Occupy Wall Street: "Declaration of the Occupation of New York City"

(Image: Woman at Occupy Wall Street, a Creative Commons Attribution (2.0) image from 33498942@N04's photostream)

A manifesto of sorts has emerged from Occupy Wall Street:

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.

Read: Declaration of the Occupation of New York City | NYC General Assembly.


  1. Protesting with ironic decals on state-of-the-art corporate laptops, ironic beards, and GIR caps. Wall Street wins.

    1. To be against rape doesn’t mean you are also against sex. Protesting the gross, unfettered excesses of capitalism doesn’t require the protesters to abandon the successes that capitalism has brought to the modern world. Seeking balance where there is none is not grounds for derision.

      1. Well, Apple is accused of outsourcing its labor to Chinese workers and paying them unfair wages in dangerous conditions, and the manifesto says right here:

        “They have continuously sought to strip employees of the right to negotiate for better pay and safer working conditions… They have consistently outsourced labor and used that outsourcing as leverage to cut workers’ healthcare and pay.”

        Surely there’s laptops that have a better record with unionized US labor. Problem is, they’re not as cool as Apple. PRIORITIES!

        1. Foxconn (the Chinese company you’re referring to) is the assembly line for Apple, Acer, Amazon, Asus, Cisco, Dell, H-P, Intel, Microsoft, Motorola, Nintendo, Nokia, and Sony Ericsson. Which unionized US computer/phone manufacturer did you have in mind to turn to? Surely there’s at least one.

        2. Surely there’s laptops that have a better record with unionized US labor. Problem is, they’re not as cool as Apple. PRIORITIES!

          It may have been a gift.

          That’s the only way I can explain owning a Vaio…

          1. It’s irrelevant what kind of computers they use, and how they obtained them!

            If anything, it should enforce their position, though I understand how many might see it the other way around.

            Think about it… many (certainly not all) of the protesters come from a life of relative privilege. They probably went (or go currently) to a good university, they can afford to buy an Apple laptop (or their parents can), etc.

            Yet they’re still pissed, and most likely unemployed if they’re at the protest 24/7. In other words, it’s not just the actual poor – people who are, regrettably, easy for the rich to ignore – who are angered at the rich. It is the 99%. Even if you’re in the 99th percentile, you still have a lot of reasons to be angered at the 1% and the government they control.

          2. You saw one protester with a laptop.

            Let’s be clear on what you’re basing your argument on.

            (Comment meant as reply to the first one in the thread- sorry)

        3. Try finding a single mass-market electronic consumer product that’s made in America then. I would hazard a guess that virtually every one is built in the same factories as Apple products. FWIW, Foxconn employees are reckonned to be payed more than equivalent employees in China, and the reported suicides are far fewer per 1000 employees than an equivalent number in the US. But of course it’s always easier to paint a successful American company as inherently bad just because they’ve become exceedingly popular.
          I don’t have figures to hand, but there were plenty of news reports around the time of the suicides pointing out that the numbers were no more significant than the number of suicides in any town with an equivalent population. Foxconn employs many hundreds of thousands of people.

    2. Protesting with ironic decals on state-of-the-art corporate laptops, ironic beards, and GIR caps. Wall Street wins.

      Way to miss the point. No one is saying that corporations produce nothing of value and have no place in our society. The issue is the grossly disproportionate influence they have over our political process.

      And what the fuck is an “ironic beard?”

    3. Seems to me, we need one of these occupations at the Chicago School of Economics.

      Protesting with ironic decals on state-of-the-art corporate laptops, ironic beards, and GIR caps. Wall Street wins.

      Dude, did you fail to notice that Wall Street wins no matter what happens? That’s the beef: the pricks have rigged the game.

    4. Protesting with ironic decals on state-of-the-art corporate laptops, ironic beards, and GIR caps. Wall Street wins.

      How does Wall Street profit from certain styles of facial hair, again?

    5. How ironic. But i was live broadcasting the event. So the corporations didn’t win anything. I used their technology to live stream 

    6. Would you be satisfied if they recorded and organized with pinhole cameras and cups tied together with string?

      Or I guess I should say, would you be satisfied with anything they did?

  2. Arrest Cheney, Rummy, Wolfowitz, Dumya, Rove…send ’em to the Hague.

    That would be the first time I ever watched Court TV. 

