Thursday, December 4, 2014

The Original Occupy Wall Street and Occupy Chicago Statements


(I originally posted these items back in 2012. I was wrong about the timing of more protests. With the killing of Mike Brown by a policeman in Missouri, direct action in the streets is taking place right now in Winter. Reactions to that event now and Occupy Wall Street then share the same basic demand for justice for all Americans.)

As the weather gets warm again, it will be time for more protests in the streets. The Occupy movement spread all over the world last year. Here is the original Occupy NewYork City statement in its entirety. I wanted to post a copy on my blog because this may end up being one of the most important political documents of the 21st century.

Is it possible to agree with the statements here and still be a good Capitalist? I say the jury's still out on whether American-style Capitalism can last beyond the few hundred years it's existed, but if a truly sustainable Capitalist state is to endure, its citizens MUST address the issues laid out in this statement.


Declaration of the Occupation of New York City

As we gather together in solidarity to express a feeling of mass injustice, we must not lose sight of what brought us together. We write so that all people who feel wronged by the corporate forces of the world can know that we are your allies.

As one people, united, we acknowledge the reality: that the future of the human race requires the cooperation of its members; that our system must protect our rights, and upon corruption of that system, it is up to the individuals to protect their own rights, and those of their neighbors; that a democratic government derives its just power from the people, but corporations do not seek consent to extract wealth from the people and the Earth; and that no true democracy is attainable when the process is determined by economic power.

We come to you at a time when corporations, which place profit over people, self-interest over justice, and oppression over equality, run our governments. We have peaceably assembled here, as is our right, to let these facts be known:

  • They have taken our houses through an illegal foreclosure process, despite not having the original mortgage.
  • They have taken bailouts from taxpayers with impunity, and continue to give Executives exorbitant bonuses.
  • They have perpetuated inequality and discrimination in the workplace based on age, the color of one’s skin, sex, gender identity and sexual orientation.
  • They have poisoned the food supply through negligence, and undermined the farming system through monopolization.
  • They have profited off of the torture, confinement, and cruel treatment of countless nonhuman animals, and actively hide these practices.
  • They have continuously sought to strip employees of the right to negotiate for better pay and safer working conditions.
  • They have held students hostage with tens of thousands of dollars of debt on education, which is itself a human right.
  • They have consistently outsourced labor and used that outsourcing as leverage to cut workers’ healthcare and pay.
  • They have influenced the courts to achieve the same rights as people, with none of the culpability or responsibility.
  • They have spent millions of dollars on legal teams that look for ways to get them out of contracts in regards to health insurance.
  • They have sold our privacy as a commodity.
  • They have used the military and police force to prevent freedom of the press.
  • They have deliberately declined to recall faulty products endangering lives in pursuit of profit.
  • They determine economic policy, despite the catastrophic failures their policies have produced and continue to produce.
  • They have donated large sums of money to politicians who are supposed to be regulating them.
  • They continue to block alternate forms of energy to keep us dependent on oil.
  • They continue to block generic forms of medicine that could save people’s lives in order to protect investments that have already turned a substantive profit.
  • They have purposely covered up oil spills, accidents, faulty bookkeeping, and inactive ingredients in pursuit of profit.
  • They purposefully keep people misinformed and fearful through their control of the media.
  • They have accepted private contracts to murder prisoners even when presented with serious doubts about their guilt.
  • They have perpetuated colonialism at home and abroad.
  • They have participated in the torture and murder of innocent civilians overseas.
  • They continue to create weapons of mass destruction in order to receive government contracts.*
To the people of the world,

We, the New York City General Assembly occupying Wall Street in Liberty Square, urge you to assert your power.

Exercise your right to peaceably assemble; occupy public space; create a process to address the problems we face, and generate solutions accessible to everyone.

To all communities that take action and form groups in the spirit of direct democracy, we offer support, documentation, and all of the resources at our disposal.

Join us and make your voices heard!

*These grievances are not all-inclusive.


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And here is a reprint of the proposed demands of Occupy Chicago, which is an important step in answering the question asked by critics and skeptics, "What do those people want?"

1.PASS HR 1489 REINSTATING GLASS-STEAGALL. – A depression era safeguard that separated the commercial lending and investment banking portions of banks. Its repeal in 1999 is considered the major cause of the global financial meltdown of 2008-2009.

2. REPEAL BUSH TAX CUTS FOR THE WEALTHY

3. FULLY INVESTIGATE AND PROSECUTE THE WALL STREET CRIMINALS who clearly broke the law and helped cause the 2008 financial crisis.

4.OVERTURN CITIZENS UNITED v. US. – A 2010 Supreme Court Decision which ruled that money is speech. Corporations, as legal persons, are now allowed to contribute unlimited amounts of money to campaigns in the exercise of free “speech.”

5. PASS THE BUFFET RULE ON FAIR TAXATION, CLOSE CORPORATE TAX LOOPHOLES, PROHIBIT HIDING FUNDS OFFSHORE.

6. GIVE THE SEC STRICTER REGULATORY POWER, STRENGTHEN THE CONSUMER PROTECTION BUREAU, AND PROVIDE ASSISTANCE FOR OWNERS OF FORECLOSED MORTGAGES WHO WERE VICTIMS OF PREDATORY LENDING.

7.TAKE STEPS TO LIMIT THE INFLUENCE OF LOBBYISTS AND ELIMINATE THE PRACTICE OF LOBBYISTS WRITING LEGISLATION.

8. ELIMINATE RIGHT OF FORMER GOVERNMENT REGULATORS TO WORK FOR CORPORATIONS OR INDUSTRIES THEY ONCE REGULATED.

9. ELIMINATE CORPORATE PERSONHOOD.

10. INSIST THE FEC STAND UP FOR THE PUBLIC INTEREST IN REGULATING PRIVATE USE OF PUBLIC AIRWAVES to help ensure that political candidates ARE GIVEN EQUAL TIME for free at reasonable intervals during campaign season.

11. REFORM CAMPAIGN FINANCE WITH THE PASSAGE OF THE FAIR ELECTIONS NOW ACT (S.750, H.R. 1404).

12. FORGIVE STUDENT DEBT – The same institutions that gave almost $2T in bailouts and then extended $16T of loans at little to no interest for banks can surely afford to forgive the $946B of student debt currently held. Not only does this favor the 99% over the 1%, it has the practical effect of more citizens spending money on actual goods, not paying down interest.

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