Occupy Seattle Disrupts Pro-Occupy Wall Street Forum, Drives Away Supporters


Fucking halfwits. OWS are halfwits. Shun them, arrest them.
It's the same core group doing this. Hiding behind a leaderless movement, they've become leaders themselves. Depose them.
That's too bad. They can't see everyone as enemies. They need all the friends they can get. But, please, blame it on a few impetuous youth and not the whole movement. Find those individuals and collectively correct them.
They let the crayon chewers in?

How long until the purges start?
That is very, very sad.
Blast it with piss. Where is venomlash with the gif I'm thinking of?
@1 I wouldn't go as far as arresting, BUT: this kind of behavior is exactly why I don't personally participate in Occupy.

There's room in any and every rights movement for lots of different kinds of discourse. The protest discourse isn't complex or nuanced - why should it be? It's about shocking the bystander into action (or out of their complacent ideas about civil society). So there are some moments in which the protest discourse is inappropriate. This forum - in which the underlying ideas behind Occupy would have been explored in depth - needed individual people to speak for a long time and really develop the terms as a basis for conversation. OWS protestors who believed that unfairly "privileges" an elite group of "experts" reveal two things: that they think a listening crowd is always made up of sheeple who have no opportunity to question what they hear (insulting at best); and that these particular OWSers don't think the things for which they are protesting deserve/merit deep reflection and nuanced articulation. 'Cause the demands of OWS are so clear and unproblematic, right? Not to mention their practical application, that's just so obvious!

This is the same bullshit logic that spurred anarchists to interrupt the meeting a few months back with the citizens and city about police culture after John Williams. Then, as now, the protestors couldn't conceive of the idea that a system of power (and its trappings, such as the town hall-style meeting) can work more or less well; they thought rather that it doesn't work at all, so the only logical action is to tear it down. And they succeeded doing that last night. Way to go, jackoffs.
Those kinds of douchebags are a big reason why I stopped getting involved in much activism outside of Wisconsin. It's not about progress. It's not about a goal. It's certainly not about respecting anyone. It's just about seizing power.
"I’m turned off by the negative shouts, repetition, and all I can think about is a cult. And I believe in every one of their damn principles."


But you absolutely cannot blame this nonsense on the entire movement. There seems to have emerged a very unfortunate cadre of Old Comrades pulling this shit, primarily because they're the ones with the free time (and possibly the emotional problems) to be able to run things like this.

Whether they're an extraordinarily unhelpful group of supporters, or external agents provocateur... who fucking knows.
I have been a big advocate of Occupy Seattle, even spending time at Westlake when I can (I work) to help out. Seeing more of the internal workings than most, without actually being a camper, I think the Slog, particularly Dominic, has been pretty unfair, or even superficial, with it's criticism of OS. However, I attended the Town Hall last night and I agree that it was an absolute embarrassment to the OS movement. While I think it is childish to bring focus to activists' personal hygiene, it is hard for me to disagree the rest of this post. I walked away EXTREMELY disappointed from an event that was supposed to engage with supporters of the movement, but alienated them instead.

PS - I think the People's Mic is a brilliant tool to overcome the restriction of sound amplification. However, it is absolutely a hindrance when real microphones are provided. And it was definitely used to silence and talk over people last night.
@9 Based on my experience with radicals, I doubt they're external agents provocateur. They actually think this way, that calling for a vote and then holding everyone captive until it goes the way they want is productive. This is why there's a lot of squabbling about nonsense in radical groups, because little factions of these kind of myopic essentialists would rather have powerplays in their tiny little worlds than, you know, suck it up and listen to a leader occasionally in order to get shit done.
The problem is when you have a protest without an end. You can say "we're going to protest for a week" and at the end of that week you go home and plan for the next protest. When it's open ended like this the message is going to be taken over by people for whom the primary goal is some type of self satisfaction.
Always fun watching the left starting to cannibalize each other. Only took what, a month to go from kumbaya to Lord of the Flies.
Why am I absolutely not surprised that the small number of nutjobs with axes to grind are screwing up what could be an incredibly powerful tool for the sort of tangible change we actually need to implement?
What do you expect from kids raised in schools that rejected ambition, competition and success and replaced it with 'everybody gets a gold star' culture. Fucking crayon chewing 4 yr olds.
As I said before, over by Christmas if not sooner. Last night their ONLY fucking ally on the council saw what stupidity this is. Now SCCC is realizing what a fuckibg mistake they made letting anarchists, radicals a substance abuse whackos take over their campus. The liberals are leaving. Send in the dogs.
It's time to wrap this shit up. Locally, the movement has failed, and has been overtaken by lunatics.

