Tech Ops, a Working Group of the New York City General Assembly of the Occupy Wall Street movement, was the final recipient of a request from a conference in Brazil to take place in February. They are seeking an appropriate 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 atempt of organizing a panel on this subject - for the first time in Brazil.”
To this end, Tech Ops is hosting a meeting on Wednesday, Dec. 28 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 being 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?
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.
 Submit a Proposal
- Submit your written statement by 12Noon, Wednesday, 12/28
- Present your proposal in person at the 6pm, Wednesday, 12/28 TechOps meeting
- Meeting attendees will vote on who should go
 Written submissions posted below by Wednesday, Dec. 28, at noon.
 Add Your Statement Below
My presentation will have three parts:
- The ecosystem of websites and technology tools that have been and are being developed in support of OWS
- How OWS is a social/political/cultural (soft sciences) manifestation of free/libre/opensource culture
- The implication of a more unified, politicized free/libre/opensource movement
Charles Lenchner - detailed presentation
- Identify the most relevant attributes of a Campus Party attendee
- Demonstrate that I possess those attributes
- List past experiences and track record reflecting those attributes
 Liza Sabater
Length of time being active at OWS
I've been following OWS since before September 17th but from the POV of a blogger/reporter. 2011 is the year I reported & followed the "hashtag revolutions" via Twitter (@blogdiva): #JAN25 #WIunion #M15 #Acampadas #Syntagma #j14 #indignados and now #OWS
Participation in online engagement or the development of online tools
Am an online communications technologist & Drupal Architect/Designer. I've developed my own sites (culturekitchen, Daily Gotham, LizaSabater) using Drupal since 2004 and StatusNet and before that using MovableType and static pages. I was involved with the CivicSpace Drupal distribution and have been "blogmother" to many bloggers in the 10+ years I've been publishing online.
Past involvement in the subject matter of OWS, online political engagement, social media
I've been a digital activist since 1997. My engagement with OWS can be tracked via my reporting as @blogdiva. Several social media & network analysis studies place me in the top 10 OWS people with most social media reach and influence. The latest is this article by Klout.com
The characteristics of the applicant – who do we want to represent us?
Besides being the 4th largest social media node for OWS, I am a former Latin American Studies adjunct professor who is fluent in Brazilian Portuguese. In my early years as blogger I used to cover a lot of FLOSS policies being adopted by the Lula government; so am pretty aware of the recent history of tech & social media in Brazil.
What would I speak about?
This is a rough idea of what I feel CAMPUS PARTY participants would appreaciate
- OWS in a global context
- FLOSS as a globalization & political agent
- OWS and FLOSS as a political platform
- FLOSS, social media and the globalization of OWS
- How did an account without OWS in its name (@blogdiva) become the 4th most important social media node for #OWS?
(a case study for how the FLOSS political philosophy of OWS works within a social media context)
I'd add to this a rundown of tech & tech processes being used/experimented with by the TechOps group.
I would do my presentation in Brazilian Portuguese even though I'd be glad to post the slides in English & Spanish and on the site.
 Matt Lepacek
- I would speak in pompous-English or via a computer using google translate. I can also do voice impressions of Gollum from Lord of the Rings, Bobby from Bobbys World, Movie Phone guy, Theatrical trailer / dramatic voice over guy, satan/demon, and a variety of fake computer/digitized voices. I can also impersonate over 50 languages assuming no one in the crowd speaks them.
- I am a co-founder of WeAreChange.org, guerrilla journalist & activist since 2006. Have interviewed and heckled hundreds of the most despicable people on the planet.
- Responsible for helping to build and inspire one of the largest activist networks in the world today, publishing some of the most popular activist videos on the Internet. "Don't taze me bro!"
- Arrived at OWS on Sept 18 (day 2)
- Covered the protests in Barcelona, plaza de catalunya in May for WeAreChange.org
- Developer and overall Technology Enthusiast
- From Black hat to White hat techniques, bonnets to robots, I understand how technology will be the vehicle of this "revolution"
- My goal is to energize and educate people about technology and it's double edged role in the future
- I represent conservative values: balanced social services that sustain liberty, the end of the compulsory society and corporate person hood, and legalized conflict of interests
- My passion for Liberty and Technology, it's rather hard to hide.
 Andrew Mallis
I hereby respectfully submit my candidacy as a representative for OWS and Tech Ops at the Campus Party conference, to be held in Brazil, February of 2012.
I feel that I can speak confidently to the matrix of technologies currently employed by OWS, as well as those on its horizon. I have dipped my toes in most of these projects and plunged head first in many that I believe would greatly interest Campus Party attendees.
For example, I helped launch our Ushahidi instance at map.occupy.net, and witnessed as it went viral even before its existence was made public. During the November 17 protest, I worked remotely, while hooked in to multiple live streams, twitter feeds, and our map.occupy.net instance, to approve and aggregate on the platform reports of police activity and direct action. It was, I felt, a unique modality for social media of a kind we need more of.
Facebook and Twitter have been influential in disseminating information through social movements, including ours. By design, however, the context and the meaning these software systems derive from participation in them is withheld from users, yet used to sell them advertising. Their use as instruments of sociopolitical change is incidental, and thus subject to change – internally by the corporations that run them, or externally by governments that influence them.
Hands down, we need new open source tools for a social media whose goal is social transformation. Towards this end, I have been deeply involved with The Federated General Assembly (FGA) over the past few months. The FGA aims to consolidate our current approaches and invigorate them with new metaphors, systems, and processes.
Opportunities to better understand at this international gathering the technologies and on-the-ground realities of other occupations, and those in South America in particular, are immeasurably valuable. I am asking to go not because I am anxious to tell my story (though I am happy to share it), but because I see myself as uniquely positioned to bring tremendous value back to the FGA, TechOps, and OWS.
In the context of a seven day conference, I feel my view towards the future, and ability to synthesize and represent the interests of others before my own are key my present bid.