The start of a peace…

The start of a peace march

Given my previous comments on the End the Occupation march and rally on Sunday in Hollywood, you might think we are calm cool and collected as the march is about to begin.

Well… no. A friend who watched the march get underway said he thought it looked like complete chaos. Organizers running around frantically, shouting at each other. “Who took my bullhorn”. “Is that a counter demo down the street?” “Where’s the rope, I need more rope”. “Are the police ready”? Much apparent chaos, indeed.

It’s actually more organized than that! However, a whole lot of stuff needs to be done very quickly in the 2-3 minutes before a march begins. The lead ropes have to be in place as well as a rope to keep photographers from getting to close to the main banner. Monitors, National Lawyers Guild, celebrities holding the main banner, volunteers on the ropes, they all need to be in place. A march is an organic thing with a pace of its own.  When it wants to start, it will, and you’d best be ready.

There is no one person in charge. It’s a network. No head. Lots of nodes. And when the march starts it all comes together and functions coherently in what has been called a “hive mind” or as Howard Rheingold puts it, “Smart mobs“. He’s written a book on the topic and his blog of the same name is always fascinating.