From:   Jackie DiSalvo <>
Sent time:   Saturday, November 12, 2011 2:01:01 PM
Subject:   [september17discuss] Article: "The Leaders of the Allegedly Leaderless Movement"

This is bullshit propaganda, resembling the worst kind of anarchism. The Spokes council is a big step forward in efficiency and accountability. At a previous GA to which I had invited my women's group, on the other hand, 45 minutes were spent dealing with one person's concern over the cost of renting a truck to do laundry; my friends left somewhat disheartened about the process and have not returned since. It was reported from Madrid that GAs fell apart out of boredom with an unwieldy consensus process.

The Spokes council solves this problem democratically while retaining the democracy of the GA for substantive matters. The proposal passed because it was improved in response to earlier objections raised in the MANY GA and other discussions of it. The “spokes” (working group representatives) are accountable to their groups, members of whom are encouraged to attend and consult with their spoke on decisions. Finance is accountable to the Spokes council and ultimately to the GA to which anyone can bring a concern. Large allocations of funds still go to the GA.  Finances are transparent, & public as are all decisions. Groups can rotate their representatives as often as they like to encourage broad participation. If anything, there is an excessive concern for maximizing democratic participation (anyone can show up at the GA & vote as opposed to the form of democracy which involves everyone in the working groups - many hundreds of people  (my Labor Group now has 185- who can participate via weekly meetings or online). No one has to go to 3 meetings a week to participate; you can have input through a working group, one GA (a proposal usually takes more than one to pass & all are on line), through consulting with your spoke at a spokes council or through expressing one’s views to the general population or working groups online. Anyone can join the Finance or Facilitation group.

I was afraid blocks would lead to rule of the minority, but a very high level of objection is required for a block, and there’s usually a way to work through the objection through discussion & friendly or other amendments & blocked proposals that are not overridden by a 90% vote (as the Spokes council proposal) usually go back to the drawing board to accommodate the objections and be presented again. I would prefer a 2/3 vote for overcoming a block but must admit that there people have functioned very responsibly with genuine concern for coming to agreement, and we almost always do.  

From: [] On Behalf Of
Sent: Saturday, November 12, 2011 12:54 PM
Subject: Re: Re: [september17discuss] Fwd: POC-OWS Article: "The Leaders of the Allegedly Leaderless Movement"

This article is a one sided smear job that doesn't give all of the facts.  I blocked the spokes council proposal until i thought they worked out the kinks, so I cannot be accused of being in league with the structure committee.)  This is not representative democracy, this is each working group organizing on the ground having a say in how things are run, without having to the GA for everything.  The spokesperson for each group must rotate.  There is no shadowy cabal running everything like the article implies, as you all know.  The structure group even withdrew their application to be considered for the council because they decided that they are not an operational working group.  Please go to the comment section of this article and tell the real story because a lot of people are reading it and assuming that it is the whole truth. 
On 11/12/11, Bruce Wagner<> wrote:



I don't like the idea of dropping democracy so fast.... in favor of a "representative democracy".

Not Good.

Every voice should be heard.

Every person should be allowed a vote.

I represent myself.  I need no representative.

On Nov 11, 2011 10:37 PM, "Liliana Gomez" <> wrote: