The NYCGA-True Hollywood Story: The 99Declaration Group, an Exposé

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In the interest of full transparency and openness, it is time to share with you, dear reader, a story about a group, a group that is no more.

Yes, that’s right. I am referring to the “99Declaration” group. You may remember this group from its presence on the site for the past few weeks. During it’s time on the site it did cause a bit of a stir. In the Internet Working Group, we got a series of emails and messages complaining about the group’s behavior and practices and even requests to delete the group. Not wanting to take this sort of permanent action without GA consensus, we did not comply with these requests and instead suggested that the concerned parties come to the GA with a proposal.

Then, on 10/31/11 at 11:15 AM, the group vanished from the site. At around 7:30 PM that same day, one of the other people involved of the former group (under his user account on the site) began to post a series of hate-filled, disparaging remarks about the site administration team and the movement overall. Some of those are quoted below:

“you forgot to delete this account like you deleted the working group; everyone can speak so long as they agree with you; this is why you will fail”

“OWS is a failure and there is no backup plan
it is antidemocratic and censors people outside of the narrow agenda of the small elite oligarchy that runs it; I have been down there and I saw them in action; they are a star chamber made up of anarchists and other antidemocratic movements who want everything and nothing
it cannot succeed; it has consumed it’s own oxygen and now the flame is out
what a waste
we will press on with the nationwide election of delegates to a National General Assembly”

“OWS is a fraud. They deleted the working group because they disagree with it”

And finally:

“this is an anti-democratic movement and we withdraw our support”

Clearly, they are trying to discredit the movement and paint a picture of censorship by the site admins and Internet Working Group. As we are a transparent, open, and accountable group, this is the kind of accusation we take very seriously.
As soon as we noticed these posts on the site (around midnight on 11/1/11) we began investigating what might have happened. I immediately emailed all Super-Admins of the site to ask if any of them had deleted this group. We also began looking through our logs. While the main activity feed on the site does not track group deletion actions, our server logs do. After a little bit of searching, here is the entry we found:

11:25:09.000 AM – – [31/Oct/2011:15:25:09 +0000] “GET /members/stormkrow/groups/ HTTP/1.1” 200 50256 “” “Mozilla/5.0 (Windows NT 6.1; WOW64; rv:7.0.1) Gecko/20100101 Firefox/7.0.1”
host=nycga  Options|  sourcetype=access_combined  Options|  source=/var/log/apache2/other_vhosts_access.log  Options

This may look like gibberish to many of you, but what it is basically saying is that at 11:25:09, the user “stormkrow” deleted the “99Declaration” group from the site. Now, who is this user, you ask? Is this some evil censor? Is this some power-hungry site admin? Is this some rogue member of the IWG? It turns out, this user was none of those things. This user was the only other user who had the power to delete this group – one of the admins of the group itself.

So, to sum things up, there were internal disputes within the 99Declaration group and one of the admins decided to take things into their own hands and delete the group. Any group admin has the power to delete their own group at any moment. This story gets especially intriguing, though, when the other group admin decided to blame the movement, which he knew very well was not at fault. Let this post clear the air and set the record straight.

A privacy policy

Our website doesn’t have a policy to deal with situation such as these. Admins in the Internet Working Group have access to the private message logs. The private messages of users involved in this were reviewed. More details can be found in our IRC chat logs.

This incident  highlights a need for a privacy policy. How should we handle data? We are asking the community to start writing a privacy policy on the site wiki. We will also ask legal to review the policy. Thank your for you’re understanding and support.


UPDATE: 11/1/11 11:03PM: Corrected the article so it did not describe user “the99declaration” as one of the admins of the group. He was not, in fact, a group admin.

145 Responses to “The NYCGA-True Hollywood Story: The 99Declaration Group, an Exposé”

  1. Katherine Carroll

    This is amazing. Please do post a new 99 Declaration Group so the work can resume. Some of the postings on the forumotion site seem less committed to working through ideas. It is also only appropriate that the Declaration be HERE, so we all can continue to deliberate on the formation of it.

