• Flattr FoI: 
Falkvinge &Co. on Infopolicy
BEFORE-FALKVINGE-IF-ANY FALKVINGE &CO. ON
INFOPOLICY
Falkvinge on Infopolicy - Home
»
Photo of a man putting up the peace sign in front of the Occupy Wall Street crowd.

This is What Democracy Looks Like

6

Activism – Zacqary Adam Xeper

Activism – Zacqary Adam Xeper

On the day the occupation of Wall Street began, one chant from the crowd stood out for me: “This is what democracy looks like!” In six simple words, it summed up what this revolutionary action was all about.

I’ve been to protests and rallies before. They’ve all amounted to sound and fury signifying nothing: an energized crowd screaming at the top of their lungs about an issue, patting one another on the back for being there, and never achieving anything more than annoying their targets and unsympathetic bystanders. But when I saw Adbusters’ initial call to occupy lower Manhattan, I knew it wasn’t going to be just a protest.

It began at Bowling Green Park with a standard gathering of sign-wielding, slogan-chanting indignants, bellowing inspirational speeches through megaphones from atop stone steps. An energizing and empowering two-and-a-half hours, which, if it were any standard protest, would have just petered out afterwards with all that energy left floating aimlessly, nowhere to go. But the occupation of Wall Street was never a protest. It was an assembly.

We took that momentum from our chanting and shouting, and harnessed it immediately, marching to nearby Zuccotti Park for a people’s general assembly. Everyone gathered together in this public square, formed small groups, and talked. We talked about why we were angry with our government and the financial industries that had corrupted them. We discussed what we believed could fix all of these problems, and what we should demand from the powers-that-be before we would end our occupation.

Later that night, the groups converged into one large mass, for a group discussion facilitated — not led — by several volunteers. We communicated with a peculiar “people’s megaphone” system of call-and-response; a speaker would say a sentence, and everyone nearby would repeat it loudly so that the entire group could hear. Individuals took turns speaking and bringing up proposals, with the facilitators taking occasional straw polls to see where the group was leaning.

After one day, the only consensus formed seemed to be around logistical issues: where would the group sleep that night, what would we be doing about getting food and blankets for everybody, etcetera. The ideological goal remained a broad swath of calls for economic justice for the time being. But the fact that we — a group of active, participating citizens in the United States of Apathy — had even taken that first step to come together in public and have such a discussion was momentous.

This was not a political forum sponsored and organized by a party. This was a gathering of people who no longer wanted to be mere taxpayers and voters, but citizens. An acknowledgement that it’s not enough to just check off a name on a ballot and hope that everything turns out okay. And based on this one idea — that it should be people, not money and corruption, in control of society — a swarm came together in lower Manhattan to make it happen. We got up from our computers and took to the streets to make real democracy happen.

And it’s still happening. It’s messy, chaotic, sometimes frustrating, and yet always empowering. This is what democracy looks like: a swarm of people, in it for the long haul, working together for a better world.

You've read the whole article. Why not subscribe to the RSS flow using your favorite reader, or even have articles delivered by mail?

About The Author: Zacqary Adam Xeper

Zacqary is an activist in the New York Pirate Party, where his official title is "Cat Herder." He is an open source game developer, and the Chief Executive Plankhead of Plankhead, a free culture arts collective. Despite believing that money is a superfluous social construct, he has a Gittip profile.

Liked This?

TRANSLATIONS AVAILABLE
This article is also available in other languages: Russian.

By participating in the discussion and posting here, you are placing your contribution in the public domain (CC0). If you are quoting somebody else, credit them.

Contributors take own responsibility for their comments.

6

  1. […] Continue reading at Falkvinge&Co on Infopolicy /* […]

  2. 2

    Looks like citizens demand real change.

  3. 3
    Bonk!

    No.! Looks like citizens demand free lunches.

    • 3.1

      Incidentally, yes, the local Food Not Bombs chapter is providing free food for all the participants. But nobody demanded that, they just went ahead and did it.

    • 3.2
      Scary Devil Monastery

      And once again you prove you haven’t even read either the article or the sources.

      May I ask just in what fevered recess of what passes for your mind you came to the conclusion that an antiglobalization/anticorruption rally equates a call for a free lunch?

      Oh wait. Reason is moot, the one who posted this article did so on Rick’s blog which was enough for you to fly off the handle.

