Draft Proposal for Sun 10/30: Demands Working Group

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We demand a massive, democratically-controlled public works and public service program, with direct government employment, to create 25 million new jobs at good union wages. This is to be paid for by new taxes on the wealth and income of the rich, on financial transactions, and on corporate profits, by reinstatement of the Glass-Steagall Act, as well as by ending all U.S. wars, disbanding mercenaries, ending aid to authoritarian regimes, and closing overseas military bases. The new jobs will aim to radically expand access to education, healthcare, housing, mass transit, and clean energy – and are to be open to all, regardless of immigration status or criminal record.

46 Responses to “Draft Proposal for Sun 10/30: Demands Working Group”

  1. cstarrcstarr

    Suggestions on wording: Instead of “NEW taxes on the wealth and income of the rich” it’s really just taxes that they should be paying, but rolling back the continuous lowering of their tax rates since 1980. So it’s not a new tax, it’s really the old tax.

    Suggestion: repeal corporate personhood

    Suggestion: “Closing overseas military bases”and “regardless of immigration status”. These two items are going to be challenging to frame. Many people will see the first item as a call for a blanket total immediate base closures, and say that it’s not practical. The second one will probably raise the question “So do we open the borders?”–maybe overcome that by using taxpayer status instead of immigration status to define who has access to these programs? For example, an undocumented immigrant IS paying taxes: payroll tax, or if not that, sales tax. It’s a tricky one, those are just some thoughts.

  2. Stephen M Coffman

    I agree with cstar on including the repeal of corporate personhood. That would take out a whole flock of ugly birds with one single brick….from the #wall.
    And, “regardless of immigration status” needs to be fleshed out. 25 million jobs that could conceivably (in theory) be filled by illegal immigrants will raise the eyebrows, or more likely the hair on the necks, of enough Americans to create a division in this country the likes we’ve not seen for some time. You probably could pick only a handful of more polarized issues to be vague about. Visions of vigilantes heading to the border with their tin badges and uzi’s comes to my mind. If you want the rest of your proposal to fly…It seems to me you need to be a tad more specific on this line item.

    I love what you’re doing.

    A bit of a side note: At some point a group, such as yours, may find it more powerful to make a proposal to the #99% for instituting an entirely new way…than to make demands on a system that is dysfunctional and dying away.
    Until then….charge on!

    • JTFaraday

      I broadly agree that welfare *state* policies inevitably raise the issue of “who qualifies.” If you’re going to throw out such policies before the public, that issue will immediately arise (and it is a legitimate issue).

      You should also consider that illegal immigration was facilitated by 1% interests in order to undermine the very possibility of traditional welfare state policies, which relied on a legally boundary, and therefore *finite* not infinite, population.

      ie., If you don’t want to draw a strict citizenship boundary, where do you draw it? If you don’t draw a boundary, can you still do it?

      • JTFaraday

        oops. “legally bounded” or “legal boundaries.”

        Although, you do seem to be working with a concept of the public that makes it unofficially “illegal” to impose boundaries, so perhaps the slip was Freudian.

    • Doug Bowen

      I stuck this here, because I didn’t know where else to put it. To me, what’s called “free trade” is an effort by big corporations and their friends in government to derive further international advantage for themselves by sacrificing the jobs of millions of Americans who can’t compete with dollar an hour jobs. Its a big cause of job loss and of wage declines here and a totally undemocratic process.
      So I feel we should state that control of US trade policy needs to be taken out of boardrooms and decided more democratically as a principle. But this a complex issue and needs to be studied thoroughly and perhaps included later as part of a more comprehensive statement on jobs and economic security. Accusations of “protectionism” need to be skillfully dealt with.
      Doug Bowen

  3. Paul Caplan

    Why do we need to issue any demands? We’re already succeeding in changing the national topic of conversation. But the more things we demand, the more people we will alienate, and the less we will be taken seriously. If the occupation ain’t broke don’t fix it.

    • JTFaraday

      I think if you wish create social change, you eventually have to –at minimum– generate some statements about what changes you would like to see.

      That said, I think the democratic nature of this movement has been inspiring in that it cuts right to the heart of our radical disenfranchisement in our own country, and that this why the movement has found its way into the hearts and minds of much of the public.

      So, I would work on the details of such statements, policies, or “demands” as people are calling them with persons already committed to the movement, while continuing to present the public with general statements–obvious to us all–while gaining general support.

      You do have to consider the language of the “demand,” however. If the overarching principle driving the movement is to return democratic governance to the people–as I think it is– then we will not be “demanding” anything, but rather governing ourselves as we have a right to do.

      • Doug Bowen

        I see a real difference in meaning between the word “demands” on the one hand and “statements” or “principles” on the other. Demands suggest a greater allegiance to the status quo than we may want. Statements or principles suggest more status as an independent force to be recognized

        • Robert Cichosz

          I agree with what Doug is saying, it just seems like the word demands can by easily twisted in a social form to sound aggressive… especially by the media.

      • Stephan Kass

        I agree that statements of principles are more powerful than demands. That being said, I would like to see a stronger statement of principle to the effect that employment at a living wage is a human right.

  4. A. Fleming

    I am not entirely “up to speed” on the addition, removal and re-institution of the Demands Working Group. For my part, I absolutely support the right of individuals involved in the OWS movement to gather, develop a list of demands and bring those to the GA. That is your right and I support it unequivocally. However, to the best of my knowledge the GA has previously consensed upon a proposal which stipulates that OWS does not issue demands. I am not sure what the process is regarding reversing a previous proposal that achieved consensus. I think it would probably require unanimity, would it not? (Can someone from facilitation please weigh in on this?)

    It is my view that has been stated much better by others that demands inherently come from a position of weakness. And while I would like to see all of the things you have mentioned happen, demanding that others do what we want for us is coercive and undermines what we are struggling to create. Demands are part of the former structure. I would prefer the conversation be more about how we can achieve all these wonderful things the Demands working group is suggesting. Identifying them is a crucial first step. But without the second step of developing a strategy to achieve these aims, it is just so much hot air.

    Finally, this proposal is a bit blunt, inelegant and unsophisticated. Further, I think all of these demands are implicitly contained within the Declaration of Occupation. As it stands, I will block this proposal vociferously.

    • JTFaraday

      “It is my view that has been stated much better by others that demands inherently come from a position of weakness.”

      I agree. I think OWS should reconsider the language of the “demand.”

      Not surprisingly, the language of the “demand” was forced upon OWS by the mainstream media, the prevailing 1% political interests, their professional political and media operatives, and members of the public who have been systematically taught to view the government as something external to themselves, rather than recognizing the fundamental precept of a representative or democratic republic, which that the people governs itself.

      The language of the demand is specifically *designed* to keep the public in the position of supplicant, disempowered clients of a top-down state run by 1% interests and public policy entrepreneurs hired out by the 1%.

      I think this movement should resist being held too hostage by the demanders of “the demands,” who fully intend to use them in order to shore up their *own* control of the government-and of us, and continue to commit to building the democratic movement that will enable us to take back our democratic republic and make it actually function like one.

      Based on the performance of US Congress during the recent health care reform episode, it is guaranteed that if we “demanded” a full employment policy of the US government as currently constituted, that will get the rough equivalence of an open air prison labor camp.

      And I am only being somewhat tongue in cheek. Barbara Ehrenreich, among others, have been documenting the increasing criminalization of poverty. Truly Dickensian. The point is, this full employment will be altered beyond recognition.

      The need for revolutionary reform of the government is not out of the question. A big part of that is going mean engendering the principle of self governance in people who are accustomed to being supplicants–to the government, to employers, to powerful people to play nice and not hurt them– because WE KNOW we can’t rely on the prevailing political interests or their hirelings to reform the government from the top down any more than we can rely on them to put through a “health care reform” bill that isn’t tailored to meet the interests of the financial industry.

      I think we should reconsider the language of the demand and replace it with the language of democratic governance.

      There’s no “asking” here. The situation is so corrupted that it *cannot* stand.