    • Decidedvoter

      I ask that the site simply keep the distance from this group. There is something going on here I don’t like and I for one do not want people “working on me” to change my mind. I find the actions of Mr. Ford to be childish at best and his group can keep their ball and their declaration. One single demand? More like a power hungry group trying to glom onto the popularity of a movement to push an agenda others don’t want. Not happy with that they have to bash the OWS governing body and try to push it down for their own agendas.

      I am not for any National General Assembly as I can clearly see the authors of this thing as trying to take as much power for themselves as they can and are bullying people in every direction. This is not a dictatorship! Consensus of the NYC GA is for the NYC GA and the consensus EG GA is the consensus for the EG GA period. We do not control Sacramento GA and they do not control us…WE WORK TOGETHER! I have watched as people fall off to the side of petty crap and I say let them loose, don’t allow them back and don’t have anything to do with a Nationalistic Corporate attitude these guys are selling!

    • jackmehoff

      What a bunch of LOOOOOOOOSERS. Get a job. Hell get a clue. Get ready for your life to be changed. We keep your pics to make and we post them for all employers. NO WORK FOR YOU. Oh enjoy the weather (:

      • Jane

        Thanks, Jack. Send those pics out – I’d love to see fresh faces of team/goal oriented self-starters. Just what this country desperately needs.

  2. the99declaration

    The Working Group was deleted shortly after we sent this message to several of the group moderators this morning:

    To OWS NYC:

    I have been working with a small group of students and lawyers since we started our working group on 10-15-11 and announced it to the NYCGA. I got involved with OWS when I started representing some of the students pro bono who got arrested on the Brooklyn Bridge and we drafted the 99% Declaration. I am in the process of joining the NLG and have to be back in court with my clients in 11-15-11.

    First, I want to be clear that the original 7 members of this working group are totally committed to the OWS movement and concept of people rising up to correct the government and a new era of human justice for all citizens. That is why we announced our formation to the NYC GA on 10-15-11 and told them about our group and our plan. At the time, we received a warm reception and much interest and no negative comments.

    As you may know, our goal is to elect 870 delegates to a National General Assembly in Philadelphia convening on July 4, 2012. We have had several request for interviews from the press but have not commented in deference to the OWS movement. The erroneous press reports about the declaration being a set of official demands from OWS did not come from us in any way and happened when the declaration webpage went viral. That web page was set up only to invite comments, corrections and edits and the document has been changed and improved hundreds of times.

    We would like to get the support of all the local GA’s in the US to run candidates for this National General Assembly in all of the 435 congressional districts. Ideally, the delegates will be made up of people who are part of the local general assemblies to serve in a greater National General Assembly. This election will take place in March or April so that the delegates can prepare for a meeting in July in Philadelphia. We have identified several sites in Philadelphia that can act as a venue for the NGA. We feel that a professional venue will be more effective in communicating with the public at large and the government we are petitioning.

    At that convention of the National General Assembly, the delegates will debate and draft a petition for a redress of grievances to present to the government before the 2012 election as authorized by the First Amendment. I have researched prior attempts to petition the government for a redress of grievances and a petition will not be taken seriously by the courts or the other two branches of government unless it has the legitimacy of an election behind it.

    The declaration states that If the government does not take action on that petition within a year or so, we have suggested that the OWS movement start a third party and run candidates in 2014. This party has no name or party affiliation. It would just be Americans running for congress to replace the corrupt members who take money from the wealthy and corporations to cling to power despite only having a 9% approval rating.

    The complete details of the plan can be found here:

    We have over 2000 members in the FB group and a smaller steering committee that handles legal and technology issues and such. We tried setting up a forum but it was taken over by Ron Paul supporters who like the idea of an election of delegates but hate the idea of universal education and healthcare because the taxpayers would have to fund it. The web page itself has about 163,000 hits since it went “viral” on 10-18-11 and we get too many emails to respond to so just refer them to the FB page.

