From:   Jackie DiSalvo <>
Sent time:   Friday, October 28, 2011 10:50:34 AM
Subject:   RE: [september17discuss] Structure Proposal GA Tonight


I love the GA, but I don’t know how many you have attended. I brought my women’s group last Friday, and after sitting through a 40 + minute discussion on what to pay to rent a truck, they were turned off and left saying they, very active women, could never afford to function that way. Not many of our hard working Labor Group members attend GAs as they are now. The analysis by the Spanish occupiers of why their GA, which was great in the early stages, eventually failed points to the same problems we have tried to address. They said boredom, disempowerment and dilemmas rising from the consensus method caused people to leave (see Doug Singsen’s post Thursday 9:40).  I think the new structure will make the GAs more participatory when it comes to important decisions.


From: [] On Behalf Of rob hollander
Sent: Friday, October 28, 2011 12:24 PM
Subject: Re: [september17discuss] Structure Proposal GA Tonight


The beauty of a GA is that anyone can speak. It affords an admittedly limited but yet fully equal enfranchisement and empowerment. So far, OWS, using a GA, has been successful, I venture to say, way beyond anyone's imagination. You are about to fix something that has empirically worked. If it is dysfunctional, do not assume that's a problem. Study OWS's success first before assuming it needs repair.

The purpose of a structure is to make decisions. That's assuming that OWS is an organization. Well, in August, it was: an organization designed to create a social movement.

It succeeded: OWS is now a social movement, not an organization. Social movements don't make decisions.

Organizations within a social movement make decisions for themselves. That's what OWS should allow to flourish. But to imagine that some structure should call itself OWS and make decisions for OWS is, well, to coopt the movement. This structure is a coopting of a social movement.

I find great wisdom in the GA. I find this spokes structure at best counterproductive, at worst, divisive, disempowering and a threat to the local effort.

Once a structure makes decisions easy, there will be too many decisions and many will be mistakes. Where OWS needs such quick practical decisions like financing, OWS ought to set up structure for those, but only for those.

On Fri, Oct 28, 2011 at 11:17 AM, Jon Good <> wrote:

This is SUCH a better proposal than the one initially brought to the GA last week!


On Fri, Oct 28, 2011 at 11:06 AM, Marisa Holmes <> wrote:

Hi everyone!

I'm in the structure working group. 

For the last 3-4 weeks we've been meeting to discuss

the coordination and communication problems in OWS. 

The result is the following proposal:

Tonight, we will be presenting at the GA. 

Please come.

We need this.


In solidarity, 



Rob Hollander
Lower East Side Residents for Responsible Development
622 E 11, #10
NYC, 10009