The day after Carnes and Sherell were exposed, a team of eight FAWG members — some college students, a few older professionals, two attorneys — met at an off-site location to fix the mess left in the wake of the pair's antics, and to protect the more than $25,000 that Occupy Boston had so far raised. For starters, they agreed to conduct background checks on all FAWG members, and to buy a more secure cash box. But there was one looming problem — Carnes was still in possession of Occupy Boston's DBA certificate and credit-union documents. After considering a lawsuit, they decided to ask if Carnes would resolve things through a mediator.
Carnes agreed to mediation, and the first session lasted more than four hours. He and Sherell insisted on retaining permission to fundraise for Occupy Boston, and, to the horror of FAWG members, Carnes proposed that he get to keep 20 percent of donations he could solicit (by this time he'd redesigned his personal Web page, paulcarnes.com, to raise funds for Occupy efforts in more than a dozen cities). Carnes also insisted that FAWG publicly exonerate him and Sherell at the next GA. Their hands tied, after two days FAWG met them halfway, agreeing to release a statement that the matter was resolved in exchange for the DBA and account numbers. Sherell and Carnes would be allowed to stay at camp, and even to attend FAWG meetings without voting power.
News that Carnes hadn't been expelled disturbed a number of occupiers, some of whom promptly drafted a proposal to ban him from Occupy Boston forever. His appearance and attempt at reconciliation at a subsequent GA was equally scorned, and by that time his tent had been broken down and stashed away by angry campers. Still, Carnes stuck around, and the day after was hanging with Sherell and two other occupiers across the street from camp, handing out pieces of paper that read, "Occupy News . . . Last night the General Assembly welcomed Paul Carnes and Sydney Sherell back to Occupy Boston with open consensus-hands." Asked which Occupy media group produced the article, he said he couldn't remember. Nevertheless, Carnes insisted that the leaflet cleared his name.
"If someone wants to throw something at me, I can deal with it," said Carnes. "But I believe in this movement. I believe that it's bigger than this situation and bigger than Occupy Boston — there are occupations all over the world now. I want to be involved as much as possible, and I see myself working on more of a global level. This is just a bump in the road. In a few days, I'm going to Wall Street."
By the time that the GA banned him from Occupy Boston the next night, he'd already left to occupy Manhattan.
Chris Faraone can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @fara1.