“Dear Occupy Wall Street Protesters”
Stay leaderless and anonymous. It appeared at first that not having a leader, a single face people could relate to, would be your fatal flaw. Now it seems to be the mark of your collective genius. The media would pounce on a leader, or leaders, and reduce your entire movement to a life story, a personality. Now they have nothing to grasp but your ideas, and your outrage. Then, too, leaders can be flattered, rewarded, ego-gratified and tamed. Once someone who speaks for you appears (gulp) on the cover of a national magazine, you’re done for.
Don’t give them any kind of story. They’re waiting for it. They’re waiting for the guy who throws the rock, the girl who overdoses, the person who dies suddenly, mysteriously while camping out. Stay controlled. If the unfortunate or tragic thing happens, move on quickly with something dramatic and serious.
Be inclusive. Protest the government’s indifference to the physical and mental health problems and the often-vulnerable financial circumstances of returning veterans. Cry out against the callousness toward the first responders to the Twin Towers on 9/11. Embrace everyone hurt by the greedheads and their political enablers.
Keep your nature mercurial. Drop leaflets off the top of Trump Tower. March (I love you for wanting to do this) on the millionaires’ (billionaires is more like it) homes. Have some real people with real stories—perhaps their faces covered with black hoods as though they were in government custody; you get the idea—tell their heartbreaking tales of losing their homes, their jobs, their uninsured loved ones to illness. Go faster than the nanosecond news cycle. You will drive the News Brain insane.
Come up with a slogan a day. Something like (forgive my forwardness) “No representation without taxation.” Increase and diversify the velocity of your messages to a maddening pace.
- That’s Lee Siegel, writing on the Beast, with a handful of advice for how Occupy Wall Street can avoid cooptation.