      When a monkey flings poo at random it can be understood. When you do the same the first thing to consider is that you most likely aren’t a monkey.

  4. […] här protesten skiljer sig lite från den typer av protester vi är vana vid att se i västvärlden och har inspirerats av den arabiska […]

Add a Comment

On Facebook

Popular Articles

More in Activism

33

Activism – Nozomi Hayase

Activism – Nozomi Hayase

threwitontheground
19

Activism – Travis McCrea

Activism – Travis McCrea

agenda with pen
12

Activism – Rick Falkvinge

Activism – Rick Falkvinge

Books
21

Activism – Rick Falkvinge

Activism – Rick Falkvinge

Broken dictionary - CC photo by Flickr user eliajphilips
22

Activism – Zacqary Adam Xeper

Activism – Zacqary Adam Xeper

cheerse
11

Activism – Travis McCrea

Activism – Travis McCrea

paypalevil
21

Activism – Travis McCrea

Activism – Travis McCrea

Border Patrol In Montana
26

Activism – Travis McCrea

Activism – Travis McCrea

euro banknotes
39

Activism – Rick Falkvinge

Activism – Rick Falkvinge

Other Recent Headlines

Swarmwise in Czech
19

Swarm Management – Rick Falkvinge

Swarm Management – Rick Falkvinge

Earth view taken by US Astronaut Terry Virts, Flight Engineer for Expedition 42 on the International Space Station Jan. 30, 2015 by NASA/Terry Virts.
16

Civil Liberties – Nozomi Hayase

Civil Liberties – Nozomi Hayase

Image of padlock
26

Civil Liberties – Rick Falkvinge

Civil Liberties – Rick Falkvinge

941938_76589276
11

Copyright Monopoly – Rick Falkvinge

Copyright Monopoly – Rick Falkvinge

error451
3

Copyright Monopoly – Martin Doucha

Copyright Monopoly – Martin Doucha

https://www.flickr.com/photos/btckeychain/9510887345/in/photostream/
15

Cryptocurrency – Nozomi Hayase

Cryptocurrency – Nozomi Hayase

Putin-dancing-lighter
76

Europe – Rick Falkvinge

Europe – Rick Falkvinge

Printing Press
53

Freedom of Speech – Zacqary Adam Xeper

Freedom of Speech – Zacqary Adam Xeper

Bitcoin concept
13

Cryptocurrency – Nozomi Hayase

Cryptocurrency – Nozomi Hayase

Bitcoin concept
11

Civil Liberties – Rick Falkvinge

Civil Liberties – Rick Falkvinge

liberator
8

Civil Liberties – Christian Engström

Civil Liberties – Christian Engström

Open water - Photo by Flickr user elisfanclub
14

Reflections – Zacqary Adam Xeper

Reflections – Zacqary Adam Xeper

About The Author

Zacqary is an activist in the New York Pirate Party, where his official title is "Cat Herder." He is an open source game developer, and the Chief Executive Plankhead of Plankhead, a free culture arts collective. Despite believing that money is a superfluous social construct, he has a Gittip profile.

