SUMMARY OF PROCESS AS OF 8/3/12
POINTS OF EMERGING CONSENSUS
1. DISTRIBUTION: We will facilitate the distribution of groups of 30- 50 protesters to the maximum possible number of intersections throughout the financial district, radiating outward from the New York Stock Exchange. Distribution will be achieved through a combination of online sign-up forms and maps handed out on the day of the action.
2. MOTION: Once distributed, participants will be encouraged to circulate between intersections according to a set of guidelines, which will be shared via printed maps and text alerts. The guidelines will seek to generate frequent movement across a large surface area , while leaving room for participants to make autonomous decisions about the path they take through the space and what they do at each intersection.
3. ZONES: We will separate the district into zones. For each zone, there will be a trajectory that the guidelines encourage particpants to travel along. (Ie: if there are 5 zones, there will be 5 trajectories radiating outward from NYSE.) There seems to be broad support for theming each zone according to campaigns or issues.
4. ASSEMBLY POINTS: Each zone will have a public assembly point, which will serve as an orientation space for people arriving at the action, a fallback point for people seeking safe space during the action, and a decompression space for after the action. If we elect to theme the zones, thematic assemblies could be held at each assembly point after the action.
5. COORDINATION: Tactical units will be empowered to fill coordination roles for each given zone. Tactical units may be comprised of issue-themed blocs, affinity groups, members of organizations, or other groupings. Areas of empowerment may include: facilitating movement between intersections, information flow between intersections and zones, and collective quick-decision making in the face of unforseen events.
6. TARGETS: We will provide a map of corporate and government targets within each zone. Individuals or groups may choose to plan autonomous actions at these targets as they see fit. We may or may not decide to hold coordinated actions at targets within each zone.
POINTS IN NEED OF FURTHER CLARIFICATION
1. DISTRIBUTION: How will information be gathered and stored online? How will we handle groups or individuals who don’t feel comfortable sharing contact information over the internet? How will we ensure the security of stored data? How will online sign-ups be integrated with day-of walk-ons? If everyone just shows up at Zucotti Park, how will they be distributed evenly across the zones? Should they be? How will this plan, which relies on distributing a lot of people across a large space, work at different levels of turnout? How publicly and when should we share the distribution map we plan to use for the action?
2. MOTION: How long will the “movement game” portion of the action last? What is the exit strategy when it is over? Are we sure we want folks to go back to assembly points afterward? What are the “prompts?” Is that a good thing to call them? How much are prompts set in stone via maps and how much can they be changed on the fly by AG’s/comms team according to conditions on the ground? How much of people’s motion should be determined by prompts and how much should be left up to their discretion? Should the goal be to stay in intersections as long as possible or to spread through the district as widely as possible? What (if any) pattern should govern people’s motion via prompts? Should there be a generalized flow of motion outward then inward? Should we move from NYSE toward transit choke points? From NYSE to corporate targets? Something altogether more random than that?
3. ZONES: Where / how big are the zones? How many are there? How do we decide how to draw them? How publicly do we share them? Are they themed? If so, what are the themes?
4. ASSEMBLY POINTS: Are the assembly points themed? Do we want thematic assemblies after the action? How long should participants and coordinating AG’s stay at the assembly points at the beginning of the action? What if AG’s get cleared by cops before they have completed the distribution of participants?
5. COORDINATION: Do we actually want AG’s to fill coordination roles? How could we help ensure they function as accountable and effective decision making units? How will they communicate with each other and with comms? To what extent to we want to rely on SMS loop for inter-AG communication? To what extent to we want to rely on SMS loop for communication of movement prompts from coordinating bodies to groups/individuals at intersections? Do we actually want a comms team? How will the comms teach function and what will it be empowered to do?
6. TARGETS: Do we want to have coordinated corporate targets in each quadrant? Do we want to attempt to clog transit choke points? To what extent should groups/individuals be empowered to do actions at targets of their choosing? If they do so, how much information should they have to share with others to ensure separation of time and space in deference to everyone’s autonomy over their own risk?
7. PROCESS: Assuming Cat Lovers consenses around this action, how will we present this plan to the rest of the planning body? Will we empower a subset of people to flesh out details of the map, prompts, and coordinating structure? If so, what will they specifically be empowered to do?
8. PARTNERS: How do institutional partners fit into the action framework?
9: OTHER ACTIONS: Is there a need for secondary actions/targets for the afternoon? How do we intersect, or not, with the people’s picket action? Are we still excited about :”painting the town red?” What about the bike bloc? How does it fit in?
10: SECURITY CULTURE: What level of security culture do we want to practice around this action? Do we want different levels for each action? How are we going to agree on that and share that agreement with others?
1. Many feel that this action framework needs to be consensed on by the full S17 planning body before moving forward.
2. Some are not confident that the tactic of disruption through distribution and motion will in fact succeed at disrupting the district or at evading police repression. (Trainings and simulations have been suggested as a way to address this concern.)
3. Some feel that the lack of coordinated actions on specific targets will render the action logic of the day unclear, dissuade partners from participating, and “blow” the biggest messaging opportunity we have had in a long time. (The inclusion of actions on specific corporate targets either through on an autonomous basis, through assignment to participating groups or AG’s, through the AG coordination/comms structure, or through movementwide coordination have been suggested as friendly ammendments to address this concern.)
4. There is a concern that even if coordinated actions are agreed upon, they will not actually happen unless the Cat Lovers group itself consents to bottomline one or all of such actions.
5. The guy with the beard was concerned that we were doing a distributed/decentralized action instead of a big mass action. (It’s unclear if there’s a way of addressing this concern, since it seems to be in conflict with the emerging consensus among the rest of the group.)