Zuccotti Park

Occupy Wall Street: Yes, there is organization

December 7, 2011: 11:35 AM ET

It may seem nebulous, but the movement against corporate America is developing a structure, and tapping into tech to stay alive.

Occupy Wall StreetFORTUNE -- To those of us inside, or orbiting, the corporate world, the packs of occupiers all over the world appear antithetical to what we consider an organization.

They don't want to achieve their goals, which seem scattered, via Washington. They refuse to have a single, representative face. Besides, the goals and processes of each Occupy movement vary by city. How much planning does it take to be nebulously ticked?

Still, hundreds of thousands of people all over the world are frustrated enough to keep showing up in public places since the first 20 or so people took over Zuccotti Park in lower Manhattan in September. Since then, the movement has started to form a backbone, even after hundreds of occupiers in New York City were evicted from the park in mid-November.

Many big businesses would love to replicate the construction of such a backbone, using technology to turn a local, contained idea into a movement.

It's a bit of a misnomer to describe the expansion of Occupy Wall Street as organic because it progressed much more like a viral YouTube cat video than a beanstalk. A community formed around the first crowd at Zuccotti Park to support their basic needs, says Justin Wedes, a former teacher and now a full-time occupier. People originally used Twitter to get donations of food, water and shelter, he says.

See also: American Express CEO: Pay attention to OWS

But as more people joined, OWS developed second-tier services such as mediators to resolve conflicts and people, including Wedes, who handle press relations. And instead of sprouting up next to rivers or ports, or other resource-rich areas, these communities formed, globally, around dissent. More

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