Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Occupy: From Encampment to Coalition

A brainstorming document/proposal for the future direction of Occupy Philly. The working title is the 99% Coalition though there are certainly other possibilities. Feel free to write or call me with ideas, or especially if you want to help make it happen.

The goal here is not to start a brand new group, but to turn Occupy from an encampment into a new group. Starting a new group from scratch completely misses the point -- the point is to give a practical next step for Occupy, not to start a coalition for the sake of it.


  • A massive federal job creation program
  • Tax the rich, heavily
  • Universal healthcare
  • Cancel student debt
  • Free higher education for all
  • This list can get longer, and probably should-and-will during our first meetings


  • We strive to be a mass movement fighting for the income group called the 99%, carrying on the spirit of Occupy in the form of an organization, with rowdy open-air meetings, democratic participation, mass marches, and occasional direct action.
  • We believe in the redistribution of wealth, that we are in a class struggle, and that ordinary people should fight back.
  • We believe in making it easy for the 99% to participate because this is our/their movement.
  • We believe that some kind of overall systemic change is necessary, but each individual member is free to have different specific opinions about what this means.

Reasons why Occupy should support the 99C:

  • We need a way for Occupy to more easily include the 99%
  • We need backup plans in case we lose our space
  • Endless camping imposes high costs on participants, and during cold months becomes a health hazard
  • The clear purposes of the 99C help the public understand our meaning

Reasons why people outside Occupy should take Occupy seriously:

  • Occupy brings together many people suffering from the recession but who lack unions or organizations
  • Occupy is indisputably the force changing American politics right now
  • Therefore, even if the movement has problems, you should work with it, not separately
  • The purpose of the 99C is to bridge the gap between Occupy and people like you


  • First, by gathering a small cluster of supporters
  • handing out leaflets at Occupy or sending emails around its online networks
  • talking to various radical organizations, coalitions, and Occupy working groups/caucuses and getting them to sign on to this proposal
  • having outdoor meetings/speeches on city sidewalks calling for a regroupment of the movement
  • Most of the structures of Occupy should live on
  • The General Assemblies would be replaced with a weekly General Meeting
  • Direct democracy and rowdy outdoor meetings can and should continue
  • The caucuses and working groups can continue
  • People can continue putting the same amount of time into if they want, by organizing and performing the continual soapbox orating on street corners, and by partaking in working groups and caucuses which must necessarily meet separately from the GA/GM
  • If this is successful, we drag the whole Occupy scene into this organization, and do so with the approval of the Occupy GA