Posted 12 years ago on Sept. 29, 2011, 11:05 p.m. EST by GandhiKingMindset
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/