Some Advice for People Attending Occupy Toronto’s “Activist Training Weekend”

If you have a chance, please make sure you watch this video before you head off to the Marxist/Leninist/Trotskyist Steelworker’s hall this weekend, it may be valuable to use some of your time to watch this video first.

Remember, if anything doesn’t make sense, make sure you ask questions! You may also want to read the Activist Post’s article on Combating the Delphi Technique and Occupy Infiltration while you are at it. Then watch the 5% at work, and have a great weekend!


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  1. That article is complete nonsense.

    Seriously, the GA process is crippling Occupy? Give me a break. The GA process is a *fundamental* part of Occupy, and what helped it gain the momentum and attention it currently has. It doesn’t paralyze the movement; that claim stems from a misunderstanding of the role Occupy should play in our society.

    “Much like the general society, individuals who express dissenting views are marginalized, harassed, and demeaned until the entire group is coerced to accept the agenda as it was originally presented by the facilitator.”

    This does not come CLOSE to how the GA process is supposed to work, or *has* worked (at least for me locally). Completely inaccurate. The facilitator simply facilitates discussion, they don’t control it completely. In my GA’s they aren’t even allowed to vote. An oligarchy is the exact opposite of Occupy in it’s current form; decision making in a horizontal, non-hierarchical manner, using consensus-based methods. The entire purpose of the GA was to ensure the movement would reflect the will of those that participate in it. Inclusion was one of Occupy’s core principals from the start, to ensure a select few individuals couldn’t assert control over the movement. As far as I can tell, it has worked beautifully. The problems with inactivity are due to something entirely separate, and are not a result of the GA process.

    “Something based on the traditional Robert’s Rules of Order would no doubt be preferable to the Soviet-style paralysis and misdirection provided by the General Assembly.”

    The use of the term “Soviet-style” makes the authors intent to mislead all too clear. There’s nothing soviet-style about this, that’s nothing but pandering to the misinformed and prejudiced. Roberts Rules of Order and similar organizing structures are what got our current NGO’s where they are today, is that what we really want Occupy to become? Just another NGO? Ironic that this author seems to oppose other NGO’s and yet support adopting their structure in the same breath.

    It’s certainly well-advised to stay informed about things like the Delphi technique, but the rest of this article is complete nonsense.

  2. The rest of the article is 1 paragraph. I think you doth protest too much…

    That said, I totally agree with you about moving to Robert’s rules of order- we’d actually get something done that way! What a lovely change that would be!

    1. Sorry, but are you responding to me here?
      I’m not sure what you mean about “the rest” of the article being 1 paragraph. I was referring to the Activist Post article in my comment, “Combating the Delphi Technique and Occupy Infiltration”. Sorry if that was unclear. It’s definitely a lot longer than 1 paragraph….. and I only quoted tiny pieces of it.

      Additionally, I don’t support using Roberts rules of order. Consensus has been one of Occupy’s core principles right from the start. It ensures the group truly speaks for the participants involved. Allowing a majority to make a decision for the whole would make the movement vastly easier to co-opt, for example. I can’t think of any good reason to adopt Robert’s Rules, the consensus-based GA process is basically all we have going for us as a group.

  3. This is not what the training weekend was like at all. At least not the sessions I went to. Polar opposite in fact.

    1. I’ve heard that from a couple other people to- great news! That said, it sure sounds like they were getting people ready to participate in something where they don’t totally understand what the impact of their actions will be…

    • Seriously? on April 24, 2012 at 14:59
    • Reply

    hmm roberts rules. How deliciously capitalist of you lol

    1. Well, the current system isn’t working very well, is it…

    • Seriously? on April 25, 2012 at 12:08
    • Reply

    Nope. If consensus/leaderless systems worked well we would use them everywhere. But they don’t and I’m always amused when activists that see this as some sort of social nirvana realize this. It’s particularly amusing when it happens to anarchists lol

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