Forum Post: You need to write a manifesto, get bigger crowds, and be careful of the media
Posted 11 years ago on Sept. 28, 2011, 5:41 p.m. EST by Novanglus
This content is user submitted and not an official statement
I just had a couple thoughts. Michael Moore is said to be giving an interview soon. That is great for the movement in terms of bringing press, however, it might be a good idea to make sure that Moore is not just using this protest to get press himself, getting "face" for it. Test him-make sure he joins the picket line and ask for his commitment in the long term. (Dude, the guy's made a decent chunk of change making all those documentaries-maybe he could help by setting up a port-a-potty somewhere or donate camera equipment or food...I'm just sayin'....) And BTW, great that you got Susan Sarandon...but you need to find her ex. I think he lives in Greenwich Village and since madame is going out of town, somebody needs to find that guy and draft him-Tim Robbins is literally a giant and too physically big to ignore. (We'll know if either are sincere this way, because if they think this is going to flop, they won't stick around..careful of those celebs, guys.)
Second, why isn't anyone vlogging this? Stand in front of the camera and talk on YouTube about why this is happening and what you want and see if you can get at least 100 of them so you can send it uptown to NBC. They have a cutesy morning show session outdoors-send a legion up there and hand them the DVD (or attempt to) and film them doing it. Keep going back until somebody airs it. (And if you get jailed, remember: that is a GOOD thing. It adds fat to the fire and all you need to do is go back and do it again...civil rights workers used to get arrested constantly over and over...go for it!)
Third, and most important, you guys need legal and fiscal counsel. You can't very well scream "Tear Down Wall Street" if you can't point to exactly what is wrong with the way things currently work and speak intelligently on the matter in technical terms. (Example: my moniker is Novanglus, a pen name John Adams used to analyze the troubles of the 13 colonies in a legal sense and provide the rationale for what the future should be like. He got it published in several papers so as to win over moderates and also so he wouldn't appear like a torch and pitchfork carrying looney. )To an outsider, and especially a 60 year old bankster, you guys look like a bunch of kids in Guy Fawkes masks-very unfortunate, and very wrong, but true.) You need to elect a spokesman who can delineate in no uncertain terms what you want, why you want it, how you want it in an educated manner, like a lawyer does before the jury...because it is very easy for the media and those who would destroy you to obfuscate your message. (A bunch of guys who have no clear message just sounds like static...and they know it. Divide et impera.)
Last, go and find people out of a job, find older people, find young people; post on youtube that ex-hippies with experience in the civil rights protests are needed if you are feeling ambitious (c'mon, San Francisco is loaded with them, & their BART protest ain't doing so good...tell them that the kids need their help and experience. You are going to need a few old guys who know a few legal shock tactics.) Call around. Invite whole campuses of students and find a few retired professors who can give you counsel. Build this mother up. Send delegates up to the Bronx where unemployment is more than double the normal rate and find some guys who speak Spanish; send them to church to talk from the pulpit. Tell the Hispanics they are welcome and though they don't have to stay in the square they can come as often as they like because the men on Wall Street are the pigs that make it hard for them to get ahead.
You need to grow that crowd so it looks like the Village Halloween Parade and you are going to have to grow out of that park. These guys only understand one thing-numbers. They see a couple thousand and they see no reason to worry as it is just a drop in the bucket and public indignance is clearly not expressed through a small number of people when only a small percent of the public is present. Make them scared of you. Protest peacefully, yes, but if it comes down to direct action, do it.
say no to out sourcing , say no to foreign workers, yes bring back jobs back to America, yes we can
HERE IS PROPOSED LIST OF DEMANDS AND TACTICS (please edit and add so this can be submitted to those that are keeping the official list)
Note: If you think we should only have one demand, please click here: https://occupywallst.org/forum/the-one-single-demand-that-will-tip-the-dominos-an/
----- BELOW THIS BRIEF INTRODUCTION is a numbered "LIST OF PROPOSED DEMANDS" we would make in DC. These would not be empty demands. They would be made in the context of engaging in non-violent direct action / peaceful non-resistance, proven tactics that produce real results. Clearly the language would need to be edited and certainly grow more specific (hoping you'll help with that), but you get the idea.
TACTICS: WHY DIRECT NON-VIOLENT ACTION?
It's pretty simple. It works. It's worked for MILLIONS OF PEOPLE. Non-violent direct action is what made the civil rights movement and Indian independence from the British possilble. Martin Luther King, Jr. once said: "The purpose of our direct-action program is to create a situation so crisis-packed that it will inevitably open the door to negotiation."
We should make the demands below very publicly at a press conference a few days after arriving in DC. When doing so, we should give a clear deadline of 3 days for a firm written commitment with signatures from at least 60% of members of House and 60% of the members of the Senate to pass these bills by the end of the year. If this commitment on the full slate of demands is not met by midnight on the 3rd day (which it won't be) we should be prepared to non-violently block access to all or part of the Capitol complex the next morning by traditional proven non-violent tactics. The purpose is to bring the leaders of the House and Senate to the negotiating table.