    Alas, I will not hold me breath, mateys.

  3. Jeez,  the “manifesto” is a mishmash of grievances, many of them highly debatable, most of them phrased in the most inflammatory way, and it contains… NOT A SINGLE, PRACTICAL, ACHIEVABLE FINANCIAL POLICY REFORM PROPOSAL.

    1. Wag, Take a look at the U.S. Declaration of Independence. Inflammatory?? Hell yes. Do you find any ‘Practical,tangible proposals there??? No. It is not a “manifesto” It is a declaration of grievances, just like the Dec of Ind, not a list of demands.

      1. I believe the declaration of independence was a little more than a statement of grievances. It accompanied real action and was not simply a rhetorical prop of collective expression.  If your “action” is to moan and grumble then a manifesto without alternatives is redundant.

      2. The Declaration of Independence contained a list of very specific grievances against the British which were crafted in such a way that most colonists could agree on them. And it did have a very tangible, practical proposal: The formation of, you know, the United States.

      3. Thank you, Linus O.  Thank God we have smart people like you on our side.  The other side?  Not so much…

        1. Oh, I’ll also thank God that the 1%’s perception of their own intellectual superiority comes from brown-nosing yes men and not so much from actual mental ability.  And that their blind spot for that truth is large. Just like at every other time in history.

    2. I don’t think you get this. It isn’t about “financial policy reform,” this movement is about widespread STRUCTURAL change to our political and economic system. Remember that the Declaration of Independence was also quite inflammatory ( really England levying taxes was “tyrannical”?), the driving force behind this movement is the fact that a very large number of Americans want to exercise their rights to alter (or abolish?) this government.

      Process first, then policy.

  4. Now let me elaborate. What I see from photos of Occupy Wall Street is a lot of form, and very little substance. There is very little progress to be made when half of the protesters are more concerned with twittering about how they protest, and the other half spending five hours a day thinking how cool would it be if they wore their GIR cap.
    Bottom line, protesting is now a fashion statement.

    1. Yeah, none of that social networking worked for the Arab Spring protesters, did it? 

      Oh wait, it did and is. Never mind.

      I suppose you think these protesters should be absolute purists and stick to word of mouth only. You’d like that, wouldn’t you? Admit it, you fear the message. That you’re here trolling, is testimony to the effectiveness of OWS in getting people out into the streets to highlight the corrupting influence of corporate money in politics. The people are waking up, you can’t stop it.

    2. I think your projecting a subjective insecurity about how these people dress compared to you and deciding they’re arbitrarily “fashionable”. These are mainly young people. Younger people are the people most likely to adopt new trends, having grown into them more organically.

      Notice, how I cut you some slack and don’t point out that making issue of how the demonstrators dress is really another ad hominem fallacious argument. Whoops. Guess I didn’t.

  5. Without any defined, understandable demands they are letting the 1% they are protesting against set the terms of appeasment, they are allowing the 1% to decide what they are willing to change to end this. Sure they can say ‘no, not good enough’ to what they offer, but for how long ?

     The old revolutionary theory that you need a party with the ideas and the organisation to replace the current system in order for a revolution to take place has pretty much been disproved by the arab spring, in that the revolutions themselves occured without any definable party or set of ideas driving the movement. However, they are pretty bloody busy now trying to construct the organisation to replace what they’ve torn down.  But they had a singular unshakeable demand, that the government had to go. This allowed the protest to build, and to focus, and to actually effect a change. The situation is very different with these protests, but they really need some well defined demands for these given reasons. If they don’t the 1% will set the terms.

    It all reminds me of Deleuze and Guattaris short paper ‘May 68 did not take place’ and these protestors are what they describe as the children of May 68. “The children of May 68, you can run into them all over the place, even if they are not aware of who they are. Each country produces them in its own way. Their situation isn’t so great. These are not young executives. These are strangely indifferent, and for this very reason are in the right frame of mind. They have stopped being demanding and narcissistic, but they know perfectly well that nothing today corresponds to their subjectivity, to their potential of energy. They even know that all current reforms are rather directed against them. They are determined to mind their own business as much as they can. They hold it open, hang on to something possible.” Full paper is here… http://fortunaty.net/com/textz/textz/deleuze_gilles_guattari_felix_may_68_did_not_take_place.txt but needs serious reformatting.

