Over the past three weeks, a subset of the S17 planning group has been breaking out around a shared intention to disrupt Wall Street. Recently it has become clear that there is a fork in intention between (1) those who want to disrupt Wall Street by holding space in the immediate vicinity of the stock exchange, (2) those who want to disrupt Wall Street by circulating through a network of intersections throughout the Financial District and (3) those that don’t feel their intentions are adequately represented by either of the above plans. What follows is a proposal to create space for mutually reinforcing approaches.
On the morning of September 17, we will seek to disrupt business as usual on Wall Street as follows:
- Public parks on the periphery of the district will function as green assembly points shared by all action participants.
- Within the general boundaries of this periphery, there will be the following clearly delineated action spaces:
- A group will amass at the intersections immediately surrounding the New York Stock Exchange and seek to hold space.
- A group will distribute itself in mobile units throughout the Financial District and seek to circulate between as many intersections as possible.
- Other groups or individuals may carry out autonomous or mass actions, which will constitute additional delineated spaces in this list.
- We will create shared communications structures including an Action Coordination Meeting*, an Affinity Group Spokes Council**, a sign-up website, and a tactical comms loop that together will:
- allow participants to make informed decisions about which of the above spaces best meets their needs
- facilitate other groups’ and individuals’ ability to generate and recruit for new spaces not yet foreseen by this proposal and to participate in the Action Coordination Meeting and Affinity Group Spokes Council
- All groups and individuals participating in this framework will agree to abide by the S17 Action Agreement.***
* The Action Coordination Meeting will be a non-decision making body that meets weekly during the general S17 planning meetings. It will function as an information sharing space welcome to any and all comers including members and leadership of partner organizations.
** The Affinity Groups Spokes Council will be a horizontal, participatory, autonomous decision-making body comprised of affinity groups, which we understand to mean groups of 5-15 people who share affinity around shared political or tactical goals. Affinity groups may form larger clusters around shared intentions such as themes, issues, ongoing campaigns, strategy/tactics, etc. The spokes council will operate by consensus and is the only body empowered to make amendments to this framework.
*** The S17 Action Agreement exists in draft form (below). It will be workshopped at the first Action Coordination meeting and brought forward as a proposal to be considered at the first Affinity Group Spokes Council.
To help ensure the cooperative nature of this plan, we will abide by the following agreement:
- Groups will respect each other’s autonomy to plan their portion of the action as they see fit.
- Groups will refrain from planning actions that will interfere with the intention of other groups.
- Groups will seek to maintain healthy, constructive communications up to and including the day of the action.
- Groups will seek to resolve any apparent conflicts by initiating direct contact with each other. Trust, respect, and trust in respect.
- Groups will refrain from disparaging comments about other groups in the press and open OWS meetings.
- Groups will refrain from marshalling other groups.
- Groups will refrain from turning other groups into the police.
- Groups and individuals who take responsibility for inter-group communication or shared resources will be mindful of power dynamics and to observe standing consensus.
- Groups will respect the agreed upon framework.