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Forum Post: OUR TURN **************************

Posted 2 years ago on Sept. 29, 2011, 11:05 p.m. EST by GandhiKingMindset (124)
This content is user submitted and not an official statement

* OUR TURN **** (one person's view on where we go from here -- Please help edit so it can be made worthy of submission to those handling the official list)

We love America and because of that love, we also feel a deep need for fundamental change. Citizenship isn’t a spectator sport. If we want to enjoy prosperity and freedom and have a strong country, we’re going to have to take action.

Below this introduction is a LINK TO A NUMBERED LIST OF DEMANDS FOR THE U.S. CONGRESS. These are not vague or empty demands. They are specific. They have a deadline. And there will be active non-violent resistance by thousands of people if the demands are not met by the deadline.

But before we start demanding things, it’s important to get some perspective.

It’s easy to forget that this is a very young nation. It’s also easy to forget that this nation is a great and fragile experiment whose success is by no means assured. We should feel grateful to have the privilege of being a part of this experiment, but we should also feel a corresponding sense of responsibility for helping to ensure its success. Many before us put themselves at great risk to establish, strengthen and preserve the United States of America and it is becoming clear that it is now our turn.

We all feel it. In recent decades, this great experiment we’ve inherited has gone awry. We’re all searching for the source of this decline because, once we correctly identify the source, we can work on implementing targeted solutions. There are countless important improvements to make. Putting them all into one action list would be impossible and ill-advised.

One school of thought would be to identify a group of important reforms, push hard for them with all our might using proven tactics, and then move onto another group of important reforms. Once we get a taste of winning, our spirits will rise exponentially and so will the number of people supporting the efforts.

It is in the spirit of “taking many bites at the apple” that we submit the initial list of demands for reform below. They would, of course, need to be followed by additional demands for reform, one after the other, relentlessly, like waves rolling in from the sea. This initial list focuses on demanding that Congress use its powers to prevent further abuses by Wall Street and large corporations. These abuses have cost millions of Americans their jobs, their savings, their homes and their pride. Untold damage has been done to communities across the country. It’s impossible to have a great nation where only the few are benefitting and the great many are hurting. So let’s roll up our sleeves, get to work and take our first bite at the apple.

As we encounter inevitable and strong resistance, we should remember the words of one successful steward of change, Mahatma Gandhi, who once said this: “First they ignore you. Then they laugh at you. Then they fight you. Then you win.”

It is also important that we be very active in pushing for change but that our activity remain completely non-violent. Non-violence is powerful. Gandhi and his supporters pushed the British out of India without weapons. Martin Luther King, Jr. and his supporters won sweeping civil rights for millions of people using non-violent tactics. King explained the use of active non-violent resistance as follows in his “Letter from Birmingham Jail”:

"Nonviolent direct action seeks to create such a crisis and foster such a tension that a community which has constantly refused to negotiate is forced to confront the issue. It seeks to so dramatize the issue that it can no longer be ignored. My citing the creation of tension as part of the work of the nonviolent-resister may sound rather shocking. But I must confess that I am not afraid of the word "tension." I have earnestly opposed violent tension, but there is a type of constructive, nonviolent tension which is necessary for growth. . . The purpose of our direct-action program is to create a situation so crisis-packed that it will inevitably open the door to negotiation.”

These methods have worked throughout the last hundred years in countless ways. And now it is our turn to use them. Our love of our country and sense of justice will fuel us. Our adherence to the core principle of active non-violent resistance will guide us. And our successes will lift us. Stay strong and get ready for action.

PLEASE SEE THIS LINK FOR A PROPOSED LIST OF DEMANDS AND REVIEW OF TACTICS. Please comment so we can make this list great and submit it to organizers and those maintaining the official list. https://occupywallst.org/forum/proposed-list-of-demands-please-help-editadd-so-th/

66 Comments

66 Comments


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[-] 4 points by silenus136 (4) 2 years ago

IMHO, the most urgent challenge for the OWS movement is to get behind a simple and clear message, that will resonate in the short-attention span 24-hour news world and give the movement the legitimacy and credibility it deserves. The lack of a simple, coherent message/demands, repeated over and over in the media and by the OWS participants (kudos to all of you by the way, you are my heroes), is seriously undermining the real world impact of the amazing effort being put in by all of the OWS supporters doing their thing. Unfortunately, OWS does not have the fervent backing of a media behemoth (e.g. Fox News and the Tea Party), crafting a few talking points, literally distributing them to all of their hosts and pundits on a daily basis, and ensuring that they are repeated over and over in a media echo chamber until they appear to be much more broadly supported and politically meaningful than they actually are. As distasteful as the Tea Party/Fox News strategy has been, it has been startlingly effective. Let's learn from that and get some agreement on a few (no more than 4), short and sweet talking points to disseminate and to create the appearance that this is a cohesive movement with easy to describe goals.

For what it is worth, I've outlined below my suggestion for 3 talking points; a "manifesto" for the OWS movement that is sound-bite friendly, can be repeated over and over, and has a chance to attract the focused attention of media and pundits. To those who feel their passionate issues are ignored by these points, I've reviewed all the commentary on this site and I really think these general principles have room in the details of implementation to encompass all of the OWS detailed policy desires:

  1. A constitutional amendment overturning Citizen's United, to return governing the people to the people by getting get corporate money out of the political system.
  2. Reform the tax code to ensure that it is fair, simple, and appropriately progressive, with rates that reflect those in effect during the prosperous Clinton (and Reagan) era.
  3. Enact a 21st century WPA-style infrastructure, education and new energy technology investment program to create jobs and position the country to succeed in a more competitive world.

I work in the media, and am 100% convinced that absent a clear list of demands, the OWS movement is doomed to become viewed as nothing more than a group of troublemakers aimlessly acting out. What a shame that would be. Don't let the desire for a "perfect" expression of your specific demands be the enemy of a GOOD, concise statement of demands/values that can gain some traction and legitimize this vital movement.

