>If you want to get something done you have to start off by putting in the work, then as other people see you being effective they join in and contribute their own energy and ideas.
This sounds exactly like a start-up and the way occupy is/was organized.
The spirit of iterate like mad, fail quickly and replicate successful ideas, much of which comes from modern military thinkers (for instance John Boyd's OODA loop -http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/OODA_loop ). Such theories actually have deep utility in adversarial settings.
>Unfortunately this kind of organization, while good at empowering individuals is bad at quick tactical responses such as when facing a well organized adversary, such as local politicians and police.
I would argue this form of organisation is excellent at quick tactical responses, but generally bad at longer range strategic plans (which is generally ok, since long term strategic planning is near impossible at the tempo of modern business/conflicts). Look at the shift in military affairs toward pushing decision making down the change of command (what is often called network centric warfare).
also to your point of chain of command - i used to work as a forest fire fighter and I can tell you that chain of command is definitely a contentious issue. It really does need to be a give and take where you can draw on the macro advantages of someone higher up but rely on actionable decisions from people on the front lines.