Occupy Cafe is launching a systematic inquiry into the evolution of the #Occupy movement.  

NOTE: This discussion was part of "Round 1" of our inquiry and is now closed.  Our conversation continues with our "Round 2" thread here.  And help us harvest more from this round here.

The questions below were taken up during a Cafe Call on 11/15.  Participants in that call, as well as subsequent readers of this thread, posted their reflections here and then continued the conversation.

We are now pausing for a "harvesting phase," where we "listen together" and reflect on what has been said.  There is a discussion thread in our "Harvesting" group here, where we can share what we have gleaned.  Please join us in this collective meaning-making process.

Below is the post that initiated this conversation:

I first heard the term "Occupy 2.0" from Walt Roberts a couple of days ago, as he anticipated the dismantling of Occupy Portland where he has been active.  Occupy Cafe is launching an inquiry starting today into the question of what this might look like.  We plan to collectively craft a vision, or set of visions for the future of this movement as an offering of support to all those who have fought so hard thus far.  

To all those brave souls in the encampments: you have already succeeding in radically changing the dialogue in this country and around the world and our thanks and gratitude and admiration go out to you.  What might be possible now?

We begin with this inquiry:

  • What are the most positive things you have experienced emerging from Occupy 1.0?
  • What are the dilemmas/opportunities in the current situation of the Occupy Movement?
  • What question, if answered, might make the greatest difference in the development of an effective response to the clearing of so many #Occupy sites?  


Ben Roberts,

Occupy Cafe Steward

Views: 1859

Replies are closed for this discussion.

Replies to This Discussion


Exactly.  Through Sovereign weath funds with a dividend  provision, exactly that could and should be done.  ..funding of alternative energy projects and technologies from any and all oil revenues..  At present most soverign funds. inlcuding Alaska are invested in thing we woul most likely all support a campaign of divestment from.  Norways fund is doing extremely well however and they have a very strcict social resposnibility policy as well as a sound investment stratgey.(They just divested Freddie Mac). If you have a chance more on how sovereign wealth funds are a way to derive benefit from the commons for every person without directly confronting the issue of the commons.  As you know the moral/legal  foundation for these funds is the commons.

I also agree that a different stratgey is superior for oil ..removing all encouragements and subsidies that perpetuate oil reliance and shifting them toward alternative renewable energy,    Welath Funds though can be based on other resources..New Mexico's is  mainly on leases and other revenue.

While Soveerign Welath Funds might be the most immediately feasible strategy for the public to directly share in revenue from the commons, I think it is also important to bring the remembrance of commons to the fore in public dilaog and conversation.  It is through "remembrance" of the ancient tradition of the commons that  the public demands will become "wholistica"..David Eggleton's wonderful word for an economy that is thriveable, that includes stewardship for the future , for each other and for our planet. 

I am sure you are aware that the governor of Ohio is allowing oil extraction in public Parks  and that is a centerpiece stratgey for the plutonomy.  That Ohio is already doing that ( Their Governor received huge anounts from the oil industry for his campaign) affords a clear and publicly visible opportunity to bring a discussion of the commons back into the fore.


Look forward to your return.  Happy Thnaksgiving.

Alanas post finally came through..not sure why I couldn't see it before.

A fascinating point and in my pst below on sovereign wealth funds I do not at all imply we shouldn't revisit the issue of the commons  in fact that iis a radical cre change..a radical cahllenege for us here to renvision the relationship between the people, the government, private interests and all natural resources.

All democracies for all time began from a huge income inequlaity and din't seek to change or address that.  Our consituion, our declaration  of independence do not sepak "the commons" not not carry that ancient ancient tradition forward into modern times.

I think "the comons" should be s a core ocnversation here.  And Aalna sounds like a likely leader if she is willing?


Just a foot note..Zucotti park is a private park..not a  public park.

Hi Lindsay. Yes, claiming the commons is the basis for economic democracy. You propose I start a conversation on the commons? What is the best way to do so, as I just got onto Occupy Cafe during the past 24 hours.

I will next have to read your Sovereign Wealth Funds post.

Re. your comment on Zucotti private park, that is also an interesting focus, to consider by what rights Zucotti enclosed the commons as a private park. Whether public or private land, fundamentally all gifts of nature are commons.

Am now uploading Claiming the Commons, also found in Publications/Articles section of www.earthrights.net, one of our Earth Rights INstitute websites

. Also note Land Rights course at www.course.earthrights.net now has nearly 700 enrolled from 90 countries.


I'm a little unsure myself..I think any member can start a discussion by framing a title.  I will join you there..this is a critically important idea to explore and sort  out. 

I am so glad to encounter someoene here with the depth you obviously have in this ancient tradition.

Befo e you farme your question for the discussion here, I encourage you to read Aerin Dunford's inspiring essay, Hablamos De La Communalidad". (both a blog here and a full essay at the website of the Berkana Intsitute..I will try to find the link for you) The ancient traditions she points to include am eternal idea of "the commons"

So looking forward to exploring this further with you and others here at the Occupy Cafe.


Lindsay - I am traveling in California for next two weeks, so perhaps can launch this thereafter. I look forward to reading Hablamos de la Communalidad. Meanwhile, comments on my piece on Claiming the Commons welcome.

I love, Alanna, that you're bringing up the matter/topic/frame of the commons.

Indeed, this blog post by a committed, serious anarchist framing Occupy Phi... is probably the most inspiring thing I've read thus far about the whole Occupy Process.


Alanna, if you wanted to start a Commons conversation, you could do that here and then click on the "Add" button.


First let me say that this discussion thread and the call yesterday have been very thought provoking for me, I appreciate the amount of heart and intellect that is showing up.