[-] 1 points by therising (6643) 2 years ago

Addressing Citizens United would be my number one priority.

[-] 1 points by MaDTruthSeekeR (17) from New York, NY 2 years ago

You can also have soundbites that are just the snippet of the whole message, a drop of the ocean.

[-] 1 points by Gylliwynn (56) 2 years ago

Our One Demand

We should compose a contract, simply called THE PEOPLE'S CONTRACT. Present it as a legal document and expose it to the public. Then find an intelligent, willing and suitable candidate to run for office on that contract that will step up, sign it, campaign on it and they will probably have the backing of the masses.

THE PEOPLE'S CONTRACT will contain a list of REPEALS the people DEMAND:

1.the Reagan income tax cut of 1981 that benefitted the rich, but made it necessary to sharply raise all other federal taxes, paid mostly by the poor and the middle class, to finance that tax cut. 2.Unenforced antitrust laws, leading to mergers among large and profitable firms, but killing high-paying jobs in numerous industries. 3.Permitting the oil industry mergers in the 1990s that are now preventing oil prices from falling in the worst slump since the 1930s. 4.Permitting relentless mergers among pharmaceuticals and health insurance companies, so that America, far more than any other nation, now spends almost 15 percent of its gross domestic product (GDP) on health care that is mediocre by European and Japanese standards. 5.Unchecked use of outsourcing that kills high-paying jobs in manufacturing and services. 6.Ignoring the growth of the trade deficit that has destroyed our manufacturing base. 7.The 1999 repeal of the Glass-Steagall Act under President Clinton that led to reckless lending by bands and an unprecedented housing bubble, which collapsed in 2007 to trigger the ongoing slump. 8.The Bush tax cuts and bailouts that further benefitted the rich while nearly doubling the government debt. 9.The decimation of the real minimum wage by President Reagan and other Republicans. (In 1981, the hourly minimum wage bought $8 worth of goods compared to $6 by the end of Reagan's presidency in 1988, and to a mere $5.15 in 2006 under Bush.) http://www.truth-out.org/occupy-wall-street-movement-and-coming-demise-crony-capitalism/1318341474

In addition to the above repeals, new laws will be enacted with some amended to the Constitution:

1.No person, corporation or business entity of any type, domestic or foreign, shall be allowed to contribute money, directly or indirectly, to any candidate for Federal office or to contribute money on behalf of or opposed to any type of campaign for Federal office. Getmoneyout.com 2.All work conducted within our government shall be made transparent to the public. 3.All Federal laws shall be enforced and must be investigated should problems arise. There will be no exemptions. No time limits shall be set for previous conduct within the banking industry and Wall Street. 4.Personhood shall be withdrawn as a legal status for corporations. 5.Citizens United shall be abolished and unlawful

This legal contract will be enacted into law, if it can get through Congress, immediately upon election of this candidate!

This will be revised and rewritten several times, hopefully with more of your ideas, until it can be sent to a law firm for editing in legal term, that is, if consensus wants to use this idea. I put this together after reading an articulate and informative article (above) by an economist, Ravi Batra, who explains in layman's term how we got into this plummeting economic situation. He suggested presenting his list of repeals to Obama as an agenda, which gave me the idea to, instead, make it a legal contract and select an outside candidate who is not tarnished within the government establishment. The legal contract idea came from Grover Norquist; so kudos to him! I put it on the forum earlier and received more fabulous suggestions of what may be included.

Please feel free to list more WITHOUT REDUNDANCY, please.

Sasha, someone with more ideas on this forum, mentioned to me a brilliant lawyer who has exposed the corruption within the banking debacle, but cannot proceed with any investigation because the people who committed those crimes have been allowed to stay in their positions. His name is William K. Black (google him), and wouldn't it be great if he would devise this contract when it is complete.

We can have a unified cause to protest on!

This is our demand:

THE PEOPLE'S CONTRACT

[-] 2 points by sudoname (1001) from Berkeley, CA 2 years ago

My vote is on this one. You can't solve everything at once but I think it's a great way to get things going. IMO, it goes far enough on the 1% without alienating the 99%, and would represent years of reform.

[-] 1 points by RedJazz43 (2757) 2 years ago

I agree with what the home page of this web site says. That we don't need politicians and we don't need Wall Street to build a better world. If that is the case it makes no sense to make demands on politicians that we don;t need in the first place. What we need is to build the movement. What we need are more GAs and more occupations, not demands on institutions which at their best would be hostile to our vision of a genuinely peaceful, loving and democratic world.

[-] 1 points by therising (6643) 2 years ago

It's time for the American people to rise from their slumber.

[-] 1 points by therising (6643) 2 years ago

Our turn to rise and shine. But first we must unite as the 99%. Then we can make decisions from a position of unified power rather than making demands from a position of divided weakness. The key is to engage in actions approved hrough the General Assembly so the process is transparent and legitimate. The process along the way matters in a revolution and ends up defining where the revolution ends up.

[-] 1 points by therising (6643) 2 years ago

Once we, the 99%, realize that we ARE the 99%, we'll be able to make decisions from a position of unified power rather than demands from a position of divided weakness.

[-] 1 points by joeberhan (6) 2 years ago

3rd PROPOSAL for Demands list: Repeal of the UNCONSTITUTIONAL Federal Reserve Act of 1913: restoring of the CONSTITUTIONAL decree that only CONGRESS issue and regulate money in perpetuity, restoring of the CONSTITUTIONAL decree that INCOME CANNOT BE TAXED in perpetuity, passage of law clearly illegalizing the UNCONSTITUTIONAL borrowing by federal government of money from private institutions and individuals in perpetuity.

