Where Does Occupy Wall Street Go From Here?

If you’ve been paying attention, you must be wondering the very same thing. OWS is everywhere these days it seems and they have done what formerly seemed impossible, they have put our economic woes and highlighted some of the social ills of our society, more on this later, front and center in the national conversation. As laudable as that is, that’s not enough and it seems they have begun to work on a Vision statement and will soon be formulating a list, according to Michael Moore. Click here to go to Mike’s website. The statement below was released last night.

I think the list is great but feel that it falls short in terms of addressing many of the social ills which effect our society. Specifically, the judicial system and prison industrial complex. Click here for an extremely informative article on this very issue.

I am very curious to know what your opinions are re: the list and matters at hand so feel free to comment. Have a wonderful thanksgiving and don’t forget to count your blessings! 🙂

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November 22nd, 2011 1:51 PM

Where Does Occupy Wall Street Go From Here?

This past weekend I participated in a four-hour meeting of Occupy Wall Street activists whose job it is to come up with the vision and goals of the movement. It was attended by 40+ people and the discussion was both inspiring and invigorating. Here is what we ended up proposing as the movement’s “vision statement” to the General Assembly of Occupy Wall Street:

We Envision: [1] a truly free, democratic, and just society; [2] where we, the people, come together and solve our problems by consensus; [3] where people are encouraged to take personal and collective responsibility and participate in decision making; [4] where we learn to live in harmony and embrace principles of toleration and respect for diversity and the differing views of others; [5] where we secure the civil and human rights of all from violation by tyrannical forces and unjust governments; [6] where political and economic institutions work to benefit all, not just the privileged few; [7] where we provide full and free education to everyone, not merely to get jobs but to grow and flourish as human beings; [8] where we value human needs over monetary gain, to ensure decent standards of living without which effective democracy is impossible; [9] where we work together to protect the global environment to ensure that future generations will have safe and clean air, water and food supplies, and will be able to enjoy the beauty and bounty of nature that past generations have enjoyed.

The next step will be to develop a specific list of goals and demands. As one of the millions of people who are participating in the Occupy Wall Street movement, I would like to respectfully offer my suggestions of what we can all get behind now to wrestle the control of our country out of the hands of the 1% and place it squarely with the 99% majority.

Here is what I will propose to the General Assembly of Occupy Wall Street:

                                                                 10 Things We Want
A Proposal for Occupy Wall Street
Submitted by Michael Moore

1. Eradicate the Bush tax cuts for the rich and institute new taxes on the wealthiest Americans and on corporations, including a tax on all trading on Wall Street (where they currently pay 0%).

2. Assess a penalty tax on any corporation that moves American jobs to other countries when that company is already making profits in America. Our jobs are the most important national treasure and they cannot be removed from the country simply because someone wants to make more money.

3. Require that all Americans pay the same Social Security tax on all of their earnings (normally, the middle class pays about 6% of their income to Social Security; someone making $1 million a year pays about 0.6% (or 90% less than the average person). This law would simply make the rich pay what everyone else pays.

4. Reinstate the Glass-Steagall Act, placing serious regulations on how business is conducted by Wall Street and the banks.

5. Investigate the Crash of 2008, and bring to justice those who committed any crimes.

6. Reorder our nation’s spending priorities (including the ending of all foreign wars and their cost of over $2 billion a week). This will re-open libraries, reinstate band and art and civics classes in our schools, fix our roads and bridges and infrastructure, wire the entire country for 21st century internet, and support scientific research that improves our lives.

7. Join the rest of the free world and create a single-payer, free and universal health care system that covers all Americans all of the time.

8. Immediately reduce carbon emissions that are destroying the planet and discover ways to live without the oil that will be depleted and gone by the end of this century.

9. Require corporations with more than 10,000 employees to restructure their board of directors so that 50% of its members are elected by the company’s workers. We can never have a real democracy as long as most people have no say in what happens at the place they spend most of their time: their job. (For any U.S. businesspeople freaking out at this idea because you think workers can’t run a successful company: Germany has a law like this and it has helped to make Germany the world’s leading manufacturing exporter.)

10. We, the people, must pass three constitutional amendments that will go a long way toward fixing the core problems we now have. These include:

a) A constitutional amendment that fixes our broken electoral system by 1) completely removing campaign contributions from the political process; 2) requiring all elections to be publicly financed; 3) moving election day to the weekend to increase voter turnout; 4) making all Americans registered voters at the moment of their birth; 5) banning computerized voting and requiring that all elections take place on paper ballots.

b) A constitutional amendment declaring that corporations are not people and do not have the constitutional rights of citizens. This amendment should also state that the interests of the general public and society must always come before the interests of corporations.

c) A constitutional amendment that will act as a “second bill of rights” as proposed by President Franklin D. Roosevelt: that every American has a human right to employment, to health care, to a free and full education, to breathe clean air, drink clean water and eat safe food, and to be cared for with dignity and respect in their old age.

Let me know what you think. Occupy Wall Street enjoys the support of millions. It is a movement that cannot be stopped. Become part of it by sharing your thoughts with me or online (at OccupyWallSt.org). Get involved in (or start!) your own local Occupy movement. Make some noise. You don’t have to pitch a tent in lower Manhattan to be an Occupier. You are one just by saying you are. This movement has no singular leader or spokesperson; every participant is a leader in their neighborhood, their school, their place of work. Each of you is a spokesperson to those whom you encounter. There are no dues to pay, no permission to seek in order to create an action.

We are but ten weeks old, yet we have already changed the national conversation. This is our moment, the one we’ve been hoping for, waiting for. If it’s going to happen it has to happen now. Don’t sit this one out. This is the real deal. This is it.

Have a happy Thanksgiving!

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9 thoughts on “Where Does Occupy Wall Street Go From Here?”

  1. Hi, Coco

    That’s a manifesto we 99% can believe in. I agree with your point about the justice system. They should also be demanding an end to The War On Drugs, and the federal persecution of medical marijuana users.

  2. I think the next step will be more police brutality and more crackdown. For a time, the protests will remain non-violent, but eventually, things will get ugly and bloody. The wealthy are too convinced of their own self-righteousness, and the religious zealots already believe we are in end times. I’m convinced we’re on the brink of a new civil war/revolution that will be bloody and destructive.

    1. Feels kinda like Dooms Day, reading your post, which sounds akin to “religious zealots.” I think something constructive will come of it. I don’t see that Occupy Wall Street will get all of their demands met but there will be some positive outcomes. Unfortunately, right now, we just aren’t seeing that. It took some years for us to be where we are now and there won’t be any quick resolutions.

      1. Hi Totsymae,

        I’m not sure if you’re referring to the post or responses. In any case, I welcome the diversity of perspectives as dire as some may be. As I replied to Alex, revolutions don’t tend to be nicey nice things and that seems to be what’s unfolding. Hold on to your seatbelts 🙂

        No doubt, all demands will not be met. I’d take 50% and call that miraculous. I’m not sure of the speed of change but when you consider how quickly a global response sprung up to the movement, I’m hoping that it will come sooner than not. We need it. I’m still bitter that I spent $3.99 on eggs at Stop & Shop for T day; enraged at gas prices, agog at the fuckery of utility companies, cell companies increases in tolls etc. etc.

        To see so many people struggling is heartbreaking and maddening, while others stand on their balconies drinking champagne like monarchs of the days of old. We know what happened to them…So, let’s keep our fingers crossed.

    2. Alex,

      I can’t say I am excited at the thought but I tend to agreed with you. I don’t believe that the 1% will acquiesce to fairness for all yada yada. It would be nice but history shows that is just not the case. I have questioned the resolve of the masses to evoke such change and stand up against tyranny but am pleasantly surprised to see that they are not bending.

      It’s scary though, isn’t it? It’s like someone lit a fire to dry kindling and it has spread with rapidity. Problem is fires turn to burn out of control….

      P.S. – Happy Belated Birthday!!!!

  3. Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours as well.

    Lately, well, ever since the recent pepper spray incident I’ve been reading more and more into the movements which are taking place across America, and I wonder the improvements since the occupy protests begin.

    I also felt it was or is just a matter of time before the police start with the attacks on peaceful protesters. That’s what the majority of police do.

    Michael Moore makes perfect sense throughout his commentary.

    1. Hi Don,

      Thanks for stopping by :). Yes, the police are rather predicatable in that way. It is a necessary part of movements however to drum up public support and awareness even though it is horrifying to see.

      People are ranting and carrying on about Mr. Moore being a turncoat and in it for the money. I’m on the fence about that as I feel he has made significant contributions and shown his dedication to social change and fighting injustice. If he has made money off that, that’s capitalism. I’m not a socialist so I have no problem with that. In any case, the help that he has given the movement is illustrated by the list above.

      Sadly, everyone can’t love Obama lol. 🙂

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