Sent time:   Friday, October 21, 2011 3:27:20 PM
Subject:   Re: [september17discuss] To Adbusters and others - The People Won't be Co-opted (even by "allies")

Hey this is David Haack for the record I'm not for demands I just

happend to be at a demands working group. I haven't written any

documents and I really think Demands would be a mistake at this point.

Please let every one know I really am not even for demands


- Dave


-----Original Message-----

From: Alexandre Machado De Sant'Anna Carvalho <>

To: september17 <>

Sent: Fri, Oct 21, 2011 5:24 pm

Subject: [september17discuss] To Adbusters and others - The People

Won't be Co-opted (even by "allies")


Fellow occupiers:


I am reading everywhere a move towards demands being pushed virtually

and in the larger media. What was disturbing for me was a piece

claiming a RobinHood Tax part of OWS.


Even though i appreciate the role Adbusters and others have played in

launching the meme of #occupywallst out there, i would like to remind

them that this movement does not belong to them, does not belong to the

NYCGA : this movement belongs to the people. And this means that ANY

attempt to speak for the people is pernicious - no matter if you threw

the meme out there or just joined. It is a matter of legitimacy. Each

occupation, through its collective voice, speak (in theory) for its

members. In parenthesis because we don't even have yet the capacity to

make sure this happens in the first place. We are vulnerable as a

political body and to use that vulnerability to push for your agenda is

a fatal flaw that goes against everything we are doing.   


We are still building capacity to make sure all voices are heard and

participate, and disturbs me to see some groups either infiltrating the

NYCGA or virtually producing a list of rushed demands without

any critical thinking about what this entails, saying "fuck you" to the

people who are holding ground on this cold weather. Unacceptable.  


What destroys a leaderless movement is ego, either individual or

organizational egos; so far a lot of ego's out there, either virtually

or on the ground. Trying to mass maneuver people is NOT ok. If you

insist on this, you are no better than the forces we are fighting



The people won't be mass maneuvered to push your demands before we

build a space where we can legitimately, discuss, deliberate, zero-in,

build solidarity, and then march together at specific tactical

positions to clog the machine and make power bend. We are building a

broad-based movement here. In case you haven't noticed. Demands, as

everything else in this movement, comes from the bottom-up, from the

occupations up, where voices can be heard virtually and geographically,

if you care to participate in the process.  


If other occupations have demands, good for them. But i sincerely doubt

that we are ready as of yet to have a global demand such as a

RobinHoodTax, for the mere fact we aren't even in full connection with

all other sites, and for sure are not having a global conversation on

this proposal.  

Co-option can come from the outside and from within, but the worst ones

come from "allies" - from within. Speak WITH the people, and not FOR

the people.







Alexandre M.S. Carvalho, M.D., MPH

2009 Reynolds Fellow   

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