The process is what scholars of anarchism call "direct action." For example, instead of petitioning the government to build a well, members of a community might simply build it themselves. It is an example of anarchism's philosophy, or what Mr. Graeber describes as "democracy without a government."
That is David Graeber, who I quoted a while back on the origins of money. According to the article, he is one of the academic theorists behind the Occupy Wall Street movement.
The term I would use for "democracy without government" is mobocracy. I cannot imagine a worse society.
But all this theory is probably not relevant one way or the other. Think of this in terms of a status game. The academics want to use the OWS movement to enhance their status at the expense of people in business and finance. I predict that this attempt will fail. I think that the academics have worn out their welcome even worse than the bankers have.