How The 5% Hijacked Occupy Toronto (And how they’re 100% illegitimate)

Take me to Cloud Gardens!

There are a group of people who have been trying to wrestle control of Occupy Toronto from since the beginning- I’ve already referred to them as “the 5%”. It could be possible to argue that they are the people who kick-started the movement, but that would be unfair to the 95% of Toronto’s Occupiers who came with good intentions…

They are led by Dave Vasey– someone who one Occupier referred to as ‘the king’ of OT. This is rather funny for a leaderless organization- dark humour though, as it is most obviously true. Dave has even tried to argue this directly speaking with me. Dave reports to Judy Rebick– a woman who seemingly leads the higher-ups of OT’s Black Bloc contingent. Judy also appears to lead the 5%, who parrot out her politics.

The hijacking of OT began on the night that Alex Hundert showed up to block me from entering the GA. By keeping me out of the GA they made it impossible for me to block the amendments I knew would be bad for the organization- their plan seems to have worked- because, now, the optics are that OT is under their control.

Then, three weeks ago, there was another ‘dodgy’ GA. And guess who showed up that night- our good friend Alex Hundert! At this meeting the 5% came with a document that included a laundry list of new proposals. Curiously, they wanted to force through the document as a single new proposal. The meeting was a very rocky one…

Alex Hundert blocking the entrance to the GA

The hijacker’s proposal was to start an ‘alternative GA’ every Monday that would run under different rules:

1. Consensus building process and 90% Decision making structure
2. All participants abide by a safe space agreement
3. If participants’ behaviour breaks the safe space agreement they will not be allowed to participate
4. The GA will be facilitated by trained volunteer facilitators
5. Proposals will be submitted at least 24 hours in advance

If you read carefully, you will see that these new rules posed the perfect opportunity for Judy Rebick’s 5% to take and keep control over the new meeting. 90% consensus meant that they could always stack-the deck with enough people to overcome objections to their proposals, the ‘safe space’ agreement meant that they can eject people who they don’t want to attend, the required training for facilitators means they can control who runs a meeting.

And, finally, by requiring 24 hours notice of new proposals, they could make sure they are able to stack the deck with participants for any proposals that counter the direction they want to hold.

The stage was set for the perfect hijacking, except for one major problem. The vote would never pass consensus- despite the fact they stacked the deck by filling the room with new people. The final count was 18 for the amendment and 7 against.

Regardless, the new GA went-on, and the 5% began leading the vote for all of their initiatives that had been blocked in previous months. The represent themselves to  the world as “Occupy Toronto” and don’t make disclaimers in their announcements that they come from the alternate GA. So, the optics are there- even if they are 100% illegitimate.

One big question remains. Will the old GA stand-up and do something about this, or will they sit-back and watch all of their hard work get washed down the drain as Judy Rebick and her NDP stooges take over their movement? Time will tell…

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