Subject: Re: [GlobalRevolutionMedia] Re: On a Solution the Drumming Debate
From: Christian Smith-Socaris
Date: Sun, 23 Oct 2011 23:27:56 -0400
CC: Alexander Penley <>

I think that long-term it's a bad idea to invite the NYPD to undermine our First Amendment right to protest, which clearly includes protest music, especially given how much disregard the city is demonstrating for those rights at present.  But either way, this is a community relations and movement cohesion problem, not a legal.


On 10/23/2011 11:04 PM, Alexander Penley wrote:

I have the address and number of community relations NYPD and if someone wants to be on the phone or in person with me, we could ask the cops to ticket them and if they don't, we're home free.

On Oct 23, 2011 9:04 PM, "Han Shan" <> wrote:

Thx Chris & thx SIS. This has been offered & rejected by drummers thus far. We talked to empowered reps of drummers working group Pulse about this yesterday but they hope to build something to secure drums in square. 

And then there remains the BIG question about how drums are actually 'taken away' from drummers-- even those who identify as part of Pulse--who have thus far rejected Pulse's commitment in principle to limit drumming to 12-2 & 4-6. 

Sent from mobile device; pls excuse shortcuts & typos

On Oct 23, 2011, at 8:36 PM, chris mapp <> wrote:

Hi, my name is Chris Mapp. I am from S.I.S. I work in  the storage space 7 days a week. I recently talked to a a drummer and he complained that some of the drums were stolen. A simple solution to this debate and to the problem of theft would be to bring the drums into storage at 6:15pm and bring them out at 11:30am. Therefore adhering to the "agreed" upon drumming schedule. 12pm-2pm, 4pm-6pm. This is a matter of securing communal property.

From: Ernest Vega <>
To: Han Shan <>
Cc: J. M. Smucker <>; Justin Wedes <>; Nelini Stamp <>; Michael Oman-Reagan <>; beka economopoulos <>; "" <>; "" <>; "" <>; Lopi <>; "" <>; "" <>; Antonio Serna <>; "" <>; "" <>; "" <>; "" <>; "" <>; "" <>; "" <>; "" <>; "" <>; "" <>; "" <>; "" <>; "" <>; "" <>; "" <>; "" <>; "" <>; "" <>; "" <>; "" <>; "" <>; "" <>; "" <>; "" <>; "" <>; "" <>; "" <>; "" <>; "" <>; "" <>; "" <>; "" <>; "" <>; "" <>; "" <>; "" <>; "" <>; "" <>; "" <>; "" <>; "" <>; "" <>; "" <>; "" <>; "" <>; "" <>; "" <>; "" <>; "" <>; "" <>; "" <>; "" <>; "" <>; "" <>; "" <>; "" <>; "" <>; "" <>; Kira Annika <>; "" <>; "" <>; "" <>; "" <>; "" <>; "" <>; "" <>; "" <>; "" <>; "" <>; "" <>; to Max Berger <>; danielmcnair scott <>; Amin Husain <>; Michael Premo <>; "" <>; "" <>; Brooke Lehman <>; "" <>
Sent: Sunday, October 23, 2011 8:19 PM
Subject: RE: On the Drumming Debate

Thank you for your input, Han.  Your and Community Relations tireless efforts over the last 10 days have been just what we needed.  

In no way did I mean to suggest that you or anyone else hasn't acted with transparency and fair characterizations.  Only that we must continue this course of action in the face of outward demands and internal conflicts. 

I was only stating what seems best to me and not suggesting it as a change in tactics.

I look forward to meeting with you and the rest of Community Relations tomorrow. 


