This is true both of skeptics and of our supporters. Working men often stop by before sunrise to chat on their way in to work. These men are generally our staunches supporters, in spirit if not always in material help (although they will often turn the conversation to the question of material help themselves). Even so, they want to know what our message is and what we aim to achieve.
Question: What do we aim to achieve? Can we each individually commit to writing up a brief personal letter expressing our reasons for belonging to Occupy Bangor and describing what our ideal, realistic future looks like?
We need a narrative, a goal and a strategy. Part of our strategy must include setting objectives — way points — toward our goal, as well as means of measuring, at least intuitively, how close or far away from those way points we are.
We will also need a slogan, which sums up our narrative and goal quickly and concretely. In the 60’s, it was “stop the war.” We need something like this. We absolutely need it.
Point: As in the 60s, we are bringing together many diverse interests. The war was the flash point, but protesters included people who primarily focused on entirely different goals, like, for example, racism. Therefore we must clearly convey that our specific goal does not exclude, but rather fosters, other compatible interests.
Effective Narratives: Our goal must arise out of our story, and our story must be the most compelling one available. The most compelling narrative available can only come from the recent historical facts of the matter. What is actually driving our movement?
In my experience in talking to people, the most compelling story is the origin the Occupy Wall Street movement in the million-dollar bonuses CEOs have been paid for making bad business decisions that hurt their own companies, that we the people pay for in lost jobs and lost houses, and that Uncle Sam is compelled to bail out to the tune of billions of taxpayer dollars, because these schmucks are holding the economy hostage.
There may be better narratives. I like this one, but I will of course prefer any more effective narrative over it.
“We require that CEOs’ rewards be strictly determined by no other criteria than the degree of success they bring their companies, and that corporations’ rewards be strictly determined by no other criteria than the value they successfully deliver to society. We, the 99 percent, will allow corporations and their leadership to function in our society on this basis only.”
This goal does not include many of our individual goals, but the real question is, “Is it compatible with all of them?”
Motto Needed: The best I have been able to do so far is, “Stop Paying the Rich to Destroy America.” This is too long and lacks passion.
Whatever goal we select, we must seek a motto, or slogan, for. Probably the one that will really work will be something someone says on the street in some random city, and that catches on, but we still have to work on it.