    A statement of discontent will not of itself effect a change. This is a very politically creative movement, righteous and beautiful in equal measure, it would be horrible beyond imagining to see it achieve absolutely nothing at all. Proper ‘strategic essentialism’ needs at least one common goal.

    1. Of course no statement of discontent, lacking power or not, determines the will of a mob in any given moment. Robespierre and Rosseau had their respective declarations, and historians might point out their influences with the genius of hindsight, but as Tolstoy suggested- it’s the mob who does the work. The will of the people is not a razor honed for dissection. It’s a blunt instrument. You get a large enough group together, for whatever reason, and get them angry enough at their stated opposition… well- take a look at Algiers in 1957, or the Reign of Terror, or the route of Napoleon’s Grand Army, or the killing fields. Sadly, these things are more often like a ball rolling downhill gathering speed. That said- most of you are right: GIR hats and macbooks do not an angry mob make. But were corporate gluttons to keep pressing…? Hey- the Khmer Rouge was known to have killed anyone wearing glasses- what about people in suits? 

      Dialogue is important. The death of it is the death of democracy.

  6. “””corporations do not seek consent to extract wealth from the people and the Earth”””

    There is a simple, non-violent way to prevent corporations from extracting the weatlth from we-the-people of the Earth.  We need to stop voluntarily exchanging our money for the products that corporations manufacture and the services that corporations provide. 

    There.  Problem solved.

    1. @google-caa1f1a59e66bdc0bddd3748f339d0a4:disqus  – Ah yes, that’s right we should deprive ourselves of all tooling and tutelage made by other members of our society; not because we take issue with the makers, but because we have a grievance with the owners of the makers.

      Be honest, our problems are not with manufacturing and engineering power, they’re with mediating powers, those that hold onto the nexuses and properties of transfers and trades. Reform in those areas would give both creators and consumers more and more pressure to balance themselves.

      1. I got it.  The makers need to stop forming corporations or choosing to work for them.  Then there will be no more mediating powers or nexuses or whatever.

        1. Let me know when you find a marker formed and owned corporation. They aren’t supported by government, they’re taxed too hard with too much red tape and don’t have good access to credit.

          Anyway, since sarcasm is the order of the day: Try harder, it’s easy.

  7. I visited occupywallst.org and quickly found several proposals for concrete action to address the abuse of our system. The most effective is to ensure that congress passes bill hr1489 to re-enact the legislation that was passed in 1933 to prevent another banking crash. The Glass Steagall Act (banking act of 1933) prevented conflicts of interest, fraudulent valuation, and other forms of collusion between commercial and investment banking. It worked well until 1999 when congressman Phil Gramm (R. Texas) and two others shut it down. It was a bipartisan failure, since Bill Clinton signed it into law for its short term economic benefit. With the law nullified, banks were free to gamble all of our money away.  When the housing bubble (the resulting unchecked speculation) burst in 2008, the “liquidity shortfall” was a nice way of saying “Oops! We spent all your money!”

    1. The most effective is to ensure that congress passes bill hr1489 to re-enact the legislation that was passed in 1933 to prevent another banking crash. The Glass Steagall Act (banking act of 1933) prevented conflicts of interest, fraudulent valuation, and other forms of collusion between commercial and investment banking.

      More of this.  Like it or not, OWS does in fact have a problem in the public perception of not offering up solutions.  Everyone is already pissed, even if they are not marching.  It isn’t like being pissed at financial institutions and the laws surrounding them need an ‘awareness’ campaign.  This isn’t some obscure cause that no one has ever heard about.

      I think what causes a lot of the “meh” when people hear about OWS is the lack of actual clear solutions.  Stuff like the above are the first steps to fixing that problem.  OWS has gotten attention.  Everyone is looking.  The “those guys suck” argument  has worked up to now, but now is the time for reasonable demands.  I don’t know much about HR1489, but that sort of thing sounds like exactly the sort of “reasonable demand” that can be put forward.  