[-] 1 points by joeberhan (6) 2 years ago

2nd PROPOSAL for Demands list: CONGRESSIONAL Investigation of The Attacks of September 11, 2001, open to all 9/11 victims’ families and national media, on live national television, with full subpoena and legal power. The 9/11 Commission Report states “This is not an investigation; it is an accounting of what happened.” For what the 9/11 Commission concluded was “the worst intelligence failure in U.S. history,” no officials were charged legally or disciplined. A petition signed by over 1,000 architects and engineers citing evidence of explosive demolition of World Trade Center buildings 1, 2, and 7, and calling for a CONGRESSIONAL Investigation into who caused the demolitions was sent to EVERY MEMBER OF CONGRESS in February, 2010 (http://www2.ae911truth.org/signpetition.php), which must be included. Same petition signed by over 1,200 architects and engineers (over 1,000 of which are U.S. citizens) was handed to staff of EVERY MEMBER OF CONGRESS in September, 2010. Now over 1,600 architects and engineers have signed said petition. Some MEMBERS OF CONGRESS have called for investigation into the money trail, particularly the extraordinary number of "put options” betting that only American Airlines and United Airlines stock price would fall (http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2001/09/19/eveningnews/main311834.shtml), with leads to the U.S. stock exchanges and banking system which must be included. Many 9/11 victims’ families and survivors have filed lawsuits challenging the official version of events; their claims must be heard legally and included. We will provide expert witnesses—including Pentagon survivors, air traffic controllers involved on that day, steel-frame architects, structural engineers, physicists, U.S. Air Force interceptor pilots, U.S. commercial pilots, N.Y.F.D. and N.Y.P.D. survivors, and others in relevant fields. This CONGRESSIONAL Investigation must commence within one year of deliverance of these Demands, and conclude within one year of commencement.

[-] 1 points by joeberhan (6) 2 years ago

PROPOSAL for Demands list: Outlaw “fractional reserve banking” (in Federal Reserve guidelines on money creation) which allows banks to loan out 10 times as much money as they have in reserve. It is legalized counterfeiting by which banks own over 90% of U.S. Total Money Supply (“M3”) by creating money out of thin air (mortgages, commercial loans, etc.) & the Federal Reserve private bank cartel uses to create (loan to government, interest paid back by Income Tax) all increases of national debt & inflationary infusions into M3. We must pay back principal + interest in real money (which banks then loan out 10 more times, in an infinite cycle) on loans for which banks never actually provided the principal (when we can no longer pay, our homes are taken), amounting to legalized slavery.

[-] 1 points by dankpoet (425) 2 years ago

This movement is more primal than that. Our one demand, as I believe that is all we can afford has to be: Amend the Constitution for government ONLY financing of elections, no contributions, from anyone; rendering Citizens United a moot point. It’s the only piece of this that resonates with the anti-establishment left, the anti-establishment right and everyone in between. Including many who make 350k+ believe me its great to make that kind of money but that doesn't mean you want to spend it on some one's (or even your own) campaign where the mega-corps and uber-unions are going to drown you out anyway. The shear fear of this movement uniting and growing, immune to their false discourse would so scare the shit out of them they'd probably start proactively trying to appease us. Wouldn't that be nice? Oh, and its spin-proof. The logical contortions involved in trying to spin this would only push people to us.

[-] 1 points by Christy (62) 2 years ago

Can we please make one of the demands relief from private (commercial) student loans (we should be allowed to discharge them). Many of us are drowning in student loan debt. PRIVATE student loans are a big problem- they are offered at high interest rates, and they have a lot of fees. Predatory lenders lent out millions of dollars several years ago- and they were poorly regulated.

[-] 1 points by themiddle (1) from Richardson, TX 2 years ago

It is hard to find a secure and substantial job even with a college or university education. A job that leaves you with a plan to evenly pay off your student loans in X amount of time seems to be virtually non-existent. Something should be done to the ever increasing state school costs. (to Christy and silenus135 [third bulllet])

[-] 1 points by Nesgain106 (1) 2 years ago

End oil subsidies, End all earmarks, end tax cut for corporations out source, end rich tax cuts,raise the minim rage,demand jobs,

[-] 1 points by BillRVN1968 (4) from Evansville, IN 2 years ago

These Demands are GREAT.

Let's do all we can to get them implemented.

Can you do more to publicize them and increase support to get them implemented.

[-] 1 points by Quark (236) 2 years ago

Term Limitations! It will stop a lot of corruption. A New Voting System!

Lets put the cell phones voting use.

[-] 1 points by MaDTruthSeekeR (17) from New York, NY 2 years ago

I don't want bank reforms. I want all banks turned over to public regulation.

I want laws restricting how much money can go to private war making companies.

All the military spending in the U.S. is ridiculous, irresponsible and only meant to make the 1% stronger and stronger.

If we are going to talk about non-violence then we have to address the war machine!

[-] 1 points by Tiredofripoffs (2) 2 years ago

Congress or? change voter laws to public may vote ANY time under the 24/3 WEEKEND Vote, Voting places open Fri 6AM, stay open until Sunday 6PM to maximize citizens involvement. Currently elected doing all they can to minimize vote via restrictive legislation "To assure only legal votes" blah blah. Truth is NO documented proof of "illegal voters". Call it "Voter 24/3" encourage schools to have kids attend parents votes. Those against will say "We cannot afford it", assure unions, students other volunteer to work the 24/3 to keep places open, ask for exact "Extra costs" as most places worked by volunteers. Want USA back, maximize the vote, only those that fear citizens will be against it. NOTE NOT a "radical or budget buster", just for a change, maximize, not minimize the people,that "other 95-99%..