I'm going to write a letter to the chief of police, they mayor, and the city council urging them to take immediate and decisive action against these people.

Sad to see OS building up walls when they could be building bridges. Instead of focusing on tangible, practical and achievable goals, they devote all their time to tangential issues and things that, frankly, few of the 99% want.

Take policing. Of course we need to address police brutality, and mainstream liberals and moderates are coming around to that. But eliminating police? "Uprooting the whole orchard"? Never going to happen, and most of the 99% want it that way. Well-run and regulated banks are possible. But trading in capitalism for something else is dead in the water. We could be working for a better society - something akin to the Scandinavian democracies - with strong safety net, truly progressive taxation, low unemployment and strong workers' rights. But these ideologues let their perfect be the enemy of the good.
This is a slanted argument. Not everyone felt that way. Sorry weak, people that can't stand the pains of real democracy and want to go to bed early and let the politicians do their work for them and are as passive and cowardly as sheep. Take your constitution back or shut up and be mic checked.
Sugar Tit, your always trolling!

Honestly, democracy is messy. shit like this happens, and people need to get off the "embarrassment" trip. There's nothing embarrassing going on here, just a discussion of whether or not it was productive. From what people are saying, it wasn't productive. no big deal, I don't think it deserves special attention.. Learn from it and be more productive next time.

I personally know Jane mee and she is actually a very awesome person and a very committed community organizer. I bet if people have beef over this she would (and other impromptu leaders at OS) be more than willing to listen to you and engage you.
Wait, didn't this cock sucker Holden call this a revolution just 2 weeks ago?
"they are a little group, like the 1 Percent.""

Some of us noted that about a month ago.
"One activist slept on the floor in front of the stage, spread eagle. The place reeked of BO."

Nuff said.
From concept to execution, there is nothing not preposterous about this whole story.
If this is what democracy looks like I think I'll pass.
They probably can’t get much further than they are right now.

That's what Anarchists do best.
Fucking #FAIL, Occupy Seattle. I am embarrassed by my Republican past, but one thing I can say about the right is that those bitches have their shit together and don't cannibalize their own support.
1) I am disappointed in how last night turned out. We all could have handled it better, and I am extremely frustrated that we came off to some as overbearing and disrespectful when that was neither the intention, nor the heart of the matter. However, Dominic, I’d like to point out a few things.

2) The proposal was amended so that the people’s mic would be optional as a reaction to the “several older audience members who couldn’t hear well.”

3) After the initial straw poll, Licata was booed when he said the audience was in favor with proceeding. He, in response to the audience, determined we would have a vote. He also asked us to explain what a General Assembly was. And so we did. What was supposed to be 2 or 3 sentences of explanation turned into an orientation, which I tried to prevent at that time, but continued with since it’s a hard ball to quit rollin’.

4) Licata also explained, from the microphone, that there would be 3 minutes of discussion in the general audience. I did not communicate that to him. Perhaps someone else did, but I am not aware of it.

5) We didn’t “lose the second vote.” There was a straw poll, and then an actual vote. For the actual vote, Licata had us count those “for” and then did not let us count for those “against.”

6) I wish you had stuck around for the after Town Hall discussion. In 15 minutes there was more discussion and more voices heard than in the entire 2 hours upstairs.
"...they opposed the power dynamic created by speakers on stage talking into microphones."

Short-sighted ideologues? Maybe they should go find a home w/ the far-right Republicans.
This is ridiculous. I read today or yesterday the tents at SCCC will be removed. A person was shot to death near the Occupy Oakland site. There is now genuine worry about sanitation conditions at some Occupy sites.


I believe OS is finished. The events at Town Hall last night may have sealed its fate.
Also, Dominic..."they opposed the power dynamic created by speakers on stage talking into microphones" was MUCH less a reason than the desires to
a) have the entire night be an open floor discussion, instead of between panelists
b) take a progressive stack where historically marginalized groups would speak first.

that's what Occupy was trying to do. and it got mired in naughty protestors booing, Licata mangling the process, and mis-communication from the Occupiers on what that actually wanted.
I was there, too, Dominic, and I agree with your post. I am a diehard supporter of Occupy. Last night was counterproductive and a waste of time, except as an example of bad tactics in action. We came off as one trick ponies. If we feel confident in ourselves and our cause, why wouldn't we want to have an open discussion that might include a range of opinions? Everybody there was supportive; we should be eager for helpful ideas, not dismissive of them.
@32 But it wasn't your meeting. You were being dicks plain and simple. No amount of ideology will change that.
Fnarf nailed it @1. All the rest of you guys are just blowing hot air.
#OccupyTownHall was a great success. With better facilitation, the conflict would have been resolved before it started. Although some people might have felt confused for awhile, by the end, more people were using the OS hand signals than came in knowing them. I was standing in the back and only saw no more than 5 people leave. Anyone who comments on Occupy who hasn't actually attended a General Assembly is talking out of their ass.

