Sent time:   Friday, October 28, 2011 4:23:15 PM
Subject:   Re: Re: [september17discuss] Structure Proposal GA Tonight

The proposal explicitly limits the activities of the council to day to day operations and leaves the big picture decisions like demands to the GA.  The GA is empowered to dissolve the council by consensus if it gets out of hand.   The spokes council is not empowered to speak to the outside world on behalf f of the NYCGA.
On 10/28/11, rob hollander<> wrote:
Jackie --
I fully agree 100% that certain practical matters, like financing, should be dealt with by a structure. The GA should identify those practical needs -- like financing, the one you mention -- and limit the structure to those. Anything like goals, demands, character of the group, should be left out of a structure of that type.

You are quite right that there is now an organizational element in OWS and a social movement element. What I'm suggesting is that a movement shouldn't, and probably can't, be led by the organizational element. The two, at some point, should be distinguished and recognized as distinct. Then the organization -- and there could be more than one, even many -- should move forward with means that are more efficient. But the GA ought to remain as it is to continue as the spirit of the social movement (imo).

In part I'm expressing my worry that a too decision-structured OWS will end up issuing a program. I think that will invite division -- splinters, internal criticism -- and external condemnation, and compel participants to waste effort defending the program, creating even more division.

On Fri, Oct 28, 2011 at 12:50 PM, Jackie DiSalvo <> wrote:


I love the GA, but I don’t know how many you have attended. I brought my women’s group last Friday, andafter 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 affordto function that way. Not many ofour hard working Labor Group members attend GAs as they are now. The analysis by the Spanish occupiers of why theirGA, which was great in the early stages, eventually failed points to the sameproblems we have tried to address. Theysaid boredom, disempowerment and dilemmas rising from the consensus methodcaused people to leave (see Doug Singsen’s post Thursday 9:40).  I think the new structure will make the GAsmore participatory when it comes to important decisions.


From:[] On Behalf Of rob hollander
Sent: Friday, October 28, 201112:24 PM
Subject: Re: [september17discuss]Structure Proposal GA Tonight


The beauty of a GA isthat anyone can speak. It affords anadmittedly limited but yet fully equal enfranchisement and empowerment. So far, OWS, using a GA, has been successful, Iventure 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 aproblem. Study OWS's success firstbefore 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 nowa social movement, not an organization.Social movements don't make decisions.

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

I find great wisdom in the GA. Ifind 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 andmany will be mistakes. Where OWSneeds such quick practical decisions like financing, OWS ought to set upstructure 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 GAlast 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 ResponsibleDevelopment
622 E 11, #10
NYC, 10009

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