First collective statement of Occupy Wall Street

Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by Thomas Veil, Oct 6, 2011.

  1. Thomas Veil macrumors 68020

    Thomas Veil

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    #1
    It is definitely reminiscent of another famous "announcement", and that is 100% intentional, I'm sure.

    Here is the statement:

    As we gather together in solidarity to express a feeling of mass injustice, we must not lose sight of what brought us together. We write so that all people who feel wronged by the corporate forces of the world can know that we are your allies.

    As one people, united, we acknowledge the reality: that the future of the human race requires the cooperation of its members; that our system must protect our rights, and upon corruption of that system, it is up to the individuals to protect their own rights, and those of their neighbors; that a democratic government derives its just power from the people, but corporations do not seek consent to extract wealth from the people and the Earth; and that no true democracy is attainable when the process is determined by economic power. We come to you at a time when corporations, which place profit over people, self-interest over justice, and oppression over equality, run our governments. We have peaceably assembled here, as is our right, to let these facts be known.

    They have taken our houses through an illegal foreclosure process, despite not having the original mortgage.

    They have taken bailouts from taxpayers with impunity, and continue to give Executives exorbitant bonuses.

    They have perpetuated inequality and discrimination in the workplace based on age, the color of one's skin, sex, gender identity and sexual orientation.

    They have poisoned the food supply through negligence, and undermined the farming system through monopolization.

    They have profited off of the torture, confinement, and cruel treatment of countless nonhuman animals, and actively hide these practices.

    They have continuously sought to strip employees of the right to negotiate for better pay and safer working conditions.

    They have held students hostage with tens of thousands of dollars of debt on education, which is itself a human right.

    They have consistently outsourced labor and used that outsourcing as leverage to cut workers’ healthcare and pay.

    They have influenced the courts to achieve the same rights as people, with none of the culpability or responsibility.

    They have spent millions of dollars on legal teams that look for ways to get them out of contracts in regards to health insurance.

    They have sold our privacy as a commodity.

    They have used the military and police force to prevent freedom of the press.

    They have deliberately declined to recall faulty products endangering lives in pursuit of profit.

    They determine economic policy, despite the catastrophic failures their policies have produced and continue to produce.

    They have donated large sums of money to politicians supposed to be regulating them.

    They continue to block alternate forms of energy to keep us dependent on oil.

    They continue to block generic forms of medicine that could save people’s lives in order to protect investments that have already turned a substantive profit.

    They have purposely covered up oil spills, accidents, faulty bookkeeping, and inactive ingredients in pursuit of profit.

    They purposefully keep people misinformed and fearful through their control of the media.

    They have accepted private contracts to murder prisoners even when presented with serious doubts about their guilt.

    They have perpetuated colonialism at home and abroad.

    They have participated in the torture and murder of innocent civilians overseas.

    They continue to create weapons of mass destruction in order to receive government contracts. *

    To the people of the world,

    We, the New York City General Assembly occupying Wall Street in Liberty Square, urge you to assert your power.

    Exercise your right to peaceably assemble; occupy public space; create a process to address the problems we face, and generate solutions accessible to everyone.

    To all communities that take action and form groups in the spirit of direct democracy, we offer support, documentation, and all of the resources at our disposal.

    Join us and make your voices heard!

    Frankly, I think it's great. It follows the same general outline as its more famous predecessor, yet every modern reference rings so true. Unlike that other document, it stops short of calling for a "break" with its named oppressor, because it can't of course. Yet it's a clear call to rebellion.

    Pretty good for a bunch of hippies and slacker college students, huh? ;)

    Link
     
  2. CorvusCamenarum macrumors 65816

    CorvusCamenarum

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    #2
  3. Zombie Acorn macrumors 65816

    Zombie Acorn

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    #3
    Any solutions or are we just proposing known problems?
     
  4. localoid, Oct 6, 2011
    Last edited: Oct 7, 2011

    localoid macrumors 68020

    localoid

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    #4
    Mainstream media still doesn't seem to get it...

    Foley Square was filled to capacity on Wednesday, but the event barely made the evening news. I watched Fox 5's skycam view of the event and the crowds stretched out for blocks -- I've heard estimates from 2,000 to 10,000 in terms of attendance -- but who knows...

    [​IMG]

    But there seems to be a growing number of writers, journalists, authors, lecturers, and other critical thinkers around the country that are beginning to notice what's going on.

    Christian Science article: Occupy Wall Street: an American tradition since 1776

    "The 'Occupy Wall Street' protesters aren't extremists on the fringe. They reflect the frustrations of large swaths of American society. By taking aim at corporate greed and corruption, they embody a venerable tradition of American populism with roots back to Jefferson."

    Former Secretary of Labor Robert Reich recently commented* on the media's lack of understanding and coverage of the movement, going on to say that the occupy movement was "the small tip of an iceberg... an iceberg of discontent".

    Some politicians too, are beginning to take note:

    Quoting President Obama, from today:

    "I think it expresses the frustrations the American people feel, that we had the biggest financial crisis since the Great Depression, huge collateral damage all throughout the country ... and yet you're still seeing some of the same folks who acted irresponsibly trying to fight efforts to crack down on the abusive practices that got us into this in the first place".

    Personally, I think the country's long overdue for a bit of "pendulum swing".

