Occupy Wall Street Comes Through! 102611
Occupy Wall Street has finally come through with “demands” and what a great job they’ve done! They are organizing and might well call for a Constitutional Convention.
The group has described plans for increasing participation by organizing itself using one male and one female from each congressional district. As delegates come together, they’ll take part in working groups which will define and direct the movement. There is a call for a “NATIONAL GENERAL ASSEMBLY beginning on July 4, 2012 in the City Of Philadelphia.” Less than a year away, and not much time to organize so much, but there is an awareness that the movement is enjoying a honeymoon period, and there is a need to strike while the iron is hot, and before foes and detractors can organize against it. The most organized arm of the Tea Party has already begun attacking Occupy for its “share the wealth” approach to poverty.
Still, there is a proposal that the most grassroots Tea Party members and Occupy should join forces to become a political and social force for change that would really be unstoppable, which seems to have currency. This editor doesn’t welcome such a mega force, though it would certainly unseat the hoary duopoly which now strangles political change in the U.S. Such popular movements tend to be started by one group, and at some point are coopted by new powerbrokers who re-interpret the meaning of the movement. One clear example is the U.S. government, which began as an attempt to secure economic and personal freedom and is currently a bureaucratic kraken, webbing our lives with laws. Some of history’s most bloody eras have begun with popular movements.
Currently, people are jumping on the Occupy bandwagon. From the very start, Adbusters, a Canadian based group bent on reducing corporate power furthered the Occupy message. Mo Jo, the famous/infamous socialist magazine Mother Jones, has been carrying excellent coverage and analysis of the movement.
More recently, major unions have leapt aboard. Obama made mention of Occupy’s reflection of public frustration in a speech recently, but hasn’t found a way to make it work for him without angering the very system which gave him the presidency.
Even so, Occupy has moved forward with astonishing speed. The groups’ website is HERE and it’s a must see. It is also the portal for those who want to take part in the movement in a more official capacity in one of the Groups.
Occupy has grown steadily in influence and organization, but as it hones its view, some things will be lost as part of the process; indeed, some supporters are dropping off because they believe that creating concrete demands will only limit and define the movement. Others are concerned their position won’t be supported in a more centrist organized Occupy.
Some of the current demands, many of which won’t reach the final platform, are very interesting. A list of the initial demands are HERE. There is information there about joining key groups as well.
What’s next for Occupy? Is it destined to join Move On as an institutionalized, well tamed function of the left wing of the Democratic party? Will it sweep both Move On and the Tea Party into a mega party for change? Beats me. You can be part of it, though. There are likely Occupy gatherings in the Sacto area; for East County folk there is an Occupy group that has had 80 people turn out for demonstrations. You can follow them HERE.
Here is a shortened list of demands, from the site above. Editor remarks are in [brackets.]
1. Elimination of the Corporate State. [While this is essential, it isn’t known what the overall effect will be. The rich aren’t anchored to one nation as most of us are.]
2. Rejection of the Citizens United Case. The immediate abrogation, even if it requires a Constitutional Amendment, of the outrageous and anti-democratic holding in the "Citizens United" case proclaimed by the United States Supreme Court. [Essential.]
This is a crucial time in the fight for corporate civil rights. Just look at the hateful signs at Occupy Wall St, ‘Corporations are not people.’ Wow, I thought we were past the point in this country, where some people are not people just because they have different color skin, or different religion, or were born in the lawyer’s office and exist only on paper, have no soul and can never die.” Colbert Report HERE
3. Elimination of Private Contributions to Politicians. [A good idea on paper, but no one is sure what government financing of candidates would mean at the scale of the U.S.]
4. Term Limits. [Would we rather have entrenched good old boys and girls living forever off the public teat, or would we prefer total know nothing beginners each election season?]
5. A Fair Tax Code. [No such system has been proposed, and the process of creating one would be accompanied by a roaring chorus of whiney special interests, like the rich.]
6. Healthcare for All. Medicare for all or adoption of a single-payer healthcare system. The Medicaid program will be eliminated. [Here’s how to pay for it: take money from the wealthy and ensure every resident a reasonable level of health care. Maybe not kidney transplants for 50 year olds, but certainly insulin for those who need it.]
7. Protection of the Planet. [Or we’ll all die terribly! I doubt we can stop ourselves in time. I drive a gas hog.]
8. Debt Reduction. [Been a personal goal for years.]
9. Jobs for All Americans. [Or at least those who want to work, which is more than the number of jobs we have now.]
10. Student Loan Forgiveness. [Not surprised to see this here.]
11. Immigration Reform. Immediate passage of the Dream Act and comprehensive immigration and border security reform including offering visas, lawful permanent resident status and citizenship to the world’s brightest People to stay and work in our industries and schools after they obtain their education and training in the United States. [A tough social issue, and one that needs more objective and humane dialog than we’re hearing now.]
12. Ending of Perpetual War for Profit [Unlikely! Wars make kings so kings make wars; wars profit corporations so corporations ensure there is always war.]
13. Reforming Public Education. Mandating new educational goals to train the American public to perform jobs in a 21st century economy. [Would be nice, but would require money and a national will to take a new look at the real futures real kids have, and the effects education will, or won’t have on those futures.]
14. End Outsourcing.
15. End Currency Manipulation. Implementing immediate legislation and WTO intervention if need be, to encourage China and our other trading partners to end currency manipulation. [Not likely.]
16. Banking and Securities Reform. Immediate reenactment of the Glass-Steagall Act and increased regulation of Wall Street and the financial industry by the SEC, FINRA and the other financial regulators. [Essential, but difficult because it requires a new view of capital as a resource in the commons, like air and water.]
17. Foreclosure Moratorium. Adoption of a plan similar to President Clinton’s proposal to end the mortgage crisis. The privately owned Federal Reserve Bank shall not continue to lower interest rates for loans to banks that are refusing to loan to small businesses and consumers, but instead shall buy all underwater or foreclosed mortgages. [The housing market might finally stabilize and families might again be able to buy a house.]
18. Ending the Fed. [Sure, of course, but replacing it will be tough.]
19. Abolish the Electoral College, Comprehensive Campaign Finance and Election Reform . [Essential.]
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that IF the PETITION OF GRIEVANCES approved by the 870 Delegates of the NATIONAL GENERAL ASSEMBLY in consultation with the PEOPLE, is not acted upon within a reasonable time and to the satisfaction of the Delegates of the NATIONAL GENERAL ASSEMBLY, said Delegates shall organize a new INDEPENDENT POLITICAL PARTY to run candidates for every available Congressional seat in the mid-term election of 2014 and again in 2016 until all vestiges of the existing corrupt corporatocracy have been removed by the power of the ballot box.