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Forum Post: Time to Occupy Congress with Strategic Demands? A Ten Point Proposal.

Posted 9 years ago on Nov. 24, 2011, 1:27 p.m. EST by moveonsucks (3)
This content is user submitted and not an official statement

Under debate at NYC General Assembly site (see for supporting links): http://www.nycga.net/groups/demands/forum/topic/time-to-occupy-congress-with-strategic-demands-a-ten-point-proposal/

Submitted to the Sovereign People of Occupy Wall Street for deliberation.

By Ralph Lopez

As Occupy Wall Street moves into the winter of 2011, many are asking: What now? The failure to issue demands which are understandable to a much broader segment of the populace plays into the hands of those who will define us if we do not define ourselves. These enemies are powerful and determined. Gandhi carefully chose an issue which symbolized a reasonable and fundamental right when he marched in protest of the salt tax.

OWS has met with resounding success in its first stages, in identifying the problems associated with crony capitalism and revealing the coordinated attack by the wealthiest one percent upon the middle class, as detailed by one of Occupy Wall Street’s true founders, David DeGraw, in his landmark report “The Economic Elite vs. The People of the United States of America.” But to move forward, we must defeat the media assault which seeks to paint us as a directionless, inarticulate mob who have merely lost the economic race. The world must never be allowed to forget that it is crony capitalists who thrive on hand-outs from the government, who want something for nothing, not the hard-working people of Occupy Wall Street.

Now that key demands are crystallizing even among a remarkably diverse movement, it is vital to sharpen our focus on the culprits who have put the backs of the middle class to the wall. One constructive criticism we hear is: “Why are you occupying Wall Street? They did not bail out themselves, or hand themselves these prerogatives. The Congress did. The people should be occupying Congress.”

In a representative democracy as broken as ours, those who pass the laws which are ultimately enforced by state power are responsible for the appearance of legitimacy behind that power. Without this legitimacy, state force becomes naked force, and the powers behind it can be readily seen for what they are: opportunists, corrupters, crooks. Corruption will always be with us. Laws can only strive to make it more difficult. Unfortunately, under the present system of campaign finance laws, open corruption is perfectly legal.

We demand that Congress change the laws which enable and perpetuate the crony capitalism which has pushed us into the streets in protest, to be met by force purporting to enforce the rule of law. The present laws in fact only enforce crony capitalism, which is nothing more than socialism for the one percent. This has drawn wealth upwards from the middle-class through bailouts, war profiteering, and the enormous range of legal swindles such as tax write-offs, deductions, offshore havens, depletion allowances, and other devices.

It is said erroneously that Occupy Wall Street merely wants to “tax the rich.” This is incorrect. OWS wants to stop the full range of devices by which wealth is further being transferred from the assets, benefits, and retirement accounts of the 99% to the portfolios of the one percent, of which tax policy is only one. Foreclosures continue. Congress eyes cuts in benefits worked for long and hard by the middle class, including social security, even as TARP and other bailout payments which reward only casino gambling continue into the trillions. As the unemployed continue to sell off pieces of their retirement accounts, mutual funds and stocks, corporations like JPMorgan/Chase and Goldman Sachs are spending record amounts to buy back their own stocks at bargain prices...

MORE, FULL POST AT: http://www.nycga.net/groups/demands/forum/topic/time-to-occupy-congress-with-strategic-demands-a-ten-point-proposal/



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[-] 1 points by AFarewellToKings (1486) 9 years ago

Finally! NYCGA has to be acknowledged for the patriots they are but they must acquiesce to the National General Assembly in order to prevent any accusation that it is the 1% of the OWS/99% movement.

OWS beats the drum of the 1st Amendment right of the people peaceably to assemble but yet when you mention the 1st Amendment right to petition the government for a redress of grievances I hear that that is not what OWS stands for, it's heirarchical, it's treasonous, or simply it's impossible. I appreciate that drafting that list is going to be a difficult task but I don't see how OWS is going to actually change anything if people don't use the right to petition as strongly as they've used the right to peaceably assemble.

This Demands Group topic is in essence a List of Grievances although some may differentiate 'grievances' and 'demands' This should be settled. As you can already see, everybody has something to say about the items on the list. theghostofthomassjefferson says there can only be one thing on the list (money out of politics) so as to not alienate Americans while gawdoftruth says the list must contain everything in extreme detail in order to be inclusive. To both of them I say 1) there must be a List Of Grievances that will satisfy the definition as intended in the 1st Amendment and 2) The final draft of the list can only be approved at the National General Assembly by the delegates sent from each congressional district elected to represent the district. The final 'official act' of the NYCGA is to approve the process, perhaps as outlined in the Declaration below.

Have small peaceful assemblies all winter long in every congressional district spreading the word about the National General Assembly starting July 4th in Philadelphia. Ask the people of Philadelphia to invite their fellow Americans into their homes for the NGA and coordinate this all winter too. Have occasional "occupations" throughout the winter, growing in size as the spring approaches, the WE ARE THE 99% growing louder with each event. This keeps the light shining and the movement looks smart, smells like a rose. Imagine the city of Philadelphia's population doubling or tripling for four days in July 2012.

NGA NOW all roads lead to Philadelphia https://sites.google.com/site/the99percentdeclaration/

[-] 1 points by moveonsucks (3) 9 years ago

Yes I think in particular the congressional district offices have been under-utilized, they would be great places to go in and sit on the floor and say we're not leaving until the congressman tells us where he stands on this one demand (whatever it is chosen to be) and agrees to introduce it as a bill and find co-sponsors. Else you can have us arrested and the next batch of us will show up tomorrow.

[-] 1 points by ithink (761) from York, PA 9 years ago

The masses have two avenues through which they can organize and bring about great change. One is their vote- so I was happy to see that Get money out of politics was listed as the first demand. The second is their dollar, but I do not see this on the list- There is no shame in OWS demanding to the American populace, that they use their dollar in the most responsible way they can. Maybe that is supporting fair trade and sustainability. Maybe its donating to the food pantry. Whatever someone decides, will help. Every little dollar doing the right thing helps. America needs to think through this and begin a discourse on the responsibilities that come with consumerism and just how powerful it is.

[-] 1 points by moveonsucks (3) 9 years ago

No problem whatsoever educating people on fair trade/environmental impact. I don't think we could legislate it, but talking about it in an educational way would be great. Show sweat shop factories and worker manglings from unsafe conditions. And pictures of the Great Pacific Garbage Patch (where does your disposable plastic container from Starbucks sandwiches go?)