Politics and Social Movements
As the Occupy Movement is re-examining the role of the General Assembly it is important to ask what kind of democracy do we want in our movements?
Up until now the Occupy Movement has used General Assemblies as a primary method for making main decisions. While General Assemblies can make movements more democratic it is a misconception that they are examples of participatory democracy. In fact they largely follow the representative democracy model (and representative and participatory democracy aren't always as far away from each other as people think).
This is a pretty amazing high resolution map of the French 2012 Presidential Election results
The Occupy Movement is in a serious decline. Occupy Philadelphia turnout is down to a fifth (or less) of its regular attendance for key events like General Assemblies, occupations (ex. the Independence Mall 6 month anniversary), and protests. For instance, our General Assemblies will have twenty people instead of over a hundred. Several of the working groups are very successful, but in general the level of participation has fallen dramatically.
The US presidential nomination and election system is profoundly undemocratic. The primary problem is money aka corporate power or capitalism.
The primary/caucus process varies greatly by state and the differences are HUGE. Delegates can be directly chosen by the primary, or there can be a process which requires a county convention followed by a state convention. Delegates can be bound (required to vote for a candidate) or completely unbound.
The Democratic nomination process is more democratic than the Republican one as it makes greater use of proportional voting.
Occupy Philadelphia is having a ten-part series on Dissecting Capitalism. It is organized by the Education and Training committee.
A first edition of a new publication about the Occupy Movement: Occupy Theory
(Note: this article is currently being written. It is a draft! Added Campus Activism events analysis section on March 20, 2012.)
How much do social movements depend on good weather for their success?
Will the Occupy Movement be able to survive the winter? If so, when will it come back a full-strength?
To answer these questions, I examine several indicators of social movement strength over time. I focus on the United States as it generally (outside of Hawaii, some territories, and parts of the West Coast) has a strong variation in temperature between summer and winter.
I took it with a big grain of salt. After all it was Twitter, the rumors fly like crazy, and people love to say that you cannot predict when the police will come!
I finished cooking, went back to my computer and as I ate my food I realized that there was an eviction in process. I then biked down to the Occupation and marched around for the next three hours.
Most participants recognize that the Occcupy Movement needs to evolve. The question is how?
A Tactic is NOT a Strategy
We should be flexible with our tactics, while we continue to work for the same set of goals (economic equality, democracy, and justice for all).