Perrierberet at Occupy Wall Street

An experiment in rural journalism

Dealing With Disruption

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CHINATOWN–When efforts to implement a governing structure within Occupy Wall Street faltered Wednesday night, organizers took matters into their own hands.

A proposed measure aimed at establishing guidelines to remove disruptive elements from the movement failed to garner support from opponents who said criteria defining improper behavior must be decided first. Despite the impasse on the issue, a man who aroused the ire of fellow occupiers through his display of a cardboard sign referencing “Aryan” pride which offended fellow occupiers resulting in his ejection from the meeting of the Occupy Wall Street Spokes Council.

Film maker Michael Moore, who was present, said it was an “ironic” development considering the proposal had met such strong resistance just minutes before.

“As soon as we tabled it someone who was disruptive at the meeting with a bigoted sign was properly removed,” Moore said to activists outside the meeting. “We actually just did what we said we didn’t want to decide on yet.”

The council intends to streamline the operations of the movement for social and economic justice by bringing together in one forum representatives from Occupy Wall Street working groups. But efforts at efficiency struggled to gain traction as not just the man garnered negative attention.

One woman who charged that the proposed measure lacked proper input from racial minorities challenged the patience of fellow occupiers who said she was speaking out of turn. Liza Savater, 45, who was facilitating the meeting said the woman is known as the “trigger” who sparked past controversy within the council.

She added that the movement should only exclude controversial participants from Occupy activities under extreme circumstances. How occupiers decide to proceed with addressing those who seem undermine its message and efficacy will define the future course of movement.

“There’s a lot of dynamics which happen in groups,” she said. “If we don’t work them out now we won’t be here a year from now.”


Written by Zach E.J. Williams

December 22, 2011 at 1:30 pm

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