"I don't think consensus organizing and horizontal organizing is exclusively anarchist," says Jacob, who lives in a cooperative house in lower Allston. "But it is an idea that we use and love. And I think that it is really addictive. When you participate in a collaborative process, long and slow as it is, at the end . . . every time we pass a decision, the crowd at the GA just roars. Just because we made it, we got through, we heard everybody's voice. And it feels good. . . . It's crazy. And so beautiful."
As the Occupy movement spreads to dozens of cities, it is bringing with it a new organizational structure that is fundamentally different from the marches and the protests of the Civil Rights era and, later, progressive protests against the Vietnam war.
For anarchists, the Occupy movement is transforming their intrinsic daily practices into tactics utilized by the masses.
"When I go to meetings, we do the twinkles all the time," says Zaina, referring to the now-ubiquitous hand gesture that indicates an occupier's support for a given idea. "And to see hundreds of people doing that now is so great. . . . This has been spread across so many people, you just look around, and you see 200 people doing the twinkles, and it's just so great."
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