From:   Stephen Benavides <>
Sent time:   Wednesday, November 16, 2011 1:38:16 PM
Subject:   [september17discuss] Occupy Dallas Self-Proclaimed Leaders Seek To Create the “Tea Party for the Democrats”

Occupy Dallas Self-Proclaimed Leaders

Seek To Create the “Tea Party for the Democrats”


On November 15, 2011 a group of middle upper class white males organized a secret meeting off-site from the Occupy Dallas campsite.  None of the actual occupiers were notified of this meeting, and it seems likely that many were deliberately not invited.  The purpose of this meeting, and a series of previous similar meetings, all organized and carried out in a secret, was to construct and formulate an agenda to be implemented in the weeks and months ahead.  The content of the meeting, the way in which it was organized, and the repeated efforts to assume leadership without the consent of the Occupy Dallas General Assembly by these individuals is a violation of the democratic processes and structures put in place.

                But far more worrying is the organizational plan that this self-selected group of individuals are developing outside of the General Assembly.  The plan is twofold and resembles the tactics employed by the Tea Party and Koch brothers.  One option is to file a 503c(4), under which all of the Occupations in Texas would be required to function.  The other option is to create a Super PAC.  Both of these options were created outside of the General Assembly, and are being pushed forward by Glenn Wilcox, Cordell Stewart, Michael Prestonise; participants Occupy Dallas.

An anonymous source planted within the secret offsite meeting quoted several members of the group stating that the plan is to create a “Tea Party” for the Democratic Party.  If you know anything about the Occupation Movement, you would know that we have separated ourselves from both the Republican and Democratic Parties.  Occupy Dallas and all other Occupations perceive the two-party political system is part of the inherent systemic issues that the 99% oppose.  Both parties have been bought off by corporations, are rife with corruption, and function under a series of backroom deals and negotiations.  How can we allow this group individuals, who are representative of the exclusionary system and processes that the Occupation Movement opposes, to steal away from the people and sell off to the highest bidder the grassroots nature of the organization? 

                Analyzing the situation since my involvement from day one at Pioneer Plaza, this is what I have observed.  Four individuals – all white middle class males – control the website, the finance committee, and the legal team.  This group creates an agenda and implements it without conferring with the Occupy Dallas General Assembly, without ensuring that all individuals understand what it is that they are planning to do, and in the self interest of those directly involved.

As a dedicated defender of the people, the workers, the 99%, and of Occupy Dallas, I will oppose all attempts to co-opt the movement by the very elements that have been identified as the problem.  Those individuals will argue that they represent the people, but this is a falsehood.  All we have to do is analyze the way they function, and the end goals they have in mind, to see that they are seeking only to unify with the elitist, corporate elements within the Democratic Party.

This situation is not only occurring in Occupy Dallas, but in all Occupations across the United States.  As we move forward towards the General Election in 2012, we will see an increased attempt by the Democratic Party to take over and control the Occupation Movement.  The strategy of developing 503c(4)’s and Super PAC’s can only lead to one thing:   the mutation and destruction of the movement. The Occupation Movement is in large part an expression of the frustration and disaffection the people feel with the two-party system. Seeking to absorb Occupy into the Democratic Party is an absolute contradiction in terms, and fundamentally undermines the nature of what we have been trying to do.   

Bound up in this bad faith, back-room political dealing are significant issues with race and class representation in the movement. It’s an unfortunate reality that many Occupy movements, including Occupy Dallas, have been commandeered by white, elitist elements who, although they operate entirely out of self interest, argue that in fact they represent the 99%. They must be removed from all leadership positions, and identified for what they really are:  Enemies of the people who will say anything, do anything, and sacrifice the entire movement to gain some level of social, political or economic capital.

I am making this public because the plan is now in progress to steal away what we have all fought so hard to build.  Beware: they are here, and they want it for their own.  Only through transparency, dedication to true democracy, equality, and progress towards tangible solutions, will the people of the United States be able to extract from the government the economic and social justice demands necessary to set our nation back on the track to liberty and justice for all.


Solidarity in Struggle,

Stephen Michael Benavides

Occupy Dallas Protest and Education Committee Member


Stephen Benavides
United Steelworkers Local 9479
North Texas Association of Public Employees
Public Employee Advisor
Office:    214-760-7422
Cell:       214-779-8991
Fax:       214-760-7423

"A great deal more is known than has been proved."  Richard Feynman

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