More On Infopolicy

handcuffs
32

Quality Legislation – Zacqary Adam Xeper

Quality Legislation – Zacqary Adam Xeper

US Capitol Buildings
23

Quality Legislation – Nozomi Hayase

Quality Legislation – Nozomi Hayase

Bitcoin concept
14

Cryptocurrency – Nozomi Hayase

Cryptocurrency – Nozomi Hayase

PyramidCapital
33

Diversity – Zacqary Adam Xeper

Diversity – Zacqary Adam Xeper

Bitcoin. Photo by Antana.
27

Cryptocurrency – Rick Falkvinge

Cryptocurrency – Rick Falkvinge

Money cut into pieces - Photo by Flickr user Tax Credits
86

Swarm Economy – Zacqary Adam Xeper

Swarm Economy – Zacqary Adam Xeper

Adobe the leech - original photo by OakleyOriginals on Flickr
177

Swarm Economy – Zacqary Adam Xeper

Swarm Economy – Zacqary Adam Xeper

peter_sunde_0237
14

Swarm Economy – Lionel Dricot

Swarm Economy – Lionel Dricot

solarroad
16

Swarm Economy – Zacqary Adam Xeper

Swarm Economy – Zacqary Adam Xeper

Red Square, Moscow
7

Privacy – Rick Falkvinge

Privacy – Rick Falkvinge

Dice
22

Privacy – Rick Falkvinge

Privacy – Rick Falkvinge

NSA Seal Holding the Heartbleed Logo
40

Infrastructure – Zacqary Adam Xeper

Infrastructure – Zacqary Adam Xeper

Hourglass
21

Copyright Monopoly – Rick Falkvinge

Copyright Monopoly – Rick Falkvinge

U.S. President Nixon looking through binoculars. Photo courtesy of NASA.
19

Privacy – Rick Falkvinge

Privacy – Rick Falkvinge

Code tumblers with the code 1-2-3-4-5. The kind of code an idiot would have on their luggage (homage to Spaceballs). Render by Falkvinge.
43

Cryptocurrency – Rick Falkvinge

Cryptocurrency – Rick Falkvinge

Bitcoin concept by Antanacoins. CC-By-SA, Flickr.
44

Cryptocurrency – Charlie Shrem

Cryptocurrency – Charlie Shrem

simple combination keycode
139

Cryptocurrency – Rick Falkvinge

Cryptocurrency – Rick Falkvinge

ThreeInterlockedCogs
35

Cryptocurrency – Rick Falkvinge

Cryptocurrency – Rick Falkvinge

Bottles of Snake Oil - Photo by Jagrap on Flickr
30

Copyright Monopoly – Zacqary Adam Xeper

Copyright Monopoly – Zacqary Adam Xeper

Frozen Waterfall
142

Cryptocurrency – Rick Falkvinge

Cryptocurrency – Rick Falkvinge

Soccer sports ball
28

Copyright Monopoly – Rick Falkvinge

Copyright Monopoly – Rick Falkvinge

A scheisseload of US Dollars
43

Cryptocurrency – Rick Falkvinge

Cryptocurrency – Rick Falkvinge

facebook
12

Swarm Economy – Zacqary Adam Xeper

Swarm Economy – Zacqary Adam Xeper

file000922833099
25

Infrastructure – Rick Falkvinge

Infrastructure – Rick Falkvinge

CCTV Cameras
18

Copyright Monopoly – Rick Falkvinge

Copyright Monopoly – Rick Falkvinge

Open hard disk
54

Copyright Monopoly – Rick Falkvinge

Copyright Monopoly – Rick Falkvinge

1183862_16999973
44

Copyright Monopoly – Rick Falkvinge

Copyright Monopoly – Rick Falkvinge

523377_63619557
4

Infopolicy – Henrik Brändén

Infopolicy – Henrik Brändén

Roses-on-coffin-by-blmurch-at-flickr-CCBY
108

Infopolicy – Rick Falkvinge

Infopolicy – Rick Falkvinge

photo_10071_20090418-646x363
71

Copyright Monopoly – David Collier-Brown

Copyright Monopoly – David Collier-Brown

National_Security_Agency_headquarters,_Fort_Meade,_Maryland_public_domain_image
160

Infopolicy – Christian Engström

Infopolicy – Christian Engström

"God Hates Signs" next to "God Hates Fags" protesters
8

Freedom of Speech – Zacqary Adam Xeper

Freedom of Speech – Zacqary Adam Xeper

Many different currencies - CC photo by epSos.de
46

Diversity – Zacqary Adam Xeper

Diversity – Zacqary Adam Xeper

le_tresor_rackham_le_rouge_1280x1024
12

Copyright Monopoly – Lionel Dricot

Copyright Monopoly – Lionel Dricot

Valve mechanism
97

Freedom of Speech – Rick Falkvinge

Freedom of Speech – Rick Falkvinge

Books before copyright
100

Copyright Monopoly – Johnny Olsson

Copyright Monopoly – Johnny Olsson

euro banknotes
72

Copyright Monopoly – Rick Falkvinge

Copyright Monopoly – Rick Falkvinge

Bitcoin render by cybrbeast
77

Swarm Economy – Rick Falkvinge

Swarm Economy – Rick Falkvinge

This publication is protected under the Constitution of the Kingdom of Sweden. Any problem you have with this publication remains exclusively yours. Accountable publisher: Rick Falkvinge.
All text on this site is Public Domain / CC0 unless specifically noted and credited otherwise. Copy, remix, and inspire. (Troll policy.)
Log in | Original theme design by Gabfire themes (heavily modified)