Occupy Wall Street is going on a press offensive to correct a round of stories on Wednesday that reported it was planning a national assembly for the summer, the latest example of the decentralized movement seeing its name used in ways its organizers don't support.
Occupy groups in New York and Philadelphia say they never ratified a plan by a group called the 99 Percent Working Group to hold an assembly of Occupy "delegates" in Philadelphia on July 4. In fact, the Occupy groups say, they specifically denied the 99 Percent Declaration Working Group's request for their approval. But the plan nonetheless got reported as an Occupy action. It's just the most recent in a string of cases where the momentum of Occupy Wall Street as a movement got beyond the control of its "official" organizers in ways that contradict Occupy's own principles of autonomy.
The report in the Associated Press sounded like the kind of thing people have been waiting for from Occupy Wall Street since it set up in Zuccotti Park and then refused to issue a list of demands: The 99 Percent Declaration Working Group would arrange an online election to select 876 delegates from occupations all over the country, and then on July 4, those delegates would meet in Philadelphia to ratify a petition that the group would submit to the U.S. Congress, the Supreme Court, the president, and every candidate for office. Finally, the thinking went, those in power would know what Occupy Wall Street wanted, and could figure out whether and how to give it to them.