The technical term is “a clusterf**k”

So you want to join the revolution? If you live in Austin they are gonna start revolting at 10 am today, with a “general assembly” meeting at 3 pm.

The general assembly will be using the “consensus process” to make decisions:

Consensus Process Basics

· A formal decision-making process
· Nonviolent, everyone has a voice, everyone is involved in making decisions, decreases competitive dynamic that is seen with parliamentary procedure or majority rule
· Consensus is built on a foundation of trust, respect, unity of purpose, nonviolence, self-empowerment, cooperation, conflict resolution, commitment to group, active participation, equal access to power, patience

· Agenda planner
· Facilitator – non-directive leadership, facilitates process, if they have something to say as individual, they step aside as facilitator for the moment
· Timekeeper – watches the time spent on each item, gives 1 or 2 minute notice before time’s up, and when scheduled time runs out
· Peacekeeper – keeps an eye on tensions, process, respect, can interrupt at any time if needed to reflect on process and communicate potential course corrections

· At beginning of each meeting, group enters agenda contract including agenda items, their order, and the initial number of minutes allotted to each item
· One proposal is considered at a time
· Any concerns are raised and resolved, sometimes one by one, until all voices are heard.
· Decisions are adopted when all participants consent to the result of discussion about the original proposal.
· People who do not agree with a proposal are responsible for expressing their concerns.
· No decision is adopted until here is resolution of every concern. Consensus does not assume that everyone must be in complete agreement. Other options include:
o Standing aside – When concerns remain after discussion, individuals can agree to disagree by acknowledging they have unresolved concerns, but consent to the proposal anyway and allow it to be adopted
o Send to committee and readdress at next meeting
o Block/veto – any individual can block any item; not done frivolously- only if the decision is of such great importance that the person would leave the group if the decision went through
· The individual is responsible for expressing concerns; the group is responsible for resolving them. The group decides whether a concern is legitimate; the individual
decides whether to block or stand aside.
· Consensus works best in an atmosphere in which conflict is encouraged, supported, and resolved cooperatively with respect, nonviolence, and creativity.
· Evaluation of process & tone occurs at the end of each meeting

I have a little experience at this kind of stuff and the “Consensus Process Basics” are either bullshit or a recipe for a clusterfuck.

Who is the “general assembly?” Are they a specific group of people or is everyone who shows up for the meetings a voting member? Who selects the “roles?”

What if there is someone who won’t agree to anything? Can they veto everything? Get 3-4 strong-willed people with differing ideas together and you’ll have permanent gridlock.

Who decided on the consensus process? Was there a consensus? What ever happened to Roberts Rules of Order? Is that considered a fascist paradigm now?

I wish I lived close enough to Austin to attend because I would love to see this process in action. Our friend RalphB lives nearby, I hope he attends the meeting and brings us back a report.

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51 Responses to The technical term is “a clusterf**k”

  1. myiq2xu says:

    400,009 hits


    I’m going to bed.

  2. 1539days says:

    The Federalist Papers talked about the tyranny of factions.

  3. myiq2xu says:

    Proposed List Of Demands For Occupy Wall St Movement!

    Demand one: Restoration of the living wage. This demand can only be met by ending “Freetrade” by re-imposing trade tariffs on all imported goods entering the American market to level the playing field for domestic family farming and domestic manufacturing as most nations that are dumping cheap products onto the American market have radical wage and environmental regulation advantages. Another policy that must be instituted is raise the minimum wage to twenty dollars an hr.

    Demand two: Institute a universal single payer healthcare system. To do this all private insurers must be banned from the healthcare market as their only effect on the health of patients is to take money away from doctors, nurses and hospitals preventing them from doing their jobs and hand that money to wall st. investors.

    Demand three: Guaranteed living wage income regardless of employment.

    Demand four: Free college education.

    Demand five: Begin a fast track process to bring the fossil fuel economy to an end while at the same bringing the alternative energy economy up to energy demand.

    Demand six: One trillion dollars in infrastructure (Water, Sewer, Rail, Roads and Bridges and Electrical Grid) spending now.

    Demand seven: One trillion dollars in ecological restoration planting forests, reestablishing wetlands and the natural flow of river systems and decommissioning of all of America’s nuclear power plants.

    Demand eight: Racial and gender equal rights amendment.

