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Forum Post: Occupy Wall Street ~ Who are these people ? ~ 15 mins of Fact

Posted 1 year ago on May 11, 2013, 11:54 a.m. EST by BradB (2693) from Washington, DC
This content is user submitted and not an official statement

Podcast:

Occupy In Its “Terrible Two’s.” People Come and People Go. Why – and Why Not?

The problem with any cause, whether it be for civil rights, or anti-war, pro-choice or anti-fracking is that it is constantly confronted with the need to remain viable. This requires large numbers of people who are active, involved and responsibly directed by dedicated leadership.

What is whispered in the OWS, and quietly acknowledged by many in the community, is that infighting and ideological disputes are causing an exodus of talented leaders.

It’s one thing to lose a “sunshine patriot” or weekend warrior, but an entirely different thing to lose people who have the savvy and credentials to move things forward. What is it within a system, or movement, that discourages or drives away such people? Is this a healthy, or is it an unhealthy sign for Occupy?

Brooklyn resident and early-on activist, Amin Husain, seems to occupy the “people go” space having sent a formal and very public note early this month to one of the Occupy Working Groups that he was “stepping back and moving on to other things.”

Coming from a 37-year-old Palestinian-American who grew up poor in that country, was caught up in the Palestinian uprisings of the ‘90’s and spent prison time for that, who moved to the U.S. to become complete his education and land a job as a corporate lawyer only to leave that to become an artist and then a core OWS activist – this was a shock.

In spite of the public pronouncement that Occupy had no lack of leaders as it was “leaderful” and that each and every member could step up to that role, there were key people who assumed that mantle and were essential in that role. Amin was one of those people.

To use Occupy language, he stepped up and stepped back as needed. Two working groups, in particular, attracted his attention and time. Coincidentally (?) these two have been Occupy’s most public and successful displays of its energy and capabilities – Occupy Sandy and Rolling Jubilee.

The general public is more aware of Occupy Sandy by way of newspaper headlines and MSM (main stream media) attention. Within hours after the hurricane, Occupiers seasoned by Zuccotti Park and organized rallies immediately went into action. Hundreds of their members worked shoulder-to-shoulder with other volunteers, the Red Cross and FEMA to aid Sandy victims.

At one point, Occupy Sandy was feeding thousands of Sandy survivors daily out of local churches. Headlines became more friendly, and public figures praised their efforts.

Rolling Jubilee had already been busy answering another major American disaster – medical debt. A brainchild of people in the Strike Debt working group, its stated purpose was to go to the debt buying industry, negotiate to purchase medical debt that ordinarily would have been sold to (and pursued by) collection agencies – and forgive it!

Yes – a famous “bailout of the people, by the people” which hoped to raise $50,000 to buy $1,000,000 in hospital and medical practice debt. The intent was twofold: to make a dent in at least one person’s debt struggles, and then to make a public case that this sort of debt should never exist in a society that cares for its own.

Occupiers flooded social media sites with calls for help and a fund-raising marathon was livestreamed from a club in Manhattan. The $50,000 goal was met and surpassed – by an astounding $500,000.

Thus armed, Rolling Jubilee was incorporated into a 501( c) 4 operation, sought out exceptional legal and accounting talent, brought on board consultants with expertise in the collections industry, and proceeded to create more headlines for OWS. Millions of dollars in debt has been abolished to date, and many more millions to come.

Now, why would anyone – especially Amin Husain – want to step back from such successes? And, what does it mean to Occupy overall?

This 15 Minutes of Fact interview at WGRNradio.com will give you many of the answers. It will be up to the listener and others in OWS to step forward with their own.

Amin, assures us that he has not left Occupy at large. His time and attention is now centered on being Editor of the Tidal (www.Tidalmag.org) and a laundry list of other chores. Want to learn about him and his work? You can reach him directly at amin.husain@gmail.com and on Facebook at http://on.fb.me/13Wk9YD.

http://wgrnradio.com/blog/2013/05/08/occupy-in-its-terrible-twos-people-come-and-people-go-why-and-why-not/

19 Comments

19 Comments


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[-] 3 points by BradB (2693) from Washington, DC 1 year ago

" infighting and ideological disputes are causing an exodus of talented leaders "

  • I Agree .... I believe Occupy's biggest gift ... is the ability to develop & improve our understanding and ideologies ....
  • those of us who have participated... and have not learned or changed because of this movement are missing out...
  • those of us who wish to promote our own ideas without accepting or learning from challenge are missing out...
  • those of us who only wish to disrupt are missing out ...
  • what a Beautiful thing this movement is....
  • a moving of minds ....
[-] 4 points by gsw (2737) 1 year ago

Interesting podcast, and thank you for posting this, especially: how Occupy Sandy and DebtJubilee are metaphors for how to organize and expand

[-] 3 points by GirlFriday (17435) 1 year ago

Is all of this going to lead right back to funding?

