Stoffa: Occupy Wall Street requires leadership


Among the signs held by protestors at the Occupy Iowa rally at the Iowa State Capitol on Sunday, Oct. 9, were those embellished with the Twitter “hashtag” for the event: #OccupyIowa. Social media has been instrumental in organizing rallies across the country with organizers utilizing sites such as Twitter and Facebook. 

Gabriel Stoffa

I do love a good media spectacle.

One that has video and photos spinning out and about across

newspapers, TV and Internet.

What has my attention now is the

Occupy Wall Street protest.

At first it looked like a group of

worked-up folks wanting to take down the capitalist machine. But

then the protest lasted more than a week and began looking like a


Well, it is shaping up to be a

movement, what with it cropping up in cities across the country,

but will this really prove to be anything more than a media

spectacle in the end?

The website for the Democratic

Congressional Campaign Committee has a petition up to show your

support. offers a user map of cities participating

and a place to donate that redirects you to the NYC General

Assemblies page, a sketchy looking page to say the

least. was the most put

together site working toward some organization for Occupy Wall

Street, and it doesn’t even have the movement’s name in the


Aside from those, when you search

for Occupy Wall Street online, you get news articles and Facebook,

Twitter and YouTube videos.

What all these add up to is a lack

of a page for general leadership. And leadership, including

subsequent organization that comes from it, are what is needed to

take this protest into the salient movement with the sticking power

similar to the Tea Party.

Yes, I’ve come out and said it,

Occupy Wall Street needs to become a political organization of “the

people” in a manner similar to the Tea Party, without being as

corrupted and confused as the Tea Party, of course.

But Occupy Wall Street protesters

seem to be against the notion of establishing actual leadership.

This makes sense with the “We are the 99 percent” message, but

central leadership is needed.

I’m not a historian, but I don’t

know of many world-changing movements that didn’t have a leader

emerge and subsequently become an organization to gather funding

and use the systems day in and day out to get the messages


Occupy Wall Street needs coordinated

efforts and people being paid or volunteering to do those jobs to

continue on the level of growth that is happening. You need

websites and other media to discover and read about sources that

encourage the actual 99 percent of Americans to join. There must be

an actual system to get more people involved and


Occupy Wall Street has a large youth

base, which is a group notorious for saying they care and then not

voting or going the extra mile. The other supporters run the gamut

of what makes up the United States; celebrities and even some in

the 1 percent of rich blokes have expressed interest and slight


On, as of Monday, there

is a poll with almost 70 percent of people voting they support

Occupy Wall Street.

And still, there must be more. There

must be leadership. There must be organization. There must be an

actual formation of a group that can be readily identified as

something more than a mass of protesters.

This is America. For better or for

worse, this country is now built on the idea that “There’s no

business like show business,” because we desire heroes and stars

and other exceptional people to step out from the average life to

shine. Americans want exceptional people.

Occupy Wall Street might be the 99

percent, but from that must come individuals to allow rank and form

to set into some degree to ensure that the voices of the people be


You can protest all the live-long

day and accomplish little if the people you claim to represent

aren’t fairly certain what you are actually protesting


There are so many messages, and they

are being tossed about or skewed by the media in ways that are

serving mostly to entertain rather than educate. Occupy Wall Street

must grow up a bit and become an at least semi-structured movement

with funding so the truth cannot be obfuscated by some of the very

people it protests against.

I’ll quote a “man of the people”

from a movie I see as carrying some of the same messages of being a

part of the 99 percent and wanting to live life free from tyranny;

“Fight Club was the beginning, now it’s moved out of the basement,

it’s called Project Mayhem.” Tyler Durden might not have had the

best means of revolution — as in violence is rarely the answer, so

do not partake in it protesters — but there was no questioning the

message and the movement.

Occupy Wall Street has moved out of

New York and is now a part of the entire country. Folks all over

are trying to rally behind a cause with no face. And maybe the

Anonymous mask that has been popping up is a fine standard, but

there must be leadership coordinating efforts.

There must be a some fountainheads

to represent the people of this republic if we are to actually

believe in the message that we are the 99 percent. Without a head,

we are a mob. But if real representatives come forward — leaders

that aren’t owned by the 1 percent — when he/she/they emerge, the

protests across the nation will have someone to sit down and

intelligently, expressively and coherently put forth the message so

change can come in legal form.