Although it has received lots of criticism, and, at times, the specific demands have been a little mysterious, the Occupy Movement has revealed some exceptional communication strategies. From their catchy slogan, “We are the 99%”, and their insistence on class consciousness, they have brought more to light than just hippie college students urban camping. The rumor that the movement has been unorganized due to it’s size is unfounded as can bee seen with their collective group discussion technique in the General Assemblies.
But how did all of this start?
It's so catchy!

It’s so catchy!

Occupy Wall Street

On September 17, 2011,  the Occupy Wall Street movement began in Zuccotti Park, New York. Just a few months before, Kalle Lasn and Micah White, of Adbusters.org, had called for this assembly to protest capitalism/corporate influence on democracy and the lack of legal repercussions for the companies who encouraged the global monetary recession/depression.

Income inequality quickly became a focal point as the slogan, pinned on a tumblr page, stated “We are the 99%”. Paul Taylor, of the New Pew Research Center, argued that this phrase is “arguably the most successful slogan since ‘Hell no, we won’t go!’ (of the Vietnam War).”

Original poster for the Sep. 17, 2011 protest.

Original poster for the Sep. 17, 2011 protest.

Both before and since Occupy Wall Street, other notable occupations have occurred such as Coxey’s Army in 1932 and Occupy Nigeria (currently protesting).

*Occupation of an area is simply a tactic, while specific occupations are titled “movements.” Example: Occupy Wall Street (The United States of America) was a movement that protested income inequality while Occupy Dataran (Malaysia)was another movement that protested representative democracy.

General Assemblies

Although these types of assemblies have their basis in Ancient Greece, today’s Occupy General Assembly began with the  Spanish Indignados Movement, which took place only 4 months before Occupy Wall Street. The first General Assembly took place on the first day of the Wall Street protests and has continued throughout current occupations. Modifications have been made, as needed, and individual may bend or add rules for their own needs, but the General Assembly has remained intact.


As early as 1142, the Iroquois Confederacy Grand Council (Haudenosaunee) used a consensus of 75% to pass decisions, but many christians believe consensus originated in the period of the testament of ACTS 15. Truthfully, there is little evidence to support when, exactly, consensus decision making was born. However, with equality between race, gender, etc. growing at a rapid rate since the 1970s, we are more likely to experience a purer form of consensus now more than ever.


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