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Occupy Wall Street Didn't Have "Founders."

Ecosystem, not Egosystem

The Occupied Wall Street Journal ceased publishing in May 2012, and used its remaining resources to help launch additional publications; including Tidal Magazine, the spanish-language Indignacion, and Metroccupied, with a final (significant) grant to The Indypendent.


Because the Occupied Wall Street Journal was itself a participation in a participatory movement. It wasn't "founded" to represent that movement, but build it. If it had become personal property, it would have defeated the purpose.

Thousands of contributors made it possible for an autonomous media to reach literally millions of people. But it didn't make those of us producing it into the spokespeople of this movement or the political leaders of it by virtue of our good timing (and hard work).

Occupy as a basic concept is about engaging the world, not making claims on it. Especially not property or other entitlement claims to the work of other people. As Cornel West put it: "Occupy is leaderless and leaderful."

Occupy Wall Street didn't have "founders."

Occupy rejected self-appointed brokers, who sought to make themselves necessary when they really weren't.

No doubt some people engaged in all sorts of self-promotion, and may even believe their own claims.

With all thanks for a call, it was the people who gave OWS and Occupy Oakland and the dozens of other encampments a life of their own. The magic of a global political event is not the special claim of any political mafia. Not that some didn't try. It just didn't work. Making such claims after-the-fact is weird, historically incorrect and a sordid playpen for opportunists and narcissists — and the lazy journalists who fall for it.

OWS-related media properties aren't anyone's personal property. And if that's what they are, they have the wrong name and should close.

It's okay to close. And make something new.

The best part is: anyone claiming to be a leader is pretty much only trying to make a career for themselves. And if they are leaders: they should make a call and see who answers. Self-promotion might work for opportunists — but it has pretty much nothing to do with political leadership.



The above was originally posted by The Occupied Wall Street Journal on a prominent social networking site.

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