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    Primary Jewish #OWS Organizer – Lack of Structure At OWS Allows Non-Anti-Semites To Participate

    Primary Jewish #OWS Organizer – Lack of Structure At OWS Allows Non-Anti-Semites To Participate

    #OWS’s policy of having  no set views has its advantages. They can include all manner of extremists and unsavory characters while preserving plausible deniability when taken to task for their relationship with such socially-unacceptable figures.

    Daniel Sieradski, #OWS’s main Jewish organizer, last seen thinking up new ways to appropriate Jewish rituals for a movement that, diverse as its supporters may be, was founded by an anti-semite around anti-semitic tropes, to the glee of the American Nazi Party, Iran, and other noted friends of the Jewish people, accidentally admitted that things may be far worse than that.

    The NewsBeast’s Michelle Goldberg (in the Jewish publication The Tablet), writes:

    Occupy Wall Street, as you’ve surely learned by now, is organized, for lack of a better word, around non-hierarchical principles derived from anarchist thought. Decisions are made by consensus during interminable general assembly meetings, in which anyone can participate….

    This do-it-yourself ethos has been a boon to Jewish activists, among others. One of the most iconic moments of the occupation came when as many as a thousand Jews gathered at the park on October 7 for an open-air Kol Nidre service, organized by Daniel Sieradski, the founder of the progressive blog Jewschool.com and a self-described “rabble rouser in the Jewish community.” “The whole thing is an anarchistic affair, so any affinity group that has an action is welcome to come and do their action,” he said.

    “Clearly there’s been tension for the last couple of decades between Jews who identify as supporters of Israel and the radical left that views Zionism as an extension of American imperialism,” said Sieradski. But groups like  ANSWER aren’t running things at Occupy Wall Street—no one is. For progressive Jews, that’s opened up new room for involvement.

    The usual rogues gallery present at leftist protests that Sierdaski and Goldberg rightfully bemoan – Stalinist, anti-semitic ANSWER included – are part of the #OWS movement, but no one in particular is in charge. Goldberg and Sierdaski credit this system for left-wing Jews being able to be a part of #OWS.

    The Tea Party had some problems of its own early on due to decentralization and lack of hierarchy, but managed to work through them and police itself.  #OWS’s non-hierarchical nature is not a defense against the fact that it tolerates extremists in its midst.  #OWS’s organizational structure was not handed down from on high.  Its creators and members chose it, and are responsible for whatever drawbacks it may have.  Disturbingly, though, it may be that this organizing method is not what is keeping a mainstream group from excluding extremists, but what is keeping extremists from taking over completely.

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    LukeHandCool | October 31, 2011 at 12:20 pm

    Speaking of plausible deniability, we have a president who will inject himself into a minor local story concerning a white police officer and a black professor and jump the gun as self-appointed judge and jury … yet he won’t condemn numerous expressions of anti-Semitism by protesters he embraces. There are viral videos aplenty, yet he pretends not to be aware.

    His silence is deafening. There is no plausible deniability there. He’s a disgrace. A dangerous disgrace.

    “Decisions are made by consensus during interminable general assembly meetings, in which anyone can participate…”

    Wow! Are they an anarcho-syndicalist commune?

    Hey, Dennis! There’s some lovely filth down here!

    The various extremists are going to be running the show (merely by volume) until the Press actually gets off the sidelines and actually starts doing their job investigating WHO is present at these rallies. The press is choosing not to do that in order to make the #OWS seem larger than it actually is, because as soon as the Radicals are revealed, the movement will collapse from lack of support. It’s one of the reasons I don’t pay for news coverage any more. I’ve decided to vote with my dollars not to support a business which is going to purposefully skew the truth while telling me that “they’re just reporting what actually happened.

    The vilification of the TEA Partiers at their protests did have one big benefit. It allowed the TEA Partiers to identify and drive out the Radicals who would have commandeered it for their own uses (like the Nazi party, KKK or the Anarchist Libertarians). The TEA Party groups can say “hey, these people showed up, and we told them ‘get out'” (regardless of if the press actually decides to report on that fact). It also allowed the TEA Party to identify those elements who were attempting to sabotage the TEA Party by infiltration and then self-exposure.

    The longer the #OWS movement goes without this same cleansing, the more painful and destructive it will be to the organization when it happens. I think that they’re hoping to get to a critical mass before it happens so they won’t implode, but I’m pretty sure they can’t actually get there from where they are.


       
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      RKae in reply to Chuck Skinner. | October 31, 2011 at 2:55 pm

      Oh, I saw a guy getting ejected from Occupy Portland. He had a sign that read “You Still Need Jesus.” He was surrounded by people with quickly-scrawled “Hail Satan” signs, shouted out of the park and followed down the street until he was long gone.

      So, yes, they do a bit of “cleansing” every now and then.

      (It’s on YouTube. Shouldn’t be to tough to find.)

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