Proposal to end spokes and the GA
Proposer: Justin Samuels
I propose that we end both spokes council and the GA for several reasons.
First and foremost, Occupy Wall Street claims to be a horizontal movement. If it is a horizontal movement, then we don’t need a spokes council (with spokes/representatives) or a General Assembly making decisions for us. We should be empowered to make decisions on whatever projects we want to. Spokes and the General Assembly are a recreation of the US Congress, without the judicial and executive branches to check the legislative branches power.
Both spokes and the GA have completely screwed over the most vulnerable occupiers. Spokes showed how at a whim it could just end a housing program for occupiers. Essentially people were thrown to the wolves by this decision. Both bodies have shown a complete disregard for marginalized voices such as the mentally ill or homeless. Violence has broken out not just because disruptors are bad, but the total disregard of body itself for certain voices has triggered some conflicts. Even the downtwinkles and hand rollings are totally rude and disrespectful, even more so for those who may have difficulty communicating.
Back when we had the park, when there was no spokes (we had working groups and the GA), much of the world in OWS was done by individuals who educated the public as the walked by. It was done by activists who spoke to the media, sharing OWS with the world. A secret organization like spokes does NOTHING for OWS in terms of public relations. As neither body is functional, both OWS and Spokes are an embarrassment to the movement. If the GA and Spokes were placed on CNN news regularly, we’d look like a bunch of barbarians who belong on television.
Ending spokes and the GA would not hamper the movement at all. Individuals and working groups could still work on their projects. In fact as both the spokes and GA absorb time from events or projects that occupiers could be working on, freeing up this time would help rejuvenate the movement. Spokes council meetings in particular take people away from downtown Manhattan, and this divides the movement.
Also, both the spokes council and the general assembly foster dependence. Activists who are fighting against the system and against laws they consider injustice shouldn’t submit to a new system with equally oppressive structures (out of control legislative process)