Tuesday, 8 April 2014

Weaknesses of Occupy

I love Occupy and have been involved with it but there's problems I noticed and personally encountered which aggrieved me quite a bit.

Most of the problems revolve around lack of clarity of values of Occupy and who it aims to speak to.

Not all of these 10 apply to all Occupy's and there may be other points to be improved to be raised.These are 10 I noticed.
  1.  We need to be aware that prejudice and inequality still remain within the movement of Occupy and so there must be moves so Occupy is less Dominated by White hetereosexual often middle class males and more voice given to working class, homeless, women,indigneous,non white,immigrants,disabled, LBGTQ etc..
  2.  While Occupy is dedicated to a lively and open debate there MUST BE less dominance by Conspiracy theorists( Zeitgeist, NWO, Free Masons, Rothchild stuff,Free energy,Illuminati etc) .I'm unsure how this can be achieved though I'd ask people who hold these views to stop trying to put them at the forefront of the Occupy message.What I am very clear about is that they (a) distract from the cause of social justice by tying up debate with irrelevant nonsense which is something I've experienced and (b) make the movement a laughing stock.THIS IS A MASSIVELY IMPORTANT ISSUE!
  3.  Needs to be more in touch with your average person.This involves less dominance by conspiracy theory.It also requires more down to earth expressions and actions without seeming stereotypically hippyish  or fringe or anti-social etc which can be off putting to the public and other members of Occupy or those who might otherwise join Occupy .Not being overly academic or jargon laden.This is a movement trying to appeal to the majority of average people on the street.We are not as a movement freaks nor eccentrics nor deliquents but just righteously angry people.This movement should be about unemployment/employment,welfare,housing,discrimination,inequality,tax avoidance,war,imperialism,poverty,healthcare,lack of democracy,civil rights etc.
  4.  Admitting very early on we don't have all the answers.
  5. Less talk and more action. More protests and a whole variety of actions rather than sitting talking though talking should not be avoided.This attitude that everything must be discussed before any action can be taken is not helpful.There needs to be a middle ground between talk and action. Action without thought will not succeed.Talk without  leading to action is pointless.
  6.  Following on from 3,there must be a shift in strategy and tactics which may involve not actually physically occuping or only part occupying.More focus on helping the local area where we can but not claiming to have all the answers when people have serious problems.I've wondered whether Tents could be given to the homeless.
  7.  Drug or alcohol use MUST not be allowed to interefere with the values or goals of Occupy.This has to be enforced otherwise it'll be detrimental to Occupy.
  8. We need to agree on a minimum set of standards and values which include democracy,equality,multiculturalism,respect for science etc-This will clarify what Occupy is about. We cannot allow anyone to join Occupy who does not respect these values.This is important since in the past some have tried to reach out to the Far right(!) WE CANNOT AND MUST NOT include them.We cannot be for social justice yet include people who would undercut our aims,that is NOT progress.
  9. Cults of personality and excessive hierarchy  should continue to be avoided.Systems need to be in place to avoid the dangers of this.
  10. More awareness of what Occupy is.Not enough people know fully what it's all about. More engagement with younger people.

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