People who say things can't be done should get out of the way of the people who are doing it.
36: Fnarf is a reactionary NIMBY who thinks he's a progressive. He's a bigger tool than the kids shouting. He has no actual ideas, just bitching and moaning.
@occupyseattle...Love you guys but you make my head hurt sometimes.
@37 "People who say things can't be done should get out of the way of the people who are doing it."

How very democratic of you.
@37 Yet another baby Stalinist on training wheels.
40: People advocating doing nothing but voting for people perpetuating the problems that are wrecking this country aren't exactly model citizens either. What this faction of Occupy Seattle did was very dumb, but that doesn't excuse the snide, sneering inaction of people like Fnarf. He obviously doesn't actually believe in assembly, which forces me to question his concept of civic duty and responsibility.
#OccupyTownHall was a great success. Once the vote was done and #OS lost, the occupiers were generally respectful and shared their POV without attacking anyone. (although they did hand signal for people to wrap things up so others could speak. I wish that were normal at many other panel events I've been to)

I was standing in the back and saw no more than 5 people leave, one of them with a fussy toddler, two of them were the students next to me who were there for extra credit.

I observed more and more people using #OWS handsignals as the evening went on. People continued talking for hours afterwards.

A few things to keep in mind:

The Occupiers have to be on guard from being co-opted. To allow the town hall chosen "facilitator" to completely control the meeting (which he was doing poorly anyway) would have been a co-option of their cause that could not be allowed.

Anyone who hasn't been to a GA is talking out of their ass.

And most importantly, anyone who thinks that this revolution has "failed" or is somehow "over" should get out of the way of the people who are making it work.

It has only just begun.
Was not there for this little event, have attended many GAs, and #occupyseattle was in the wrong. It is okay to play by other peoples rules at their forums. Showing respect is just as important as showing defiance when necessary.
We say we represent the 99%. We need to show them that, not just shout it at them.
I can't comment on this event, particularly. I wasn't there. I was in Portland, where their encampment was under siege, along with almost 100 other Occupy Seattle demonstrators. There, we held the line against police until the wee hours of the morning, when some of us returned. Some are still there, doing great things for the movement and building coalitions between occupations.

A group of people crashed your party, and I'm sorry that it upset you. But once again the Stranger has shown their coverage of the OWS and Occupy Seattle to be childish and completely off-base from understanding what this populist movement is about. Question, though-- who were the Occupy Seattle activists that were to speak? When I was talking about the town hall, not a single person at Occupy Seattle knew that anyone from... uh... OCCUPY SEATTLE was participating. Weird, eh?

Lastly, what I think is the weirdest thing is that I've never ever heard anyone at Occupy Seattle say "I spoke with Christopher Frizelle today!" Or "Ciena Miller took my picture!" I've been on the ground almost every day for the past month, and I've yet to be introduced to any Stranger reporters. Do you guys just stand around, take pictures, and leave?

Here's a suggestion: Come to our General Assembly, identify yourselves, and discuss how you would like to movement to change. Become part of the movement and... well... BE THE CHANGE YOU WANT TO SEE.

@37: Anyone who comments on Occupy who hasn't actually attended a General Assembly is talking out of their ass.

Anyone who comments on corporate greed and power who hasn't actually attended a multinational's Board of Directors meeting is talking out of their ass.