This is my current thinking:

  • I agree that the effectiveness of the encampments as a strategy is on the wane, our task now is to develop new strategies to build on the power and successes of those who have been occupying.
  • We have to maintain our courage, to honor those who have stepped out boldly thus far, and to continue confronting the power of the 1%, if we begin acting out of fear we have already lost. 
  • I think place based organizing continues to be important, but it does not have to be the encampments.  I think the movement can become more inclusive and broaden its participation by continuing to focus on the commons, coupled with continuing to confront the physical manifestations of power (like shutting down the oakland port and many of the actions planned for n17).
  • I think trying to confront the blunt power of the 1% with the blunt power of the people will only work if we commit to revolution, there are no indications I have seen that revolution is on the horizon.  I think moving to more cat and mouse like strategies makes sense.  The power of technology to facilitate quick turnarounds to bring people out for actions is amazing.  I agree with many others who have said that people long to connect, and that organizing actions that are fun and soulful is powerful.  Social change can be fun.
  • I feel pretty strongly that the Occupy Movement should resist the urge and pressure to drill down to specific solutions, we don't do that well as progressives.  Lakoff's point about staying with the big fram really resonates for me (Lakoff on framing occupy).  To me, Occupy 2.0 may be an opportunity to bind together all of the ongoing social justice work into and "ecology of social justice".   There is allot of social justice work that preceded Occupy that can be strengthened if we use Occupy as a large frame rather than a strategy.
  • Seeing the way powerful leadership is showing up in Occupy 1.0 is inspiring, and if Occupy 2.0 can carry forward the dynamic that enables the leadership that is needed in the moment to step forward and be supported, but not be anointed it would be amazing progress.  For example, when the generators were taken away at ows, a guy who had built a contraption for generating power using a bicycle stepped up, the community recognized and supported his leadership and he was empowered to lead an effort to build the 10 contraptions needed to power the camp.  We don't need hero's, we need to recognize and celebrate the heroes in all of us.





ditto on every point..thanks susan

Hi Susan and friends,

Thanks for your participation, notes, insight, etc. Just a short note here. How about a little bit more "Both, And" thinking in regards to framing and drilling down to specific solutions. If we don't do that well as progressives, then this is precisely why we need to begin to focus on doing so now. If we do not put forward some primary required solutions, I can guarantee you that the government is not going to put them forward for us. There is an existing and growing consensus among many if not most of those participating in and supporting the Occupy Movement so far, that such things as Corporate Personhood, Electoral Reform, curtailing the influence of corporate lobbying, regulating wall street, and quite a number of other things are very much needed. 

Several efforts are underway to identify the key issues that most of us support. Of course we should continue to Frame our Message in a way that really draws in people, and the same with substantive issues as well. This does not mean that we should limit what we support to the key demands or requested and recommended solutions or that everyone has to support the whole platform or package that we come up with; but I think it would be a grave mistake if we do not put forward and support the political changes that many if not most of us understand are required. 

Let's have both large frames and effective strategies. 

Thanks again,


Hi Rob, and all

I don't disagree that both framing and strategy (and action on specific issues) is needed, yet I am interested in being mindful of where the different pieces "live".  An example of what I am thinking about is Jobs with Justice that is a national network - they operate with a big frame, and then local communities are organizing using a wide range of strategies and tactics, but all are within the big Frame.  They are gaining some traction.

So... for me, there is power in Occupy (big O) staying strong as a leading edge and big frame, with a groundswell of movement acting in concert, but not centralized.

Hope this clarifies, my thought.


No problem Susan and thanks for the explanation. The only difference in perspective is that I would suggest that we can also have a groundswell of movement acting in concert that also becomes somewhat centralized when enough of us agree that coordinated collaborative initiatives and activities can be helpful. I don't ask you to embrace or work on such things as this, only to not work, or speak, against some of us trying to achieve such things. 

I had a similar exchange with one of our conversation starters who was primarily interested in working on the Vision thing - which I totally applaud and support as well - but thought we shouldn't focus on issues until we had first gotten the whole vision thing worked out. We need to quit making other people's approach wrong or not worthwhile, while still continuing to promote what we are primarily interested in doing. Some of us will naturally support more decentralized actions and others more coordinated/centralized actions. Such is life. Let us embrace them both, while each chooses whatever approach they want to work on. 



Weekly Cafe Calls

Regular Calls are no longer being held.  Below is the schedule that was maintained from the Fall of 2011 through Jan 10, 2013.

"Vital Conversations" 

8-10a PDT | 11a-1p EDT | 3-5p GMT 

Tuesdays (except 10/16)
"Connect 2012"

1-3p PDT | 4-6p EDT | 8-10p GMT

"Occupy Heart" 

3-5p PDT | 6-8p EDT | 10p-12a GMT

Latest Activity

Clay Forsberg posted a blog post

"Happy Birthday Occupy Wall Street ... thoughts on Year One"

Fifteen years ago, I ran across a book, "100 Most Influential People in History," during one of my dalliances to my local Marin County bookstore. "Influential People" was one man's assessment on exactly that. But how he determined his rankings was the interesting part. They weren't always the reasons you would think. But after thinking about it, they made complete sense. For example:George Washington was ranked in the top 40 of all time. Understandable. But the reason why ... not so much. You…See More
Sep 20, 2012
Clay Forsberg is now a member of Occupy Cafe
Sep 20, 2012
Vic Desotelle posted a group

Leadership Ecology

When a Leadership Ecology occurs, a web of relationships emerges revealing each person’s authentic leadership qualities through the transfer of their power to others. When done in a conscious way – a shared collaborative awakening happens.See More
Feb 6, 2012
Vic Desotelle posted a blog post
Feb 3, 2012


  • Add Photos
  • View All

© 2024   Created by Occupy Cafe Stewards.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service