    • Sebastian Perez

      Yes, I think it will be powerful to use the present institutions and practices only as a means; to grow, validate, and make OWS seem like an official player in the whole institutional network, While always working the ultimate course of global systemic makeover, achieved through the replacement of today’s governing system by the fruits of a slow learning process, that will take place at NYC’s OWS and all the world over, as more people seek a new way. OWS IS the way, no demands need be, atm. To be realist is to see that the movement is barely out of the womb, and that we should all be disciplined and steadfast to nurture this baby through its natural path of development. Let’s be patient here :)

      • SherryinPA

        There are many great minds at work in OWS. I thank you all for having the courage and conviction to make a better life for the 99%. Occupiers everywhere, I thank you so much, from the bottom of my heart.

        I read what’s happening through this website, and other relevant websites, and I support your efforts. You are speaking for me, a 99%er. If I were physically able, I’d be there with you, but since I cannot, I’m with you in spirit.

        As just a regular person, no “great thinker” with a college degree or anything like that, yet somewhat intelligent, I want to give you an opinion from that point of view–the average citizen living day to day, “Jane/John Doe Public” for lack of a better term. So, here goes:

        I hope those who seek to publicize “demands” rethink this strategy. “Demands” is a word that conjures a scenario of a person or persons holding someone or something hostage. It has a negative connotation, and with regard to OWS, it just comes off sounding juvenile–not the content, but the whole idea of demands itself.

        I’m not occupying. I’m out here in the country, living my life like most people are doing. While I am paying attention, you would be surprised how many people don’t know what this movement is all about. You’d also be surprised how many people have no idea of it’s existence.

        Many people are just trying to survive. In my own circle, and community, lots of people just don’t get on the internet to find out what is going on. They hear it from msm at best. And, lots of people don’t watch news at all or only watch local news.

        I’m amazed at the young people with whom I’ve had contact, are so out of touch–they are not connected to you yet. Then you have my age and older, who either don’t even have a computer, or else only go online to see their email, send pictures on FB and email jokes; maybe they check out sites for purchases. They are not connected to you. They know nothing about OWS.

        Others before me on this thread very eloquently voiced their opinion that demands are not the way to go–I couldn’t have said it as well as those posters. But I’m saying it from my “regular person” point of view, that it does sound like a hostage scenario–the occupiers are holding the parks hostage and here are their demands. It becomes somewhat juvenile.

        Which ties into msm. It plays right into their hands. They can show the public how the young people are just acting juvenile with this protest and look how they are holding these parks hostage so the public cannot enjoy the parks, how they are disrupting the public spaces with their demands, etc, etc, blah blah blah.

        And, then the public sees msm’s explanation of your “demands” and think, yeah, what’s wrong with these young people.

        And, the out of touch public, (which, when you think about what that number is versus how many are actually paying attention) they aren’t seeing anything or hearing anything first hand, but are hearing about it from their friends, family, and neighbors, who’ve watched msm’s explanation of the demands–and now the out of touch people also think it’s all a bunch of hooey.

        Please know I support OWS wholeheartedly. But, this movement is far too young to have any “demands” made public, and I don’t think it’s a good idea at all. It won’t win the hearts and minds of the regular citizens who aren’t on board yet. You’ve got a very long way to go to even consider issuing a demand.

        And, think about how that phrase even sounded–issuing demands. To whom are you demanding? Do you really think anyone would listen to “demands” at this time? It will box you in, and you don’t want to be boxed in when you are still trying to get people on board.

        And, who made these “demands” anyway? Was my voice in there? My voice was absolutely in the Declaration, and I cried when I read it. But I have made no demands on anyone whatsoever, not my government, not corporations, nothing and no one. I don’t believe it is the way to change, therefore, I’m not for it. So to the demanders I would say that you are not speaking for me–you are trying to dictate your own group’s issues on all of us, wanting to publicize these damands as if you are speaking for us all. If you are not speaking for me, then you are not representing me, the 99%.

        Don’t fix what isn’t broken. You are slowly but surely making people listen with the things you are doing. You are changing msm coverage, which is the way to reach us regular people. Issuing demands will reduce you to a protest ridiculed by the media, then in turn mocked by a very large sector of the public who only watch msm.

        Don’t be fooled into thinking you are in any kind of position to “demand” anything. It just sounds bad, and it won’t be taken seriously, with good reason. Think about it from our point of view, out here in the country living day to day. You won’t change the world, the country or anything with “demands.”