    Please also note that the 20 points in the current draft of the declaration are just suggestions and the final petition will be totally re-written by the elected delegates and debated by consensus or any manner they see fit. We must emphasize that we believe that any demands by OWS must be from a group of duly elected people or the 99% will never support the demands. With today’s technology, we can elect these delegates efficient and fairly with total transparency which will make them completely legitimate. Anyone, 18 or older, who can prove residence in their congressional district will be able to vote. So if they do not have a drivers license, they only need some form of photo id and an electric or gas bill or lease showing they live there. People who vote online will be verified through credit cards.

    We have been moving quickly since 10-15-11 but there is not much time before the 2012 election for us to hold our own election so please help us if you can. None of the delegates will be permitted to run on party lines or labels and must just run as Americans.

    We are forming a tax exempt group and opening a bank account at a small credit union this week. We are also sending copies of the draft declaration to all 535 members of congress in booklet form (see attached). We have hired a producer to make a television commercial that will first run on youtube so we can get comments. This commercial will announce the declaration and the election of delegates so people know to run.

    We ask for guidance from OWS and your assistance. If there is a consensus that an election of delegates to draft a petition of grievances is a good idea, please help us. If you disagree, please respect our right to proceed independently of the OWS movement as it will not interfere with the OWS movement for us to elect an Assembly representing the 99%.

    We hope to work together since our goals are the same: non-violent means to change the government of the US forever and establish justice for everyone in the US and ultimately the world.


    I am the person who left those messages about how many of us now see the OWS movement.

    I wish to make it clear that I was NOT the admin of the group that was deleted. I was not permitted to be admin of that group as Drew well knows. “Thestormkrow” a/k/a Stan and Brad (whose last names I know but will not publish) were the two admins of that online working group as was Drew for a time. So you are further propagating a cover-up and false statements when you state “This story gets especially intriguing, though, when the other group admin decided to blame the movement, which he knew very well was not at fault. Let this post clear the air and set the record straight.”

    I was not either of the admins Brad or Stan a/k/a Thestormkrow when the group was deleted. So I hope you will correct this statement publicly.

    All three of these people (Drew, Stan and Brad) have nothing to do with the actual working group founded on 10-15-11. The forum they were part of on forum motion also has nothing to do with the working group started and announced to the NYCGA on 10-15-11.

    We followed NYCGA’s rules and procedures by formally announcing this working group at the 10-15-11 GA and they immediately turned on us when the 99% Declaration got some media attention even though we never spoke to the media or changed our policy of brining the proposed plan before the NYCGA. Our webpage published for edits went viral on 10-18-11 and was totally beyond our control.

    All of this is an Orwellian reconstruction of history the Internet Working Group by the NYCGA and whoever controls this webpage. I was completely kept out of the 99 Declaration Working group on this webpage as an admin and OWS has censored our working group from day one by first deleting us from the minutes at the 10-15-11 NYCGA meeting and then claiming all kinds of lies about us when all we wanted to do was submit our declaration just like any other working group but the star chamber facilitators would not allow it.

    • Shellyne

      What you fail to realize is that the GA had ALREADY reached consensus on a Declaration/List of Greivances which was published on the website and is pretty well known. Furthermore, there was an email established for those who wished to make friendly amendments or add a grevience… this was all done with FULL TRANSPARENCY. anyone who wanted to join this working group was welcomed and many did become hands on in helping to tweak this document. WHERE WAS THE 99DECLARATIONS WORKING GROUP DURING ALL OF THIS???? i find you all to be divisive and your group seems like you have your own agendas which is really suspect. DID YOU EVER GET CONSENSUS TO BE CLAIMING THAT A NATIONAL ASSEMBLY WILL CONVENE ON JULY 4TH???? have you taken it upon yourself to decide for the people???? THAT IS NOT WHAT DEMOCRACY LOOKS LIKE!!!!!

