Down twinkles: OWS at risk of fracturing over ... drumming?

Via Moe Lane. I held off on linking this for an hour because no one on Twitter, including me, could tell if it’s a genuine message or a goof. I still can’t be sure but I think it’s the real deal for a few reasons. One: There are, in fact, tensions within the movement over drumming. Seriously. Two: n+1 has published bona fide OWS messages before and seems sympathetic to the movement, so it’d be strange for a parody this cutting to show up there. Three: The same message appeared online hours ago at a different site. And four: The official OWS site has a post up tonight similarly fretting about a standoff with the drummers. Probably real, then but that’s the most comfort I can give you. Even for a movement populated by guys named “Zonkers,” this seems a bit … much.

OWS is over after Tuesday:

Friends, mediation with the drummers has been called off. It has gone on for more than 2 weeks and it has reached a dead end. The drummers formed a working group called Pulse and agreed to 2 hrs/day at times during the mediation, and more recently that changed to 4 hrs/day. It’s my feeling that we may have a fighting chance with the community board if we could indeed limit drumming and loud instrumentation to 12-2 PM and 4-6 PM, however that isn’t what’s happening.

Last night the drumming was near continuous until 10:30 PM at night. Today it began again at 11 AM. The drummers are fighting among themselves, there is no cohesive group. There is one assemblage called Pulse that organized most of the drummers into a group and went to GA for formal recognition and with a proposal…

At this point we have lost the support of allies in the Community Board and the state senator and city electeds who have been fighting the city to stave off our eviction, get us toilets, etc. On Tuesday there is a Community Board vote, which will be packed with media cameras and community members with real grievances. We have sadly demonstrated to them that we are unable to collectively 1) keep our space and surrounding areas clean and sanitary, 2) keep the park safe, 3) deal with internal conflict and enforce the Good Neighbor Policy that was passed by the General Assembly…

In the meantime, there are other drummers who refuse to acknowledge OWS or the GA as a body they are interested in, and these drummers show up on site when they fell like it and drum when they feel like it. Over the weekend, it was for 10 or 11 hours straight, until late night.

So in the meantime, while we are grateful for the negotiations and positive relations with Pulse, we recognize that the issue of whether we’re evicted over drumming or not remains. For that reason we are asking for people to show up during quiet hour shifts, to ensure that drumming does not start.

They’re worried that the press won’t be supportive if the endless drumming keeps up, but if the media was willing to stick by them while people were crapping on cop cars and doorsteps, they’re not about to desert them over rogue bongos. Exit question one: Isn’t this OWS’s version of the Altalena affair? The rogue drummers must be neutralized so that the GA can maintain its monopoly of lawful, orderly drumming within the newborn state/commune. Exit question two: What percentage of the movement’s activities has been devoted to articulating grievances so far and what percentage has been devoted to … managing drumming? 60/40, maybe? 40/60? 10/90? Help me out.

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