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How to Make Friends and Influence People: An #OccupyWallStreet Video Essay


Over the past few weeks, journalists, pundits, and regular citizens have been clamoring to find the answer to one question: What is this whole “Occupy Wall Street” movement about? Who are the protesters? What brought them together? Do they hate the government or the banks more? What do they plan to do to the government or the banks if they get their way? What is their way– what policy platform do they stand for? Do they plan to run any candidates for higher office, like the Tea Party?

While none of these questions can be answered definitively, we here at Big Government will attempt to answer them the best way we can, through the gold standard of Web 2.0, video clips. Though this is not an exhaustive collection of videos relating to Occupy Wall Street, we hope this snapshot–this collage, this moving picture kaleidoscope–gives our readers a revealing look inside the ideology, tactics, and tone of the Occupy movement.

To start, let’s take a look at the communication and organization tactics of OWS. The protesters have moved beyond the passé systems of democracy or republicanism and, instead of bitterly arguing and letting the slightest majority make choices for the group, they make their decisions through wider “consensus.” There are a few novel techniques they employ to reach consensus.

First is what’s been dubbed the “human microphone’: with such big crowds and little opportunity to set up sound systems, individuals who speak for or to the movement speak in short phrases which the masses then repeat so everyone can hear. For instance, protesters used “human microphone” discussion to reach the consensus that civil rights leader Congressman John Lewis should not be allowed to speak… through the human microphone:

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To determine consensus, the crowd must communicate non-verbally to whomever is speaking through the man mic. This is their system:

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Now that we’ve taken a closer look into their communication idiosyncrasies, let’s move on to the tenor of their Occupations. OWS protesters have the utmost respect for the United States,

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for its soldiers,

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and for people of all races and creeds.

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They epitomize industriousness and selflessness:

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They would never use violence or intimidation to achieve their goals:

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When asked by police to leave the publicly-owned areas in which they protest, they always peacefully comply:

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The protesters continually prove themselves courageous and sacrificial, not feeding their egos and nursing disturbing victim complexes, during their demonstrations:

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They make sure to leave their protest sites cleaner than they found them:

They make fine mentors for children:

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And they would never, ever submit to Wall Street or compromise their anti-greed principles:

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Most recently, OWS protesters have shown themselves gracious and willing to open up to the media to get their movement’s message out to the people:

We at Big Government hope you’ve found this collection of Occupy Wall Street videos both informative and edifying. As you return to your jobs, keep in mind that this movement is the face of the future you’re working for and paying for, at least in its own eyes.


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