Subject: Re: On the Drumming Debate
Date: Sun, 23 Oct 2011 19:48:06 -0400

I just wanted to respond directly to one point from Ernie's email. Ernie, what you suggest is exactly what community relations has done over last 10 days, and what I did personally, and in detail--as the empowered spokesperson for the community relations cmte which is empowered by the GA to rep OWS to the Community Board (local CB)--at the joint CB1 Quality of Life & Finance (rep'ing local businesses) Subcommittee mtg on Thursday. Packed house: tons of media, OWS, people who claim to rep interests of drummers tho maybe they don't, local residents, etc. We bought time and goodwill by explaining at length about ongoing mediation efforts, the coalescing of a drummers working group 'Pulse,' continued evolution, diversification, and capacity-building for our Security team, etc. No promises except to continue to communicate our progress in address legitimate grievances through the directly democratic GA process Of OWS. Thank you & Music Guild for working to find a solution.

----> As for right now, perhaps the best course of action in regards to the community board would be total transparency about how we are progressing internally, along with a fair and respectful characterization of the parties involved. 

Sent from mobile device; pls excuse shortcuts & typos

On Oct 23, 2011, at 7:21 PM, Ernest Vega <> wrote:

Hello friends,

I wanted to respond, in part, to some of the drumming debate going on here.

It seems that all of this talk and importance being given to time schedules for drumming does not speak to the heart of the matter.  

It may be that we are letting fear of imminent eviction rush us into coming up with a short-term solution to a long-term problem.

It seems obvious that there is a serious disconnect between drummers and some residents of the park whose feelings are with them, and the GA along with much of the organizational aspect of OWS.

There can be no truly satisfactory time allotment agreed to, nor will there be, more importantly, any successful internal enforcement of any agreement, until each side agrees to recognize the necessity of the other, respects each other and begins to progress in step with each other at all times.

Frankly, in such a unique situation as OWS, the uneasiness of local community boards and the city itself, is quite irrelevant.  This is a demonstration and an experiment in direct democracy we are taking part in.  It is designed to be inconvenient to the status quo and to set up an example of how diverse people can come together to work for progress.

It seems that, in fact, it is the community board's very favor for OWS in theory, that is causing us to now turn on each other in order to court that favor.  If they and the city were squarely aligned against us, I doubt that we'd be acting so quickly to alienate any internal groups.  When the call came out on the 13th for all protestors to come to the park to defend against eviction, that call to action included drummers.  We weren't splitting hairs then, so why now?

As a member of the Music Guild, I've been developing some ideas that can repair this fracture and return us to solidarity.  However, these ideas will require trust and respect between the two sides, a willingness to stand up for each other in the face of adversity, and most importantly, they will take time to come to maturation.  I would like to discuss these ideas as soon as possible with Pulse and any other drummers who are interested in a transformative solution.

As for right now, perhaps the best course of action in regards to the community board would be total transparency about how we are progressing internally, along with a fair and respectful characterization of the parties involved.  If they are so inflexible, as to expect us to be able to act with truly democratic general consensus in a manner that fits their timetable, then they do not have our best interests in mind.  True democracy is a slow and messy process. Our primary task must be to ensure that direct democracy flourish within the movement, or else it will not spread outwardly.

That's about it, for now.  How do people feel about this?  Please respond.

Ernie Vega
Music Guild and Community Relations Working Group

Subject: Re: (OWS is over after Tuesday) Fwd: Drumming, Urine,
Date: Sun, 23 Oct 2011 17:32:37 -0400

Like Han, my response was to a severed thread. Apologies if you've already read this:

One observation: it's easier to stop the drumming before it starts than once it has started. It's almost always an individual or a few who start the drumming. If someone who is good at deescalation/communication is posted there ALL of the time (in shifts), it's much easier to stop. And if a few individuals do not stop, it's easier for security to handle a few individuals, than a big group of drummers who are already fired up and feeling intuitive solidarity with each other already. I would suggest we immediately start filling 4-hour shifts for this role, with 2 folks on at a time: maybe 9am-12pm12-3pm,  3-7pm7-10pm. That's 8 folks a day doing a 3 or 4 hour shift. Waste of resources, yes, but important enough at this point to warrant that.