See how easy that is?
Hi Karahp, I think we were confused because just about everybody in there was a supporter, and we came to hear discussion. Instead were given instruction on how to run a GA, were subjected to people's mic even though it was expressed that some were having trouble with the sound and we had a perfectly fine PA system, and it wasted about half of our productive time. Last night was not supposed to be a GA (I've been to many GA's, so I'm not talking out of my ass, and I'm certainly not saying that we can't change the world; that's the point, after all). If the topic of the forum had been 'How to run a GA, and the hand signals that are used', then I would have made a decision not to go, since I know the hand signals, but the topic listed on the Town Hall site was 'Occupy Town Hall: a Conversation'. I thought it was counterproductive to occupy our own supporters.
@40 and @26 That is the definition of participatory democracy. If you don't want to participate in creating change, then others will do it for you. Standing by the sidelines bemoaning people who are actively engaged is cowardice.
You're surprised?
Please tells me you are in no way surprised by how OS is shaping-up. Please.
You know how this ends, right?
OS is becoming a bit too self isolating, paranoid and politically incestuous for my taste. Sad, they had my support for awhile there.
Ian @45 (et al),

I was there and can attest that Dominic Holden got the story exactly right. Speaking as someone who supports OS and has participated in many OS events, I was absolutely disgusted by the "more Mao than thou" behavior exhibited by certain self-appointed OS "representatives" last night.

For what it's worth, Nick Licata asked for a show of hands at the beginning (prior to the Patty Hearst-a-thon) to show who in the room did NOT consider themselves to be part of Occupy Seattle. NO ONE raised their hand in response. Interpret as you wish.
I sadly agree with much of what Dominic had to say. At the same time, I think it is important to recognize that there were an number of people from the Occupy Seattle movement who disagreed with the rude and ineffective tactics he accurately describes and said so at the time.

The meeting that took place downstairs after the sad affair in the main hall was much more positve and featured lots of positve interactions between different age groups and perspectives within and outside the occupy movement. A good thing that came out of that was a lot of determinatioon to occupy Olympia during the special session coming up on Nov 28th.

I intend to participate in that action and urge other readers to do so as well - let's call for a rescinding of the budget cuts imposed during the past three years of casino capitalism and demand that the legislature fund them by a more equitable tax structure that ends the massive corporate loopholes such as the massive giveaways to Boeing amd the sales tax exemption for pesticide and insecticide companies (to name just a couple).

The movement has its problems but it is is raising essential issues to the future of our country and our world. Let's not give up, get involved and help make it the positive transformative movement for justice we want it to be.

Joe Szwaja Green Party of Seattle

I am an old school liberal from the get-go, but I gave up on organized "leftism" ages ago because of cheap theatrics like this - and I knew it was just a matter of time before "the people's mic" became just another cliche, like activist mimes or "die-ins", or giant puppets, or any of the dozens of dreary chants that have not changed since the 1960's.

There's a way to grasp the tenuous but enduring liberal populism that is part of the nature of this country, but neither the corporate-controlled Tea Party or the supposed "leaders" of the occupy movement have figured it out yet.

But it's interesting to see how our dear troll has been beside himself about all of this.
I refuse to participate in any group that uses hand signals to communicate. Not the Cub scouts, not Little League and definitely not Occupy Seattle.
I was there, disappointed in how it turned out, but hey - it was not a defining moment in the movement. Learn from it, move on.
I was there last night. I've been to a GA, attended a working group, and participated in several OS protests. I've also donated money and goods from the list. And I have to say this post was fairly spot-on (snide hygiene remarks aside). Last night, instead of a group of people getting together to form common cause, I saw a bunch of rude cultists with their heads so far up their own asses that their cause became totally irrelevant. And you're right, Dominic, the hypocrisy was absolutely stunning. At the end, I was hoping Licata would ask for another show of hands of who did not consider themselves a member of OS. Had he done so, some of these people might have gotten the message that appears to still elude them today.

Good things can still come of this movement. But I doubt they will be coming from any of those who took over last night.

From now on, my support will be much more targeted to specific actions that offer substantive outcomes for the 99% rather than to this bunch of wankers.
I'm just picturing them all in a tent, yelling "but are we the People's Front of Judea, or are we the Judean People's Front?!".
@47 I agree completely. I came to listen to an informed discussion with an opportunity for public participation that was hijacked by a minority who insisted on imposing a GA format minutes after Nick Licata explained that Town Hall explicitly would not follow that format. The interruption and shout-down of Frank Greer during his interruption was specifically rude and disrespectful, furthermore it was revealing. Mr Greer has stellar bona fides in the progressive change movement going back to the Civil Rights movement in the early 1960s and he was not even given the opportunity to finish his introductory statement without an inflammatory and provocative interruption from the audience. Mr Greer also happened to be the one person on the panel who most looks like an elder white male. One wonders at the biases on display. I was tempted to leave. I stayed. I regret that what could have been a much richer and more informative discussion was subverted by an ideological and emotionally projective minority. I am very concerned about the viability and sustainability of this movement.
@43 LOL. I wish you could understand how pathetic you sound, I really do. "The Occupier's have to be on guard from being co-opted blah blah blah and blah." I don't think you have to worry about anybody co-opting your message (whatever the hell it actually is anymore) more than you should be worried about alienating the community and turning them off from supporting the cause with self-aggrandizing stunts such as this one. "OCCUPYING" neighborhood town halls? LOL. Gimme a f###ing break, people, yup, you are true revolutionaries. Keep telling yourselves that and watch your "revolution" cease to exist.

