Is Walid Hakim a leader? He says no…

Today on their website, Occupy Columbia insists that Walid Hakim — who was arrested last night along with 19 others — is not a leader of their group. They were rather vehement about it:

An article was circulated by proclaiming that Occupy Columbia has a leader, as they stated an unofficial leader.

This is NOT the case!

This article was taken completely out of context.

Occupy Columbia is and always will be a LEADERLESS movement.

Contact them and DEMAND a rewrite!!!

I could understand how Will would have gained that impression. I did, too, as you can see in the above video.

For me, Walid has been the spokesman — he’s always at the fore and available, he’s confident and articulate, he seems to know what’s going on. He’s the guy you see ostentatiously pacing at the back of the crowd talking on a cellphone as the governor’s press conference breaks upon, seeming to coordinate things. He always does things a little bigger than the others — holding his sign higher, wearing the more visible attire (a keffiyeh, a Marine Dress Blues blouse). He’s got the Days of Rage hair, the whole nine yards. News people gravitate to people like that — in a chaotic situation with no one officially in charge, you look for the guy who seems the least dazed, and start asking questions.

More traditional (if you’ll allow me this ironic use of the world) street protest leaders such as Brett Bursey have been in the background, by comparison with Walid.

But the main reason I always talk to Walid is that I know him. He and I serve together on the board of the Community Relations Council. Below you see him (just left of center) seated at one of our meetings earlier this week, in yet another incarnation, with blazer and khakis. (Yeah, I know it’s blurry, but I wasn’t planning on using it for publication. I was just fiddling with my iPhone during the meeting.)

I realize that to these folks, it’s a really, really important principle not to have leaders. But here’s my prediction: They’ll either get some leaders, or never really accomplish anything much beyond making headlines and getting arrested.

29 thoughts on “Is Walid Hakim a leader? He says no…

  1. Mab

    Appreciate the up-close video, Brad!

    My two cents=

    Walid Hakim=opportunist putz.

    ~opportunist putz with no SINCERE convictions or investment in anything. He has a sponsor who handles all of that. Legal and otherwise.


  2. Steven Davis

    You talk Hakim up, and yet he still can’t hold down a job. I’m sure all this publicity and his now police record will make him that much more marketable.

  3. Steven Davis

    Speaking of people standing out, what ever happened to dead baby guy? I don’t think I’ve seen the surviving aborted guy and his mom lately either.

  4. Ren

    Mab: That’s interesting. Walid is a marine, and one with very strong convictions. He’s in this for a reason. Have you ever met him? No? I have. Don’t speak about things you know /nothing/ about.

  5. Steve Gordy

    Ren, if Steven shuts up on issues about which he knows nothing, we’d miss his cheerful contributions to this blog.

  6. `Kathryn Fenner

    Mr. Hasim’s ability to “hold down a job”–true or not– is irrelevant to the content of his beliefs or the sincerity of his advocacy. I have never met him, but I have seen him about. He impresses me greatly!

    We need more people like him. His kind of advocacy can counter the perceptions that Columbia is a backwater that no player in the knowledge economy would be caught dead in.

  7. Steven Davis

    If Hakim really is a Marine, he’d know that wearing just the Dress Blues jacket is a disgrace to the uniform. Maybe he just has as much respect for the Marine uniform as he does the State House grounds.

    Brad, if you’re going to moderate your blog, I wish you’d be consistent.

    “Ren, if Steven shuts up on issues about which he knows nothing, we’d miss his cheerful contributions to this blog.”

    What does this have to do with the article, or are you now allowing readers to slam each other? I’m going to type a 2nd post just to see if you will allow it to be published. I bet it won’t.

  8. Steven Davis

    @Kathryn – “We need more people like him.”

    You mean like the black activist guy who thinks he’s Malcolm X? Whatever happened to him anyway. Did he wise up and realize that nobody is listening to him and just go away?

  9. `Kathryn Fenner

    Why is just wearing the jacket a “disgrace to the uniform”? because the Marines say it is? I mean, seriously, it’s not like he’s spitting on it or wearing it to garden in…

    Not sure who you’re talking about, Steven, but whoever it is sounds like another antidote to the kind of “Forget, Hell” attitudes that turn off the people we’re trying to attract and retain here in Columbia. Those of us who live here realize it’s perfectly progressive and inclusive, but to the outside world, we keep making headlines for being backwards rednecks.

  10. Steven Davis

    Yep, Steve Gordy’s post got accepted, I changed very little and it was denied. Well done Bradley.

  11. Steven Davis

    @Kathryn – Why don’t you ask a Marine that question. I’m sure he/she can give you a better answer than I could.

    If I knew his name I would have written his name instead of describing him. I doubt he’s helping attract and retain people in Columbia, he’s more like Louis Farrakahan than Mother Teresa.

    In your world I’m sure it is a progressive and inclusive world, but then most of us don’t live in a world of PhD’s and ACLU lawyers.

  12. `Kathryn Fenner

    I don’t live in a world of ACLU lawyers, more’s the pity. Don’t know a single one….

    I daresay that PhDs, especially computer scientists, are who we want to attract to our “knowledge” economy, don’t you?

  13. Mab

    Let the record show that I concur with Steven re: Farrakhan —


  14. rocker

    I find it slanderous that anyone would somehow infer that Walid would falsify his military history. He is an honorable man that sticks to what he says like few would dare to do. Anyone that has spent any amount of time with him would know that. I find it HIGHLY OFFENSIVE that you would insinuate that a U.S. Marine who has fought and died for YOUR FREEDOM is a man of little conviction.

  15. guy

    Convictions or not, whether false or true, the man has an idea. One that if you or anybody for that would take take the time to reason with and listen to, would surely help you understand. The man is a motolivational speaker. Not a persuader, he just wants to be heard with no guff. Anybody that’s served or still does to include myself will listen. Pay attention to reason and not publicity. You might find yourself a little more knowledgeable. I have met him, and i see no harm in someone who actually wants to help. And a job means nothing.

  16. guy

    The man served our country, in my eyes, he has won my ears. The problem with the world is to many chiefs and not enough idians. Those chiefs want it their way, what if there was someone out there who could make it our way. Everybody’s way, how would you approach the situation then.

  17. Silence

    Apparently Hakim cannot. Looks like he forgot to file his statement of economic interest. Oops.

  18. Steven Davis II

    @Silence – Not “oops”, I’m thinking he did it on purpose, it’s his excuse for not being able to run. He knew he had no chance and this way he can blame The Man for holding him down.

  19. George Whitney

    Mr Hakim, Would you like a suggestion for being the winner in the upcoming election? It’s an idea that will catch fire soon all over the Country. Accept the PLEDGE. It’s called THE PATRIOT’S PLEDGE: IF ELECTED NEITHER I NOR MY STAFF WILL HAVE A CONFLICT OF INTEREST OR A SEEMINGLY CONFLICT OF INTEREST WITH ANY FOR PROFIT CORPORATION OR THEIR REPRESENTATIVES. If your opponent does not agree with that PLEDGE and the public knows it, you will win. Best wishes. GDW

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