    • JTFaraday

      “This party has no name or party affiliation. It would just be Americans running for congress to replace the corrupt members who take money from the wealthy and corporations to cling to power despite only having a 9% approval rating…

      We tried setting up a forum but it was taken over by Ron Paul supporters who like the idea of an election of delegates but hate the idea of universal education and healthcare because the taxpayers would have to fund it. ”

      I have a hard time seeing how one can have a movement to remove bribery from the government– cast in the form of a “99% declaration”– without recognizing that once the corrupt government is reformed, one still needs to deal with differences of opinion with one’s fellow citizens when it comes to public policy choices.

      You know what I mean, fellow democrats?

    • Shas Cho

      Well, they’ve given you this public space to post your rebuttal
      so I guess that takes care of that.
      If we are serious about building a better government
      it behooves it to NOT act like the current one!
      Let’s try to avoid division and power struggles.
      If we don’t hang together
      we will certainly hang separately!
      In solidarity,
      Shas Cho

    • Decidedvoter

      Did you write the damn thing. It sounds like a dictatorship! What a load of crap. You guys have been bullying too many people and your anger misdirected. Get over yourselves. Any attempt at nationalization is GIVING IN ALREADY! Keep your ball and go home please.

    • Scott Galindez

      Instead of a small working group deciding that there will be a convention on July 4th, and the structure, why didn’t you recommend forming a Congress of General Assemblies that would coordinate any national effort.

      The Answer is you only want to use this movement to start a third party. Go join the greens and leave OWS alone.

  3. jim

    45 days and it sounds like the republican candidates. Whatever the problem is fix it. Our country is fucked and this sort of behavior is already starting? WTF people. I don’t care what the problem is or who is to blame, STOP this nonsense and focus. We have a revolution to win.

    • Tom Denman

      I second Jim’s Sentiment… People I interact with are asking me if the Declaration doc I was given a link to was real and I frankly THOUGHT It was
      If you want some one who can actually manage a website, I am available. Let’s see the real declaration so this petty stuff doesn’t destroy an entire movement in a few posts.
      I’m reading the stuff above and the stuff below. And after traveling to both the Boston and NYC sites at dear expense, I’ve brought things, and money when I really COULDN’T spare it (I’m a single dad with an ex after me to take custody away) … But I DID cause I BELIEVED.
      And now I read below, that some guy wants an APOLOGY!
      I ACTUALLY had to explain my interest/involvement in the Occupy movement to a probate judge because of allegations made as to strength of my efforts to provide for my children. But again, I BELIEVED and I gave what I felt was a powerful pro se argument… and I THINK I skated by the skin of my teeth, THINKING that I was doing something larger for my children’s future.
      PLEASE, for whatever sake you believe in stop this now, get the grievances up for the world to see, and try and remember something….
      When you folks started down this path you werren’t ccreating a new social network to be the next Mark or the next Biz… You were starting down a path that more than 200 years ago, men and women went to the ri GRAVES to stay on and and those who had doubts but were close turned to the events unfolding and said “YES, IT’S FINALLY HERE! SOMETHING BIG ENOUGH TO TURN THIS WHOLE ROTTEN MESS AROUND” Many of us have been waiting since the day Ronald Reagan walked into the oval office… Others since JFK or Martin Luther or Bobby got killed.
      If you folks drop the ball on your country, over strife that should be settled and rapidly worked around, you will probably never see this country rescued from it’s own demise. Please don’t let that happen. Please.

      • dicey troop

        hey Tom, thanks for your passion man. I really appreciate and respect that. Thanks for reminding us how urgent things are.