@45 Sadly your condescending, naive, and nonsensical rant does little except prove the point so many others have alluded to already: The Occupy Movement is at a crossroads and needs to figure out what the fuck it want to be FAST. You could be a long lasting and/or influential political movement for years to come (not likely at this point) or just an interesting side note in the news of 2011 (i'd bet on this right now). I mean do you people actually think that pontificating the way the majority of you have been to people does anything to turn ANYBODY on to your movement? Please, even if they feel a connection to what is said and what the Occupy movement is supposedly about, christ, what the f##k are you thinking? Do you think people respond well to the implication that they are lemmings? Or a constant stream of condescending pseudo-intellectual bullshit aimed directly their way? Here's a thought....stop being so patronizing and antagonistic towards the community. You're going to need their support to be anything more than a failure of a movement. People generally don't support hypocrites.

While it started chaotic this post fails to mention the positives of the event. A good amount of people stayed after for a open meeting. Many of them were older and said it was the first time they felt comfortable to talk at town hall.
I think the stranger can stop sending them donuts now. Theres no point in trying to support a group that doesn't care about the neighborhood they're slowly destroying.
Let's be honest -- if the OS process had been carried out from the get-go properly, it could have been a quick decision in favor of the panel process. The problem was Nick Licata's frustrated "moderation" of the GA-style process. You entirely misportray how the voting was carried out. It's not that the occupiers were disappointed with the initial result -- it's that Licata claimed we had lost the vote before we'd had a chance to even scan all the hands counted. There were literally only seconds between hands being raised and Licata brushing us off -- when the vote appeared initially split to many in the audience. This pissed people off, and rightly so. Then, after 30 or so minutes of -- yes, often petty and overdone wrangling over process -- the vote came up even more significantly against our favor.

Now, if Licata had simply followed a proper democratic process -- clearly enunciating what was being polled from the beginning and waiting a few minutes for votes to be properly looked at, we would have been finished in 10 minutes. We didn't need to read the entire GA thing -- just the hand signals would have been enough. You act as if all the disrespect was on the side of OS, but there was clear disrespect from others, including the non-OS panelists and Licata himself, as well as from people who would rather walk out than face the ugly, annoying and often petty questions that we deal with every day at General Assemblies.

Two more points:

1. The "wrap-it up" hand signal is not meant to be an offensive disagreement with someone. It states that people feel the speaker has made his/her point and ought to either move on to the next point or cede the stage to someone else. It is often used even if someone is in agreement with the speaker -- which, if you had attended the OS meeting downstairs following this event, you would have seen to be the case. One of the women who had been singled out for using it when a panelist was talking expressed her disappointment, since she'd actually been in agreement with the speaker, but just thought he was talking too long after making his point. People should not be so touchy about the hand-signals, it doesn't mean we hate your guts if we disagree with you and anti-twinkle to show it... it just means we disagree, which is an okay thing.

2. The time-frame of this event needs to be questioned. First of all, scheduling this assembly over one of our own GA's was taken as a sign of disrespect and led to the GA being "brought to" town hall. You do not mention this in your piece. Similarly, I am very doubtful as to how much open discussion could have even happened in an hour and a half between 6 panelists and a crowd of hundreds. Why was the time-scale of this event so limited? We're all used to sitting in GA's for 3+ hours in the rain. I think we can handle more than an hour and a half indoors. It's clear that the basic structure of this event was inadequate to deal with the issues being discussed, especially if questions from the crowd were to be expected.

Final note:
I AM in agreement that this did not go as well as it could have. I'm not in opposition to the idea that we could have a non-GA-style panel discussion. But there needs to be respect on BOTH SIDES. Yeah, this means no people's mic drown-out of people trying to voice opposition -- but it also means don't schedule your town hall meeting over the GA without asking the GA, schedule these events with enough time to actually air out the enormous issues being discussed, and, most importantly, choose a less patronizing moderator.
Oh man, the next round of budget savings in Olympia are gonna be a hoot to OS when they pass and all they can do is downwards twinkly fingers.