[-] 1 points by improvingourworld (2) 2 years ago

CONTINUOUSLY IMPROVE DEMOCRACY. Continuously invent and conduct new experiments in democracy — and see which ones work best. First try them in a few cities, and try the best of these at higher levels. Residents of places trying the experiments can vote on the results. In conducting new experiments, we should try some of the following. Use combinations of lotteries and elections to select officials. Have term limits for more offices. Strictly limit campaign contributions and give equal mass media time to all qualified candidates. Require candidates to advance through government one level at a time.

Almost two thirds of the world’s people are governed by some kind of democracy. But many of these democracies are corrupted by corporate greed. Democracy is also in danger from the growing number of ignorant people. Many don’t care enough to vote, and some don’t learn enough about the people or things they vote for.

In today’s democracies, people use only voting to choose their representatives. This leaves democracy wide open to corruption. In the first representative democracy (Athenian democracy), people used mainly lotteries to select their representatives, as the best way to protect democracy from corruption. Today democracy is much more at risk because: the rich are many times richer (51 of the world’s largest 100 economies are those of corporations); election campaigns cost much more; and modern mass media has much power. Today people still use lotteries to select trial jurors. Why is it still good for personal justice but not social justice? When using lotteries as part of selecting representatives, the following happens. It’s more difficult for extreme wealth to corrupt government. There’s reduced need for political parties — which saves money and reduces social discord. More people have a chance to serve in government. So, there’s more diversity in government; and there’s more respect for one another, the laws we make, and the people who enforce our laws.

RESOURCES ON USING RANDOM SELECTION FOR DEMOCRACY

www.thebalancedrepublic.com presents a way to use random selection in choosing the US House of Representatives. Basically, 300 volunteer registered voters from each Congressional District are randomly selected, quickly assemble, spend time getting to know one another, and pick their District’s Representative(s) from among themselves.

A Citizen Legislature is a short book (at www.well.com/user/mp/citleg.html) that examines the benefits and drawbacks of using random selection to pick the US House of Representatives.

Let’s Toss for It: A Surprising Curb on Political Greed is a research paper (at www.constitution.org/elec/sortition_knag.htm) that discusses the characteristics and effects of using random selection, as well as its potential for present-day use. It also discusses its history and offers applications in the American political system.

Casting and Drawing Lots: A Time Honoured Way of Dealing with Uncertainty and for Ensuring Fairness is a research paper (at www.jameslindlibrary.org/essays/casting_of_lots/casting.html) that discusses using random selection from a historical perspective, including Biblical references and its use in military service.

Random Selection in Politics is a book by Professors Carson and Martin. It offers a college-level discussion on the benefits and drawbacks of using random selection to choose representatives in government.

[-] 1 points by thebeast890 (6) 2 years ago

OWS Demands: 1) TAX: Raise Taxes on the Wealthy to pay for a Jobs Bill 2) INVESTIGATE: Begin Investigations of Banks who traded sub-prime mortgages and AAA products and the recipients of Tarp 1 and Tarp 2 to track the money and arrest those who abused and wasted it. 3) VOTE: Create the 99% Party, support leaders who hold OWS beliefs, and change the priorities of government to protect and grow the American Economy without great economic disparities.

[-] 1 points by thebeast890 (6) 2 years ago

OWS Demands: 1) TAX: Raise Taxes on the Wealthy to pay for a Jobs Bill 2) INVESTIGATE: Begin Investigations of Banks who traded sub-prime mortgages and AAA products and the recipients of Tarp 1 and Tarp 2 to track the money and arrest those who abused and wasted it. 3) VOTE: Create the 99% Party, support leaders who hold OWS beliefs, and change the priorities of government to protect and grow the American Economy without great economic disparities.

[-] 1 points by pita0517 (3) 2 years ago

I believe that a system that would alleviate some of the inequities between the classes could go something like this: Individuals making less than $40k a year and families making less than $70k a year will be exempt from this proposal. Based on a sliding scale and family size, taxpayers will contribute a small amount of money that will be placed into a fund that helps: the homeless: the poor; the unemployed, and the under-employed. Individuals who earn over $40k and families that earn over $70k will have to contribute $1 a week from their paychecks or pensions. The more money you make, the more you have to contribute. For example, if an individual makes 40-45K may contribute $1 per paycheck/pension and a family earning between 70-75k may contribute $1 per paycheck/pension as well. An individual who makes $60k may have to contribute $2 per pay; $80k --$3 per pay, and so forth. However, this money will go into a fund that will be "bail us out" if need be as well as help provide empowering programs for urban areas that have been oppressed for many decades. Family support systems, employment training, drug treatment centers, and educational reform are examples to help empower these poor urban areas. This fund will also not leave out the middle class, who are unable to receive government assistance because of higher income levels--especially single parent households with one income that supports his or her family. Many middle-class citizens are unemployed. Granted, unemployment benefits help for awhile. However, many people have relinquished their unemployment and emergency benefits and need more assistance in this declining economy. The under-employed is a major problem in this country as well. Many people are only able to gain employment either part-time, through temporary agencies, or as contract employees. Many of these positions do not offer medical benefits either. This fund will help individuals and families who were put in these uncompromising positions because of the societal inequities indicative of a capitalistic environment that has gotten out of control. The people that contribute to the fund will be able to utilize the fund as needed. It could be called FEFA--the Federal Emergency Fund for Americans and could be taken out of paychecks and pensions. (Social Security checks are exempt as well as unemployment checks) Hey just a thought....$1, $2 a week...multiply that by billions of Americans and that makes for a nice piece of change to help us all out.

[-] 1 points by daffyff (104) from Redwood City, CA 2 years ago

The statement that America is "a very young nation" is simply false. We are more than 200 years old, and very few governments last longer than 300. That is all I have in terms of criticism. Otherwise a moving article.