These folk would need a little training. This wouldn't solve our problem entirely of course, but I think it could help significantly. We would need a plan for what we do when these folks (the first stage of engagement with drummers) don't succeed in convincing drummers to follow agreements.

What do folks think?


On Oct 23, 2011, at 5:30 PM, Justin Wedes <> wrote:


I am not against being responsive to neighbors.

And I'm certainly against violating process.

But, friends, PLEASE do not fear-monger and make announcements about imminent eviction when they are not backed up in fact.

Those of us here since Day 1 have faced plenty of rumors about imminent evictions, and have weathered each one just fine without inventing new internal crises. 



On Oct 23, 2011, at 5:23 PM, Nelini Stamp wrote:

The point is the eviction will happen this week if we do not contain drumming.
They have violated process and the community we have . This is also about our own community they played til 11 last night again violating GA decision. We need to take things like this seriously if this is an all inclusive movement then we need to keep to that and be able to be considerate to all people.

Sent from my Windows Phone

From: Michael Oman-Reagan
Sent: Sunday, October 23, 2011 4:49 PM
To: beka economopoulos
Cc:;;; Lopi;;; Antonio Serna;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;; Kira Annika;;;;;;;;;;;; to Max Berger; cc "J. M. Smucker"; daniel mcnair scott; Nelini Stamp; Amin Husain; Michael Premo;;; Brooke Lehman;
Subject: Re: (OWS is over after Tuesday) Fwd: Drumming, Urine,

Maybe it's unintentional, but this reads like fear-mongering and scapegoating to me. I only see the occupation becoming stronger and having more local and global support. There have always been very vocal local residents who have complained from day one about the occupation - as we all know, often emailing this same list. However, there's an important thing here to be teased out of the drumming question.

The core of this problem, in my view, is that anyone decided to present themselves as 'leaders' of ows or even responded to the call to speak with 'leaders' to begin with - that set up an expectation that those people would have power to control the behavior and actions and decisions of the other occupiers, which they don't, they haven't and they are not likely ever to have. As a result, the local residents are disappointed that they're requests to the 'leaders' haven't resulted in change.

Even if the spokes-council goes forward, a smaller group of people with more concentrated decision-making power won't have any authority to control the behavior of others. Rather than structural authority, a governing body needs moral authority. And when proposals to the GA are repeatedly blocked and forced to amend by people who don't even understand the proposals at hand or the processes that gave rise to the proposals, and a general sense of mistrust pervades the decision-making process, moral authority doesn't appear to be in the hands of anyone, not even those who step up to facilitate.

So - How exactly do you propose anyone engage in "enforcement of 12-2pm and 4-6pm drumming hours"? There is no mechanism for that. And if 10 drummers or 300 drummers come to the park and drum, the occupation has no ground to stand on to ask them to stop - the occupation itself is a complete rejection of that kind of authority. If the drumming is occurring, and the body of occupiers have not been able to pressure or shame or convince the drummers to stop - perhaps that is the occupation speaking - perhaps the voice of the occupation is saying let it go on.  Otherwise, wouldn't they be driven out of the park simply by the social pressures that have acted on other agents that are driven from the park?

I personally find the drumming as annoying as the residents do - we can't hear the GA, we can't hear during our working group meetings. But I also respect what it is, it's older than government, it's older than language - it's one of the most human activities on earth. And so if that ancient human activity is considered so horrifying that it results in evicting us from the park, and if we're getting this worked up about it that it's splitting us apart, maybe we should get over it, give up and start drumming ourselves, non-stop until we drive ourselves and everyone else in the neighborhood to remember that basic humanity that we have lost - a loss that has produced Wall Street and this situation of inequity, war and suffering to begin with.

It reminds of the Krishnamurti quote: “It is no measure of health to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society.”


On Sun, Oct 23, 2011 at 4:11 PM, beka economopoulos <> wrote:
All: apologies for the big cc: list, this has been a conversation happening a large number of OWS organizers, mediators, etc. for the past week+, but it hasn't been shared widely enough.  It addresses concerns that are germaine to everyone involved in the occupation, and it has become an urgent matter, so it seems time that everyone is abreast of the latest.  

