From:   Doug Singsen <>
Sent time:   Saturday, October 22, 2011 7:44:19 AM
Subject:   Re: [september17discuss] To Adbusters and others - The People Won't be Co-opted (even by "allies")

This is not a "distraction," it's a central question for the movement. If the GA doesn't want to pass demands, that's one thing, but it's ridiculous to denounce everyone who tries to raise demands in other forums for supposedly "speaking for the movement." What about the people who do want demands? Do they not have a right to speak for themselves? No one has railroaded the GA into anything. No one within OWS that I know of has claimed that any demands have been passed by the GA (what the media reports is another story). It's the anti-demands people who seem to feel that no one else has any right to raise demands.

On Sat, Oct 22, 2011 at 9:34 AM, <> wrote:
Doug its even worse then this, because the people who wanted demands (i know this because i was once in the group) want to railroad over the people who are there Occupyings wishes. Which would be the worse possible thing that could happen. I thought they should all work together to find common ground so i tried to reach out to people down in the park so that they could know there was this tiny group who wanted demands and maybe then the demands people would change what they where saying. Instead every one didn’t get along and i got an article came out about demands with a picture of me (yesh) i don't even give a high wholly fuck about demands only the democratic process but mabye moving forward something will be came to. i donno I'm gonna go to talk to the filiations committee i think there needs to be a way to just change the subject and quick because this is an annoying distraction.  We should think about more important things then “demands”

-----Original Message-----
From: Doug Singsen <>
To: september17 <>
Sent: Sat, Oct 22, 2011 7:36 am
Subject: Re: [september17discuss] To Adbusters and others - The People Won't be Co-opted (even by "allies")

The NYCGA's decision not to have demands does not represent the views of everyone in the movement. The Occupy movement is being fueled by people's anger at how Wall Street destroyed the economy, costing people their jobs, their homes, and much more, and people want to fight for those things right now. There appears to me to be a divide between the hard core of the occupiers, who generally don't want demands and/or reforms, and the thousands (or millions) of people who support OWS without sleeping out, who generally do want demands and/or reforms. Both these groups are vital to the movement. Without the occupiers, there is no occupation, but without the outside supporters, the occupation is just a small, isolated island. The GA basically belongs to the occupiers - they're the only ones who can afford to attend it regularly. So the GA has no demands because it represents their viewpoint. But it's unfair for them to use the GA to impose their opposition to demands on everyone who identifies with the Occupy movement. It's also going to be impossible for them to do that, and if they insist on attacking everyone who tries to raise demands for trying to "co-opt" the movement or speak in its name, they are going to create a schism.


On Fri, Oct 21, 2011 at 10:00 PM, Guy Steward &lt;; wrote:
I think for any group or groups to take credit for planning this is  ludacris. At the first meeting at bowling green we made it very clear that we were the nycga for the people made up of the people. An that we were completely autonomous from any other group. No matter what group people came with we all left part of the nycga an that is who is responsible for OWS 

Sent from my iPhone

On Oct 21, 2011, at 6:19 PM, "Lucas Vazquez" &lt;; wrote:

+1 shaista

On Fri, Oct 21, 2011 at 5:51 PM, shaista husain &lt;; wrote:
sorry adbusters, the Bloombergville folks, the CUNY students against Budget Cuts and the El Barrio folks were some of the main groups that have long roots in this city (and i apologize if i am not mentioning others here) that organized this occupation through long history, before Sept 17... you send one dumb ballerina image from canada --which is not even representative image of our diversity--and your fantasies are out of control now....

On Fri, Oct 21, 2011 at 5:46 PM, Liliana Gomez &lt;; wrote:
What you say is true and I agree, however just because this occupation exists, that came into being on Sept 17, does not mean that there have not been people organizing and mobilizing around various issues and demands prior to OWS, and those people are not obligated to either drop their demands or not join OWS.  They or we simply cannot private or publicly imply or state that our demands are the demands of OWS, they are simply our own...


On Fri, Oct 21, 2011 at 5:27 PM,  &lt;; wrote:
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 &lt;;
To: september17 &lt;;
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 against.
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   
mobile +1 914 563 4209
home +1 914 633 0415