[-] 1 points by therising (6643) 2 years ago

Well, Europe does have a whole different perspective on time and a much longer memory. Americans are known for ultra short memories when it comes to history. We ARE a pretty young nation. Think about it, we only gave African Americans the right to vote 60 years ago or so (Voting Rights Act)...so some African Americans alive today were turned away at the polls. And it wasn't long before that that women fought for and won the right to vote.

Let me put it this way. I agree that we're a young nation because we have the arrogance of a young nation. Look at the Iraq war. Citizens and leaders alike mostly supported U.S. going in brazenly even though the excuses given for war had changed several times and were not very credible. Who can forget Colin Powell trading in all his credibility to try to convince U.N. to support pre-emptive war.

Only a young nation would be so reckless and arrogant in my view.

[-] 1 points by lambert (6) 2 years ago

Here is a list of Gene Sharp's 198 Methods of Non-Violent Protest and Persuasion, with links to where they have been used worldwide in the last year, including Egypt, Spain, Greece, and the United States.

http://www.correntewire.com/nv

[-] 1 points by Haroldm (7) 2 years ago

I would have to object to the RobinHood comparison. Rob the rich to give to the poor? If one expects something for nothing they can also expect little support! I believe that taxation should occur on income above ones ability to consume a product of the economy. Consumption creates jobs! If you can save and invest, you have benefited from society greater than your own needs as demonstrated by your own actions! You can afford to contribute and will be expected to do so! That is not welfare! That is not robbery! That is extraction of an excess portion of the proceeds of ones ability to take advantage of the system to pay for the system that makes that possible! The ROBINHOOD reference is exactly how Wall Street would prefer the movement were percieved! Taxation is to support services rendered not redristribute the wealth of the 1% to the 99%. While it is necessary to use a portion of taxes to support a portion of the population, the statement expresses pure greed in such an unadulterated form that you not only shoot your self in the foot, you chop off both legs!

[-] 1 points by kevindblanch (2) 2 years ago

bring back usary laws end usary this country had usary laws that said no one can charge more than 5 % ove prime for decades, think about how that could change the dynamic over night kevin d. blanch

[-] 1 points by FGJ (3) 2 years ago

TACTICS: To use the song "Power to the People" by John Lennon as the movement's anthem

DEMANDS FOR CONGRESS: 1. To penalize the acceptance by politicians of donations made by corporations. 2. To institute a tax on every single speculative financial transaction made by financial institutions. 3. To establish the annual "one-for-all" contribution, meaning that every company worth more than 1 million dollars should contribute an amount equal to 1% of its net worth to a government fund destined to education, public health and other similar social programs.

[-] 1 points by youmeiyou (4) 2 years ago

We are amending the hitherto antiquated "rights of man(kind)" with the infallible truth that the sustenance of life is now and forever a commercial free-zone. Currency, commerce and markets, which by definition are intangible matters of opinion (individual and/or collective) and therefore only a product of imagination, are reserved solely for those who perceive "value" in the exchange of non-essential goods and services as long as said transactions do not impede upon any non-participating life-form. Those (human and non-) that do not share a similar imaginative perception of value should not and will not have their fundamental right to life and to the optimum access of that which sustains life usurped. We are life. We are liberty. We are the 99%.

[-] 1 points by hal34 (1) 2 years ago

The foundation of this country is that we are free and able to choose are own destiny. Wall street is a necessary part of that. Unfortunately we have people that will steel, lie, and prey upon others to get what the media portrays as to what the American dream is. We went from owning a house with a white picket fence as the American dream, to a multimillion dollar mansion on twelve acres of land with a 12 foot high wall, and a garage with 7 cars, one for every day of the week. With no restraints or consequences these people accomplish this new American dream. There is nothing wrong with being rich or filthy rich, but earn your money without denying others of their dream.

[-] 1 points by therising (6643) 2 years ago

I agree to a point. I think it's about having guardrails for corporations to keep them from externalizing their expenses and also making the income of thosemthat benefit from the system pay their fair share in taxes to maintain the integrity of the system that DID in part help them achieve success.

The place we need to get is a place where the people who make out realize that the roads, bridges, societal safety net, fire department, police department etc etc etc all helped create a situation in which they could have the opportunity to do very well if they were smart and worked hard.

[-] 1 points by planckbrandt (5) 2 years ago

The root of our problem lies in the "balance of power" the Founders put in the US Constitution to protect Aristocratic slave owners from popular voters in Northern Cities. This is from whence comes Electoral College, the Senate, Senate Rules, but also campaign finance and "money as speech". These "protections" are there to protect the "property" of the Top 1% from the mass votes of 99%. This is the imbalance we have to overcome.That is why the Supreme Court approved of PAC laws from 1974. Those PAC laws enabled Corporate PACs to overtake Union PACs as early as the late- 1970s. This is what we have to fix. This is what gives Supreme Court their justification for allowing all these rigs to our system that unfairly favor the property rights of the Top 1%, protecting them from progressive taxation and cessation of their foreign war "free" economy. But,they do not give us the 99% any power to protect ourselves against their upward redistribution of our property, hard-earned through wage-earning, not inheritance, their corporate welfare which tops $740B a year in uncollected tax subsidies, and the foreign wars we wage for them so they can build their oil and minerals extraction businesses as they are now in Afghanistan, Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan, and now Sudan and Horn of Africa. This costs us more than $1.2T a year all in when debt service, VA, and social security costs are added in from the "welfare" categories to carefully hide them.

[-] 1 points by kmegan1 (4) 2 years ago

How is this going? I support your message 100%

[-] 1 points by progresseachday (5) 2 years ago

This gives some context -- something that's important as info on the movement is broadcast across America on the Reverend Al Sharpton's radio show. Sharpton's civil rights activity, like that of Congressman John Louis, may help bring an important perspective to the effort. http://www.cnn.com/2011/10/10/us/occupy-wall-street/

[-] 1 points by occupyglobal (1) 2 years ago

Summary of key points found on http://piratenpad.de/cyG2aD0YGO (link was subject of official chat channel)

We are the occupiers of the world, we are the people.