NOTE: There are always entrances because there is always a point where people who work there have to leave the public street and enter secure space. We should focus our non-violent direct action and civil disobedience on those entrances no matter where they move them because these are, by definition, always accessible.
----- LIST OF PROPOSED DEMANDS -----
USE CONGRESSIONAL AUTHORITY AND OVERSIGHT TO ENSURE APPROPRIATE FEDERAL AGENCIES FULLY INVESTIGATE AND PROSECUTE THE WALL STREET CRIMINALS who clearly broke the law and helped cause the 2008 financial crisis in the following notable cases: (insert list of the most clear cut criminal actions). There is a pretty broad consensus that there is a clear group of people who got away with millions / billions illegally and haven't been brought to justice. Boy would this be long overdue and cathartic for millions of Americans. It would also be a shot across the bow for the financial industry. If you watch the solidly researched and awared winning documentary film "Inside Job" that was narrated by Matt Damon (pretty brave Matt!) and do other research, it wouldn't take long to develop the list.
CONGRESS ENACT LEGISLATION TO PROTECT OUR DEMOCRACY BY REVERSING THE EFFECTS OF THE CITIZENS UNITED SUPREME COURT DECISION which essentially said corporations can spend as much as they want on elections. The result is that corporations can pretty much buy elections. Corporations should be highly limited in ability to contribute to political campaigns no matter what the election and no matter what the form of media. The Supreme Court decision is really weird. Read it when you have a chance. The justices who argued for unlimited corporate contributions thought that wouldn't have an adverse effect on democracy and wouldn't undermine the citizen's view of legitimacy of elections. I'm not sure there's a word for that it's so strange.
CONGRESS PASS THE BUFFETT RULE ON FAIR TAXATION SO THE RICH AND CORPORATIONS PAY THEIR FAIR SHARE & CLOSE CORPORATE TAX LOOP HOLES AND ENACT A PROHIBITION ON HIDING FUNDS OFF SHORE. No more GE paying zero or negative taxes. Pass the Buffet Rule on fair taxation so the rich pay their fair share. (If we have a really had a good negotiating position and have the place surrounded, we could actually dial up taxes on millionaires, billionaires and corporations even higher...back to what they once were in the 50's and 60's.
CONGRESS COMPLETELY REVAMP THE SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION and staff it at all levels with proven professionals who get the job done protecting the integrity of the marketplace so citizens and investors are both protected. This agency needs a large staff and needs to be well-funded. It's currently has a joke of a budget and is run by Wall St. insiders who often leave for high ticket cushy jobs with the corporations they were just regulating. Hmmm.
CONGRESS PASS SPECIFIC AND EFFECTIVE LAWS LIMITING THE INFLUENCE OF LOBBYISTS AND ELIMINATING THE PRACTICE OF LOBBYISTS WRITING LEGISLATION THAT ENDS UP ON THE FLOOR OF CONGRESS.
CONGRESS PASSING "Revolving Door Legislation" LEGISLATION ELIMINATING THE ABILITY OF FORMER GOVERNMENT REGULATORS GOING TO WORK FOR CORPORATIONS THAT THEY ONCE REGULATED. So, you don't get to work at the FDA for five years playing softball with Pfizer and then go to work for Pfizer making $195,000 a year. While they're at it, Congress should pass specific and effective laws to enforce strict judicial standards of conduct in matters concerning conflicts of interest. So long as judges are culled from the ranks of corporate attorneys the 1% will retain control.
ELIMINATE "PERSONHOOD" STATUS FOR CORPORATIONS (Sorry Mitt Romney)
RE-ESTABLISH THE PUBLIC AIRWAVES IN THE U.S. SO THAT POLITICAL CANDIDATES ARE GIVEN EQUAL TIME FOR FREE AT REASONABLE INTERVALS IN DAILY PROGRAMMING DURING CAMPAIGN SEASON. The same should extend to other media.
Be sure to see "Why We Fight" and "Inside Job" if you haven't already.
And keep one thing in mind. This is from Martin Luther King, Jr.:
"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. Just as Socrates felt that it was necessary to create a tension in the mind so that individuals could rise from the bondage of myths and half-truths to the unfettered realm of creative analysis and objective appraisal, we must we see the need for nonviolent gadflies to create the kind of tension in society that will help men rise from the dark depths of prejudice and racism to the majestic heights of understanding and brotherhood.
The purpose of our direct-action program is to create a situation so crisis-packed that it will inevitably open the door to negotiation. I therefore concur with you in your call for negotiation."
Here's the entire "Letter from the Birmingham Jail": http://abacus.bates.edu/admin/offices/dos/mlk/letter.html . It's a treasure and is as timely as ever.