[-] 2 points by BradB (2693) from Washington, DC 1 year ago

;) ... yeah... good point GF... need to think on that

[Removed]

[-] 0 points by gloco (-1) 1 year ago

I would like to add this to my previous comment. There are many of us, myself included, who have multiple arrest records because of participation in non violent Occupy actions. Combine this with Occupy related info that shows up when potential employers do background checks and you will find that our participation in Occupy is making it impossible for us to find work and many of us are probably going to be blacklisted for life because of our participation in Occupy. Occupy, Strike Debt and Occupy Sandy have all raised lots of money and the last two have helped Americans in Debt or Hurricane related trouble and I am not against that I just wish that we as an Occupy family [sometimes dysfunctional] would consider what I have just said and think about helping Occupiers [many of us hardcore with multiple arrests] who find ourselves possibly permanently jobless, broke and homeless because we have an internet trail of arrest records and Occupy related info that will never go away. Wonder why I seem to be the only one who sees this ?

[-] 2 points by BradB (2693) from Washington, DC 1 year ago

gloco, I honestly do not believe that Occupy related arrest records will harm you... unless you of course are trying to work for the 1%.... I would wear those records as a badge of honor... and use them to get the jobs you may really enjoy....

[-] 1 points by DKAtoday (23961) from Coon Rapids, MN 1 year ago

Wonder why I seem to be the only one who sees this ?

U sound like a pr guy for TPTB.

[-] -1 points by LoneRanger (-307) 1 year ago

You shouldn't mock people who actually did something for Occupy. This guy went to many actions and went to prison for all of us. You just send tweets and letters to the president. And now you have the audacity to mock him? You should be ashamed. You never understood and supported Occupy.

[-] 1 points by DKAtoday (23961) from Coon Rapids, MN 1 year ago

You never understood and supported Occupy.

That would B U and all of your socks.

U sound like a pr guy for TPTB.

Ur Nothing But A Loser http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DC7aluA-nPM

Mr. Twister's ( commonly known as the LoneStranger ) theme song - "THE TWIST" http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mwAcr-S1LSw

[-] -1 points by LoneRanger (-307) 1 year ago

You're attacking a real occupy supporter who protested in the street and got arrested. You should be ashamed of yourself. What have you done for this movement. Sent letters to Obama? Pathetic.

[-] 0 points by DKAtoday (23961) from Coon Rapids, MN 1 year ago

LoneStranger goes round and round and round - and screams come-on BabYYY lets do the twist http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mwAcr-S1LSw

Because it's Nothing But A Loser http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DC7aluA-nPM

[-] -1 points by gloco (-1) 1 year ago

https://www.facebook.com/OccupyJobsAndWorkNetworkForOccupiers One of the constants and you can see it on this new Facebook page is the lack of transparency in Occupy finances and also the fact that many Occupiers are tired, broke and homeless and not many of the Occupy policy makers and money controllers seem to care. Am I wrong about this ?

[-] 1 points by DKAtoday (23961) from Coon Rapids, MN 1 year ago

Am I wrong about this ?

As shooz said - Yep.

[-] 1 points by shoozTroll (17632) 1 year ago

Yep.

[-] -1 points by LoneRanger (-307) 1 year ago

Unfortunately, you are correct. Occupy finances were never handled properly and that's one of the main reasons donations dwindled to near nothing. I donated 500$ at the beginning, but stopped when I realized I couldn't find out how the money was used. It was all behind the scenes.

This problem has been discussed by many of the original occupiers. You can find all kinds of discussion on this topic on the NYCGA website linked above.

[-] 1 points by DKAtoday (23961) from Coon Rapids, MN 1 year ago

U sound like a pr guy for TPTB.

[-] -2 points by LoneRanger (-307) 1 year ago

Have you even read the minutes of NYCGA. I think not. Even the anarchists like jart agree the money was not handled transparently. You know nothing about Occupy. Hit that NYCGA link and read the minutes concerning the treasury.

[-] 3 points by DKAtoday (23961) from Coon Rapids, MN 1 year ago

It is funny ( NOT ) how you jump in support of anything stated as derogatory about OWS - doggedly supporting Ur attacks as well as Others. But you strongly Oppose/Attack Supporters of OWS/Occupy.

U are a font of misinformation.

LoneStranger goes round and round and round - and screams come-on BabYYY lets do the twist http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mwAcr-S1LSw

Because it's Nothing But A Loser http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DC7aluA-nPM

Ur a Nowhere Man - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7mj7Rlh2lJo - kind of anyway - as U have all sorts of misinformation point of views. But also with all kinds of Nowhere plans. Just see what you want to see.

[-] 1 points by DKAtoday (23961) from Coon Rapids, MN 1 year ago

Ur a Nowhere Man - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7mj7Rlh2lJo - kind of anyway - as U have all sorts of misinformation point of views. But also with all kinds of Nowhere plans. Just see what you want to see.