinations of robust strategies for use in large, small, short-term and long-term initiatives. Occupy Strategy should have organizing and analytical components, but should not expect to produce a single unified message for the movement.
Developing functional strategies means, first, articulating the field in which strategy is to work; this means not only identifying the objective targets, but also identifying the capabilities of the movement and the resources available outside the movement. Without truly understanding what resources one has on hand and what motives flow within those resources, strategic objectives rest on shaky foundations. Second, developing practical strategies means setting aside less viable alternatives, which means evaluating a broader range of objectives than will be eventually actionable. Occupy Strategy’s greatest contribution to the movement will be within these first two stages. The third stage – of articulating a small set of priorities – is not likely to find success through a single non-representative cell as Occupy Strategy. The third stage would be better left to the organics of the movement – localized and regional – unless the movement or a large part of the movement coalesces around a broad, robust decision-making structure. This has not yet happened and cannot be imposed from cyberspace or through thought experiments.
It is highly unlikely that Occupy Strategy with five active participants and no broad endorsement across the movement can produce a single meaningful proclamation that will inspire broad buy-in. If appropriate at all, it is much more appropriate to develop a list of movement priorities in convention where there is rich, live debate and proper witness to the process; not in cyberspace without checks and balances. Imposing a single list of priorities upon a dispersed movement has little upside and the immense downside of exacerbating factioning. It is more reasonable to expect commitment from activists on the priorities they hold personally valuable and consider topical. Big things change all the time – tying a vast, broad-agenda movement to a static strategic vision will compromise the movement’s will, agility, and power.
Occupy Strategy will be much more valuable as an ongoing facilitator of best practices in strategy for both localized and national initiatives. It should publish multiple products, perhaps as white papers, that will help local groups organize more effectively. These propositions should draw from experiences in the field and provide in-depth discussion of the elements that make various strategies work or fail.
These documents could have the following structure:
Overview of strategy – a brief on the real-world practices and circumstances in which the strategic structures worked or failed.
Strategic components – an organized description of the underlying elements that can be considered replicable if successful and as potential hazards if the strategy failed
Analysis – a parsing of the causes of success and failure
Action guide – a schema for replication (or avoidance) in other initiatives
1) Reflect on the connections between private ownership of central banking & the debt based money system, corporate personhood and the way in which the media operates being owned by big business.
I don’t think the movie even mentioned corporate personhood. Democratizing the Fed and creating state banks are good ideas. Harping on the media is poor strategy--why not say something about an issue instead?
2) Consider how these factors make up the center of power in our society.
The largest center of power in the US is the system that we use to elect legislators. The banking sector controls it because its structure--binary, winner take all--cuts out smaller groups that could dilute their power. As the movie pointed out middle America votes for the Dems & the Republicans, but they account for a just a fraction of the political spectrum. What I don’t think the movie mentioned is that most large corporations donate strategically to both parties.
3) Consider how many issues will be helped by the ending of corporate persons, how society will benefit from the beginning of a new age in journalism where big business no longer controls the news and how a sustainable money system will help to create a sustainable society having eliminated the need for more debt and dramatically reducing inflation.
That is not a question...and if you’re going to pontificate, you could at least try to say what you mean about “sustainable money system.”
4) With these prior items considered, reflect upon how the removal of these factors that make up the center of power is a pre-condition that must be addressed in order to confront issues like the ecological collapse of life systems with the coordinated effort and resources needed to have a reasonable chance to make a difference or to confront other key social issues.
Also not a question. The lack of questions that critique the movie highlight the fact that the assignment is not meant to educate, but rather to create an action plan type product.
6) What ways could we spread this information & link the efforts of other groups or organizations by encouraging them to focus on these central pillars of the power structure along with their main issue as a means of aiding their own cause.
This “question” assumes that we are involved in organizing, not strategizing.
Assign #3 Proportional Representation & Electoral Reform These assume a "traditional paper system" and in today society this is completely unnecessary.
Another world is possible; A group of true scholars presenting various peer reviewed viewpoints of each issue. These are presented in different media formats on each issue.
Each issue voted on by each and every citizen, one person one vote. Minimum number of votes needed to pass aka 60% of total affected population. Any conflicts / filibusters / blocks taken to council, this council is to be chosen similar to a "jury" but scaled to level of governance. This council is chosen each year and brought to a public forum, all living expenses covered and a small stipend to be delivered after completion of service.
Council qualifiers Legal consenting adult Pass a basic educational competency test (GED level not collage level) Complete a communication training session Never been convicted by peers of a violent offense against any living thing
This to be implemented starting locally and scaled globally.
Any issue that effects all human beings (Human rights, ecological laws, etc..) level items handled at the global scale in full public view.
Assn #4 Framework applied to Ethos The Ethos movie describes how "The system" is currently practiced the answer is supplanting that system with a people controlled framework.
Education What is the problem Corporate Personhood - corporations gaining power over their creator. In the current political system the public doesn’t really decide anything now—they just select from the options they’re given. Knowing this the corporations are using their money to provided choices only if those choices are in their best interest.
What is the root cause? All corporations are required by law to uphold profits above other competing interests including the public good. The monetary system / economy is corporately owned and controlled Corporations have gone global. People and Governments have become powerless in relation to corporations.
Transparency / Accountability How can we measure the problem? By eliminating the ability for corporations to vote in secret. By making all transaction between politicians and corporations public knowledge we will be able track this flow and hold politicians accountable. When politicians no longer support "public good" they will be recalled / voted out of office. By auditing the federal reserve and either nationalizing it or replacing it.
Voice Reformed the Public Vote
Replace the outdated system with a technologically correct one.
Renew the "commons" to allow places for the people to meet and discuss
Open more public communication channels, radio, tv, Internet, satellite.
Create free flowing information in open formats that will induce open synergistic two way communication.
Create simple local currency model that can be "copy / pasted" into any community that wants it. This will allow an efficient and permanent voice in the their local economy bypassing the corporate controlled monetary system.
Provide all information on all bills, laws, treaties etc.. in a easily digested form for public scrutiny. Providing a valid auditable method of collecting / collating public opinions.