        Please think about what I’m trying to explain (those of you who want to issue demands). If I don’t think it is a good idea, and I am paying attention on the internet, can you imagine how people who aren’t on the internet will view it? And, most watch Fox, the highest rated channel? Can you imagine what Fox will do with your demands? You’ll give them something concrete to work with. Their talking points lambasting the demands will be passed to all msm. Then you are sunk. We’re all sunk, and you didn’t speak for all of us.

        Well, that’s it. I can’t explain it any better than this because I AM just a regular person. Keep fighting the good fight, and I’ll keep spreading the word about you.

        Thanks for listening. :)

        • H. E. Harris

          Your comments are very helpful. Please continue to take part in the discussion–we need your point of view.

    • John McG

      The word “demand” came from the original call from Adbusters to occupy wall st, which we answered, so it was not foisted on us by the media. This does not mean that we must issue demands however.

      I have heard rumors that the GA reached consensus on have no demands, but have seen no evidence of it. Please post minutes of the general assembly where this took place if possible. I was at the last GA before the Occupation began, and demands were blocked there because we were supposed to wait to include more of the 99%, but this is not the same as reaching consensus on never having demands.

      • JTFaraday

        Ah, that’s right. There was that poster–”what is our one demand?”

      • Andrew Byrne

        I’d like to take this space to voice my deep reservations about anything called a “Demand”. No matter how diverse our group, our current numbers cannot represent the demands of the 99% afflicted by our economic system; judging by the number of negative posts I see about it, I doubt we could represent the demands of 90% of the ows; I’d say we’d have a better shot of representing their needs or common values.

        Aside from tabling the discussion on 9/27, here is the one proposal that comes close to us refusing a list of demands:

        10/16/11 Release a statement in response to “Demands” that were sent to NYT saying “The GA has not reached a consensus regarding any statement of demands or a preamble and the demands list submitted to the NYT was never presented to the GA.” PASSED

        It is clear to me that this is relating to one instance, and is /not/ some commitment to never speak the word “demand” in a GA ever again.

        Though after reading Faraday’s post, I’d twinkle all over that proposal.
        =]
        -AnB

  5. Cynthia McWilliams

    Although I agree w/military draw down..remember those are also jobs..

    • JTFaraday

      http://www.nytimes.com/2011/10/29/opinion/what-the-costumes-reveal.html

      The above article from today’s NY Times offers me an opportunity to underscore a critical point. I urge anyone to take a look at it.

      Many of the heightened problems that we are facing today are a byproduct of the economic necessity and firmly held *belief* that people need to have “a job”–and that WHAT that job actually produces in the world of very little concern.

      We have a right to refuse an economic system that degrades our human nature and that of others.

  6. Sebastian Perez

    - (@ JTFaraday) . Felt the need to clarify, because so far, this template for comments is a bit unclear in its layout… (no edit option, no differentiation in placement/color/etc. to refer replies to the appropriate comments…)

    • JTFaraday

      I hear you–I’m full of typos typing in the little box myself. (But it will do).

      My apologies.

  7. No Debt From Banks

    title=”We demand the abolition of all debts beginning with governments’ debts.”

    All governments, at every levels, in every countries are indebted to banks.

    Banks demand that they pay back this debt. This is the untold secret of the “deficit”. And the “deficit” is the justification to cutting social services and benefits.

    For example, in the UK, “We owe £15,524 for every man, woman and child” (http://www.debtbombshell.com/). This means if the debts were abolished, each child, woman and man would be better off of £15,524 in cash and services. We demand that all governments debts be wiped out! This is for any governments, at any level in any country.

    Then there are individuals’ debts – mortgages and loans of all sorts. We want these debts abolished too. Why should parasites who do nothing make money on our back?

    We are angry at banks because they steal our money. And we are angry at governments because they allow the banks to dictate public budgets, money which is ours by right.

    Let’s begin by demanding what is ours. Demand the abolition of debts!

  8. Ezer

    Point of process, more or less:
    If a few good people at the Demands Working Group do a good job and produce a more serious proposal of what we are demanding (and the alternative we’re offering the public) this will be a good start. In my humble opinion, just stating that we wish or demand this or that won’t do much. Naturally, no one imagines that because we demand something, the 1% will give up their power and privilege and grant us our wishes. But a good platform can change the political discourse, bring more people to join us, and go some way to achieve more unity between us.

    The problem is that for this platform to have any effect, it needs to come as a conclusion of a more serious process of study, discussion and deliberation. Just because a few people in a working group, and a few more who happened to be in the GA that day, authorize some document, doesn’t mean this document will have any impact nationally. We need to encourage thematic groups all over the U.S. to begin a process of learning and debating. We need to ask, what are we struggling for? Then we need to begin to talk between our different occupations, and reach some kind of consensus on a few broad issues. We should invite the public — including local activists, academics, and non-experts — to join these discussions. Just wanting more jobs means very little: every politicians offers as much and criticizes his opponent for not providing the right solution. And demanding fair-paying jobs is even more shallow. Of course we want decent jobs. Who doesn’t? We need a platform that sets us apart from what neo-liberals are offering on the campaign trail. And to get to this is a long process. The final product — a serious alternative to neo-liberalism — can take a long time to get to. The process is just as important as it will get the public to own up to politics.

  9. Richard Verlaine

    Thanks, everyone, for being so very thoughtful, it’s enormously stimulating intellectually and it’s practical in terms of making the face of the movement more comprehensible to outsiders. I submit the following with full respect for the process, and with the appreciation that this website permits us to contribute our thoughts, with the goal of a truly sweeping transformation of society:

    What follows are two statements, a “condensed” version of the demands statement, and a “condensed with addendums” statement.
    1) In the interests of clarity and as an alternative statement to the public, here is an editing of the original statement — a streamlining — with the fewer reduncdancies, and with the goal of emphasizing the basic demands without various qualifiers. It is absolutely not meant has a substitute, but simply as a more focused statement, to be used when needed.

    CONDENSED version:

    We demand a public works program, open to all, to employ 25 million people at union wages, to be funded with new taxes on wealthy citizens, on financial transactions, and on corporate profits, by reinstatement of the Glass-Steagall Act. The program will expand access to education, healthcare, housing, mass transit, and clean energy. Its funding will require ending all U.S. wars, war mercenaries, aid to authoritarian regimes, and closing overseas military bases.

    2) Next, using my above edit, I incorporated what I believed to be the most salient as well as the most repeated comments in the thread above: the issues of “corporate personhood” , the immigration issue, a change of the concept of “demand” and the elimination of government debts.

    CONDENSED with ADDITIONS version:

    The American people today are profoundly discontent, and economically depressed. Our society is stumbling dangerously under the weight of policies and laws which are offensively undemocratic, inequitable, and encourage greed and exploitation of people and resources. Therefore, we are committed to a mass movement in which the people demand a dismantling of the current institutions and laws of economic injustice. We call for a replacement of these undemocratic laws with all of the following: a public works program, open to all, to employ 25 million people at union wages, to be funded with new taxes on wealthy citizens, on financial transactions, and on corporate profits, by reinstatement of the Glass-Steagall Act. The program will expand access to education, healthcare, housing, mass transit, and clean energy. Its funding will require ending all U.S. wars, war mercenaries, aid to authoritarian regimes, and closing overseas military bases. We call for the abolition of government debts and the “corporate personhood ” law. These changes shall be brought about not only through legislative change, but by a full use of our Contitutionally guaranteed rights to dissent, through free speech and mass assembly.

    Richard Verlaine

    • JTFaraday

      “to be funded with new taxes on wealthy citizens, on financial transactions, and on corporate profits, by reinstatement of the Glass-Steagall Act.”

      I could be wrong, not being an expert, but I think nothing gets paid for by the “reinstatement of Glass-Stegall.” The reinstatement of financial sector regulation would prevent the finance sector from continually draining the US Treasury anew every time it “makes a mistake” in the future, but reinstating such protection won’t, by itself, bring in funds.

      Even if I’m wrong and it does bring in funds, this is nothing compared to the funds they are currently draining–and the transaction tax won’t cover their bill either.

      Just a minor quibble.

  10. Bob Stern

    The wording of this demand is much improved from previous drafts. But its not clear what 25 million new government workers would actually do. We lost about 110,000 State and local government jobs in the 2008 recession compared to about 8 million private sector jobs. An aggressive infrastructure program ($250 billion a year) might employ about 3 million people, but much of that would have to contracted out to the private sector because they have the heavy machinery needed.

    A demand for 25 million jobs would be much more realistic if it created a path for the wealthy and the large corporations to create U.S.jobs directly in the private sector. This can be done by using the tax code to create the right incentives/disincentives. So I would suggest inserting a sentence into the demand after the words “military bases”, something like;

    ” The rich and corporations can avoid these new taxes if they create an equivalent number of private sector jobs”.

    • JTFaraday

      I have 3 main lines of thought about this:

      1). I largely agree that we ought not rely solely on public spending/ government job creation and that the private sector needs to be held accountable for job creation. The problem with the ubiquitous “tax cuts=job creation” baloney is that it is all voluntary and an entirely unsubstantiated assumption that “creating jobs” is what multinational corporations do with their tax breaks.

      The carrots don’t work with them. They need some sticks.
      And breaking out some sticks is entirely in line with trade policy as actually practiced everywhere else on the globe and in the US historically. When Toyota wanted to start selling cars in the US in the 70s, for example, they had to open manufacturing plants in the US. These plants still operate today.

      It has been a strength of the US economy that job creation has come from both the private and public sectors, large corporations and small businesses. We ought not to fall into the well laid TRAP of permitting large corporations to do whatever they want– while utilizing US public/legal infrastructure–by taking the BAIT of illusive compensatory action on the part of the government. This is true whether that alleged compensatory action consists in job creation per se or the promised re-training of olde that never materialized. And, retraining for what?

      2). It is also not clear to me what jobs will be created in the public sector, and I think it is entirely reasonable for the tax paying public to want to know what these will be. Thus, knowing the answer to this question is a matter of non-optional political expediency. This brings me to the political and intellectual failures of Keynesian economists.

      I find it very peculiar that Keynesian economists who believe that the government should serve as the “employer of last resort” never actually put in proposals to Congress that at least stimulate some IDEAS in this regard. These people tend to be academic economists, with tenure and, presumably, the research skills needed to analyze the national economy and *at least* offer some substantiated suggestions.

      There is a mundane, workaday reason that Congress takes legislation practically pre-written by well funded lobbying groups. They themselves have neither the time nor the specialized expertise to write complex legislation. They take it pre-packaged and they run with it, modifying it perhaps, but that’s about it.

      I find it deeply depressing that Keynesian influenced, which is to say largely academic, economists will agitate for Keynesian policies in the press as if they had no more skill than the 19 year old street protesters who are their undergraduate students, and then complain when Congress passes a dumb stimulus bill that they already know is too dumb and “too small” and will be used to discredit them.

      Hey, Keynesian economists are discredited because they didn’t do the work. I notice, because I her read blog daily, that Yves Smith of nakedcapitalism.com has joined the OWS alternative finance committee.

      Here is a proposed jobs bill. Where are the Keynesian economists?

      3). There is bit of a war being promoted between public sector and private sector employees at the current time, so that they will voluntarily undermine each other, as we witnessed in Wisconsin. Much of this is because private sector employees, who have no political protection, have come under pressure from neoliberal economic policy before public sector employees. It is important that employees in the private sector are extended some labor protections. Thus, it can’t all be about government jobs.

      I hope that those who are at the center of OWS, taking the hits for us all (and for our collective failures), take these comments from the peanut gallery in the essentially supportive spirit in which they are intended.

  11. drew

    We are less than 2 months old. Demands can’t come out of a single group in a single GA. I am not comfortable issuing demands until the truly oppressed are more deeply involved in this movement. I will be blocking this.

    Furthermore, I don’t feel that we should make any demands. Let us work with groups who already have demands, but not limit the scope of this movement to demands. The only people who are asking for demands are the media elite and people who “want to get involved” but need an good excuse not to. In my humble opinion.

  12. Rheannone Ball

    I am not comfortable with this demand proposal method at all.

    We need a plan to reach our demands. This movement is not as simple as a public works program. I will be blocking this. It would be ethically wrong to pass this so quickly and if this became our official demand, I would leave the movement.

  13. Asahda

    At least this is a start to something that will lead to changing the current situation of this country. Great start OWS and please continue to revise and build this. Truly this is all that can be done at this point in the movement. Let’s continue to correlate ideas with movements in other cities and around the globe before something is set in stone. Just like our founding fathers did. It will not be an overnight process, I am still optimistic that this proposal will be accepted by consensus. The important thing right now is to continue this dialogue. Thank you for the work you are putting toward this, which is probably one of the most important factors of the movement. Therefore feel no pressure to rush this answer of “DEMANDS”, demands can be worded as “wishes”, “ways to fix the economic inequalities..” or “Hopes of the 99%” ,”Goals of the 99″, “Contributions of the 99%”..wording in a way that lets them know that we are ALREADY VALID and ESTABLISHED and THAT WE ARE CONFIDENT THAT WHAT WE ASK WILL BE HONORED. Again, let’s make important decisions going into winter. By our 100th day we should be celebrating “some milestone”, does not necessarily mean the completion of our “demands”, but at least we will be recognized as a FORCE to be reckoned with.. Media has no credibility unless we give it to them. The more we repeat their statements the more validity & power we give to them. Let’s block them out, as they do us. This will ensure we keep our eyes on the prize for the people. Blessings. 1

  14. SherryinPA

    If the GA reaches consensus on this proposal so early in the movement, then you will have boxed youselves in too early. There are big differences of opinions in the US, drawn down the red and blue lines. You have a very long way to go to win many hearts and minds. Your proposal will guarantee the rejection of this movement by thousands of people who do not realize the movement is for them. Please believe me, I’ve got an entire family of people who will vote according to Fox news recommendations. They have not yet realized the movement is for them–that they are the 99%. The movement is not nearly big enough to withstand the msm machine yet. Yet. It’s happening, but you are not there quite yet.

    You may think you want to be heard in a concrete, point by point fashion, but first you have to bring the 99% into the fold, maybe not all of them since that’s never going to happen, but you sure have to bring in more than you have now. I don’t know what it’s like in the park where you’re occupying–maybe you are under an assumption that most of the 99% is on board with you–they are not. They believe in your right to protest, but they’re not all on board with the basic idea behind it. Not yet. It’s a slow process, and you are bringing them on board slowly, because you’ve not issued “demands” or a “wishes” list. A list of whatever you want to call it won’t bring in the diverse opinioned 99% who are still split down a red and blue line–it will alienate too many people–the very people you need to realize the movement is for them too. You are playing right into msm’s hand. Right in. Please do not fall for their tactics. See through it, please, I implor you all to see that you are falling for msm’s tactics.

    Bring in the masses first. Be patient. Msm wants you to take their bait of issuing such a list, so that they can end this thing and get back to business as usual. You are not strong enough, and a list will draw a line in your movement–divide and conquer–please do not fall for this. Not now. Not even soon. Especially when winter is coming, and you could possibly lose occupiers anyway from the weather.

    I want to have hope. I had no hope at all until OWS restored my hope. Demands will kill it.

    I’m sorry for posting twice about this, but I’m deeply concerned about the alienation of people who would have otherwise come to a realization that the movement truly is for them, and I’m worried that msm’s tactic is already working on some who would actually give them what they want, which is a list for them to devour, divide the movement, assure rejection of potential supporters, and finally get rid of you once and for all, as if you were just an annoyance that lasted a few weeks.

    Please don’t let msm divide and conquer. Your list has that potential. Msm would love it. Please realize that OWS needs to grow, to bring on board all sides of the 99%, not just the 99% that agrees with your list–Just publically representing the pro list ppl–that’s not what the movement is about

    Sorry for the grammer and typos. Hugs and support to all occupiers.

  15. Bruce Dietzen

    My two cents. Whether they are called “Demands,” or not isn’t really critical. What is critical is that OWS create a line item list of what changes are needed. If one is “End the Wars” and another is “End the Fed” so be it. My guess is that there are probably about 20 or so. Each one needs to have a summary title, which states something actionable, something measurable (business 101). Something that the majority would agree…if that happened, it would really change things for the better. In addition, each item needs to have a paragraph or two that explains the item in more detail. That way the average American can come to OWS instead of their TV set to become truly aware of why we have problems, and must be done to fix them.

    Lastly, and most importantly, I believe the main reason why this list needs to be published by OWS is that ultimately, we as voters need to know who to vote for and who not to vote for come November 2012. We’ll need to give candidates the opportunity to pledge their support to fight for each item. And do so publicly. Personally, I’m tired of having to choose Democrat vs. Republican. I want to be able to choose between the candidate that has publicly pledged to support OWS’s “Demands” and the candidate that’s still living in the past. Guess which one I’ll choose! Thanks for letting me speak my mind.
    Bruce

    • Bruce Dietzen

      PS… In the coming weeks and months, we will likely be seeing a lot of candidates saying they “support” OWS or sympathize with OWS. These are just worthless sound bytes however. It’s not until they publicly pledge to fight for OWS demand #1, OWS demand #2 etc. that candidates commit to any solid change. Until they pledge to fight for each item, they’ll just keep saying “I love America, I’m for jobs, I’m for blah blah blah” and commit to nothing.

  16. Maria Vail

    The first and MAIN demand needs to be getting the corruption out of our political system. All other (or most other) evils derive from this. Constitutional Amendment to overturn CItizens United, limited contributions, transparency and lobbying reform with mandatory prison sentences, not fines.
    ALL Americans can get behind this.
    This would broaden the movement incredibly, and at least leave a pathway for further demands and reforms.

  17. A. Fleming

    This proposal was bound to be contentious. But the way the Demands Working Group presented it in no way helped. During the proposal they openly admitted to procedural violations and refused either strategically or stubbornly to not respond to simple questions they were asked on almost every occasion. I will concede that process was by and large throw out the window early on– to the credit of the Facilitation team: they did try to keep things on track. The problem is this is a very divisive issue and the impressive I was left with is that the proposers only actually considered the conversation surrounding their proposal after it was tabled. This is ENORMOUSLY problematic– and I think reads as emblematic of the behavior those of us who oppose demands consider to be exactly the reason why demands emerge from a position of weakness. Please, please understand that no one disagrees with the content of your proposal– you have identified a number of grievances that are legitimately concerning. It is the framework, the entire relationship to power that force implies that we object to. To me, the faction of the demands group that presented tonight presents a vision of this movement that I adamantly disagree with. You speak of previous political movements and how they have effected change. that change has almost always been limited– the power of those movements co-opted before they manage to achieve their larger goals. This cannot happen to OWS. I opposed this proposal on principal upon reading it. But the presentation at tonight’s GA has engendered a profound concern about transparency and accountability within the Demands Working Group. Your presentation could have gone a long way towards legitimizing your concerns– instead it demonstrated that you are not really interested in participating in this movement so much as attempting to dictate its course. I object to this with every molecule of my being.

  18. Rob

    Are you high?

    There are so many issues with this it would take forever to break it down for you.

    So really, are you?

  19. dennis boaz

    Demands are for whiners and tyrants. Goals are for movements. The ONYC Declaration of 22 grievances against corporate abuse of power could be perceived as 22 goals; most of which could be achieved with proposed constitutional amendments at a 2nd Constitutional Convention (and ratification of those proposals by 3/4of the state legislatures). So, if you want to get the corporate money out of government, amend the Constitution to prohibit the private financing of public elections. If you want to eliminate “corporate personhood”, propose an amendment thatwould provide that only humans can have human or constitutional rights.
    And, while we’re at the business of a 2ndCon Con, let’s dump the electoral college, prohibit the filibusterr/cloture rule and abolish the anti-democratic presidential veto. Thre will beother proposed amendments and many allies. So,go for the goals and go for a 2ndcon con.

  20. Hit Girl

    These aren’t bad demands and they will turn the economy around, but don’t expect any help from the establishment. Some progressives will stand by you. But take a lesson fro India and get behind a charismatic leader…Elizabeth Warren, perhaps.

  21. Brendan

    You will get farther by actually taking small steps than by talking about giant steps. Start with something small like the cost of college testbooks.