      OWS is a mild threat.  They are not going to violently overthrow the government or anything, but having protesters, even if they do nothing disruptive, camping out in  your cities is bad.  It is bad for your image, it is expensive in terms of policing, and it makes politicians look like a jack asses.  The implication is that there is something that they can do to appease the protesters to get them to leave.  Okay, the ‘threat’ is out there.  Conditions to achieve appeasement are the next step.

      Conditions to achieve appeasement are also a chance to grow the movement.  A reasonable demand or two could do a lot to pull in more people.  Lots of people might be sympathetic to the cause, but unwilling to throw in with people who might make demands they don’t like.  Tossing down a few demands and firming up the “what we want”, if done right, is an invitation for those people to join.  An “end capitalism” demand is likely to get people on the sidelines to shrug, go about there business, and dismiss the protesters as idealistic hippies who will achieve nothing.  A series of demands for laws attempting to reduce corruption in corporations and financial institutions on the other hand could broaden the appeal of the movement and give constituents something to pressure their politicians over.

      1. “I think what causes a lot of the “meh” when people hear about OWS is the lack of actual clear solutions.”

        No, what causes the “meh” is that we’ve all been unconsciously influenced by a constant corporate media campaign since the 60’s to belittle these sorts of protests. For those who watch Fox News, not so unconsciously…This is why people who should be for it, critique it, rather than support it. We’ve all been trained to nitpick each other rather than support each other. That way, the status quo lives.

        “It is bad for your image, it is expensive in terms of policing, and it makes politicians look like a jack asses.”

        First of all, do the politicians really need help being made to look like jackasses? Are you really one of the 11% who doesn’t think the are actually just JACKASSES?

        Again, we’ve been trained by corporate media to be corporate- and status quo-apologists. The point you’re missing is that the system is rigged. You can’t play by the rules in a rigged system and win! You can personally lobby congress all day, if you like. Unless you’ve got your own SuperPAC or 501c4, good luck with that.

        1. lillyd, I am not trying to be an ass, but without demands what do you realistically expect is going to happen.  Seriously, throw down a fake timeline and end with victory for me.  No one has articulated what victory looks like other than in the most vague sense of the word.  It reads to me like:1) Protest
          2) Swell of protests
          3) ???
          4) Healthy economy and global equality!

          I am really not trying to be an asshole.  Just call me unimaginative peon who has had their imagination rotted out by corporations and humor me.  What happens in between the “we start the protest and gain some support” phase and  the vague nebulous goal of a better world phase which is itself only vaguely defined as having something to do with more equality and economic health.

          1. I spent a good deal of my youth in ineffectual protest; we accomplished few of our goals. However, none of it was as ineffectual as waiting for someone else to tell you what to do. And I’ll tell you what it DID accomplish: it put me in touch with other like-minded people, with whom I have had long and fruitful relationships, conversations, and good thoughts. That is, on the street, and in meeting halls and commandeered university classrooms, one may form the germ of something that can sprout into an effective movement that has real ideas. So, don’t shit on protest. Instead, tell us what you think could go in (3)! There are lots of simple, reasonable demands to be made: introduce a financial speculation tax, re-implement Glass-Steagall, raise the estate and capital gains taxes, etc. There are more elaborate possibilities: break up the big banks, defund the finance industry, combine our labor in other ways than into for-profit corporations, etc. What’s your idea?

          2. I’m no pundit and I don’t want to be. I can’t predict the future. It’s a movement. Who knows where it goes? All I can do is hope for it to go in some direction(s) that I support and PARTICIPATE to better the chances it does. Here’s what I’d like to see happen:

            A. enough participation that the media thinks its worth it to beat this drum as much or more than they beat the damn Tea Party drum for the last couple years.
            B. enough participation that people’s minds begin to change because, let’s face it, this ain’t a progressive country right now. When people are this worried about their future, they are easy to manipulate. And I’d really, really, really like to avoid some fascist meglomaniac leading the people into a wave of hatred, violence or any other baser human instinct. I’d much rather see us working together in cooperation, leading ourselves to some common future.
            C. Maybe people inspire a progressive or populist wave into the next elections. Did you see how the Tea Partiers changed the whole conversation?
            D. Maybe corporations will realized that their profits can only climb so far if the people don’t have money and don’t like them and maybe they’ll regain a smidgen of a sense of responsibility toward society.
            E. Maybe politicians will working for the people again lest they be thrown out on their asses.
            F. Maybe nothing will happen, but some people will feel hopeful that they are not alone in being frustrated. Maybe something will, and they will have the kind of memories my parents have cherished for a lifetime of partcipating in the war protest movement.
            G. Who knows?

