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Occupy Vancouver Day 3


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On this brisk night in Coast Salish territory, an animated crowd met at Occupy Vancouver to decide weather or not to adopt the Occupy Wall St. inspired, 90% to reach consensus as opposed to 100%.

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If 100 percent consensus is

If 100 percent consensus is not reached, someone is being ignored.

its not that someone is being

its not that someone is being ignored. this is a true democracy but that does not garentee everyone agrees. we must have a working and practical system to get things done and decisions have to be made. 

the politics of consensus

My experience at Occupy Vancouver is that there is about ninety percent people with a very mainstream political outlook, largely stemming from having never done any activism before, and about ten percent people with more experience who want to do things like not be so open about having the camp site patrolled by armed police.  The reason that the proportions are so skewed is that so many good activists have already walked away from Occupy Vancouver in disgust, not only at their policies towards police, but also at their ability to ignore the concerns of people whom they designate "special interest groups" (i.e. anyone who isn't white and middle class).

As pointed out by the comment above, if you have a consistent problem getting consensus, someone is being ignored.  I am disappointed at just who is being consistently ignored at Occupy Vancouver.  On the first night of the demo, a large number of people said that they didn't feel safe sleeping in the tents that night because of the heavy police presence.  The matter was discussed and a large amount of pressure was brought to bear upon those who dissented against the demonstration's friendly policy towards the cops.  After repeated motions to adjourn, the matter was tabled until the next day so that the group could get on with having a concert.

This is just one example of the broader dynamic that the ninety percent function seems to be a reflection of.  It will, no doubt, function to continue isolating and pushing away people who are not part of the mainstream image that Occupy Vancouver has come to represent.

not consensus or anarchist

A decision making process that requires 90% percent agreement is not consensus. It is a variation on democratic decision making.

Consensus is not anarchist by definition either. Some anarchists make decisions democratically, others unanimously.

And general assemblies take a variety of forms and involve different decision making processes and visual or vocal ways of making decisions. The hand gestures you show are not the only, or inherent ways people make decisions in assemblies.

You are over generalizing.

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