@48 Not really, its just your weird version of it.

What about those of us who actually like the general structure of our political system even if we may not always like those that wind up in charge?

@62 Not everyone finds your GA system as charming or useful as you do.
You know, Doctor King instructed the civil rights movement in the south to present themselves in public as being beyond ANY reproach in the public's eye. All the marchers were told, and trained, to be well mannered, well presented dignified and strong. It took awhile but that movement made progress.

But for the record I figured this Seattle version of the OWS movement was screwed at the first meeting at Westlake (yes I WAS THERE) when we were told to go into break out groups and put our right hands on the shoulder of the one person who we trusted with our lives. (I thought that we should be able to innately trust anyone there who shared our concerns...why pick just one?) I was dreading that it was going to turn into some hug fest without focus and went home.

Glad I did.
@62 occupy: Nick Licata was specific in his introduction that Town Hall would ~not~ follow a GA format. He graciously allowed a vote on challenge, and properly followed parliamentary procedure when a clear majority voted against the proposed GA format. OS proceeded to mire the entire proceeding in procedural motions and process points. The majority of us in the audience came to hear and learn from the perspectives of a well qualified panel with an opportunity to question and comment according to accepted custom. What we witnessed was a small group of hostile provocateurs reduce the evening to a tit for tat. Message to OS: learn about parliamentary procedure (what founded this country), pick your battles carefully, and you might have a sliver of a chance.
This sucks.

OWS started out with broad appeal, but the shortsighted and completely arbitrary theme they picked to symbolize the movement - occupying various public spaces - meant that as time passed and the weather grew cold, the movement would dwindle to the self-marginalized lefty fringe, homeless people, and junkies.

It would be nice to see this energy and organization transform into other forms of activism, such as disrupting conservative political functions and getting out the lefty vote, but that seems unlikely.

You were right, Gloomy Gus, and I was wrong.
@43: would have been a co-option of their cause that could not be allowed.

So this cause belongs strictly to those in the encampments? And not to the rest of us would-be supporters? Ok, got it.

It has only just begun.

No, you and the rest of the deluded, self-important idiots have killed it.
Getting out the left vote? You mean the 2.74% who voted for Nader in 2000 and gave us Bush? Seems like a long haul from 2.74 to 99%.
Huh. Professional protesters are fucking loony and smell terrible. Who woulda thought
@67 Yup. It's basically just become people for whom occupying is an end to itself. Like the lefty fringe, homeless people, and junkies.

Well at least we all got a good refresher on why leaderless movements involving anarchists tend to collapse in on themselves.
@69 yes, the progressive movement seems once more ripe for co-option by a Trojan Horse like Nader. What's really messed up about last night is this: the Occupy movement needs to focus on local politics and developing local coalitions of support that trickle upward into the State house, Governorship, House of Representatives and Senate. What we saw last night suggests that this will ~not~ happen. OS divisive politics will be putty in the hands of people like Karl Rove and Dick Armey.
I was also there, and mostly concur with Dominic's account. Even though many in OS claim they do not want the movement to be co-opted, it should now be apparent to everyone who attended that a considerable portion of OS, or at least the prevailing group-think at SCCC, is now completely mired in identity politics.

I think it needs to be communicated throughout the movement that this kind of mission creep at this stage, especially the kind that will further alienate and keep the movement from spreading is counterproductive.
I love these posts about how "We showed people how to do a General Assembly! More people left knowing the hand signals than went in!"

@37 more people were using the OS hand signals than came in knowing them

So OWS is now about the proper use of hand signals? Oh my fucking god, and couldn't write a lefty parody any more ridiculous than you. Somebody call Fred Armisen, because Portlandia is over here writing itself.

Guess what - I'm holding up a hand signal for you right now. I'm not sure it's an official OWS hand signal, but the meaning should be crystal fucking clear.
perhaps instead of donuts The Stranger could send mental health professionals....
Trying to hijack an overwhelmingly supportive panel discussion was dumb. It's going to have some short term negative consequences. I'd expect more foresight out of a few of the people involved in this little coup attempt.

It won't kill the movement, though. I'm not sure anything can at this point. People are angry because this thing matters so much. It's a lover's anger.
So this is what Dictatorship of the Proletariat looks like? Who's in the OWS-Seattle's Politburo?
@77, perhaps "Love" should take a shower and behave like adults?
@53 and @1 and @65 FTW

Dear OccupySea: your immigration policy blows. For starters : Go ask the green colossus in New York harbor about how to best grow a democratic movement... there's a reason she's popular.