We believe the rights of all people should be respected.

We believe that economies should focus on creating the greatest amount of happiness, for the greatest number of people, not the greatest amount of wealth for the 1% of people.

We are against outsourcing where the 99% lose their jobs, the corporation creates wealth and it is given as a bonus to the 1%. Economics focuses on greatest amount of wealth but this is not always these policies do not always create the fairest distribution. We do not believe in "free trade" only "fair trade".

We believe in a Robin Hood system where the 1% is taxed heavily and the proceeds are given to the 99% for expenditure. We do not support tax loopholes and we believe this will create jobs and businesses from a trickle up system.

We believe in balanced government budgets.

We do not support bank bailouts. We believe in FDIC to cover individuals losses in deposit / savings and GIC accounts but do not believe that blank cheques to banks are the solution.

We believe in a system free of corruption. Lobbying and secret societies (eg. freemasons) should be illegal, corporations should not be able to donate to political systems. Politicians should be given strict term limits.

We believe in fair policing. Those involved with white collar crime: fraud within government, banks or industry should be held accountable and incarcerated.

We believe in an independent media. They must be held accountable to form facts in an objective matter instead of citing opinions as fact.

We believe in the right to organize.

We believe that corporations are not people.

We do not support wars that take money from our societies and make corporations rich. We do not support the patriot act.

We believe everyone should have equal opportunity to jobs based upon their talents. We support an accessible college system not one based on ability to pay. We believe the education system should be centered around student success.

We believe in worker success and success of the 99%.

We are the 99% and we will succeed.

[-] 1 points by Tiredofripoffs (2) 2 years ago

Gone a bit overboard on the "Free Masons" as some sort of evil. Please provide back up for that one, Ever been to a Shrine hospital?

[-] 1 points by Grassroots (1) 2 years ago

I am personally writing letters to my senator and congressperson requesting a weekly update on how the demands of Occupy are being supported in Congress. I think if we organize locally and create advocates for Occupy in the communities we are strongest, we WILL see change. We may even get some of our own in Congress.

[-] 1 points by occupythegreenparty (157) 2 years ago

We need to work toward Zero Waste and Zero Pollution and we need to REVERSE the supreme court decision that we can patent living things.

[-] 1 points by occupythegreenparty (157) 2 years ago

I've been thinking about our election system. I know there are many groups working on different things Like getting Corporations to not be people. And lowering the signature count to gain ballot access. I think we must do something to elevate the voting system to our most paramount activity in the country. So here is what I have in mind it's just a start, not fleshed out but...

EQUAL ACCESS AMENDMENT

Whereas Voting is the most important activity in a civilized society. Whereas the Declaration of Independence states we are all equal. Whereas the substance of life can cause us to be unequal such as our location, finances, education, it is necessary to set in motion boundaries to keep our elections equal for all citizens.

  1. Board of Elections: Need be established as the hub of all election activity. A central place providing information on all laws and bills. Classes on civics. Meeting rooms and the highest law abiding center.

  2. Ballot Access: All citizens should have equal access (meaning the same requirements) to creating a political party and achieving a ballot line. The Board of Elections should accept applications for political party status requiring only proof of actually behaving as a political party. statement of beliefs, 12 meetings per year, agendas, minutes and attendance sheets to prove the meetings took place. All who meet political party status shall have a ballot line and attend debates.

  3. Access for non party citizens: Citizen wishing to run without a party... must register at the BOE. They must convince people to write in their names on election day

  4. Debates: The Board of Elections will schedule a certain number of debates for all parties who have achieved status by a deadline (same day in every state) and all citizens who have registered without a party. The debates shall be afforded the status of the Olympics in that it will not be some short one or two hour activity. Location of the debate can be done by raffle or bidding. In attendance of the live event will only be media personnel. Any media may attend. Partial citizens will not be allowed in audible distance of the debates. Each Candidate will be given equal time to be used as they see fit. Let's say 90 minutes. The number of questions will be determined before hand. Candidates may know the questions beforehand.

Candidates may use powerpoint or some such device to illustrate their answers. All powerpoint sources must be identified. After the question is placed on the screen candidates may answer. The order of the answerer will not be as important because all answers will be recorded. The candidate may speak as long as they like but they will be using their own 90 minutes. Any time a candidate speaks they must turn on their timer to turn on their mic. If they run out of time before the debate is over they will no longer be able to speak.

  1. Donations: No donations may exceed the amount that the poorest of our citizens can afford. At $20 a month for the four years of contributing time a candidate would have to request funds that is a total of $960. To make donations citizens must go in person to the Board of Elections office and donate to any or all candidates not more than $960 a piece in the election cycle. The Board of Elections will check their voting status and deposit their donation in the candidates account. The board will inform the citizen when they have reached their donations limit. A candidate may donate to his own campaign at no more than $960. No other donations will be allowed for elections. Candidates will receive cards to access their funds. The board of Elections will be able to track purchases. Purchases for elections not made with card will not be allowed.

In-Kind donations will have their value determined at the board of elections not to exceed the value of $960. (so basically if someone wants to let you use their room the rental cost would be listed as a donation) A business may make an IN-Kind donation by going to the board of elections office of the county where the item will be used. (a certificate will be issued verifying what was registered for use and the value) A business may not make cash donations.

  1. Bills: Bills shall be single issue. Bills shall be addressed in the numerical order as presented. Bills shall not be set aside on a partisan basis. Not to be addressed until the party in power supports it enough to bring it out to committee.

  2. Voting: Instant Runoff voting shall be used to allow citizens the greatest opportunity to choose whom they want. Ballots shall be dot filled paper ballots that can be counted electronically and maintain a paper trail.

Perhaps the demands you've listed can be made into one amendment/ by joining this idea here.