    Demand nine: Open borders migration. anyone can travel anywhere to work and live.

    Demand ten: Bring American elections up to international standards of a paper ballot precinct counted and recounted in front of an independent and party observers system.

    Demand eleven: Immediate across the board debt forgiveness for all. Debt forgiveness of sovereign debt, commercial loans, home mortgages, home equity loans, credit card debt, student loans and personal loans now! All debt must be stricken from the “Books.” World Bank Loans to all Nations, Bank to Bank Debt and all Bonds and Margin Call Debt in the stock market including all Derivatives or Credit Default Swaps, all 65 trillion dollars of them must also be stricken from the “Books.” And I don’t mean debt that is in default, I mean all debt on the entire planet period.

    Demand twelve: Outlaw all credit reporting agencies.

    Demand thirteen: Allow all workers to sign a ballot at any time during a union organizing campaign or at any time that represents their yeah or nay to having a union represent them in collective bargaining or to form a union.

    I can’t believe they left out free beer.

  4. myiq2xu says:


  5. Mary says:

    Minimum wage $20 an hour? Free college for all? Open borders? Across the board debt forgiveness for all?

    What are these people smoking?

    • elliesmom says:

      My house is nearly paid off, and I have no car loans or credit card debt. We’ve been getting ourselves debt-free in anticipation of retirement. If this thing is going to happen, I need to run out and buy a McMansion, a Maserati, and run up that Mastercard. Will the free college be retroactive? I spent a lot of money putting my kids through college. I could use that money back. And for $20 an hour I could see being a greeter at WalMart when I’m really old and not just old.

      • Mary says:

        True story. My house is paid off, thankfully, but it took us 25 years of hard work to do it, even during the Houston oil business crash when that home went down to half its value (now back up, thank you.) Ya just hang on by the skin of your teeth til ya get through it. Lotta beans and rice, ya know?

        A million stories just like yours and mine out there in America—this “agenda” will never, never pass. Any Democrat that embraces it in total will be out on his/her ass.

        God Almighty, what crap Obama put in these kid’s heads.

  6. murphy says:

    I wish that list were a joke. Is it for real?

    How embarrassing. My 19 yo and 17 yo, hell my 10 yo daughters could pick that list to shreds for its inanity.

    Do these kids all still believe in Santa Claus??

  7. DeniseVB says:

    One young lady was asked if a bank CEO came down and offered her a job would she take it ? She said NO.

  8. yttik says:

    Interesting that the Occupy demands don’t include anything about ending the wars we’re in. They also don’t seem to care that Obama just ordered the execution of two US citizens without due process.

    I was getting annoyed with some of the BofA protesters. Here we are with 8 yrs of Bush violating the US Constitution and Obama taking it even farther and what do people decided to protest? A five dollar debit card fee. Never mind torture, detainment without charges, drone attacks, executions, the bank is violating my civil rights!

    • Ugsome says:

      You could do a lot with that money we’re spending on the wars. Like put the economy back on a decent footing.

      • WMCB says:

        Actually, the war money wouldn’t do that – it’s not enough. But it would certainly help. There is no single spending cut that would do it in one fell swoop, but if you put them all together….

  9. mcnorman says:

    Gosh, one ginormous temper tantrum negotiation which means that there will be a lot of yapping and not much happening.

    You’re right yttik, why aren’t they complaining about the banks, drones, etc.? It’s all about want, want, want, and make that all free too.

    • Mary says:

      Good grief. They don’t have a clue.

    • yttik says:

      Okay, I now agree with one of their demands, education should be free! Those kids are being robbed. I’m not sure what those tuition dollars are going towards, but education isn’t it. They are being schooled in talking points, but not being taught how to think and reason.

  10. The OWS forum has a lot of lists of proposed demands. Here’s another:
    it seems fitting that the demands of such a protest be focused on changing the relationship of the 1% with the government so that they can no longer do what they’ve been doing. These recommendations are not directly targeting the myriad problems on the surface, which would take far too long, but instead are focusing on the root of the problems:

    1) Put an end to corporate personhood and with it, any possibility for corporations to contribute to political campaigns

    2) Create new legislation for both the SEC and the Fed that prevents the creation of artificial market bubbles that the super-rich can ride to inordinate profits at the expense of the rest of the nation.
    3) Enact strict policies prohibiting public-private collusion in all government institutions susceptible to corporate pressure, such as the FDA, the USDA, the EPA, etc. (Perhaps a quarterly audit of the personal finances of every decision making member of these institutions.)