        • Tom Denman

          Sorry if it sounds like I am going off. But WE ALL need to remember that when we look behind us, most of us have a STREAM of people we’ve brought along for the ride. This isn’t me taking a van full of people to Giants to see the Dead. It’s me telling my WHOLE community to stick their necks out and take a stand. You only really get to do that ONCE.
          And the people in this movement better realize that. if this doesn’t succeed the Banksters have won in a way we couldn’t have ever PASSIVELY given them the victory. See my comment further down… A young woman approached me last night worried about the ramifications in her local bank job if this thing flops and she’s just that ‘teller who went against the company’ … the number of people stepping on board from those exact kinds of circumstances is starting to become huge. We need to put ourselves in their shoes when we come out with a publication. Whether it’s a ‘declaration’ or the CrazyTalk I’m seeing continue. It doesn’t hurt me, I’m already a fucking disaster economically / business-wise. So no worries. But we all got on board this ride swearing an unspoken oath to see this through. And it wasn’t to ourselves. it was to those we would ask to follow us.

          • dicey troop

            I feel you completely. I’d say, be careful to temper your expectations, and make sure you’re looking back and remembering how far we’ve already come (I think we’ve already made a huge impact). But I agree — there is SO much more to do and we need to keep our eye on the ball, not just for us but for all 99s that we’ve promised to work on behalf of.

          • Michael Thompson

            Ran into this with a friend yesterday, when I suggested that it might be sensitive for him to support OWS, given his corporate clients.

            He replied “I am afraid of no one.”

            Most of this fear is unspoken. You know you are in a revolution when you have to start to think about this kind of thing. Logged off Yahoo and will delete my yahoo mail as soon as I get the chance after learning that OWS is being flagged in Yahoo emails, causing an error. Will not even bother to verify this first since I was reminded about Yahoos affiliation with the Chinese policy of censoring the net. Yahoo crossed the line when they followed profit into China, where censorship is a way of life and the state executes tens of thousands, breaking them up for the global organ transport market. Now there are consequences for yahoo as well as for us.

            Having to chose sides in the Corporate State permeates to all levels of our lives, you cannot fight in a revolution then go home and watch cable, business as usual. It has to come first.

    • dicey troop

      Dear both of you: human societies are messy. If you want to get something done, I lovingly suggest that go to an occupation, start or join a working group concerned with it, and bring proposals to a General Assembly. This we’re-doomed-bc-some-weird-dude-started-some-ish thing is not nearly as helpful as all that! Join us!

      • Tom Denman

        see – occupy boston
        see -i ocupy glosta

        I don’t know about the other fellow that made a LEGITIMATE comment. But I AM involved.
        Thanks for your concern.. hope you GET mine. It would be different if this were just on some obscure BBS but it’s not.

        • dicey troop

          I do get your concern, despite my disagreement. This site has no built-in horizontal decision-making process (yet 😉 so we can’t make a proposal and check for consensus either way, which is too bad kinda. Either way, since we can’t structurally resolve our disagreement with a collaborative outcome, I respect it and understand it.

          I will say this: the best thing, in my opinion, that folks not physically in Liberty Square can do for the movement, is to occupy. I know you, Tom, are already killing it up there in Boston and Glosta, and from what I hear you’ve been around the square a few times, so please don’t misunderstand what I mean — I mean to remind each of us, those involved and those not yet, that the key principle here is to OCCUPY!!! And in doing so. make the conversation about more than just Liberty Square. We do not speak for you, and we don’t want to, and I daresay we by definition can’t. Your GAs will do that for you. And as we grow and get better at doing what we’re doing, there is infinite opportunity for closing gaps between us — geographical, cultural, political, racial, sexual, other differences in identity and experience, and yes, economical. And as we get closer, we’ll move closer to being able to speak with a voice — a GA — accountable to the entire 99%. And I mean that in a global sense, beyond a probable earlier nationwide stage.

          So if you as a vocalizer in the movement are worried that people are anxious about results, and may be disillusioned by little bumps in the road, please hear them out, but also, please tell them the truth. That this will be a long road. That we are not yet ready to make demands due to how distanced from one another we all have become by effect of the very structures and boundaries we’re all opposing. That we will continue to develop the movement, that we all know what we’re here for and are thus too dedicated to real solutions to allow ourselves to be passionately led by one individual, right or wrong. We are not followers, we are all leaders. Please, tell them that they are as much leaders as you or me or the day-one-and-earlier folks who kicked this all off, or their neighbors, or their friends. That we all awaken to this fact is more important than anything we could do in Liberty Square.

