There was a proposal made at the facilitating working group right before things really started getting ugly.* I don't remember the name of the person who made it, but she had a brilliant idea and it sucks that we didn't pick up on it. The idea was:
We need consensus on the form of any message, statement, or demand from Occupy Wall Street before we can even begin to discuss its content.
What does that mean?
It means that there's a whole bunch of different kinds of things we can say, and they all have different purposes and effects, and there are different processes for creating each. An oversimplification follows:
A statement of principles talks about who we are. A statement of goals talks about what we want to accomplish. A list of demands talks about how we want to effect change. A call to action talks about why we exist. Will we have a numbered list? A single slogan? A few paragraphs? A single paragraph and then a bulleted list? A meme? An all-singing, all-dancing, disco revival extravaganza?
There are even more ways to say things than this, and *really* well-written one can say several of these things at once. We should, at some point, have all of them. But right now it's important to agree which one(s) we will create this week.
I'd like this to be a proposal at the next GA but I won't be around tomorrow, so if someone agrees with me please step up and adopt this. I don't know if it should be a working group or just straight to the GA. Thoughts?
* I want to apologize for the role I had in the uglification of that meeting. I felt a lot of pressure from outside that something needed to be said today, and this made it hard for me to think clearly and hard to realize when I should check my privilege.