I include in this thread all the working group contacts listed in a google doc of working group contacts.  Unfortunately we do not have a working group coordination listserv, so a cc: list is the only way we have to reach everyone.

* * * * * * * * 

Friends, mediation with the drummers has been called off. It has gone on for more than 2 weeks and it has reached a dead end.  The drummers formed a working group called Pulse and agreed to 2 hrs/day at times during the mediation, and more recently that changed to 4 hrs/day.  It's my feeling that we may have a fighting chance with the community board if we could indeed limit drumming and loud instrumentation to 12-2pm and 4-6pm, however that isn't what's happening.

Last night the drumming was near continuous until 10:30pm at night.  Today it began again at 11am.  The drummers are fighting amongst themselves, there is no cohesive group.  There is one assemblage called Pulse that organized most of the drummers into a group and went to GA for formal recognition and with a proposal.   

Unfortunately there is one individual who is NOT a drummer but who claims to speak for the drummers who has been a deeply disruptive force, attacking the drumming rep during the GA and derailing his proposal, disrupting the community board meeting, as well as the OWS community relations meeting.  She has also created strife and divisions within the POC caucus, calling many members who are not 'on her side' "Uncle Tom", "the 1%", "Barbie" "not Palestinian enough" "Wall Street politicians" "not black enough" "sell-outs", etc.  People have been documenting her disruptions, and her campaign of misinformation, and instigations.  She also has a documented history online of defamatory, divisive and disruptive behavior within the LGBT (esp. transgender) communities.  Her disruptions have made it hard to have constructive conversations and productive resolutions to conflicts in a variety of forums in the past several days.
At this point we have lost the support of allies in the Community Board, and the State Senator and city electeds who have been fighting the city to stave off our eviction, get us toilets, etc.  On Tuesday is a Community Board vote, which will be packed with media cameras and community members with real grievances. We have sadly demonstrated to them that we are unable to collectively 1) keep our space and surrounding areas clean and sanitary, 2) keep the park safe, 3) deal with internal conflict and enforce the Good Neighbor Policy that was passed by the General Assembly.

Whether or not you personally feel that the support of the community board and local residents and their reps is needed to maintain our occupation, many of us believe that maintaining Liberty Square (aka Zuccotti Park) as a flagship and nerve center for our movement right now is in fact critical to our efforts that are much bigger picture, longer term, more revolutionary than the internal conflicts that are consuming too much energy right now.  

We need to take this seriously, and be clear that if we can't deal with conflict and self-organizing then we are facing eviction very soon (this week), and the allies that helped turn out mass numbers at the last one will not be around this time, nor will the press be supportive. Additionally, Bloomberg released a statement a few days ago that said that he / the City plans to crack down on any violations as of this week.  Once we lose community and ally support at Tuesday's vote, the door is wide open for an eviction. 

What to do? We need an all hands-on-deck clean-up and everyone sharing responsibility for the Good Neighbor Policy, including enforcement of 12-2pm and 4-6pm drumming hours.  (While recognizing that the community board has been firm that they can only support 2 hrs/day of drumming).  We should also start serious conversations internally about what this movement might I look like without Zuccotti Park / Liberty Square.  How can we set ourselves up for continued organizing and momentum without an active occupation?  I don't write this to be dramatic, it's a serious question.  If so much of our organizing time currently (for many of us, 20 hrs a day) is going to putting out fires and maintaining the space, what does it look like if we lose the space? 


---------- Forwarded message ----------

Hearing this loud and clear. There is nothing else that we are / have been working on.  Besides being an issue with the drummers themselves, it has blown up into an issue within the POC caucus and a particular disrupter/instigator who is single handedly doing a lot of damage.

At this point I am also putting time and energy into helping to set the movement up for what happens post-eviction.  We need to be ready for that, how to de-locate and continue momentum and organizing.


