Thursday, October 20, 2011

Working Group Proposal for Communication & Networking

People are occupying spaces in over 150 communities throughout the nation and many more worldwide. We have all become part of a network of people who are working together for something much bigger than any single person, idea, or group. The growth of this movement has been vast and rapid. As we are growing, it is important for us to be able to communicate with one another so we can support each other, share ideas, information and knowledge. This is how we will grow stronger. We have already seen a couple of locations start to form working groups taking on the large task of networking and opening up communication.

Occupy Together is humbly submitting a proposal for consideration: a working group formed by each general assembly that would communicate and network with other “occupations.” Since often times specific working groups from one area want to speak with similar working groups in another, ideally this new working group would be comprised of liaisons or a sampling from the others within the general assembly.

This is only a proposal, if and how these groups are formed and which communication tools they use is up to each general assembly.

Occupy Together is first and foremost a website to aggregate and accessibly distribute information. Outside of this, we try to stay as neutral as possible. We feel that we are simply serving a function as part of this decentralized movement. We never intended on being—and don’t want to be—any kind of organizer, voice or leader of this movement. We feel that we’ve made our intentions clear to everyone who has visited our site or has contacted us and acted accordingly.

That being said, since we’re at least loosely connected with all of the general assemblies forming around the country, we’re in a unique position to be monitoring and hearing what the current needs across the nation and world are. We feel that communication between general assemblies is crucial and is already past due. With this information presented, we felt it was outside of our scope and mission to be creating these communication tools. We did, however, see the urgency and necessity for them so we started talking with others who were beginning their development. When it comes down to it, we just want to be able to inform everyone of how they can be in contact with one another.

Here are some tools in place that can currently be used for this kind of communication:

If/as these working groups form, Occupy Together can add those involved on a listerv that is hosted on TakeTheSquare’s private server. This listserv is already created and ready to go. A listserv essentially acts as a way to mass email each other in a more organized manner.

In addition to the listserv, an IRC room can be created where those involved with the working groups will have voice priority. Meaning, if the room gets out of hand the moderators can stop the chat so that those involved in the working groups are able to talk to each other. There is an IRC phone app that can be used for wider access for those who don’t have computer access.

TakeTheSquare has offered assistance in setting up N-1, an open-source social networking program. They have used this extensively in the Madrid uprising.

Also, there is a voice-chat service (can also be used on any smart phone) that is being developed at

Ultimately, Occupy Together is neutral on which tools are used to communicate. We just want to inform you of ways you may be able to effectively communicate. If these working groups do form and want to start by using one or more of these tools, they are available. If better tools or better ways of communicating come along they can be used at any moment.

If your general assembly does decide on creating this type of working group, and you together decide you want to use these tools, please send us your location and email addresses for those involved to and we can add you to the listserv to further discuss communication options.

-info found here

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