The first issue of “The Occupied Wall Street Journal” was published last week, and I’m surprised that it hasn’t gotten much notice, given that reader Deontos tells me they printed 50,000 copies. It’s a quick read but nevertheless helps give a feel for what the movement is about. We’ve posted the second issue here, which puts more stakes in the ground than the first (both contain a section which lists five things that people who want to help can do now)
The first is an initial statement of principles, or more accurately, “Principles of Solidarity”:
The following Principles of Solidarity have been adopted by the GA
as “a living document” that will be revised through the democratic
process of the N.Y.C. General Assembly.
On September 17, 2011, people from all across the United States of America and the world came to protest the blatant injustices of our times perpetuated by the economic and political elites. On the 17th we as individuals rose up against political disenfranchisement and social and economic injustice. We spoke out, resisted, and successfully occupied Wall Street. Today, we proudly remain in Liberty Square constituting ourselves as autonomous political beings engaged in non-violent civil disobedience and building solidarity based on mutual respect, acceptance, and love. It is from these reclaimed grounds that we say to all Americans and to the world: Enough! How many crises does it take? We are the 99% and we have moved to reclaim our mortgaged future.
Through a direct democratic process, we have come together as
individuals and crafted these principles of solidarity, which are points of
unity that include, but are not limited to:
Engaging in direct and transparent participatory democracy;
Exercising personal and collective responsibility;
Recognizing individuals’ inherent privilege and the influence it has on all interactions;
Empowering one another against all forms of oppression;
Redefining how labor is valued;
The sanctity of individual privacy;
The belief that education is human right; and
Endeavoring to practice and support wide application of open source.
We are daring to imagine a new socio-political and economic alternative that offers greater possibility of equality. We are consolidating the other proposed principles of solidarity, after which demands will follow.
There is also a very clear “Editorial Note” earlier in the paper:
No list of demands
We are speaking to each other, and listening.
This occupation is first about participation.
Issue 2 : The Occupied Wall Street Journal
And for your reading pleasure, here is the first issue:
Skippy…Methinks…Melikes…Slower… Better… Softer…
Goals sooner or later.
Sooner in order to Help Dennis Kucinich’s NEED Act, formerly HR 6550, newly HR 2990 for big changes to help everyone.
Congressman Dennis Kucinich introduced the National Emergency Employment Defense Act (“NEED,” HR 6550*) which contains all the monetary reform provisions of The American Monetary Act- see the brochure at http://www.monetary.org.
It is much more than regulation; it fundamentally reforms our private CREDIT/DEBT system now wrecking our nation and harming all humanity, and replaces it with a government MONEY system.
The Act achieves reform with 3 basic provisions. All three are necessary; doing one or two of them wouldn’t work and could cause more damage.
First the Federal Reserve gets incorporated into the U.S. Treasury where all new money is created by our government – what people think happens now.
Second, It ends the fractional reserve system. Banks no longer have the accounting privilege of creating our money supply. All their previously issued credit is converted into U.S. Money through an elegant and gentle accounting change. The banks are held accountable for this conversion and from that point operate the way people think they do now – as intermediaries between depositors and borrowers.
Third, new money is introduced by the government spending it into circulation for infrastructure, starting with the $2.2 trillion the engineers tell us is needed to properly maintain our infrastructure over the next 5 years. Infrastructure will include the necessary human infrastructure of health care and education.
Banks are encouraged to continue lending as profit making companies, but are no longer allowed to create our money supply through their loan making activity.
Thus, The NEED Act nationalizes the money system, not the banking system.
These 3 elements must all be done together, and are all in draft legislative form as the proposed American Monetary Act (read it here: http://www.monetary.org/amacolorpamphlet.pdf).
The correct action is for Congress to fulfil its constitutional responsibilities to furnish the nation with its money by making the American Monetary Act law.
The correct action for the States is to insist on this Federal action!
Genuine monetary reform is the solution to the nation’s fiscal problems, and that can only be achieved at the national level.
Kucinich Proposes Landmark Jobs Plan
Bill To Put 7 Million Americans Back to Work, Rebuild Infrastructure
Washington D.C. (September 21, 2011) — As the nation struggles with long-term unemployment at rates not seen in generations and as infrastructure crumbles across the nation, Congressman Kucinich (D-OH) today introduced a dramatic new proposal to address our structural economic problems directly by creating over 7 million jobs. The National Emergency Employment Defense (NEED) Act of 2011 would allow the federal government to directly fund badly-needed infrastructure repairs and fund education systems nationwide by spending money into circulation without increasing the national debt or causing inflation.
“The ability to coin money is an inherent power under Article I, Section 8 of the United States Constitution. The NEED Act would control inflation because it will enable the government to invest in America by creating infrastructure, which is real wealth. Inflation is caused when new money is created without the creation of new wealth,” explained Kucinich.
The proposal would also establish fiscal integrity, reassert Congressional sovereignty and regain control of monetary policy from private banks.
Creating an Interest- and Debt- Free Money System
MAJOR, HISTORIC PROGRESS BEING MADE
How the Economists Facilitated the Crisis and How HR 6550* Solves it
(Newly HR 2990, …How HR 2990 Solves it)
Economist Jamie Galbraith in testimony to the Senate Crime subcommittee on May 4th, 2010:
False “monetary” beliefs (some call them theories) have misdirected public policy decisions for decades, with devastating effect! Errors of Concept, methodology and factual errors led to disastrous outcomes for our nation and have the potential to gradually take America down into an unprecedented abyss of lawlessness and deprivation. Consider the present insane calls for austerity. Economists have allowed the idea to prevail that a government has to be run the way a shopkeepers runs his store. These times call for greater care and some heroism among economists; and cowardice is no longer tolerable among those who do understand.
Which particular monetary errors? Most importantly, economists have not understood or appreciated the difference between money and credit. That using credit for money is dangerous, harmful and unnecessary. Can’t they read Knapp’s “State Theory of Money, available in English since the early 1920s, to understand credit is just one type of money system, and not a good one at that?
Many economists have falsely concluded that “all money is debt,” and while most money in our particular mis structured system is debt, this attitude ignores the possibility and necessity to define a better system based on government money, not private debt. This failure to understand the concept of government money as opposed to private credit, has had immense and deadly repercussions.
The Great Henry Simons summed it up in one magnificent sentence in the 1930s:
“The mistake … lies in fearing money and trusting debt.”
Henry Simons, (Economic Policy for a Free Society, 1930s, P.199)
This fundamental error has allowed the most egregious banking and money system to dominate our society for a century. It has caused immense damage:
For example: The privatization of our monetary system, with control over public policy being in unelected hands, for whoever controls the money system, over time will control the nation.
And look what they have done with that power:
* They’ve given special privilege to create money to some, and disadvantage to others; which has led to an obscene concentration of wealth and a corresponding poverty! This has encouraged lawlessness and corruption among the privileged; pushing them to diseased excess for acquisition, and ignoring those among us in great need.
In our present system most of what we use for money – more accurately purchasing media – comes into existence as an interest bearing debt, when banks make loans. In that sense, most money in our fractional reserve system – is debt. But economists can’t seem to grasp that those rules can and must be changed. Afraid to confront their paymasters, who are benefitting from the injustice, they can’t conceive of practical ways we can use real government issued money for money instead of substituting private debt for it. They ignore previous attempts such as the Chicago Plan of the 1930s; and smear prior periods when such real money was used successfully.
Thus, The NEED Act nationalizes the money system, not the banking system.
All serious Monetary reformers understand that banks can not be allowed to create our money supply.
Representative Vows to OccupyCONGRESS
The Occupy movement coincides fortuitously with bold financial legislation introduced earlier this year. HR 2990, the National Emergency Employment Defense (NEED) Act, proposes nationalizing the US central bank, the Federal Reserve. What this means for the dollar is that it will be un-privatized, changing from a debt-based currency to a debt-free one overnight. The monetary system is then geared to produce public wealth rather than bankster wealth.
To anyone concerned about the national debt, austerity cuts, unemployment, or the extreme concentration of wealth and power among the elite, the NEED Act is what you have been waiting (and protesting) for.
Don’t confuse this proposal with the specious calls to replace “fiat” money with gold (commodity) currency. The problem is not fiat but rather debt-based currency, controlled by and for banksters. The NEED Act does “end the Fed” as we know it, but achieves this the right way: with sovereign, debt-free Treasury notes. Gold currency, on the other hand, is an elitist scheme which would devastate the already reeling middle class.
Under HR 2990, the dollar is to be issued by US Treasury as a public asset and spent into circulation for the public good. This will allow government to invest in large-scale projects without borrowing or adding to the national debt. Millions of unemployed can be put back to work rebuilding and expanding America’s infrastructure. Debt-free money could also clear the way for single payer health care – a reform which would save lives and money while boosting the economy.
The author of HR 2990, Dennis Kucinich, has pledged his support for the Occupy movement and vows to OccupyCONGRESS:
Video at link above.
My God, it’s full of stars!
Skippy…this is not for anyone, let it grow and lean, at its pace.
We went over to visit at Occupy Kansas City this afternoon. Have been meaning to go, but time seems to flip/slip away. Had a very pleasant afternoon. Intend to head back tomorrow afternoon and take a little food.
Over the past week I have received e-mail solicitations from the following organizations, all citing my support of Occupy Wall Street as the reason to send them money. I have never sent money to these organizations before and don’t even know who most of them are, how they got my e-mail or what they support. Well, I guess I know they support getting money off of sympathy for Occupy Wall Street:
National People’s Action
Rebuild the Dream
Jobs Not Cuts
I’m really not appreciating being spammed by these groups. And I really think it’s ugly of them to jump on the Occupy Wall Street bandwagon to try to get donations.
The shameless desperation of the Democrat party knows no bounds.
Actually, I have donated to the Democrats and closely associated fundraising organizations and they HAVEN’T e-mailed asking for money in the last week and haven’t sent anything associating themselves with the Occupy groups. Just the facts, ma’am.
That’s because they don’t need to alter their pitch to you; you’re already giving them money, so why would they tamper with success?
* * *
As for me, anybody want an Obama 2008 commemorative plate? I’m selling them out of my car. Which is convenient, since that’s where I’m living.
Also, I’d think that those groups probably received (or purchased?) your name and other details FROM the Democratic party candidates you acknowledge supporting. For example, perhaps email lists are shared when MoveOn, etc., gave money to your candidates.
These spam emails let you know which groups are actually doing the work of the party machine.
Yes, many of these groups are closely associated with the Democratic Party, including ones designed to siphon off “progressives” who are upset with the Democratic Party into actions that don’t actually do much to challenge the party.
MoveOn and the Van Jones’ Rebuild the Dream may not be official Democratic Party operations, but they are essentially front groups. It’s an opportunity to suck off yet more grassroots’ resources into Democratic Party front groups (e.g., people who will support the Party regardless of what it does).
I hope other readers will add to this list of groups that are pretending to be part of OWS for their own mercenary reasons. If I can get a reasonably complete tally, I want to name and shame them. If you haven’t ditched their pitches, please FW them to me at email@example.com.
The first is an initial statement of principles, or more accurately, “Principles of Solidarity”:
The following Principles of Solidarity have been adopted by the GA as “a living document” that will be revised through the democratic process of the N.Y.C. General Assembly.
Blast from the past (Wikipedia):
http://www.nobelprize.org/nobel_prizes/peace/laureates/1983/presentation-speech.html Award Ceremony Speech The Nobel Peace Prize 1983
From Lech Walesa The Nobel Peace Prize Speach (1983)
Solidarity and Martial Law in Poland:
25 Years Later
That might be an interesting reading for OWS protesters…
That opening editorial put my in mind of this:
But seriously, this should be an interesting counterpoint to the corporate media story.
Finally coming to my city in traditionally red state next Saturday. The protestors are being demonized as wanting to punish those who are successful and as redistributionist Marxists….. “to each according to his…..”. The Tea Party was popular here. I’ll be the middle-aged lady there to lend my support in however it is needed, perhaps my big mouth. This is worth fighting for, for my children’s sake, and their future children (even if they swear they are never getting married or having children).
The 99%ers consist of 50% conservatives and 49% liberals pitted against each other.
The 1% have nothing to worry about.
You’ve hit upon exactly why the Occupy movement’s consensus approach is the only way to move our society forward.
Politics need not be some team game where everybody lines up on a Blue side or a Red side and the team that wins-even if it’s by 1%-gets all the spoils and decision-making power. Politics could be–and it is in Zucotti Park–about solving real issues, first by listening to one another, and then by developing a consensus solution that makes no one a “loser.”
Human rights don’t come in the form of expecting something of value which requires the govt to take from one and give to another. Education, higher education, is not a human right. A human right are rights such as being free to exercise your religion of choice, freedom of speech, freedom to control and have the fruits of your labor without fear of confiscation, freedom from involuntary servitude, and many more. But a human right, is not something that requires some government to confiscate the property from one individual and give to another.
Additionally, should free and independent people have the choice and ability to govern themselves? Should not a group of individuals have the choice – right to break all political ties from a govt and form their own govt?
Your glibbertarian boilerplate was tiresome the first time.
Who would want to live in a society where children were “free” to be hungry or die from the lack of medical care? You’re “every man for himself” philosophy is fundamentally anti-human, and hiding it behind a valid dislike for an intrusive State won’t conceal that.
The spirit of Zucotti Park is also wary of government, but it recognizes our mutual responsibility for each other, as our species has done since its inception.
And I suppose “property rights” somehow don’t require confiscating everyone’s access to use said property?
I guess you think property is metaphysically real and a natural process like fruit tree growing out of ground and saying to the world “I’m the property of “More.libery” without the need for a government.
Human rights are what is necessary for human survival/progress given a certain level economic and political development. They aren’t fixed but grow like every other living process. Fixity is for the dead.
“Human rights don’t come in the form of expecting something of value which requires the govt to take from one and give to another”
That criterion eliminates the right to security of the person and private property. If these rights are going to be anything more than talk they require the government to take (tax) from one person and give to another–i.e. the policeman’s salary, jails, courts, guards etc.
If education is a basic right, then the government has the same right to levy a tax and pay a teacher/professor and for a school etc.
You have to give a better criterion than no one has a right that involves re-distribution.
Beautiful words, but very soon OWS better come up with an action plan, or they will devolve into a debate/poetry society.
Here are suggestions about what they actually should do.
Rodger Malcolm Mitchell
Rodger, I’ve got sympathy with at least some of your nine steps, but I wouldn’t really recommend that the OWS protesters adopt them, or adopt any particular programme at this stage.
Think about it. To adopt a programme means to winnow a whole lot of ideas which the protesters might have down into a manageable list. How is that to be done? You could have a committee, but how is the committee to be selected? At both stages, some people – probably a lot of people – are going to be left out. Having your idea/s left out is disappointing, not being on the committee is disappointing. I don’t imagine people are going to Liberty Park (and other places) to be disappointed.
Then, if you have a programme, what are you going to do with it? Are you going to try to publicise it? That means costs for advertising, publications, maybe meetings and rallies organised around the programme. Some people aren’t going to like the programme, or some parts of it. So then your publicity campaign turns into a morass of a million arguments with a million people who are basically your supporters but suddenly you’re arguing with them over the programme, and wasting everybody’s energy.
Are you going to try to get a mainstream political party, say, the Democratic Party to adopt your programme? That means negotiation and bargaining, and as part of that process some more ideas are going to be left out. Maybe worse, the Democrats (or whoever else you’re negotiating with) are going to demand that you support some of their ideas you maybe don’t really like, but it’s part of the deal. So, more disappointment and people saying “This isn’t what I wanted!”
Best leave programmes alone for the moment. Let the pot percolate a while longer.
they are very busy doing a great deal right now. they are working very hard. their action plan is (among other actions) to build an exemplary microcosm of a sane society in the face of great opposition.
doing this simple action in a culture that has its priorities backward means de facto civil disobedience, as they have clearly stated is their intention. how much more “active” can you get?
they are a movement of leaders who are awakening more leaders into action.
look deeper. slow down. reopen your mind.
Rats! Print too small, can’t read it (even with zoom) gettin’ old ….
Is there a way to get these as a pdf, say?
The kickstarter page for Occupy Wall Street Media has links to both issues near the top of the page. I recommend bookmarking this link, as they’ll probably link to later issues from there as well:
OWS has started a conversation. Great! Personaly I don’t understand why there isn’t a mob of people tearing wall street (and washington) down with their bare bloody hands. Remember Tienamen Square. The picture of one lone guy blocking a TANK. I think thats the kind of courage and commitment that it will take to change things for the better in this country. People are starting to get angry in the US? Geeze louise, they aren’t angry enough yet. They are up against an implacable foe with not an ounce of empathy or humanity that holds all the power and is supported and protected by the institutions that are supposed to serve all of us. Holding hands and singing cumba ya isn’t going to change that. Wax nostalgic for the 60’s if you want but remember as well it was a violent time and people made real human sacrifices for their causes.
Here’s my take: Dear Occupy Wall Street: Thank You For Defending The American Principle of Equality http://abigailcfield.com/?p=410