No Leaders? No Way. Leadership During Occupation

I made my way over to Occupy Boston yesterday. Prominent on the wall overlooking the makeshift stage are a couple of posters boasting that the collective has “no leaders.”

This statement is simply not true. Occupy Boston has many leaders — if it did not, none of what I saw yesterday would be taking place. Some took the lead in setting up a meditation tent near the entrance, creating a space for quiet reflection and prayer. Some took a leadership role in bringing organizer and educator Marshall Ganz in to speak about movement building. Some (from the group Radical Reference) stepped forward to initiate the construction of the occupation’s library. And these are just the more visible results of leadership. Less obvious, but no less important, are the individuals who kept others’ spirits up when they were flagging, or who facilitated group decision making at General Assembly meetings. Occupy Boston, like the other occupations across the country, has a bounty of leaders, and that is exactly where its strength comes from.

What Occupy Boston lacks, with good reason, is hierarchy (more…)