@12: a protest without end is a problem?
Not any more than a war on terror..... *ahem*

@45 STFU and re-read your first sentence. Now read it again. No no - Read it again. Now: WHY are there ANY words after that first sentence?
"One activist slept on the floor in front of the stage, spread eagle. The place reeked of BO. "

That's what the court hearings have been like, too. When the OS people show up, the place reeks of BO. Occupy a shower, already.
Let me explain why this revolution has only just begun:

Sadly, the people who were uncomfortable with how the meeting went are just getting a taste of the discomfort that is to come. The number of homeless families, wore torn vets and desperately hungry are going to continue to increase exponentially in the coming years. And they will have louder voices and be even more agitated. We can only hope that they are as well organized and functional in their intentions as the current Occupy camps are, even with all their problems. At some point, walking out because you don't want people yelling will no longer be an option because there will be nowhere to escape to.

The revolution is not about the people going to GA, sleeping in the camps or marching through the streets, it is about the 99% suffering from the gross inequity and immoral usury created by the current economic system designed to serve the 1%. This system is going down because it is not salvageable. The process of Occupy is to develop the alternative systems to live by in the meantime. It's a matter of survival and adaptability.
"It won't kill the movement, though. I'm not sure anything can at this point. People are angry because this thing matters so much."

There's 150 at OS. Half are drunks, hobos, addicts, crusties and potheads who don't do squat. So 75 people in a region with 3 million.

Ooooooooo, I'm so fucking impressed. You could probably get more Seattle Republicans out for a bake sale.
@83 Oh god lord.
@75 LOL! Yeah, I get it and now you can stick that hand signal where it belongs. Handsignals = communication, communication = understanding, understanding leads to a humane society, Humane society is the revolution.
" it is about the 99% suffering from the gross inequity and immoral usury created"

I'm in the 99%. Gross family income of $150,000 a year, $200k in investments, IRAs etc (do you have a Roth yet?), 50% equity in the northside home bought in '03 (just did a fab refi at 3.95% for 30 yr fixed. I know, unfuckibg believable you say!). No debts other than mortgage. Kids in great Seattle public schools. Farmers market near by, great coffee and wood fired pizza joint a minute's walk from our single family home.

So question to you Sherlock: why the fuck would I throw my lot in with hobos, addicts and self-taught anarchists, radicals and other angry mental health cases shitting into buckets and freezing in tents at a 3rd rate community college?
@86 there was little 'humane' about last nights' disruptions. The OS activists were rude, disrespectful and hypocritical to people ~sympathetic~ to the cause. Your people impeded understanding.
" humane"

Probably the last word OS opponents will hear before these people start slitting throats in their killing fields.

Mayor McGinn, send in the hounds!
@64 The current version of governance in America is operating with only a small fraction of voters actually participating and billions being spent on buying the voters that come out. If you go to other places where a higher percentage of the population participates, you will see highly motivated people involved and participating in ways that current Occupy protesters haven't even attempted. IMHO American politics is so dysfunctional because it is so dull that people feel like they've participated when they vote once a year or every 4 years.
Saying that this was an attempt to spread the Occupy process to a larger audience is absurd. I was there. There was a show of hands at the beginning of the panel as to how many in the audience had already seen a GA. Almost every hand went up. If the purpose was actually to teach process, the entire stunt should have been called off right then.

It strikes me as a temper tantrum by members who felt hurt by not being included on the panel.
As Slog is the major source of reporting on Occupy Seattle, however unjust it may be to expect from a blogger, Dominic owes his readers some modicum of analysis beyond his own (mostly justifiable) opinion. While I remain concerned, like many fellow commenters, about the long-term viability of the movement, I diverge from their criticism of the process itself. It is in that spirit that I offer my humble, and likely unsatisfactory, alternative perspective:

The events of last night, and this corresponding post, do not point to deficiencies in the people who continue to be active in the Occupy Seattle movement or in their chosen mode of deliberation. Instead, it illuminates the supremely difficult task of those in accepted positions of authority to relax that authority when faced with potential adversity.

Stronger, more empathetic moderating on the part of Licata might have produced, in short order, the same eventual outcome: orderly microphone use for the older attendees and a progressive queue for the OS organizers. That these proposals are not mutually exclusive would have become readily apparent had Licata applied the basic mediating technique of overtly acknowledging and verbalizing those needs. Similarly, Dominic might have done the same with this post, while still making his journalistic point regarding alienation by process.

