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Tech Ops was the final recipient of a request from a conference in Brazil (http://www.campus-party.com.br/2012/index.html) in February. They are seeking an appropriate person to invite an OWS person to appear on a panel related to the rise of international online protest politics, as manifested by the Arab Spring and Occupy Wall Street. The specific text includes:
“We would like to invite one of your representatives (we are aware that you are a leaderless movement, but I’m sure you have a spokesman) to talk about the influence of social media in Occupy Wall Street, its role in organizing thousands of people in New York City, the empowerment of social revolution through the web, etc. We are also inviting people from the Arab Spring, in an attempt of organizing a panel on this subject – for the first time in Brazil.”
To this end, Tech Ops is hosting a meeting on Wednesday at 6pm to decide who would be most appropriate. This issue (figuring out who should go) has been discussed over a few meetings (all of them open, publicized on our lists and NYCGA.net, and properly listed on the agenda in advance.)
While not all the details have been worked out, Tech Ops reached consensus that anyone present at this meeting can vote on who should be selected. (With the possible exception of those applying to go.) Those seeking to represent OWS at this conference must attend in person and post a statement describing their qualifications on a wiki page (below.) In addition, those applying will be able to present to the group and advocate for themselves.
But… Who Should Go?
There are many individuals qualified to represent OWS at this event. (And ultimately, the conference organizers have a say.) As the goal is participation on a panel that discusses the online mobilizations that are part of OWS, and comparing them to other online mobilizations in the Arab Spring, many factors might come into play:
- Length of time active at OWS
- Participation in online engagement or the development of online tools
- Past involvement in the subject matter of OWS, online political engagement, social media
- The characteristics of the applicant – who do we want to represent us?
- Other things not mentioned here
What we cannot do effectively is:
- Determine in advance what anyone can or should say on behalf of OWS. Whoever goes speaks on their own behalf.
- Appoint any individual to represent the NYCGA – the governing body of OWS. Only the NYCGA can do that.
- Delay the decision. We have been given a deadline by the conference organizers.
Written submissions must be up by Wednesday, Dec. 26, at noon.
Please submit entries here: http://wiki.occupy.net/wiki/Brasil_-_Campus_Party_Speaker