    • John McL

      Bravo Jim. When the casual viewers look at this bickering, they see the usual BS forming that we’re trying to eradicate from the system. Cut the crap and communicate with each other! Nobody cares who’s fault it is.

  4. Katherine Carroll

    Thank you very much for the explanation. It’s not surprising, I suppose, that various factions will try to undermine others, but it’s essential that everyone know who is part of which group. The comments by Stanley (“stormkrow,” whose name can be found on the internet, by the way) seemed to indicate that the Occupiers are anarchists and anti-democratic types who do not recognize the work being done on these internet forums (and now, on the page). If so, we need to know if we’re effectively creating a splinter group by working on the Declaration through the .org website. Since the more thoughtful posts on YouTube by Anonymous seem to present the best case I’ve seen FOR the anarchist position, Stanley’s/stormkrow’s assessment of these people is confusing. The behavior Stanley described is far more similar, in my experience, to Trotskyites and Maoists, so if those are the ideologies embraced of a large number of the OWS central decision-making group, we really do need to know this is so. The mode of response and excessive confusion seen on the general forum at occupyr seems to read more like “Freepers” than OWS people.

    The genuine openness and serious analysis I’d seen so far at this GA seemed to me to be the direction we must continue to pursue. If the group follows the approach and ideas that were visible in earlier NYCGA group members and admin, then I believe we should go on with our deliberations there. These are VERY complex ideas and procedures we’re trying to configure; distraction created by in-fighting only serves the purpose of POWER. I’m sure they’re enjoying our problems immensely.

    Thanks very much for your work.

    • Stanley Ford


      I take issue with your entire slanderous statement. I have worked tirelessly supporting the Plan, the OWS movement and Liquid democracy since well before a single protester set foot in Zucotti.
      I have NEVER once said a single disparaging remark about the NYCGA or the OWS movement.

      And for the record I was acting as a mediator to resolve differences between the 2 groups to get the 99 group to be an open and fully transparent working group that kept in the rules of GA’s adopted nationally. Myself and 3 other steering committee members TRIED to get this group to follow GA rules and resolve differences with the NYCGA and we were kicked out of a “democracy”.
      There were 3 main issues with the approach taken and those conditions were never resolved:

      I believe apologies are in order.

      Be well,

      • Katherine Carroll


        Effort by everyone who is interested in developing a Declaration is being interrupted by this confusion about protocol! My statements indicated that my impression from your stormkrow comments was that you believed you were being restricted by some at OWS. If I misunderstood your statements, I apologize — communication is far simpler when people use their own full names.

        Some of the comments below seem to indicate that a required procedure of analysis and response is now in place that adjudicates both which concepts can be examined and how they will be examined. I am not on board with elements Michael apparently brought into play (501 C-4 status, etc.), but neither am I on board with mandated methods of voting and discussion. The insistence of reaching consensus and the imperative to qualify for and receive approval to deliberate on central concepts that the Occupy community wishes to address strike me as antithetical to the purpose of OWS. If the first formalized actions of the NYCGA and OWS are going to be insistence on rigid structures of discussion and participation, what is we’re all trying to do here?

        It is so important that the Occupy movement, worldwide, develop cogent and accurate statements about the consolidation of global corporate power. Attempting to prioritize which aspects of that power should be identified first and what actions will be most effective is, I think, why everyone has come to these sites. A rigid framework that determines what will be discussed, by whom, in what way, and how agreement will be reached is not only prohibitive of real thought and discussion, it is a gift to that power.

        Each of us has an equal voice, I believe OWS has asserted. It will be helpful if those who have been chosen as “admin” — or who have chosen themselves — post a particular area where discussions identifying specific elements of the undemocratic nature of current global governance and ways they can be remedied can be conducted, with respect for everyone and without restriction.

