Direct democracy at work


This video shows modern direct democracy at work, and the importance of  consensus decision making. It is about the occupy wall street movement in New York. In the first couple of minutes, notes how the occupiers have bypassed the law forbidding them to use an amplification system in a public space: they have invented the human mike, complete with mike check!!  What do you think?


5 Responses to “Direct democracy at work”

  1. charlieeze2011 Says:

    In any struggle that involves extreme oppression where livelihood and wellbeing are at stake there is always an innate force that gives live to such movement. This force however becomes the core that empowers, directs and motivates the people who majorly are the ordinary people. When we look back to history, the walk to independence in India by Mahatma Gandhi had the force of non- violence imbedded in the heart of the struggle; that force also inspired Martin Luther King Junior who led the movement against segregation and enclosure from the white leadership in America. This force turned their cloths to armour and their feet to pillars; the only weapon they had against the wild dogs, horse wipes and military arsenals of the oppressor. Lately, the Arab spring movement witnessed how the social network created a revolution that could have taken the ancient world centuries of battles to achieve.
    Consequently, the Occupy Wall Street brought out the usefulness of PROCESS as the energy to pull together tiny voices into sounds which vibrates and reverberated through the skyscrapers to offices and homes all over the world on the need to redefine the mechanism of capitalism.
    PROCESS is the commons’ most potent weapon for self rule or direct democracy.

  2. ngoziokei Says:

    This video shows how direct democracy is at work and its importance of consensus decision making. One should take note of the occupy wall street movement that took place in New York. These American citizens (commons) had a process of partisipation, by making everybody to participate in different way or form. This process of democractic participation, by one crying voice and one mind involves the crowd provision of means, to reflect the issues that the commons are trying to create. The occupy wall street movement bypassed the law which forbids them to use an amplification system in a public space. This process of participation was carried out by the use of their different body languages/signs, use of large printed planker, human mike and their small voices, that sounded/echoed within the crowd then vibrated to the skyscrapers which sounded into the offices and homes. The occupy wall street participation process showed, how the commons honoured and respected each others point of view, despite human differences in nature. The occupy wall street participation process wants to have more responsibility and be empowered by going to their different communities, talking about the common issues that concerns them and partaking in the common decision along with the government plans. Every one was on board, working together and making the process a successfull one. This is their last cry, by saying they want to occupy everything.
    Also there was a America Awakening “Occupy Chicago”,which took place this last weekend, where 130 protesters were arrested.
    President Obama visited Las Vegas, Neveda to announce a series of action to help the economy, that will not require congressional approval. This will help homeowners with little or no equity in their homes to refinance their mortgages to avoid foreclosures. Lets hope this will solve the ongoing problem.
    Furthermore, the “Sidney Occupy”, took place, which there was no forcefull practical democracy carried out but the police were trying to stop the protesters.

  3. sebries Says:

    This video reminds me how incredible inventive and creative humans can be when it comes to democracy. Over ten years ago the Bougainville people celebrated similar success, but in larger scale, against the Papua New Guinea army and the mining company Rio Tinto Group. The Bougainville people created their own Bougainville Revolution Army and managed to overcome the Papua New Guinean army even though they were completed isolated from the outside world. Their community became completely self-sufficient by having their own agriculture and energy resource, coconut oil. The revolution was called: The Coconut Revolution, because they used coconut oil as fuel and energy source. This “world’s first successful eco-revolution” and multi award winning documentary by Dom Rothero can be found online.

  4. richardlevell Says:

    I actually find this video quite emotional. It does something strange to me when I see people unifying for a common cause, let alone against something that has underpinned modern day society in the global north for so long and certainly for the whole of my life time.
    The manner in which they have overcome the amplifier difficulties and the way in which they organise themselves truly does show me what is incredible about mankind. I find it exciting and inspirational when I see movements such as this and hope that at some point a movement like this will gain such momentum it will overcome the cynicism and disillusionment of the critics to ultimately change things for the better.
    I, like many British people of my generation and the generation previous, were truly inspired by the LiveAid/Live8 movement. This touched the hearts of many people throughout the UK and the rest of the world as it was powerful for individuals that were in the comfortable positions that we were to understand that this was not the lifestyle that was experienced by others around the world.
    The LiveAid movement was heavily criticised and a dialogue of its critics over powered the positive messages of this campaign. Natalie Rothschild’s article, ‘Live Aid: the White Pop Star’s Burden’, discusses the patronising and egotistical view that underpinned this movement that has ultimately been detrimental to world relationships as it has “helped to perpetuate an image of Africans and others in poor parts of the world as being in a permanent state of helplessness”.
    Although a lot of the critiques of this movement are on the large part true, as it is naïve to think that global issues can be resolved by a ‘gooddoer ‘ from the global north vocalising that they care or even large numbers of people coming together to donate money, there still has to be something to say in a positive regard about a coming together of minds against something that is fundamentally wrong.
    It was wrong that at the time the global north were living very comfortable lives while some in the global south did not have access to basic entitlements such as food. I believe that the organisers of an event like this saw this injustice and did the only thing they could to try and make a difference. An estimated three billion people watched Live8. This is an incredible amount of people to be involved in such a movement and all in agreement that the world as it was at that time was an unbalanced place that needed to be changed. Regardless of all the critiques and misdemeanours of this campaign it was an incredible achievement to make so many people come to unify against something which is fundamentally unjust.
    A major flaw in the Live Aid movement as I can see it was that the dialogue was not continued. So many people were all in agreement with the cause but there was no debate on how this many people could take action against this injustice. I know from attending the Live8 concert myself that the impetus was taken away from this shared compassion due to the London bombing coincidently happening within such a close timeframe.
    Similar critiques are developing now regarding the Occupy Wall Street campaign. An article entitled Occupy Hedonism attacks this protest as ‘wallowing in a nihilistic stew of pity and self-doubt’, ‘more interested in the struggle than actually effecting change’ and it is as if ‘being part of something seems to be more a goal than solving anything’. I agree with many of the critics in that this campaign is claiming to speak for the 99% when quite clearly the 99% does not all agree with their cause nor need to be spoken on behalf of. I also agree that again there is a simplistic underpinning to this movement that is not acknowledging the might of the global forces which they are at odds with. I do however feel that we need change and until ‘free speech’ and ‘direct democracy’ have an opportunity to play out in their entirety will never know how powerful the peoples’ movement can potentially be. We have seen all over the world over recent months that the power of the people cannot be underestimated and uprising of the people can ultimately instigate change. The author of the ‘Occupy Hedonism’ article states that “speech without purpose is an exercise in futility”; I however disagree. I firstly do not believe that the voice of this campaign lacks purpose as the campaign is quite clear on outlining their want for change, I believe that what this campaign lacks is practical solutions. Secondly I do not believe that a campaign that lacks practical solutions is an ‘exercise in futility’ as it is only through this dialogue that practical applications towards positive change can be developed.
    This is where I hope the Occupy Wall Street campaign may be more robust than the Live Aid movement. This movement is already implementing process to perpetuate the dialogue. I believe that it is only by developing systems in these early stages of mass enthusiasm for the cause that true change will ever be achieved long term. While there is so much passion and excitement for change it should be harnessed as used to establish process that will ensure its longevity.

  5. richardlevell Says:

    Sorry I thought I had found a way of maiking hyperlinks within my comment;

    ‘Live Aid: the White Pop Star’s Burden’ =

    ‘Occupy Hedonism’ =

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: