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OWS Manifesto: Declaration of the Occupation of NYC

Recently I posted a piece on the difference between tea party rallies and the Occupy Wall Street protesters.  Perhaps annoyed by the tone of my piece, an anonymous commenter tipped me off to the list of "demands" of the OWS group in order to prove that the movement is purposeful and coherent.

As it turns out, the protesters have managed to create a communication wing of sorts.  They call themselves the NYC General Assembly (not the governing one, in case you’re wondering). They say they are an "open, participatory and horizontally organized process through which we are building the capacity to constitute ourselves in public as autonomous collective forces within and against the constant crises of our times."    Just reading that sentence makes my head spin.  Part of their horizontal process has been to create what they call their Declaration of the Occupation of New York City.  Those crazy kids and their fancy titles!  It is less a manifesto than a list of grievances against the atrocities of corporations.  No one specific, just…corporations.  Man, corporations are horrible!  I mean, aren’t they just the worst? Here it is, in its entirety.  There is just too much to say about this document, so read for yourself.  

Declaration of the Occupation of New York City

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 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, who are responsible for 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 or provide relief in order to protect investments that have already turned a substantial 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!

*These grievances are not all-inclusive.

After all that fuss they mean to tell us this document is not all-inclusive? There’s more?

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One Comment

  1. Hi Kira,

    When I and others wrote articles in exposing the videos, and theeir very own words of these “protesters” – just how many of them could not even explain what they wanted or what they were protesting, along comes the astro-turf NYC General assembly. Now they have their Liberal talking points for all the sheep to parrot on blogs and on the web. They are photo-shopping pics trying to show police brutality, comparing themselves to the Libyan revolution, blocking decent people from getting to and from work, and the only thing “horizontal” I see is all those mattresses they had strewn all over a public park. What a sad bunch.

    1. I just love that they used the term “horizontal” to explain their “process” (another word they keep using). Its ripe with potential.

  2. Get your facts straight. The NYC general assembly is not a new “communications wing”. Its origins were came from a June 14 protest period. First called the peoples general assembly, it is an ongoing experiment attmpting to achieve a blend of direct democracy, like a town meeting, and consensus. For anyone truly interested in democratic process it is worth taking time to look at objectively.

    Also, regarding your short shrift of the manifesto. With very little effort I believe it can be stripped down to its basic assertion, that,

    “no true democracy is attainable when the process is determined by economic power”.

    The rest of the “manifesto” is, kind of, window dressing, listing categories of grieviances and seeking some allusion t the declaration of independance. However, all of that and who specifically is more or less culpable is a is not addressed and is certainly arguable, and should be argued in other contexts.

    It is the core message you need to acknolwedge and respond to. That is the assertion that “no true democracy is attainable when the process is determined by economic power”. Where do you stand in relation to that simple statement?

    If you disaggree, why?

    If you agree, the second assertion that teh declaration puts forth is that “corporations…run our governments”. Now, this is much more debatable, and that is fine, because the point is for a true democracy to function, and in order to do so, to make sure there are some limits on economic power to determine it, whether by corporations or individuals. Otherwise, money has no citizenship and our democracy is meaningless if it is up for sale to anyone anywhere anytime.

    1. Then explain your astro-turf’s pathetic refusal to denounce Barack Obama and his Wall Street pals? G.E. come to mind? Obama received record amounts of donations from Wall Street. Oh that’s right, while protesting evil capitalism and begging for a fair wage regardless of employment, you aren’t allowed to speak negatively about the one who’s pulling the strings behind this faux movement. Just keep on chanting “Four more years!” That says it all.

  3. Kira,

    This grievance list is no where near approaching conclusive. No one will be offered anything representing “final demands” until Occupy is (damn well) ready to provide them. This moment, today, is all about building upon “the idea” of a different America. The one we have was broken. What that different America looks like and how we get there is unresolved. We’re going to involve many more people and many more ideas using a democratic process to get ourselves there. Won’t be until after the end of the week and if not, perhaps sometime next Spring?

    But that silly conservative fear thingy is showing. Clearly you need more information.

    Check out The Mothership.

    There is no better single source of info on OWS anywhere. Frankly, for many reasons I will not explain Google is nowhere as good a resource… as this:

    1. Thats right, that list is not conclusive, just like everything else you astro-turfers do is non-conclusive. They call that half-assed attempts at propaganda in most parts of the country. You have no firm direction, therefore nothing is conclusive with you people. What will be all-encompassing and totally conclusive is the beatdown the leftists are going to receive in the 2012 elections. It will be even more “historic” than in 2010 ! Remember the 2010 elections? You flakes haven’t seen nothing yet!

      1. Excellent DJ. Not only that, these morons on the left who just think the arab spring is so dam cool, really have no idea how muslim governments operate. That isn’t people power over there. It’s muslim theocracy. The same muslim theocracy that chops off hands for stealing, stones people for adultery, beheads people for rape and sodomy (including gay people), and kills people who denounce Islam. Yet somehow, Libtards have elevated these nutjobs to super hero status. And seek to emulate them.

  4. Max,

    I get from your attempt at an off-topic straw man argument filled with vile and insult… some sense of higher probability you a minor pretending to be an adult. Are you over 18?

  5. DJ,

    Re: your analysis “…you have no firm direction…” In fact, we have very firm direction; we’re merely no where near our destination or a conclusion or some “end.” This is an entirely new business model for a national level protest. Seems to be working very well so far. In under 20 days starting from zero resources there have been more than a half million people who indeed clearly see what direction we are headed and who have signed up to learn more and contribute. Something does not seem very strategic in your pissing off Occupiers with your ridicule, but hey, that’s your dealio; you do make the bed you sleep in.

    Spend some time on the Mothership. There is a library of nearly 2,000 contributed articles on OWS there. I suggest you read the articles with the highest number of recommendations for the best information, most value, highest merit:

    Cannot wait for that conceptual beat-down you promise the Left… someday in the future. Seems that would give you more than a year to run your mouth before you have to actually perform. Frankly, by next year’s elections House Republicans, will have had three (3) years to “do something.” Seems Obama’s going to campaign for a year on the “do nothing” Republican House as a theme. As you well know, this incumbent knows how to campaign.

    Anyway, having watched all the GOP debates… so far, and understanding your options for presenting Obama with a challenge, its pretty clear that beat-down that you say we got coming seems an awful lot like a promise that is “all hat.” I’d suggest you manufacture another crisis or something. As a political party, are highly proficient at predicting the end of the world; so where is that damn Glen Beck when you need him? You may need to pull him back out…. Obama did not end the world in his first term but certainly he will in his second! lol! 😉

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