I'm a supporter of #OccupyWallStreet. I have been since the beginning, and I will continue to support them as long as the goals and objectives they have are in line with my personal views on government. That being said, as a vocal supporter, I do have some criticisms:
1) Awareness of public perception: The people on the ground are limited to the reactions they receive from those they encounter personally. They don't necessarily have access to the stream of media that the average consumer of their message does and as such they may not be aware of how their behavior affects public perception of their goals.
A lot of the language that is being used to advance ideas is steeped in the idea that in order to be revolutionary with regard to capitalism you have to challenge it with socialist ideas. This is NOT an accurate or helpful belief to have in young revolutionaries. Especially not in a nation with such a deeply ingrained fear of socialist thought.
It is more appropriate to use the language of your opposition to engage them than to demand they relearn concepts that they already have a bias against. Terms like "comrade", "proletariat" etc. immediately create negative feelings towards your argument because of ingrained connotative definitions that overshadow any merit your argument might have.
2) Focused messaging: In order to generate mainstream media interest, you need to create a media ready content package designed to generate maximum interest with minimum distraction. A designated media representative is a sad necessity in order to stay on message and create a sense of integrity in a diverse organization.
Unfortunately, in order to get the coverage this movement needs, we are going to have to mold the public interface with the movement into something the established media can relate to. They need a rigid corporate structure they can recognize in order to comprehend the movement. That doesn't change the fundamental democratic principles, but requires the willingness to adapt and incorporate unpleasant artifacts of the old paradigm in order to bring people forward.
3) Engagement on issues: We need to make it clear that we engage on substantive issues, not distracting stereotypes, or irrelevant criticisms. At the same time, we need to acknowledge and incorporate specific criticisms of our platform. We need to learn from our critics about what we can do to reach out to them. We NEED the 99% which means we need to dialog with them and help them understand what we are doing.
Criticism of our goals may be justified. Not everyone will recognize the benefits of all of our objectives. We need to be willing to accept those criticisms and interpret them rationally, rather than emotionally. Are we doing what is best? Are there better solutions to the problem? This movement is about reaching out to people to create the best possible version of society, not excluding them because they have a differing idea. Our core value must be the advancement of the well being of the nation as a whole, which means acknowledging that there are many ideas how to do that. We are just trying to facilitate the discussion by making the democratic process accessible to the people again.
The Point in 140 characters or less.
#OccupyWallStreet doesn't need to justify its existence. It already represents more people than $Billions of dollars in campaign funds.
Democracy is about dealing with issues, not addressing someones choice of cologne (patuli *cough*) The idea matters, the messenger doesn't
When someone dissents with your view on #OccupyWallStreet LEARN WHY and address the issues. Don't accept the ad hominem distractions.
Violence towards protesters is a distraction. We aren't here as an army, but as a congress. #OccupyWallStreet is about dialog.
Trollies don't like it when you demand they address issues instead of using talking points and hippie slander. #OccupyWallStreet
Avoid hyperbole. We are here to be taken seriously. DC can keep the kabuki. We're about results and reason. #OccupyWallStreet
Focus on the message, not the spectacle. There is purpose in what we do and we must be vigilant that we remember that. #OccupyWallStreet
NYPD violence was an opportunity to present our case to the world at large. The violence is not central to the dialog. #OccupyWallstreet
#OccupyWallStreet isn't about race, but we need outreach to minority communities. Native speakers of foreign tongues would help the cause.
The 99% are the job creators, innovators and explorers. The 1% are simplythose who learned to exploit our generosity. #OccupyWallStreet
The 99% don't need the 1% for permission or vindication. WE are the majority. We are the democracy. #OccupyWallStreet
Americans have a short attention span. If you want to maintain relevance you have to demonstrate intent and ability in a window.
Unlike politicians, I'm not afraid to steal a good idea from someone else. My only agenda is the overall welfare of people
Media would rather focus on elections more than a year away than admit #OccupyWallStreet isn't going to wait that long for change. #Relevant
The media need to learn that we aren't going to wait until 2012 for REAL changes. Kids gotta eat more than every 4 years #OccupyWallStreet
#OccupyWallStreet just because the media has ignored us until now doesn't mean we can't still use them to educate others. PLAY NICE.
We live in an age where we are led by men so myopic they cannot see beyond their own wallets. #OccupyWallStreet and protect yourself.
Don't let your outrage take control. Focus the anger into productivity, not violence. Spread the word. #OccupyWallStreet.
If the only democracy you've ever known was a shadow on the wall, how can you explain what the real thing looks like? #OccupyWallStreet