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Occupy Wall Street's Founders and Take Ownership of the Movement

By   Follow Me on Twitter     Message Justin Samuels     Permalink
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One reason why Occupy Wall Street was looked at so suspiciously by the nation as a whole is it had no real identity.  It stood for everything, and at the same time it stood for nothing.  It claimed to be leaderless, but if it was leaderless who founded it?  What was occupy trying to achieve?  There were probably hundreds of answers from different people.  Occupy's government in the form of the general assembly and spokes council were vague and undefined.  Occupy basically withered way to just a group of hardcore activists.  But just a few days ago, one of the founders, Justine Tunney became fed up and had enough.  She took control of the official occupy wall street account and the main occupy website, both of which she founded.

On the adbusters site, Micah White was the one who issued the call to occupy wall street.  Various activists answered his call, and began organizing occupy that summer.  The occupation moved forward in Sept.  The only other person besides herself credited on the occupy site is Priscilla Grimm who is credited as occupy's content cleric.  Some occupiers have condemned Justine for her actions, such as the person in this tweet.

Jenna Pope " @ BatmanWI   Feb 6

Lulz at @ JustineTunney taking full control of the @ OccupyWallSt twitter account. All hail the mighty "founder." # IFoundedOccupyWallSt

Justine has said for years she was marginalized and bullied in a movement she played a large role in creating.  At the time of her early contributions, she was homeless and she grew ill with cancer.   Justine eventually got a job at Google, which pays decently and has benefits to help her with her medical expenses.  She has defined occupy as a movement which is not anti corporate.  She defines occupy as mainly being anti wall street.

Justine's actions bring up a lack of issues concerning movements.   Clearly not everyone contributed to occupy equally.  She registered the domain name for and registered the official account.  She did a lot of work in putting it all together.  Micah White made the call in adbusters for organizers to occupy wall street.  Justine was apparently abuse to use her technical background that was refined at occup to get a job as a software engineer at Google.  Part of the controversy is when people step up and take credit for work that they've done, it has enormous implications for their lives.  It helps them launch careers.  As for the movement itself, it provides faces for the public to identify with the movement.  Of course, depending on the face, a movement could attract or detract people.  But it still gives the movement transparency.   And if public knows who the leaders are, the public can call them out and demand accountability.


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Screenwriter. Historian. BA in History and certificate in Latin American studies from Cornell University. MA candidate in English at Columbia University. Very interested in public policy.

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