Even in this hyper-connected, instant-on, information-overloaded world we live in, the ability to identify what is truly important isn’t something we’re built to do.
Don’t believe me? Google was created to sort through all the dreck and come up with a top-ten list, and often times it can’t do it either (and it made people billionaires).
In 1773 or so- most Americans were unaware of what was coming, and they didn’t have cell phones, fax machines, twitter or Facebook.
When the Declaration of Independence was signed- it was weeks and months before it could be distributed across our land.
The “Tea Party” thought they were the harbingers of change, with their anti-tax rants and neo-conservative values- but, just by speaking loudly and having a few converts isn’t the making of a revolution. Never mistake your own feelings for those of many- it’s called the “fallacy of composition” in marketing- and it’s the bane of demographers- who are always concerned with the sample size and how participants were chosen.
In fact, one of the things that has been dubbed the “Facebook effect” is that we’ve started to insulate ourselves from people with opposing viewpoints- surrounding ourselves with people just like us. Homogeneity is the enemy of democracy and the friend of dictatorships.
Like it or not, the concentration of wealth and power has reached the point where the vast majority is starting to understand the inequity greed and corruption has brought.
Here, in a short, succinct manifesto, is the antidote to our situation, brought on by our own “Arab Spring” movement: “Occupy Wall Street”- read it- and think:
Mark Ruffalo #occupywallstreet
Here is the General Assembly’s Statement Read it and weep (tears of joy)
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 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!
*These grievances are not all-inclusive.
Note, this isn’t just about America- it’s to the people of the world. Our imperialist reach and capitalist oligarchy have left our borders and created international havoc. The people who think they are in charge have long since been co-opted by the machine of greed, with Congressmen and even our President, earning pennies compared to their benefactors’ millions.
We have been sold out at every level, and our planet’s future is at risk- from poisoned air, water, food supplies and even obesity and population growth. So, it’s time to carefully think about the points made above- and ask yourself, what don’t you agree with?
Do you want to continue letting things go the way they’ve gone? Or, are you ready to put a stop to it?
The declaration is here. Are you willing to make your voice heard?
I support the movement. Do you?