Occupy London Campaigns?
“Once a movement no longer clings tenaciously to the ideology of “structurelessness” it will be free to develop those forms of organization best suited to its healthy functioning.”
The Tyranny of Structurelessness
This short collection of thoughts aims to provide a backdrop to further discussions that will lead to much better and more developed ideas that are concrete and actionable. However the ideas below are not totally random. They are guided by a general curiosity and a specific desire. That desire goes something like this:
To see Occupy london become capable of developing relevant strategic goals aided by shared understanding and to become able to coordinate its activity in effective ways to accomplish those goals.
I should say that I am not proposing that Occupy London fundamentally changes what it is or the way it works. I am merely imagining the development of new and greater capacities that could be used when appropriate and left alone when not.
Some useful concepts:
- An organized effort to achieve a specific goal using a variety of tactics in a strategic and sustained way over time.
- Campaigns may or may not have their own names and logos. They may or may not be aimed at specific groups and they may or may not have specific predetermined time frames.
- Note: Campaigns could but do not have to represent the whole of Occupy London they are “Tactics” that can be deployed autonomously provided they do not flatly contradict Occupy London’s values or strategic aims.
- A shared understanding of how power works. Specifically that elites do not submit voluntarily, that they only submit to force. “Force” being a perceived threat to the interests that they hold dear. [Economic / Political / Social / Personal etc].
- A shared understanding of the difference between goals, strategies and tactics.
- A shared understanding that strategy is always in motion and can change as circumstances change.
- A method of organizing Occupy London’s autonomous groups and online platforms to combine their resources and direct their activity towards shared goals in an effective and mutually supporting way.
An attempt to be concrete:
Lets imagine that participants from each working group [EEE, EWG and RDWG] and members of the online community [ONN etc] decide that they want to launch a specific campaign in response to THE G8. There is six weeks until The G8. The points of view on The G8 are diverse but there is a broad consensus that the campaign goal should be to raise awareness and to help support other groups organizing against the G8. The Campaign is called “No democracy No Future” or what ever.
It is decided that each WG will hold at least one event and produce at least one critique of the G8 during the six week run up. From their own perspective [Economic/Environmental/
The events could be talks, assemblies, protests, direct actions etc.
The campaign is laid out in a chronological sequence decided by all of the groups involved.
The onliners [Occupy London FBK, ONN, OL Website etc.] are aware of the campaign and its goals and can work to promote its events, its live stream, informational material and can work to create participation and debate on the social media.
This is just hypothetical scenario. Not a proposal. A campaign could address international issues like the G8 or it could address community issues like the out sourcing of local services or whatever.
For such a task to work well it would require
- broad strategic agreement
- clear and effective communication between the groups
- clear and accountable roles and structures
- effective resource sharing
- and a clear end date.
As the capacity for coordinated action builds it could in theory at least allow Occupy London to communicate it’s political identity more through action rather than press releases and statements. It could also put Occupy London in a position to respond speedily to emergent issues. See Libor Scandal
I’ll leave it there as I’m only one part of the collective mind and I’m anxious to see you tear the idea to shreds and make it better.