Tag Archives : consensus

Occupy as Form: Evan Buswell

The actions of occupiers this autumn were centered around the general assembly, which functioned symbolically as almost the embodiment of collectivity itself. This immediately deteriorated. All who camped at occupations realized this quickly; others took longer to see the deterioration. By this winter, occupations nationwide find themselves embrioled in arguments about autonomous actions. But consensus and autonomy are both understood mythically.’

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Occupy as Form: Laurel Butler

How does the consensus decision-making process function on an embodied level? Moving through downtown Oakland the night after the police raid, I am struck by the heightened kinesthetic awareness evident in the hundreds of bodies that fill the streets. True to the Occupy ethos, there is no top-down leadership, and yet the group is certainly moving together, en masse, with implicit nonverbal agreements about directionality, pauses, speed, and – in particular – a highly attuned empathetic response mechanism that kicks in as we encounter the blockades of riot police.

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