Yesterday I wrote about the strange analysis of OWS from the Left by Jodi Dean. In my comment I expressed some doubt on the sincerity of her argument. The post by Dean that I was referring to is an old one. Shortly after that one, Dean repeated a bit of unsubstantiated news that was floating around claiming that OWS was coming to an end due to the inability to resolve the simple matter of keeping drumming to a minimum. On Oct 24th, Dean quotedÂ alleged OWS insiders,Â without comment:
OWS is over after Tuesday:
Friends, mediation with the drummers has been called off. It has gone on for more than 2 weeks and it has reached a dead end. The drummers formed a working group called Pulse and agreed to 2 hrs/day at times during the mediation, and more recently that changed to 4 hrs/day. It’s my feeling that we may have a fighting chance with the community board if we could indeed limit drumming and loud instrumentation to 12-2pm and 4-6pm, however that isn’t what’s happening.
This would have been pretty big, if true. Except it wasn’t. Michael Pollak — the most fair, level-headed and rational person I know on the Left — has been visiting Zuccotti frequently and attending some of the General Assembly sessions. He had this say:
Okay, I just got back from the park and 60 Wall (which is the hive of the working groups) and this was clearly a non-issue. Â Nobody mentioned it and everyone is still working with timelines extending into the indefinite future. Â I was a little embarassed to ask, to be honest, it was so obviously an exaggerated rumor. Â But when asked, the general answer was the same: the GA/drum circle conflict has been there since the beginning, and conflict and negotiation with the neighbors and city officials has been there since the beginning. Â Nothing’s changed or come to crisis. Â On the contrary, things have recently gotten substantially better on both fronts precisely because the drummers are drumming substantially less now. So the conflict will continue, and hopefully continue to improve. Â No one was worried. Â People getting mad or feeling agreements were reneged is just considered SOP when there’s a conflict. Â It always leads to another meeting.
And speaking of conflicts — or lack thereof — the Demand working group met today with the Facilitation working group, the one that sets the agenda for the nightly general assembly. Â They couldn’t have been nicer or more efficient. Â We asked if we could propose it and they said sure.
So rumors that this would somehow get strangled in its cradle behind the scenes seem entirely ungrounded. To judge by this meeting, I don’t see how it would such smothering would be even possible, this committee seems so transparent and rational and non-judgmental. Â It looks at this point as if the whole idea was either a misunderstanding or a bluff or both.
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