    ---
    * CSPAN video: @ about 18:30
    ---
     
  5. Thomas Veil thread starter macrumors 68020

    Thomas Veil

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    #5
    Thanks for that link. :)

    I've seen Bob Reich several times since he was in the Clinton administration, and it's almost as he's become more "radicalized". He hasn't, of course; it's just that now that he's not a part of the Administration, he's free to say what he wants.

    As far as his statements, I love the part where he says, "When people complain to me about Washington, I ask, 'What are you doing about it?'"

    He's absolutely right. This needs to keep growing...and not just in terms of a continuous, linear literal occupation of Wall Street. It needs to keep spreading to other cities. It needs the continuous involvement of labor and the unemployed. It needs to cultivate and embrace more candidates like Elizabeth Warren. It needs, ultimately, to take over not just Wall Street but Congress.

    Ironically, the tea party has shown us the way. I'd love it if all candidates on both sides of the aisle felt the heat from OWC the way the righties fear the tea party now.

    On a side note, it's very exciting to see so many young people involved. I was just beginning to give up hope that this generation had the same backbone as the protestors of the 1960s. I hope they keep proving me wrong.

    Oh, and young people: we kept hearing that same crap back in the '60s too: that you're just a bunch of shiftless, know-nothing spoiled brats. Wasn't true then; isn't true now.
     
  6. mcrain macrumors 68000

    mcrain

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    #6
    More than anything, this movement needs to somehow convince the right-wing religious nutbags that the GOP offers them nothing but platitudes. If they truly care about their god, their religion and the things they say they care about, NOT TO MENTION, their own finances, they need to abandon the GOP.
     
  7. Zombie Acorn macrumors 65816

    Zombie Acorn

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    #7
    What makes this a restricted leftist movement? Many on he right were adamantly against corporate welfare and bailouts, there are many republican and independent students who are getting crunched by debt and inaction. The biggest issue with US politics is people's need to categorize everything as right or left, blue or red issues. In some countries the conservatives are blue and the liberals are red, it's time to drop the polarizing ******** and fix the issues.
     
  8. mcrain macrumors 68000

    mcrain

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    #8
    Really, show me any tea party statement or push to get the GOP to vote to end the oil company subsidies. Show me any tea party supported candidate that agrees with your statement.

    There are none.

    So, in other words, the tea party is supporting the wrong party.

    The original grass roots tea party (cough cough BS) should be on Wall. St. right now.
     
  9. kavika411 macrumors 6502a

    kavika411

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    #9
    Thanks for posting. I read the statement, and skimmed the Olberman link.

    Here's what I'm trying to understand. Who is "they"? I don't ask rhetorically. The opening paragraphs of the statement suggest "they" are "corporations" - specifically, corporations associated with the current financial crisis, such as mortgage corporations and financial corporations, and that makes sense given the name and nature of the protests.

    But then the line-items take some strange turns.

    So who is the "they" here? And who is the "they" here:

    And then "they" seems to take a hard right to mean "government," or "military."

    I know the easy answer is to say that "'they' is all of these," but that just renders "they" meaningless, watering it down to an abstract, fill-in-the-blank boogeyman.

    Anyway, it's interesting to follow. I'm sure the statement is a work in progress. Curious to see where it goes next.

    My favorite Occupy Wall Street signage so far:

    [​IMG]
     
  10. Zombie Acorn macrumors 65816

    Zombie Acorn

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    #10
    You tea party was formed right after a large outrage against giving banks a blank check after they were acting like irresposible *******s,'the only difference is that the tea party holds the government accountable for their part in the mess. At least that was the idea, I haven't been interested in the circus that is US politics for over a year.
     
  11. hulugu macrumors 68000

    hulugu

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    #11
    It's a statement that reflect the woolly nature of the protest, it's really a mixture of complaints and interests, defined only by their frustration at Wall Street and the sense that America isn't working.

    I think your critique is spot-on.

    For the TEA Party that's true, but that group was subsumed by the Tea Party, which like Occupy Wall Street was a nebulous grab-bag of conservative politics, including recovering neo-cons, libertarians, the religious right, and even a few white supremacists.

    The Tea Party has become a rebranding effort of the GOP, enjoying roughly the same difference from its parent party that Coke Zero does from Coca-Cola: it's still just sugar water.
     
  12. Huntn macrumors G5

    Huntn

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    #12
    The emphasis on business as a force ment to benefit a very small minority is flat out wrong. It becomes a strong argument for SOCIALISM. Yes, it does. :) I'd like to see this movement get larger as long as they can become an effective force, avoid be subverted by established political parties and can keep realistic goals.
     
  13. Thomas Veil thread starter macrumors 68020

    Thomas Veil

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    #13
    It is, I think, purposely nebulous. Taken in the aggregate, they mean (to me) any corporations which have their powerful tentacles sunk deep into the mechanism of government, whether it involves influencing environmental regulations, weaking banking regulation or quashing the development of alternative fuels. And that is certainly in keeping with the protestors' apparent mindset. They are against the manipulation of the government by the corporations in their interest and against the interests of the people.

    That is becoming extremely self-evident. I can't help but crack a grim smile when people like Rush Limbaugh defend our corpocracy. He yells about socialism, but who the hell is throwing people into the ranks of the working poor and the unemployed and forcing them to rely on government help to survive? The corporations of course. Liberals and socialists all! :rolleyes: ;)
     

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