Direct Democracy NYC

Now is the time to overthrow all forms of authority.

Call for an open GA for ALL, Friday 11/11/2011, 7pm, Liberty Square

The past weeks OWS has witnessed rapid bureaucratization and centralization of the GA. Specific working groups, most dramatically in the context of the Operations Spokes Council, have authorized themselves as the ritual keepers (via dogmatic facilitation/process/structure rules) of the movement. This has created confusion and ambiguity in the public discourse. It has prevented each individual from empowering himself/herself to create or act in the GA without being identified as a professional participant. We have seen money issues and organizational questions ruling most of the General Assemblies, while putting aside the reasons and frustrations that led to the occupation movement. This, inevitably, means schism between the ones who authorize and the ones who are here to participate.

We call for an open General Assembly for all.

We don’t ask permission from anyone to be imbued with that authority. We continue to learn from each other the possibilities of Direct Democracy.

Theses on Direct Democracy (open document):

Direct Democracy comes as a necessary imperative act that puts priority for a radical overthrow of the system of political representation, the State and the commercialization of everything. This social organism does not leave space for any kind of hierarchies, leaders, governors and political parties. It gives space to every individual to experience and practice politics and at the same time to be transformed within it. It is for all people, who experience the joy of personal initiative, of collective try, of solidarity, as well as, of love. All resources of our common life and the means to satisfy our common needs, cannot be but common, into the hands of society itself, which, with no need of any kind of mediation, decides an equal distribution of them, for all.

1. All space is open to everyone’s participation and it belongs to everybody.

2. The equal participation of everyone shapes the making of decisions, as well as the control of their application, both in the political and the economy field.

3. All necessary representations have strictly coordinating or executive nature and not mediating, representative or decisive character.

4. The existence of many local assemblies (in neighborhoods, municipalities, workplaces, schools of education, etc.) that communicate is the cornerstone of Direct Democracy. Participation in these assemblies is not occasional, but it is as responsible and regular as possible.

5. Communication between local assemblies creates a horizontal (non-hierarchical) network, which serves to coordinate the required theses and acts.

We want everything for everyone. We are history in motion.

Now is the time to overthrow all forms of authority.

11 November 2011

Inaugural Announcement

Direct democracy is used to describe the process and the unique character of our movement but we haven’t had any time to create substantive thoughts in that direction. The flux and the intensities of events have not allowed us a space, for thoughtful deliberative thinking on the importance of direct democracy.

There has been lots of actions but maybe we also need to think and shape future manifestations and activities of direct democracy.Working groups in OWS are developing further the concepts of direct democracy without being able to expand our experience and knowledge of what that means, although practicing it.

What we create here in this square and in many other squares around the world is not just an ephemeral experiment. What we do today is the birth of direct political participation, passion for social engagement and happiness, passion for direct involvement to the commons. It is clear that political representatives are not anymore capable to create the political circumstances and to make decisions in our account. It is obvious that they make decisions for the benefit of the 1%.

All of us with our every day life interactions we demand direct democracy and we establish ourselves together as one person beside another person in political participation.

This is a historical moment not only because it is beyond leaders and flags, but because we revolutionize our understandings of what politics is and what it can be. Direct democracy takes democracy out of the corporate offices and the economic negotiations and political elits and brings it back to our lives and engagement. It is up to us then to direct it.

Direct democracy working group invites everyone to direct the participation process and allow its further continuation and growth. Through connection and communication with other international working groups (for example Syntagma square in Athens and Indignandos in Spain) who are also discussing the concepts and understandings of direct democracy, we will expand our collective practices together.

2 November 2011