            This is movement of people, not pundits, not politicians. There’s no reason to jump to bullet points and policy inititives. People don’t really respond to that, you know. They respond to culture, social influence, motivation and inspiration. I hope everyone can become inspired.

  8. Attacking the protesters for using computers is a red herring, a logical fallacy i.e., an  illegitimate argumentative technique. The only thing the trolls are proving by using it is how afraid they are that the public is waking up to the corrupting effect of corporate and elite money on our political system.

    1. Attacking the protesters for using computers is a red herring, a logical fallacy i.e., an  illegitimate argumentative technique. The only thing the trolls are proving by using it is how afraid they are that the public is waking up to the corrupting effect of corporate and elite money on our political system.

      Very true.  The trolls are only going to ramp it up higher and higher.  The good thing is, they are pretty stupid.  So as they get more and more shrill, their agenda will become more and more obvious to the rest of us and hopefully the Boing Boing moderators as well.

      [in before they’ll attack me for freedom of speech diversionary tactics]

    2. It’s shades of the old “Don’t like pollution caused by oil? Well the computer you’re on right now is MADE of oil, so if you don’t stop using it forever you’re a hypocrite and I win, QED MOTHERFUCKERS!” argument. A bit more refined and subtle but with the same bullshit center of the original.

  9. To the detractors here, who very likely didn’t bother to read the whole thing, here is what you missed:

    “everyone keep your head up and be aware, more negative and hateful
    comments are on the way, with the sole intent of discouraging and
    dividing us.”

    Yep. Keep flinging poo, but this is the beginning of the end. Someday soon, you’ll have to choose a side. 99% or the Empire.

  10. Thank you, Xeni, for using my photograph. I am honored to be part of Boing Boing’s coverage of this movement.

    1. Indeed!  Sincere thanks to Xeni and the Boing Boing crew for all this coverage.  I’m so proud of Boing Boing right now I could cry.

  11. I’m looking for a new laptop.  I’d love to hear about laptops manufactured by unionized US workers.  Feel free to name the brands and specify the model names/numbers.

    This is not just snark.  I’ve never seen a laptop with a union label, and I really would like to own one.

        1. “They ain’t the Founding Fathers.” Right, because the Founding Fathers were some kind of very special people. I’m sure among those 700 hundred arrested yesterday, they were a couple of lawyers or paralegals with enough common sense to draft a constitution.

          1. And you’re more impressed with Wall St “Manifesto” (which reads like a spacey, college newsletter) than the people who drafted the Constitution???

            You need a mature perspective on American history.  And life.

          2. Bettter a spacey college newsletter vibe then the bilious spiteful letter to the editor of that paper vibe you have going on all over the place.  

          3. Your precious constitution: A chunk of dead animal with some scribbles by slave owners.

            I think you need a realistic perspective on history in general.

    1. nope, just the 99%. It’s okay if you’re uncomfortable, it just says whose side you’re on. Be proud! you chose a side!

  12. Leaving aside the ins and outs of their demands; how does Occupy Wall Street expect to achieve anything (beyond getting arrested and being maced) by protesting?  I do, generally, sympathise with their aims but they are clearly not endearing themselves to the authorities, I highly doubt they are managing to disrupt any companies or corporations based in New York and if they are merely trying to get attention? Well they have certainly managed that but it doesn’t seem to be helping. Obviously I am going to be lambasted by especially left-wing commenters (“right to protest” and all that) but campaigns like this never really work. Surely it would be more effective  for those involved to get involved in grass roots politics, contact their elected officials, form a political party? Really anything that goes beyond getting in the way of pedestrians and wasting Police time.

    1. how does Occupy Wall Street expect to achieve anything (beyond getting arrested and being maced) by protesting? … they are clearly not endearing themselves to the authorities

      You think endearing themselves to the authorities is a GOOD idea? “The authorities” are the ones they’re protesting!

      Back to school, fool!

    2. Conor, the problem is that grassroots politics can’t fix this because the corporations literatallly own the government. PACs pay money for votes that no amount of grassroots can ever afford. Also, when a grassroots movement does succeed, it takes a very long time. We don’t have that kind of time. America is looking in the mouth of a double digit depression. I am one of the 99%–married, mother, post-grad educated, no job, husband working part-time, four kids squeezed into a two bedroom apartment. My family has food insecurity yet no programs will help us because we not poor enough. I skip most meals so that I can save up for internet connection so my kids can succeed in school.

      Standing in the streets is getting attention. It is making the powers that be sweat and they are thinking about what happened in the Arab Spring and are realizing that the opiate of the masses (consumerism) is drying up because people don’t have enough money to appease themselves.

      I tend to be a cynical girl, but OWS makes me feel hope in a way I haven’t felt since, well, the second election of Bush II.I have a feeling that many posters who say negative things themselves here are afraid to hope. If we can’t hope, then the corporations won without a battle.

    3. Surely it would be more effective  for those involved to get involved in grass roots politics, contact their elected officials, form a political party?

      So in order to be heard, dissidents have to form a political party and get enough votes to get elected in sufficient numbers to actually influence voting in Congress, and do this while the two major parties are receiving hundreds of millions of dollars in campaign contributions from corporations and lobbyists.  And until they can do that, they should just stop trying to get attention.  Does this plan involve magic?

    4. Waking the American people up to the corruption of our democratic process by the deep pockets of corporations and the wealthy elite is a worthy goal. Anyone on either side of the political spectrum should support it. 

      To your criticism that protests change nothing, sometimes they do, sometimes they don’t. You think the Egyptian protesters should have tried “endearing” themselves to the Egyptian authorities? What would that have achieved? That doesn’t seem to be a very good point.

      Now, as far as getting involved with politics at the grass roots, I agree. The problem is, people already are, but they’re sidelined by all the money corporations and the wealthy elite pour into the political process. Until that issue is addressed, whoever can dump more money into the process and buy politicians wins. 

      It doesn’t appear to me as if they’re trying to shut down businesses. Democracy and freedom are often messy and inconvenient. I suppose if you don’t like being inconvenienced, you could always move somewhere public demonstrations and free speech aren’t tolerated. It’s your choice.

  13. In my belief, the point of protest like this is not to produce an immediate, concrete result. We’ve forgotten, because our political sphere is so denuded, and the voices that we are allowed to receive are increasingly controlled and filtered by corporations, how to have any real conversations. We need to rebuild our political space, reassert our dialog with each other, unimpeded by the control of the richest class. Building that space from scratch will produce some moments that just seem to us like sound, or echoes. But these rudiments are important, too.  Single moments of outrage have power; at the right juncture they can topple governments and social institutions. I don’t think we’re there, yet; this is the first real reaction we’ve seen at all. But it seems reasonable that at the beginning, we should at the very least shout out the name of our oppressor.

    And, instead of demanding that they do the thinking for you, why don’t you respond with your own idea? These people don’t claim to have any special authority; they aren’t pretending to speak for you. But you have your own voice – speak back! It’s conversation.

    The solutions are difficult, because we’re deeply engulfed in the kraken’s tentacles. How to extricate us from this abyss of weakness is a question posed too late; we watched our control over our own lives slowly evanesce over the last thirty years. We did nothing. Now, at the eleventh hour, you shout, “Speak! Speak!” Well, hark now, ye idiots. The deep dark is calling for you.

  14. OK so my suggestions weren’t great. They were neither easy or quick solutions but I still maintain that they are more constructive than standing in the street holding a sign. Grass roots doesn’t have the resources of corporate lobbyists and starting a new political party would be long hard work but at least these could lead to actually engaging with voters and having some impact on the system. I just don’t see what OWS is going to accomplish with it’s current approach.  The most effective way to change a democratic political system is not with card-board and Sharpies but from the inside.

    P.S. Comparing OWS to the Arab Spring: is that really justified? For a start no one from OWS has been shot so far. The USA (from OWS point of view) is a democracy that isn’t quite democratic enough due to corporations having undue influenced. Totally legitimate First-World problem. The Arab revolts however are dealing with entrenched, violent dictatorships. Economically and politically the Arab Spring deals with issues vastly more unequal than anything in America or Western Europe. Also in Egypt, Tunisia and Libya a consensus for change was reached across the political spectrum from liberals to Islamists. Support for OWS seems (from a forigen observers pov) to be confined to urban Democrats and people posting “I am the 99% etc.” on the internet. 

  15. Some of us so-called “lazy, smelly, dirty hippies” have been some fruitful, busy bees:

    &#9658 Some Marines and Army soldiers are coming in to protect the protestors from the police.

    And, by the way… Marines don’t forgive and they don’t forget. So, Tony Baloney?  Put away your little pepper spray if you don’t want it [self-censored].


    ^_^  Don’t fuck with us.

  16. The broadness and the diffuseness of message may be why I saw so many people come together today, and from all backgrounds.  Whether or not those in New York had a perfect manifesto cannot change the fact that in my town (Durham, NC), as well as many others over the last few days, the actions taken in NYC have rippled outwards.  A gathering of hundreds of people happened locally here that has at least the possibility of leading to intelligent action; not to mention, we left our houses to meet strangers and talk about a common difficulty, and then we parted as new friends.  We learned more about the initiatives already existing in our communities and we have immediate plans to do work for our community and nationally, with very little in the way of illusions.  It even (somehow!) got positive press on the front page of the local station.   

    It may be best to assume that the people who are gathering at these things are intelligent enough to have good guesses about what works and what doesn’t.   The combining of perspectives and abilities I saw today could create something much more effective than any serving alone.  Thanks to those in New York and everyone around the country showing support for them.  

  17. They missed the mark with their first grievance.  You can foreclose on a property without the original mortgage in all 50 days.  Banks have been improperly foreclosing on homes without possession of the original promissory note, which some states do not allow.    

  18. I’m pretty skeptical about the efficacy of stuff like this, but I heartily support their position. And who knows, maybe it will get something started. It’s the most hopeful thing I’ve heard in a while, and it damn sure can’t make things worse.

  19. one thing people seem to forget: inequity and injustice are no exceptions, they have been the rule since day 1. America was founded and created on the idea of making lots of money for a few already rich white men, and fuck everyone else.

  20. Really? Talk about ad hominem attacks. Without the Constitution there most likely wouldn’t be a United States, our system of government which, by the way, for all of its faults, is still better than being a colony of Mother England or any of the other powers at the time.

    I can see how suarabh is getting a little out of hand but show some respect. People died and are still dying for that document.

    1. …our system of government which, by the way, for all of its faults, is still better than being a colony of Mother England or any of the other powers at the time.

      Britain abolished slavery 58 years before we did and negotiated treaties to suppress the slave trade with dozens of countries in the intervening decades. I’d say that Mother England was doing a much better job than we were in fostering human rights both internally and internationally.

      1. Damn, you beat me!

        PS, unrelated: Is there any way I can see a user’s comment history anymore? That was a super handy tool for cross-checking trolls. (Thanks)

      2. Slave trade. Yes, I would agree but I can’t think of a better textbook case of a country who’s violent imperialism and expansion for a century or so suppressed human rights across the world in those respective countries. China, India, most of Africa, the colonies, etc.

    2. for all of its faults, is still better than being a colony of Mother England or any of the other powers at the time.

      Awesome! You definitely have the best 200+ year-old system, I can’t disagree.

      People died and are still dying for that document.
      Really? I downloaded mine for free!
      (RIP Bill Hicks)

  21. As for the protests: More power to them. They are standing up for their beliefs in a non-violent way and trying to give a wake up call.

    What I don’t get is, the Tea Partiers have influenced and muscled around most of the Republican agenda with their beliefs, why aren’t the Democrats equally effected by the more liberal ideals being shared here? Couldn’t this energize the party?

  22. Hey, those people have earthly possessions! how dare they protest against Wall Street! we all know that if it wasn’t for bankers and hedge fund traders we wouldn’t have manufactured items.

  23. I attended the Occupy Cincinnati organization rally yesterday, and I was highly dismayed to find that it was mostly a bunch of Communists bitching about the gentrification of downtown Cincinnati (which has, in fact, brought more people, business and wealth to Cincinnati), and not a single thing about corporate reform.  Also, their agenda did not outline any specific goals besides protest and occupation itself.

    I’ll be watching future rounds from the sidelines.

    1. Consider instead: get all the friends you can find who share similar beliefs, who also want change, and get down there together to balance out the “communists.” Heck, outline your own agenda and raise up a sign. We don’t all have to believe the exact same things to have a common cause. Moreover, maybe you’ll learn something, or maybe you’ll teach something to someone who has something to learn.

  24. If the focus was kept on corporate welfare, bailouts, and mortgage abuse there would be a lot of potential to expand support.  Very few Americans either left or right would disagree.

    Add student loans, animal rights, foreign policy, affirmative action…..millions of potential supporters start peeling off.

    I suppose the drafters deserve some credit for not mentioning the Palestinians, or Mumia.

  25. We have been occupying plazas in spain during summer. One day my son will ask me “where have you been, dad, when the spanish government put billions into saving corrupt banks while closing hospitals, libraries and schools”. I will then tell him, “Well, I have been among the few thousands that tried to block the catalan parliament when they made those laws, I got beaten up by riot police when we occupied Plaza Catalunya, and I have been on the internet talking about it so others would go to protest as well”.
    Many of you guys will tell their kids, well, I have been ranting about the protesters at that time.

  26. I’m sympathetic to many of their complaints – but I find it a little bit grating that they pretend to be able to speak on behalf of everyone who isn’t a wall street banker.

    1. I’m sympathetic to many of their complaints – but I find it a little bit grating that they pretend to be able to speak on behalf of everyone who isn’t a wall street banker.

      Many have been bred and raised to not understand this following word.  And, it’s not an accident.   It’s one of many words the corporatists truly want everyone to either misunderstand or ignore altogether due to the word’s power and implications:


  27. No one asked me, but if they did, there’s exactly one focused, actionable idea in this complaint manifesto worth pursuing with gusto:

    “They have donated large sums of money to politicians, who are responsible for regulating them.”

    That’s a chewy thought. Candidates for office not beholden to nor able to seek private donations is a stone-cold reform that offers the best route for any other worthy reforms on the list. All the great movements in recent decades revolved around one idea. Southern voter registration. Woman’s right to choose. Get out of Vietnam. You knew what the goal was. “We don’t like corporations” is a little loose for a country whose business IS business. But campaign financing – getting rid of it – that’s a single thought. If you think politicians are puppets of the money that elected them – take away the money. You will never erase greed. But you can regulate it.

  28. Wow, a reasonably even handed Wall Street Journal article about the protests that makes me think the author might even be slightly sympathetic to the cause.


  29. I love that my humble photograph has helped to spark such a heated conversation here. To all the naysayers and those disparaging this young woman and the rest of the protesters: it’s not just about images, folks. She’s typing something on that laptop, and I highly doubt it’s WAKE UP SHEEPLE!!1! in Comic Sans, right? Give the protesters the credit they’ve earned with their cogent, courageous efforts.


    In 1944, FDR proposed a second bill of rights. As opposed to the political rights previously guaranteed (which had proven inadequate), this economic bill of rights would guarantee:

    • Employment, with a living wage,
    • Freedom from unfair competition and monopolies,
    • Housing,
    • Medical care,
    • Education, and
    • Social security.

    After the war, Western Europe and Japan got all these rights. Why didn’t the United States? Now seems like as good a time as ever to demand The Second Bill of Rights.

    See more: http://blog.buchino.net/post/10983780210/bor2

  31. this is an amazing thing happening in NYC!
    stay together and keep at it.  i would be there if i knew this was going on. graduatde with a masters… no job. tried very hard for three years… got a job (underemployed) at a mega huge natural gas company… it was a job. but it was a horrible job i stuck through it. frustration, nausea, anger… on the whole job search thing (my second job)… tough tough tough market. im either overqualified… or have not enough experience. also the professors are good at advising to get into phd… but not to get out into the real world. give us the USEFUL classes to take please. help us learn skills for the workforce… not just book knowledge and theory. Change the system of ripping off college students and then no jobs… yes its a risk we take. but why feed us lies!?

  32. Did anyone else notice how quickly derisive trolls dive-bombed into this thread at the beginning?  Waiting like vultures perched above their potential meal and hastily jumped in to make sure they were the first posters at the top of this thread?

    Yep, the protests are working.

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