Also, here's a short video from BBC to inspire you. It gets pretty extraordinary about halfway through: http://youtu.be/lqN3amj6AcE
The biggest problem is the inherent flaw in our socio-economic system. Alot of the stuff that is being protested against are symptoms of the value system we live under and what defines "success". The true problem started with passing of the Federal Reserve Act in 1913, and was intensified by the deregulation of the banks. This deregulation created a Federal Banking Cartel that enslaves people and nations by putting them into debt that can never be repaid. If you understand modern money mechanics and the fractional reserve banking system, you will also understand why we are having the problems we are having today. It is a grand ponzi scheme designed to keep the corporate fat cats happy by using their money and power to manipulate government and administrative agendas. We no longer live in a democracy, but we live in a corporatocracy where the #1 priority, above the well being of people, is profit and the bottom line. Keep up the Protests!!! If we can fix this inherent problem, most of the other problems or symptoms rather will vanish with it. I wish I could be there, but I am stuck in Tampa, FL. I will do everything I can to get there within the next couple of weeks. God Bless all of you!
This is the same thing i was saying here https://occupywallst.org/forum/detailed-list-of-demands-overview-of-tactics-for-d/ and in the chat room, the chat room is very hostile to people asking questions.
Good ideas, Rev, good ideas. How about reprinting that here for everybody and repeating it over and over (somebody is bound to pick it up.)
And while we are at it, here are a few things to add to the demands, adding the phrase, "Not so fast, Washington....we have a few things for you here, too:
-Introduce a bill into Congress that places a mild tariff on Chinese made goods. A clause of that bill shall also investigate these goods for toxins on a stricter basis than currently.
-Update and enforce anti-trust laws, in particular those that should have been applied long ago (tech firms, big box stores like Wal Mart, and media conglomerates, as it is not a good thing when NBC and Time Warner and Universal and fill in blank control a huge chunk of the market that in essence controls the flow of information.
-Place term limits on Supreme Court Justices to 12 years.
-Investigate and hold Congressional inquiries into the business practices of corporations in foreign countries, esp, where slave labor may be involved. (And if found guilty, their shall be punishment)
-Throw all current lobbyists out of Congress and ban all bribes of public officials, monetary or otherwise (not allowed to give so much as a glass of water to anyone on govt. payroll.) If the Congress wants to talk to the people, it should ASK the people what they want. We have the technology now to do that. No more monkeys in suits.
-Abandon electoral Congress and proceed with world's first electronic voting system where one man is one vote, a direct democracy...we live in 2011, not 1790 and most of us can read and don't want to go through the Florida 2000 election ever again.
-Provide a public fund from which electoral funds must derive their funding-the rich should not be the only ones able to run for President or Senate or anything. Enable legislation that forces television, radio, and internet forums to set aside time for ads-they can no longer sell it.
-Grant a massive amnesty to illegal immigrants effective December 25th, 2013 and begin an actual framework to totally revamp the immigration system of the United States.
-Rewrite the tax code. Throw the current one out the window and start again.
-Trim Social Security entitlements for Baby boomers.
Oh, and one last thing: if you do not meet any of our demands withing the next 36 months, Washington, nobody is going to have a job at the end. We the People are sick to death of your bickering, bullying and blaming each other for the same problems that you cause and have zero intention of actually fixing. We don't CARE if you are a Democrat and Republican as we've stopped believing in both of you.
the original post was not mine, I made a comment here ( https://occupywallst.org/forum/detailed-list-of-demands-overview-of-tactics-for-d/#comment-7882 ) but i link to the full post because of what you said about posting over and over gets things picked up.
I think your additional list, although it has some excellent ideas, is going outside of the boundary of Wall Street.
In order to achieve a goal you must be focused, if you spread yourself thin you do not have the power to effectively assault the key point.
As far as I have been able to understand the key point is corruption on Wall Street, work on that now fix the rest once Wall Street is under control.
Yeah, I know, but I just want to rattle the bones of the idiots on Capitol Hill, because inevitably we are going to have to go to Washington. Obviously, Wall Street is what needs to be done now, and even with that it really, really needs to gain numbers. But if Washington isn't paying attention yet, it will, and when it does, they are going to turn it into a political football. Obama is going to take it on the road and use it for his campaign, 50 bucks says Perry will try to hitch his wagon, and Bachmann, well, let's just pray she can spell the world fiduciary correctly and doesn't need to write it on her hand like Palin.
It might be wise at some point in the near future to say to Washington, "Don't even think about it. We are NOT your toy. We do mean business. And if our demands are not met in time, it won't matter which party is in power anywhere in government-we will bring the hammer down on your a##.
so what Occupy Wall Street needs is something of a preamble to its "manifesto" (I don't think we should use that exact word because of the negative connotations to manifesto) something along the lines of:
Occupy Wall Street Is a group of citizens who have come together to highlight and correct the corruption in Wall Street. Occupy Wall Street, who's members being sovereign individuals, not beholden to any corporation or higher entity, not affiliated with any particular political party, or exclusively funded by any one entity. It is with this freedom from coercion that Occupy Wall Street lists the common goals of its members.
How does that sound? How would you change it? Anybody can answer.
good ideas and thoughts. they do need to write that manifesto. i started trying to write bits of it but the disorganization here loses things in the scrawl. we need sub forums for main topic categories, and etc. http://forums.keller2012.com/index.php for instance like this.