Posted 12 years ago on Nov. 15, 2011, 3:58 p.m. EST by CafPop
from Rochester, NY
This content is user submitted and not an official statement
Hello friends and fellow protesters. Video here: http://www.cbsnews.com/video/watch/?id=7388130n&tag=contentBody;storyMediaBox
As much as I respect Cornel West, I now have grounds to disagree with this statement: "It’s impossible to translate the issue of the greed of Wall Street into one demand, or two demands..." I have happened upon an issue that I believe will undoubtedly become the keystone of our movement, and if we succeed in this, it will be the victory that will pave the way for all other victories.
It has long been known to me that Congress is a dysfunctional body. Every time a Congress person votes on a bill they are making decisions that directly impact their own investments. It seems they only play to their bases just enough to keep the votes on their side so they stay in office long enough to amass large personal fortunes, but their real aim is to gain an advantage that would otherwise be considered illegal insider trading to anyone else. As the former congressmen Brian Baird said "You'd feel like an idiot not to take advantage of it." This is the pressure that a person is under the moment they go from ordinary citizen to elected legislator. This is the pressure that we must work to eliminate from matters of public policy.
We must deliver Congress members from the unfortunate temptation of passing votes based on their stock portfolios and self interests. This impacts their every decision, and no member is exempt from the pressure. It seems obvious that this threatens democracy far more then even the most egregious campaign finance violations. As long as this phenomenon is legal, there is not even a veneer of civil functionality to their actions. Every decision they make is a tangled web of conflicted interests. We must not stand for this any longer.
Ideally, I'd like to see that they are unable to earn an income other than their public salaries that our taxes pay them, to ensure that they realize who they are earning their living for, but I'd settle for limiting them to having only a blind trust fund where they are legally obligated to not manipulate their portfolios. This issue is the perfect one to thrust the full force of the Occupy movement behind because it is the most cynical example of the marriage between Wall Street policy and Public Policy. Support the Stock Act! And if the Stock Act fails, or is drafted in such a way that allows for loopholes and abuse, then we must keep drafting our own bills and we won't stop until we successfully return the priorities of the Congress to where they should've been all along: with the American People!
I propose that we undertake a tireless campaign of truth and investigation in order to gain the evidence needed to prove this is going on, and make all our findings public. Hold every member of Congress accountable! Let no one talk us down or deter us until our goal has been met. Make it known that we have discovered the source of their affair. We knew the goal of wealth was what they were in love with more than the goal of the public good, but now we know of the most cynical mechanism that they use to realize this goal while they pay lip service to those who keep them in power. They've been playing us for too long, and for too long we didn't have the foundation we needed to call them on it. Those days are long gone now. Every action they take is suspect and their veil of secrecy is now punctured.
Eliminating this temptation from the decision making process of members of Congress would restore honesty to public debates, from there all real progress can be made, but until then no victory would be a true victory. It just takes 1 bill, and we must not be deterred EVER. I understand that in order to reform the Congress' way of doing business requires the consent and cooperation of those currently benefiting from the way things are. This is why we must effectively utilize the currency more valuable than money: information. We must be tireless, we must make examples of all those who do it, and publicly shame the worst offenders utilizing all forms of media. We must ensure that the truth is on our side, and let nothing but the truth of the situation speak for us. We must stop at nothing to let it be known that as soon as the American people elect their representatives those representatives gain an advantage that on one else in the marketplace has, and thus their priorities are invariably changed. No party is innocent, no member above reproach.
That's all for now. I just wanted to let it be known that I am not worried in the slightest about this coming winter. We must be like the Patriots we are and roll over our opponents in the snow. Let no element slow down our desire to do our civil duty. Occupy, we've gained the world's attention, now it's time to let them know that we mean business!