Tweeted on October 17th, 2011. Retweeted over 35 more times.
Soliciting donations to something that doesn’t exist
Nycga.net, and now Occupywallstreet.net, host a button to an account that is obsolete. It is to a general OccupyWallStreet fund that is directly controlled by the Accounting Working Group, and whose funds are supposed to be under the control of the New York City General Assembly. There is not New York City General Assembly. Therefore, the button must be erased. There need not be any decision made in any body that doesn’t exist. The button must simply be deleted. If the General Assembly returns, the button can return, but without a body to make decisions over the fund, without the body even existing that the fund is a donation to, the fund itself must cease to exist.
There is no argument to keep it. You can’t suggest “We need to get consensus” in a body that doesn’t exist. Period. So shutter the button and stop receiving donations.
Does this mean fundraising should stop? No. But all fundraising from henceforth should be intentional and directed. The idea that the NYCGA would have a general fund was foolish to begin with, and laid us open to graft, a resource war, and what everyone should agree was the deevolution of the General Assembly, which slid into becoming a chaotic foundation offering grants. That is the very type of institutional bureaucracy people like me are completely uninterested in participating in, and there are plenty of foundations to promote in that way without creating a new one. A new one with far worse issues of accountability.
It also became a massive security issue. It opened OccupyWallStreet up to investigation and the entrance of a legion of vultures and leeches who sought to swindle and scam money out of this massive budget. And those swindlers helped kill the energy and imagination that we had been creating.
How to Keep Fundraising
Instead, we should receive donations to very specific funds which are controlled by specific working groups or collectives. For example, the Tech-Ops Working Group should have its own fund. The NLG and a bail fund make absolute sense. Outreach, the Street Medics, Livestreamers, Arts & Culture (or individual artists), and perhaps specific political projects like Liberation Summer, F the Banks, and the Summer Disobedience School could have their own buttons, using wepay, indiegogo, or kickstarter.
But there should be no general fund, especially without a body which it allegedly funds. Delete the button and stop taking donations into that account.