    4) Prevent the corporate influence of the law by creating better policies for how laws are created, where a) the names and associations of every person who actually wrote the law are publically disclosed, and b) Congressional members go on record before voting to clarify whether or not they have actually read the bill they intend to vote on, and c) unrelated “riders” tacked onto the end of a bill should not be permitted.

    Where have we heard stuff like that before?

    • votermom says:

      It’s a party.

      I feel sad because I’ve seen people power movements that have really changed govts. The problem with these guys is that they are letting themselves be used. They have the anger and discontent and they are totally ignoring the people who are oppressing them -their govt.
      Instead they have focused on a target which is nebulous and large.
      If you want to change a system you have to attack it at a pivot point.

    • DeniseVB says:

      Don’t they know selling shirts is capitalism? Giving them away is Obama 😀

  11. Just found this “Declaration”- still rambling- but more coherent than the list of demands.

  12. Three Wickets says:

    Here’s some people who get it, all 20 of them. What Occupy DC wants: Less corporate money in politics

    Occupy Wall Street is still a nascent, amorphous protest movement without a specific policy agenda. But in the movement’s DC offshoot, one target has begun to come into focus: the outsized role of corporate money in politics.

    On Monday, about 20 people gathered to join Occupy DC’s midday meeting in Washington’s McPherson Square, some of whom have been camped out since early Saturday morning. The group ranged from white-collar professionals on their lunch break to unemployed workers and students, one of whom was changing clothes beneath a tree in the park. Occupy DC has no defined policy agenda or demands. But when asked why they showed up, many participants could agree on one thing: corporations have too much influence over the political system.

    • ralphb says:

      If they had a consensus target, like getting undue corporate influence out of politics, this might actually be worth some effort. But finding consensus might take too many consensus meetings.

      And kids really want some free stuff. 🙂

    • WP finally noticed what OWS has been saying all along? Like, why they targeted Wall Street in the first place?

      What Occupy DC wants: Less corporate money in politics
      one target has begun to come into focus: the outsized role of corporate money in politics.
      [….] But when asked why they showed up, many participants could agree on one thing: corporations have too much influence over the political system.

  13. ralphb says:

    They changed the starting target and it appears there’ll be some kind of OccupyDallas and OccupyHouston, but who knows how many clusterfucks you can have at one time …

    WHEN : 10/4 @ 7-9pm
    WHERE : Austin City Hall – Come and be a part of the solution!

    Where is Barak Obama ?
    Posted 13 minutes ago by thereverendc

    Where is our fearless leader of the free world? Where is the flag bearer of “Yes We Can”? Where is he who promised “Change and Reform”? Where is his “Occupation of Wall Street”?

    Where is President Barak Obama? (absent and unaccounted for)

    I say to the President “Stand with the American People and support the occupation of Wall Street”.


    post comment

    [ One possibly sarcastic comment omitted. ]

    karmapolice (Bellevue, NE) 1 points 3 minutes ago
    Wall Street funds his campaigns same as everyone else. He will not help you, even if deep down he wants to. (I’d like to think that’s true)
    reply permalink

    dantes44 (Alexandria, VA) 1 points 7 minutes ago
    He has 4 fundraisers planned for today. 2 in Dallas. 2 in St. Louis.
    If you think he’ll take time out to stand with OWS, think again. Unless you’re shelling out 35k per couple.
    reply permalink

    sudoname (Berkeley, CA) 1 points 8 minutes ago
    I’d actually vote for him if he came out to defend this. Then again, he’d probably have an “accident” if he went against the people that funded him.
    reply permalink

    marsdefIAnCe 1 points 10 minutes ago
    Meeting with his CIA buddies? Twenty minutes that will change your perspective:
    reply permalink

    [ Two irrevelant comments omitted. ]

  15. Three Wickets says:

    Dunno, this is now appearing very organized. From MoJo: Occupying Wall Street and Beyond.

  16. Three Wickets says:

    Now we apparently have Occupy Colleges.

  17. Three Wickets says:

    Communications Workers of America Endorses Occupy Wall Street. They should shut down the mainstream media in protest. Would be an improvement.

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