Well this is just the start. What do you all think?

[-] 1 points by gracie (16) 2 years ago

I like your attitude - non-violence is definitely KEY. And I like your list of demands. I do think we need to stay somewhat focused to begin with if we are going to make an accomplishments at all and starting with the corruption in Wall Street and Banking makes the most sense, seeing that the movement started with that notion. However, to echo many of the other comments, it's hard to imagine any of these demands being met and sustained if we don't take the money and corruption out of elections and public service. It might be more effective to start specifically with your demands surrounding lobbyists, corporation donations, and campaign finance reform etc. as we are entering campaign season. And I would add ending the electoral college to those demands so that every citizen's vote counts. Next, I don't know if there is a tentative date of action, but I think we should give the congress more than three days time to actually pass any bills - like say a month or so. And during that time we need to plan as many organized marches around the country as possible to show the legislators how many americans want this type of change and how serisous we are.

[-] 1 points by therising (6643) 2 years ago

I agree with you. At this juncture, the more organized non-violent protests the better. This is creating that healthy tension described in this post and the one connected with it. Martin Luther King, Jr. really had it right.

Also, it appears that the three days you reference is actually 3 days to make a commitment. The actual bills would be passed by the end of the year. It seems this is a good timeframe because the movement will continue to grow and we don't want it to get out of control huge without having a step one list of goals / demands. As the post says, we can certainly go at this again and again with different sets of demand centered around different categories. Kind of makes sense to have a theme for each group of demands, don't you think?

[-] 1 points by bella (14) 2 years ago

Follow the blog Sky of Stars. Read this post: The RIght to Better Government http://theskyofstars.blogspot.com/2011/05/right-to-better-government.html

[-] 1 points by Sarah01 (5) 2 years ago

I'm sorry if not that informed on a lot of the issues, so this may seem naive but I think a lot of issues with greedy fat cats be resolved if we could enact a income cap. Say CEOs can only make 200 times annually the income of their lowest paid worker. Regulate the greed. Also regulate their ridiculous bonuses, they are laying off worker left and right but taking multi-million dollar bonus. I would say that they shouldn't be able to get more than their annual income in bonuses, annually. Still a good deal for the "elite" 400 times the pay of their lowest paid worker, and I bet everyone would be making more than minimum wage. I know many people reading this are saying but that not how a free country works, well this country isn’t truly free (never has been) and it definitely isn’t working. In fact I think it's broke.

[-] 1 points by EMU (3) 2 years ago

Do you want to think about the shortcomings of the current democratic process too? I mean part of feeling disenfranchised surely is because neither democrats nor republicans represent you and care about you, right? You wouldn't have to stand there if you could force a referendum on the issues you think are important, correct?

The whole system is set up to favour the big parties. There's gerrymandering. There are electors, which skew election results. There is the idea that you give one party free reign for two or 4 years. Is this good? Or do you think it's better to have a system where there are several parties, some being one-issue-parties like pro-environmental or pro-economy and billsget approved with shifting majorities?

What about ranked voting like the australians do, which gives much better results to compromise candidates or -solutions?

[-] 1 points by artmashupdc (5) 2 years ago

Please be more specific about food. Americans are the largest pool of Guinea Pigs on the face of the industrialized planet. US companies have successfully cut the life of a cow from approx 30 months to 15 months from birth to slaughter while increasing the body weight over 30%. Similar feats have been achieved with pigs and chickens, all with the use of large doses of growth hormones combined with large doses of antibiotics to fight the diseases the animals own immune system could not possibly accomplish under such circumstances. In addition they are fed genetically modified chemically infused "food" to further speed the process. The "industry" pays university research departments millions of dollars to consistently "prove" these hormones / chemicals are not entering and affecting the human food chain. They are wrong. Just look around, look at the statistics.

The US has almost NO regulation on the way animals are raised, what they are fed and how they are processed.

Also, over 50% of the food that reaches the "market" (over 70% that reaches consumers through corporate restaurant chains) is irradiated. This is another whole issue that gets NO attention in America.

Once again, the FIRST piece of legislation EVER to be considered on how animal farming is done in America is in the House now (House Bill 1813 or Senate Bill 5487) and it sets "voluntary" limits on the number of egg laying hens that can be kept in a pen that is approx 18"x24" (currently some egg companies put as many as 10 hens in this tiny cage, each hen having less then 48 square inches of room) and whether they can use sleep deprivation etc to force the hens to lay more eggs. The milk industry uses as cruel tactics to drain more milk from cows in this country.

We need to call for a top down total review of all of the practices that bring Americans all foods. Some look into European standards / practices would be a start.

Anyway, don't be shy or vague. Americans are Guinea Pigs to Industrial Food companies in a big way. This has to stop NOW.

Thanks again for your work.

[-] 1 points by artmashupdc (5) 2 years ago

Please address our arcane and outdated economic system. Specifically the existence of people / unregulated institutions that control literally trillions of dollars in global capital that answers to no legitimate government, i.e.; governments that "govern" the people from where this capital originates. There should be a global ban on ALL unregulated pools of capital and especially a direct ban on any financial institution that is backed by taxpayer dollars i.e.; through insurance of citizens deposits, offering any services, loans, accounts or any fiduciary services whatsoever to these unregulated organizations.

Further, any institution that is backed by taxpayers / citizens should be banned from trading / offering trading services, credit or having any fiduciary role or role otherwise with respect to unregulated financial products.

These laws need to be in place now. A global effort should be established to eradicate all unregulated pools of capital.

PLEDGE: I have a desire to completely do away with “unregulated markets” of all kinds and “unregulated financial derivatives” of all kinds. In a world with nearly 7 Billion people, highly interconnected and mutually destined to live the same fate, there no longer exist any positive human element to Trillions of Dollars swathing around betting for or against any asset class or created asset class with the sole objective of raking as much money out of the global financial system as possible irrespective of the consequences of their actions on the lives, destinies or wellbeing of the human beings their actions touch.