On Sun, Oct 23, 2011 at 2:09 PM, Bill wrote:
Don't know how else to say this again.  This will be the end of ows.  If u r doing anything else but resolving this, you are making a fatal mistake.

I was there last night and was pretty upset myself.  Ows leaders need to step up.  We will help in whatever way U need.  But we can no longer protect you guys politicAlly.

I suggest you get all key leaders together and warroom this todAy and everyday til resolved

Sent from my iPhone

Begin forwarded message:

From: (community board member ally)
Date: October 23, 2011 12:40:57 PM EDT
Fw: Drumming, Urine,

See below. Full board vote is Tuesday. Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

From: (community board chair)
Date: Sun, 23 Oct 2011 12:01:25 -0400 (EDT)
To: (list of community board members, NYC and NY state elected officials, and community org and labor leaders)
Subject: Re: Drumming, Urine,

Hi Steven,
   Thanks for letting me know that the drumming agreement (whether it is 2 or 4 hours per day)  is NOT being upheld. Please continue to let me know about the drumming hours until Tues, which is when CB #1 will hold our monthly full board meeting and vote on the reso passed at last Thurs. meeting.
    If you and your neighbors have the time and would care to come to the Tues meeting to speak in the Public session (3 min per person) - 
  In the meantime CB 1 will continue to work with our elected officials to make this situation better.
   Regards, Pat
In a message dated 10/22/2011 10:34:08 P.M. Eastern Daylight Time, writes:
Unfortunately, the drumming is hellish right now, its just before 10PM and there must be 15 to 20 drummers out there beating on the drums in a frenzy.  However, they have stopped for the last half hour.  There doesn't seem to be any rules in the Park.  There is no drumming Good Neighbor Policy--their flyer no longer has anything about drumming.  I sent an email to their email address on their Community Affairs flyer, which has not been answered, and I called the phone number they have listed as a Community Affairs representative that is supposed to be answered live 24/7--I left a message for a call back on the voice mail.
To make matters worse, there is once again the stench of urine on the Liberty Street side of Burger King.  Even more frightening was a flyer taped to the door of our building filled with rants and ravings from some bizarre anti-OWS individual. 
Something changed in the last few days, perhaps its the weekend I don't know, but the feeling I get in the park is something akin to Apocalypse Now, with some very strange people, and a rather ominous feeling.  I'm very uncomfortable in and around the park--its a bizarre spectacle, and what kind of world do we live in where you walk out of your door overpowered by the stench of urine.
Pat, again, thank you for being on the frontlines here and working so hard to make our neighborhood livable after its been under siege for so long, but now we have some new strange, living organism within our midsts.
I think the NYPD representatives, state and city officials, in particular the Mayor's office, on this email need to hear that as a downtown resident of New York, I am getting frightened by what I am seeing, and a neighborhood for which millions of dollars is being spent to be the jewel of the city is getting urinated on.  The stench of urine not less than 100-200 feet from where thousands of people lost their lives, its really a disgrace.  I don't know what we can do about this, if anything. 

From: (community board chair)
Date: Sat, 22 Oct 2011 12:01:03 -0400
Subject: Re: Drumming
To: (community board members)

Hi Steven,
   Thanks so much for the update. If you're home during the day would you let me know when the drumming stops and starts again, we need to track for a few days before we see what our next step should be.
    I'm hoping, as are all of us, that  the PA construction noise at least is limited to times when we are not trying to sleep. The 2 AM stop time is totally unreasonable !!!!!
    We'll all continue to work on the quality of life issues making living here "a little slice of hell".
     Have a good weekend, Pat
In a message dated 10/22/2011 11:37:27 A.M. Eastern Daylight Time,  writes:
Hi Pat, per your request to notify you when the drumming begins.  Its Saturday, October 22, at 11:30AM and the drumming has begun.  I spoke with State Senator Daniel Squadron last night who told me he is working hard on this issue, and I'm sure he's not the only