Submitted by Jerome on Tue, 01/12/2016 - 12:14pm.

We are a free speech movement, occupying a free speech zone, establishing an open university, and practicing direct democracy, all on our own initiative. We need no permission.

"This will happen with or without you. Are you with us?" we told the Washington University in St Louis administration in 2003. Put that way, how could they say no? Entirely upon our own initiative, as a courtesy between equals, we adopted their name as our own, establishing a horizontalst, not a hierarchical relationship of mutual respect.

The very first reading in the class we used to set up the Wash U CoOperative Network was Ursula K. LeGuin's ambiguous critical anarcho-syndicalist utopia, "The Dispossessed." The protagonists, Shevek and his partner Takver, become aware of masked power structures and invisible walls that hamper their creativity. After a period of exile they establish their Syndicate of Initiative. The Wash U CoOp was founded as a class project. Initiative is our alpha and omega. Don't ask permission. It's YOUR education!

So now, without asking permission, Shevek and Takver are refounding our Wash U CoOp Syndicate of Initiative, in the free, open, and democratic spirit of the Occupy movement. We are not leaderless. We are leaderful. We have more questions than answers. Why?