        Be well, Stan,


        • bittylite

          I think maybe you did misunderstand his statements. Stan is the one that stood up for OWS solidarity by deleting a group that was out of touch with it. The slander against OWS came from the member named the99declaration, from what I”m reading here.

    • Shaista Husain

      Dear Katherine,
      I am not part of the 99 declaration nor an admin, but just a partial observer reading your nasty comments. Your red-baiting is completely out of line, who you think may or may not be an anarchist/trotskyist/maoist is completely against the Principles of Solidarity. We see a lot of racism, sexism, homophobia, antisemitism and islamophobia–but red-baiting will also be dealt with now in the Safer Spaces working group. Discrimination against activists has a long history of ignorant uninformed and hateful witchhunting of the McCarthy Era. Those days are over. You are not welcome to spew your discrimination and ignorance about anyone’s political ideas in such public manner. I once made a joke about the comintern but fortunately one of my comrades correctly told me that these kind of political attacks are worse than personal attacks especially in the climate of protest–they lead to suspicion ignorance and discrimination. So– i am calling you out.

      • Adam

        but krow can “spew” slander about anarchists? apparently your “discrimination and ignorance” is fine to spew about any ideology except that of dear leader.

  5. James Yasuhara

    Please make all efforts possible to resolve your differences. We are all here to better the world, and must find a way to work together if there is to be any hope of getting those outside of OWS to work with us. This movement is bigger than any procedural differences or particular goals. maybe a separate GA would be appropriate, but resolve the dispute, do it quickly, and do not allow this to further discredit the hard work that is being done in every corner of the world in the name of OWS. As we say to violent police, “The whole world is watching”.

  6. Urbaned

    The problem with the organizer of the 99Declaration Group was that he had a pre-written “charter” and idea for a convention in Philadelphia that sounded great and attracted many people. But, it was so early in the birth of OWS, that no one was sure which external groups or individuals to “support.” So, they asked him several times to do certain things, like vote on the declarations, etc., and he continued to be obstinate about what he wanted to do. While this was occurring, moderators on the livestream were continuing to stress collaboration, peace, nonviolence, non-co-opting, patience, and democracy. The owner of this group was not acting in that manner. I hope there is a convention, but, I also hope we have no need for one…I think there should be one-person-one vote, not representative voting, and in that case, we would not need a convention. However, if this doesn’t come about, then maybe the Philadelphia convention would be a good idea. It’s too early to tell, and it’s too early to accept this person’s behavior. We need to work together.

  7. Katherine Carroll

    Michael, I’ve just registered on the site, where I saw that the Mussolini epigram was REMOVED from the 99% Declaration. I know this epigram has appeared and disappeared in various versions of the document, but, as I’ve said in several other posts, our position is best informed, I believe, by a thorough understanding that our national and global governance is now classic corporatism, as described by Mussolini, its founder. This epigram was in the original Declaration, deleted, and then restored in the “current draft,” posted October 28th, before the 99Declaration group was deleted. “Fascism should more appropriately be called Corporatism because it is a merger of state and corporate power.” Benito Mussolini. This epigram is now missing from the Declaration at the site. If we don’t base our critique on the understanding that the present economic and political framework is corporatist, and formulate our responses based on that understanding, what is the basis of our critique? A corporatist system cannot be reformed. It can only be dismantled and a constitutional democracy put in its place.

  8. BradB

    Ok .. progress… let’s get honest 😉

    first, I support Michael .. as well as the The 99Declaration … I believe it should be called the “The 99% Petition” .. but that’s just me…

    Michael, you were given opportunity to become an Admin of the group… I msg’d you here, at, at the google group site… and I even called you… and no reply…

    to me you seemed happier to use and advertise your personal page the working group…

    anyway Michael, I still think you really don’t understand what Solidarity is … and the power that it provides if we stand as one in solidarity… but to do that you need to share control .. not own control … that will be your failure .. if you don’t learn it…

    A comment for a few…

    simple words…

    Without support you have nothing…
    Without everyone working together for a common goal you have nothing…

