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We are the 99 percent


Several weeks ago I sat down with a group of neighbors. They're a lively bunch - a mix of seniors and young student couples calling themselves Republicans, Democrats, Independents, and Libertarians. We took our usual spots, got some small talk in, and it wasn't long before we began to notice something unexpected and unusual - we were agreeing.

Well, we'd been reading and watching the news, and we all seemed to have our own take on exactly what it means to be a part of the 99% - but for the most part, the partisan squabbling that had characterized our previous neighborhood get-togethers had been replaced with a mutual understanding that certain things needed doing, and that fighting for these things could be done together.

A scholarly professor named Lawrence Lessig, standing with Occupy Wall Street protesters at Liberty Square in Zuccotti Park, recently put it this way, "The root is the corruption of this political system through the way money drives results in Washington, and if the left and the right can identify that as the root, and not give up their differences but unite around the idea that we need a fair platform to fight out those differences, I think we can make real progress."

We all felt encouraged enough by that to print out various suggestions being proposed by economists, legislators, and people in the Occupy Wall Street movement. Then the challenge we made to ourselves was to come up with a list that each of us could agree on.

Someone also suggested making the first letter of each entry an acronym that spells out Occupy Wall Street, and I suppose that emphasizes how each entry on the list is a part of something bigger, and exactly where the inspiration for the list comes from. So we called it the "Acronym List".

For us it represents what could be some of the first steps that we all agree on. It wasn't intended as a definitive Occupy Wall Street list of demands or a comprehensive list of goals. We simply wanted to share it, in case others decide to use this list, or to pass this list on.

O = Overturn Citizens United
C = Cessation of Corporate Personhood
C = Capital Requirements for banks
U = Undo the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act (reinstate Glass-Steagall)
P = Prohibit Irresponsible Stock Market Practices
Y = Yesterday's lobbyists cannot become today's legislators

W = Wielding covert power over legislators must be declared illegal
A = Accountability for those who caused financial crisis and inequality gap
L = Let the Bush Tax Cuts expire and add new brackets for millionaires
L = Loopholes for corporations must close and subsidies for big oil stop

S = Stop late-night congressional budget tricks
T = Trade reform to stop extraction of US jobs and money
R = Regulate non-bank financial institutions
E = End the Federal Reserve system (as we know it)
E = Enact campaign reform and public funding of all federal elections
T = Target ALL unfettered Corporatism, Crony Capitalism, and money in politics

If you'd like to "vote up" or make a comment about a specific part of the list, please find the original post on the occupywallst.org website where a separate thread has been added below in the comment section for further discussion regarding each part of the list.

The list is also currently being maintained at the following website address: https://sites.google.com/site/occupioneers

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