What transpired instead, at both Town Hall and within this blog post, are really the result of personal shock and a deep sense of betrayal. Here is a populist, former-Green Party, pro-OWS council member and a progressive blog(ger) giving the oppressed a voice and what happens? They go and properly muck it up by turning on their benefactors. At such a time, empathy is exceedingly difficult. So they did what anyone might reasonably do: Retaliated and reaffirmed the appropriateness of their own positions ("[OS activists are] woefully misguided about what democracy looked like," etc.).

In my opinion, the disorder that occurred during the meeting proper demonstrates the absolute necessity (for a time, at least) for direct democracy that lies at the root of this movement. Even those with unassailable credentials, be they legislators, political strategists, or culture-makers, may be asked to relinquish long-held positions of authority. What should be remarkable about last night -- despite conscious efforts by several rude attendees, unconsciously patronizing comments by Greer and Hanauer, and the failure of the moderator, in the shock of the moment, to acknowledge the situation -- civility won out by deliberate, redundant, and, yes, inefficient process. Compromises were made, panelists became conciliatory, conservative attendees were won over, agitators were silenced, and in the post-panel discussion, inclusivity and alienation were discussed as lessons learned.

While it is may have been disappointing for some not to have heard more from the panelists, lectures and seminars can accomplish those same ends. For those wishing to know more about the OS movement, for good or ill, Town Hall undoubted provided that. It has, at least, won over one skeptic.
@88 Occupy Seattle is one version of the movement. The revolution is much much much greater. Those of you who have the luxury of having a job and a shower (at least for now) have your own version of the revolution when you lose your job, your home, a family member in the armed services, etc. And when your life is turned upside-down, you wonder how you will survive and you reach out to others to learn from them. Maybe you will learn from Occupy, maybe you will learn from others. But you do realize that, eventually, the collapsing economy will tear your life apart, right? We are all in this together.
this sort of activisim that is focused on the process is truly stupid. What is the point of yammering around at each other if you don't actually accomplish anything?

It really seems that for some of these folks, the point isn't to create an atmosphere of accountability, but rather to be able to say one was an activist. Most of these OWS offshoots are simply a stage for some navel gazing blowhards.
You've got to love how the stranger equates democracy with a bunch of democrats holding a panel "discussion" on what the rest of us should do. You've got to love even more that they have the gall to call themselves "experts" on movement building when not one of them, not ONE of them, had a hand in planning any of the occupations.
Revolution should NOT be the goal. Reform should be.
mic check. mic check. THAT IS WHAT A TANTRUM LOOKS LIKE.

occupy seattle is worse than professional canvassers. this story was inevitable.
Sounds to me that the banksters have most of the Stranger readers on this thread held by their you know what! Whatever the issue was that night to condemn the whole movement based on it is cowardly and shows your true colors and agenda. Stop smoking that dope they keep feeding you! Tomorrow will be your turn to join the ranks of the unemployed and the poor. Learn about the stories of those in the streets before you so easily dismiss them. They are you! Act before the cancer of capitalism occupies and dooms you irrevocably. Stop feeding the beast!

"It is the economy, stupid"!

I'm a 37-yr-old artist who left her 175 sq. ft. live/work art studio dark during Art Attack in Georgetown, spent $6 on buses earned as a under-employed part-time janitor with no sick pay or healthcare @ $9 an hour, while I earn a BA & LOTSA student loans so I can have my MA in Psych in 2016, which may lead to better job security.
My $6 bought an surprise demonstration against Town Hall's facilitator-choosing-process & a debate about hand signals. I ASSUMED I was buying a guaranteed multi-faceted 6 person panel discussion on the future of an important world-wide movement.
Yes, you have right to free speech, but if you would've let things roll as planned, I would've left @ 9pm with what I spent $6for. Plus, today we would've had a participatory democracy-style discussion on what slog journalists & readers liked or hated about a 2 hour long panel discussion.
I feel my time & money was co-opted. I wish I bought a tube of prussian blue paint that I desperately need or at least a bucket of Jim Beam, which I also desperately need & rarely get.
But, hey, I'm used to the ball bouncing this way because I AM THE DISENFRANCHIZED 90-something%. See ya at the GA or at the SCCC art tent.
This is what college was like.

Link to a "City Club of Portland" stream/downloadable mp3 analysis of Occupy movements. Informative, realistic & (mostly) optimistic take on events for those with 45 minutes to an hour to kill.
This article seems relevant: