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Occupy Wall Street Stands Divided

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As predicted, the leaders and achievers are standing out from the Occupy Wall Street crowd.

GlobalRevolution.tv has moved from a tarp in Zucotti park to a second floor office in NoHo (North of Houston), and is being led by a former Wall Street derivatives trader, Vlad Teichberg.

On the other side of the country, Occupy Wall Street protesters are depriving the working class of their paychecks by blockading ports.

As surely as oil floats over water, and cream rises to the top of milk, it is inevitable that leaders stand out in a movement, even while they’re insisting that it’s a team effort. In this case, it’s Vlad Teichberg who has become the face of GlobalRevolution.tv.

GlobalRevolution.tv started out under a tarp in Zucotti park. After weeks of frustration due to equipment theft and fighting the elements, they made the wise business decision to seek a secure – and weatherproof – site for their budding media outlet.

They found what they needed on the second floor of a building owned by the A.J. Muste Institute. Rent is a bargain at around $400 per month. It’s no palace, but it gives them a reliable working space for their enterprise. You can get an idea of what it looks like in this video of an interview they did with CNNMoney.

The media has definitely caught on to this enterprise. Vlad has been featured with his own caricature in The New Yorker, and media from Huffington Post to the New York Times are covering their efforts. If all goes well, Vlad hopes this media enterprise will take off and provide him with the means to get a home for himself and his pregnant wife.

Contrast this organised, productive enterprise with the efforts of OWS participants on the west coast.

Although their video content is being streamed through GlobalRevolution.tv, that seems to be where the commonality ends. Rather than trying to build anything, or even be constructive, they’re attempting to block ports in Alaska and the Western U.S.

Even the unions these OWS participants claim to be supporting have come out in opposition to the blockades. They want their members to be able to go to work safely, and get a full paycheck at the end of the week.

In a recent USA Today article, one trucker was quoted as having lost $600 – a day’s wages – because the protesters succeeded in closing the port facility.

“This is joke. What are they protesting?” said Christian Vega, who sat in his truck carrying a load of recycled paper. “It only hurts me and the other drivers.

“We have jobs and families to support and feed,” he said. “Most of them don’t.”

Thomas Ryan has written an interesting post on Big Government that reveals the agenda of many OWS participants. It’s well documented with a complete archive of emails from OWS. The tone of the emails aligns with activities on the west coast, but seems quite different from the enterprise happening in New York.

OWS, protesting about inequality, is experiencing a practical lesson in reality. Every group divides out into 80% followers, 15% achievers, 4% leaders, and 1% celebrities.

In Brooklyn, Vlad Teichberg is the celebrity and his team are the leaders. The citizen journalists are the achievers, and then there are the rest – people who take action simply to feel powerful, even when it harms those they claim to be helping.

The efforts at GlobalRevolution.tv have created a channel free of advertising. It turns out that some advertisers didn’t want to be associated with the OWS channel, and rather than weed them out Livestream simply removed all advertising. That’s a huge benefit to an organization trying to communicate the OWS message.

Ustream, another online video streaming service, has provided two citizen journalists with better camera equipment. Tim Pool in New York, and Spencer Mills in Oakland, both provided consistently good content so Ustream has loaned them better video equipment.

Livestream and Ustream both claim to simply be supporting their platforms rather than specifically supporting the OWS movement. You can read more about GlobalRevolution.tv and their successes in a recent New York Times article.

The question that remains is: How long will it be before OWS participants turn on Vlad and his teammates as being part of the 1%?

It’s only a matter of time before GlobalRevolution.tv gains the attention of advertisers able to align themselves with OWS. When that happens, it’s going to become a profit-generating business. Will the 80% who have built nothing claim a share of their success?

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About TheConradHall

  • Conrad Hall

    Hi Dr.,

    Doctor, I truly feel sorry for you and everyone who thinks in similar fashion.

    You’ve said that meaningful change is outside the capacity of the ordinary worker. They need the change to come from their employers, the unions, or some other major strategic constituency.

    It this mindset that keeps people firmly rooted in the 99%.

    Please be so kind as to show me the major strategic constituency that made the development of GlobalRevolution.tv possible. The people behind this effort have done it as a team focused on a goal.

    We all need a team. We all need support. But none of us needs any major strategic constituency to ride to our rescue. Waiting for that to happen – thinking we’re entitled to have it happen – is the primary reason the U.S. is in the hole it’s in.

    The one thing you’ve said I can easily agree with is that change is going to happen through the effort of small business owners. My clients and friends are small business owners – often with fewer than 10 employees – who are doing millions of dollars in gross sales each year. And they are happy to empower, support and facilitate anyone who wants to follow their example.

  • At some point, the OWS Movement will be held accountable for improvement in the lives of the protesters and people impacted by the cause.

    The only way improvement can happen is through the institutions of businesses both large and small. The Boards of Directors, personnel departments and major strategic constituencies must embrace improvements for ordinary workers before any meaningful change can happen.

  • A big part of the challenge involves restructuring work from the smoke stack industries to information technologies, infrastructure, clean energy and a plethora of new activities people will be engaged in for profit and non-profit alike. Pay equity is another continuing challenge in this mix.