I have done a good bit of joining and contributing and getting to know a lot of "insider" people here at OP. Not of course everyone. There are still a very large number of quite committed people I don't know yet. But I have made some connections and am deeply involved in making things happen. Yesterday our Regional Gathering came off rather well. That has been the main bulk of my contribution so far. I'm really pleased to have made this event possible and I know a lot of forward momentum will come out of it in the coming weeks.
I didn't notice any photographers from the media team at our event though I expected at least one. This leads me to speculate that the media people at OP are far far more interested in taking pictures of marches and especially confrontations than the less dramatic but also important work going on inside the movement. I'm not complaining. Please don't take this the wrong way. But it does make me reflect on where people are putting their energies and where they are not.
In my view, this movement has an abundance of energy for certain types of actions and less for other kinds. Thinking about the people "out there", the as yet unengaged rest of the 99% which really comprises the vast majority of our fellow citizens, it seems to me we are doing a really good job of speaking to and attracting those people who are tuned on by confrontation with authority. On the other hand, there are a very great number of people we need to get to who are turned off by that style.
I'm not saying we need to stop the confrontation style. I'm suggesting that if we want to reach the people who are not excited by confrontation we need to focus more attention on efforts other than "squeeky wheel" sort of strategies. I am saying we are doing a really excellent job being confrontational. I'm also saying we need to be a lot more than just confrontational.
The other great style we have energy for is, of course, the aspect of service to the community. Especially oppressed communities such as the homeless and the "disadvantaged" neighborhoods. That's not confrontational but it is most often delivered with a confrontational dose of ideological spin. The efforts to re-vict homeless people back into empty houses is a very potent tactic that fits right in with both confrontation style and service style. I'm not sure we are devoting enough energy to actions which are more pure service like cleaning up neighborhoods and working more closely with established community organizations.
What do you think?