“Major Tom” is a persona and pseudonym used by some of the “space occupants” of Harvard Yard on this self-critical but often tongue-in-cheek blog, which is one of the many autonomous actions that have been taken by Occupy Harvard members, in the spirit of Occupy Harvard, in an effort to advance its principles and maximize its chances of effecting meaningful change.
The autonomous occupants contributing to this blog hope that through the frank analysis of problems faced by Occupy Harvard set forth here they can help advance the following principles which either have been, or should be, recognized as core principles of Occupy Harvard:
1. The members of Occupy Harvard should not make public commitments they are unable or unwilling to meet (such as 24/7 continuous occupation of the site in meaningful numbers).
2. They should govern by actually using the consensus governance model they purport to follow, unless and until the General Assembly votes to replace the consensus governance model with something else — in particular, they should avoid issuing threats and ultimatums, they should avoid walking out if they lose on a vote, and most importantly they should deliberate and vote in General Assemblies open to all members, and to the public, rather than allowing important decisions to be made by a small group of self-appointed leaders meeting in secret in advance of the General Assembly meetings and thereafter rubber-stamped by the General Assembly..
3. They should not allow their decisions to be influenced by Big Labor or other partisan special interest groups, and for that reason should decline all offers of assistance from such groups.
4. They should not allow a handful of members to employ the Occupy Harvard website as a platform to address controversial subjects, use potentially inflammatory symbols, or attack specific individuals, without a prior vote of the General Assembly authorizing such actions.
5. They should not support (either directly, or indirectly through the general authorization of autonomous actions) protest tactics which involve “mic check” interruptions of speeches being given by people who hold contrary views, attempts to enter Harvard buildings under false pretenses to disrupt the ability of students to secure post-graduate employment, or actions which involve physical interference with the ability of those who hold contrary views to go about their business — tactics which are ethically questionable and, in any event, are likely counterproductive.
6. They should ensure that detailed minutes of each General Assembly are made available for all members, both for those who attended the General Assembly and those who did not.
The autonomous occupants can be reached at spaceoccupants at gmail.com. Anyone concerned that anything on this blog may be inaccurate, or otherwise objectionable, is encourage to write to flag the issue, and request a specific appropriate change. All good-faith requests will be honored.