These unregulated institutions function outside of the regulatory structures of any nation, global governing body, or regulated institutions, answer to no person or persons in any jurisdiction with which they operate and seek to make money irrespective of their impact on the human beings they may have positively or negatively affected. They need to be eliminated or regulated. They need all funding by regulated financial institutions to be terminated. Their products need to be liquidated. We need them no more.

All 401k accounts should go to cash now and stay in cash until the government fixes our vastly broken "free market" system. With thousands of people employing ever sophisticated technology with the sole purpose of taking as much cash out of the "free markets" and putting it in their pockets (clearly 60-80% of all volume in the "regulated markets" is being dictated by institutional traders, unregulated money), it is unwise for any hard working American to even contemplate putting money into this very broken system. I fear a entire generation of poverty stricken retirees within the next 5 years once again asking for a federal bail out of their worthless retirement accounts.

[-] 1 points by tomcat1762 (1) from Floral Park, NY 2 years ago

Just get rid of fractional reserve banking, that will solve most problems.

[-] 1 points by HankRearden (476) 2 years ago

+1 End the Fed.

[-] 1 points by packrat (14) 2 years ago

+2 to the above.

[-] 1 points by OccupyTheAgenda (58) from Chicago, IL 2 years ago

The people need to dominate the governments agenda. We should demand public referendums first, make rules for news organizations, limit corporate political speech, limit money as speech, citizen Jury to replace the authority of the Supreme Court in civil challenges to state and federal laws, elect our cabinet officials, elect our committee members, end legislative riders.

Maybe then the people can push their own agenda.

[-] 1 points by occupythegreenparty (157) 2 years ago

Equal Ballot Access or Equal Access Amendment also Media protection so we can have the truth.

[-] 1 points by abubakrs (3) 2 years ago

a fundamental problem is that anything which we can legislate, can be unlegislated. it is proven that the electoral system can be bought so the problem lies with the electoral system. but is there another system? yes. we use sortition for picking juries; we could use sortition for picking houses, councils, committees, boards, assemblies, and senates. no permanent political class. no running for office, which almost always involves lying and pandering. no money involved. and everyone has the same chance to contribute. imagine an assembly or house filled with teachers, taxi drivers, stay at home moms, restaurant managers, hotel maids, self-employed workers, engineers, doctors, mechanics, salespeople. what do we have now? assemblies and houses filled with . . . POLITICIANS. let's think about sortition.

[-] 1 points by occupythegreenparty (157) 2 years ago

If that would help people who practice Green party principles get into office I'm all for that. Otherwise I want to change the ballot access so that it is the same for everyone. I originally suggested an Equal Access Amendment which included donations and stuff but people seem to want to take donations separately by just stating reverse Citizen's United.

[-] 1 points by bcv166 (18) from Edisto Beach, SC 2 years ago

I think this should all culminate in a robust independent third party which could hold sway in how things go in congress and perhaps in state houses as well. Call it the 99 Percent Party.

[-] 1 points by ExasperatedCitizen (3) from Alameda, CA 2 years ago

Regarding elections in particular, along with restricting campaign financing I think it's important to restrict the duration of campaign "season." The current race to hold the first primary, which now has one or more states talking about holding primaries this December, is absolute madness.

I think that "giant sucking sound" Ross Perot thought he heard was really all millions of dollars being sunk into campaign funds. And disappearing along with all that money, which will never be spent on infrastructure or education etc., are the public policy decisions and laws that aren't being taken care of because everyone is too busy campaigning.

[-] 1 points by Toddtjs (187) 2 years ago

We have a movement. We have the location. We have the energy. Someone please put together a petition to STOP ALL POLITICAL CONTRIBUTIONS. That right there will change the entire political landscape and give us a government that works for the 99%.

[-] 1 points by oclisa (74) 2 years ago

It's Time to GET MONEY OUT of politics I am too tired to read this entire post (sorry) but the comments lead me to believe that it might be an appropriate place to spread the word that Dylan Ratigan, MSNBC host, is trying to get out (I have no affiliation) at www.getmoneyout.com.

[-] 1 points by Mwrip (3) from New Haven, CT 2 years ago

I agree with rainman, campaign finance reform and lobbying reform are critical. If the goal is to stop corporations from running the government, this simply cannot happen while they have the legal right to control both the elections and the votes on bills with their money.

I like the 1 vote = $1 idea, but I would take it a step further, and actually put that on the ballot of every election. "Bubble in the party(s) that will split your share of the campaign fund for the next 2 years." This would break the 2 party deadlock, as it would allow the initial funding of 3rd parties without spoiling elections they initially have no chance of winning.

A similar measure should control the funds available to political parties period - remove corporate donations entirely from the system, and the people once again rule.

[-] 1 points by occupythegreenparty (157) 2 years ago

Equal Ballot Access rules for all the states. Public financing. All parties eligible for ballot receive equal share of that election periods donations. All parties eligible for ballot mist be in the debates. No businesses can make political donations only individuals.

[-] 1 points by rainman (10) 2 years ago

Excellent start, but, IMHO you have omitted the 2 most important. 1)Serious Election Reform, 1 vote=$1 dollar 2)Lobby Reform with severe criminal penalties. These 2 simple changes would restore our government to the people of the people for the people

[-] 1 points by publicus1 (125) 2 years ago

Please join our Working Group which had it's first meeting at OWS on 10-15-11 following its announcement at the General Assembly. We need to concentrate our resources with the people in the Working Group so that they can report back to the General Assembly.

https://sites.google.com/site/the99percentdeclaration/

[-] 0 points by Nesgain106 (1) 2 years ago

Get rid of the fed and print our money