I have been in the freedom movement a long time.
And after having visited the OWS in New York (including doing an interview there the day we were evicted–I say we, because those camping there represented all of Us) and following the Occupy Movements in the West, I see that the keys to the Occupy Wall Street movement working as well as it did in NY were:
1. It was cool.
A complete novelty. People camping in Manhattan. Banging on drums for hours a day. Selling t-shirts. Running their own generators from bikes. Dressed up.
It was just a cool place to visit.
2. It was fun.
Party atmosphere. Free food. Nice people. Easy conversations about deep topics. No judgement. Anyone could participate. (I got to fold flyers at the anarchy table with my new friend Thaddeus 10 mins after I got there). It was like a big bunch of friends. A family.
3. It was creative.
MIC CHECK! No speakers? No problem. No generators? No problem. OWS solved every problem thrown at Us. Until the the police knocked the wind from Our sails.
However, knowing that this could happen, a creative solution *could* have existed for this eventuality as well.
4. OWS was RIGHT!
These people were there for the right reasons and trying change something we all knew needed changing. They were saying the right things. It resonated. They were rewarded with a $500K in funding from those who wanted to support without being there.
So, how will OWS succeed in the future, if it is to succeed? Are you listening?
Occupy Needs to be the Coolest, Funnest, most “In” place to Be. Period. And why shouldn’t it be?
OWS can create an entirely new society in every park, parking lot, and abandoned building in which it operates. We need to go beyond creative. We need to go beyond fun. 1000 person GA’s are not fun. Dealing with objections is not fun. Drafting resolutions is not fun.
So, how do we get fun?
- Pick what you want to change
- Get a group of max. 6 people to work on how that will be done in a creative, fun exciting way. Something that will 1) excite and interest the normal person. It can be for only 15 minutes. But it should be interesting. Press worthy. And fun. (Call me if you don’t have any ideas!)
- Go do that thing.
1000 people is 166 groups. Doing 166 things. In 166 places every week. 2 hours planning. 2-4 hours doing the thing.
That can’t be stopped.
That can’t be ignored.
Cops are people. If it is cool. They will laugh. They will clap.
It’s a game. Life is a game. Protest is a game. Changing the world is a game.
Play the game. Enjoy the game.
- Stay cool
- Stay fun
- Stay creative
- Stay RIGHT
Don’t do anything that isn’t fun.
Now go change the world.
(And if you say fun doesn’t work, why did you open this link? Because of the picture, or the headline?)