    Do you dig out an eye because one sees better than the other…
    Do you leave your family behind because one of them chooses to disagree with you…

    Do you support closed & secret meetings…
    Do you build a vertical leadership where one mind controls and constricts another…
    or any number of minds that control and constricts others…

    Do you censor people’s voice… Do you need to control…

    We all live together in this world…
    If we work together and live as one we can accomplish anything…
    If we share a common good and give each other respect we can accomplish anything…
    If we divide and work for distruction of anything we accomplish less…
    If we work alone we will find ourselves alone…

    If you do not understand these things…
    You need to spend some time on the ground in the Occupy movements…
    And spend some time participating in the discussions at…

    you will see solidarity… you will see consensus building…
    you will see building of constituency through enlightenment…

    this is where the real work is done… it is not done in tiny little committees…
    or by tiny little minds who think they know more than the whole…

    do you understand what solidarity means….

  9. the99declaration

    Brad are they restoring the Working Group on this website?

    I can’t spend anymore time here but if there are people in the OWS movement who want to genuinely help us with our plan to freely and democratically elect 870 delegates in March for a July convention; fantastic, welcome aboard. There is no nomination process and any US CItizen aged 18 or older may run for delegate. You may have all your GA members run for delegate spots as long as they are openly, freely and fairly elected by the PEOPLE of the 435 voting districts.

    The 99% Working Group only has two functions: (1) organize a free and transparent democratic election of 870 delegates by April [one man and one woman from each of the 435 districts] and (2) find a professional venue (not a park or square) for the delegates to meet in July for six days so they can draft and ratify whatever statement or document they wish to produce. THE 20 POINTS IN THE CURRENT DECLARATION WE WROTE ARE JUST SUGGESTIONS and may be completely ignored or embraced by the delegates.

    I cannot speak for everyone in the working group (i.e. the 3000 people now part of the working group on Facebook, connected 99% groups and the yahoo working group) but it is the opinion of many that only duly elected representatives have the legitimacy to file a petition for a redress of grievances as authorized by the First Amendment.

    If you do not want to help us, PLEASE, stand aside and let us LEAD (yes that dirty word) because, “Those who say it cannot be done should not interrupt the People doing it.” We are willing to do it. All you have to do is show up and help us.
    We are just trying to save the movement form inertia with a plan of action because in less than four weeks it could be 16 degrees in Liberty Park.

    very truly yours,

    Michael, Facilitator of the #OWS Working Group on the 99% Declaration founded and announced to the NYCGA on 10-15-11 at 7:45pm.

    • dicey troop


      I appreciate your effort, but you seem to have some severe misunderstandings about the process you claim to be engaging. 3000 people in a Facebook group are /NOT/ part of your working group. In fact, the 99 Percent Declaration is not even a working group. Announcing that you’re creating a working group at General Assembly is not the process for creating a working group. There is a form to fill out at Info and to bring to the facilitation working group for inclusion on the GA agenda. GA must consense to recognize your working group, and in taking that charge, your working group must commit to upholding commitments the GA has made to consensus process and direct democracy.

      Your words about wanting to “lead” and “save the movement” are also deeply alarming to me. First of all, when we say “no leaders” we mean it. Not just no kings — no leaders. Obviously, people will step into roles of responsibility. But the moment one individual embraces a leadership role, a hierarchy has been created. We actively seek to avoid hierarchy.

      Secondly, the movement is long-term. Yes, it’s going to be VERY COLD in Liberty Square. NO, this is NOT going to kill #Occupy. Additionally, even if it were, the only way to get the Liberty Square Occupation to act is to make a proposal of the GA and get it to consense in support. If you’re under the delusion that you can roll in, lay out your plan for a national General Assembly (despite not, apparently, knowing what a General Assembly is), ignore concerns and questions, ignore the INTERnational nature of #OWS, ignore the fact that the occupation in Liberty Square does /not/ represent the entire #occupy movement, and get consensus… well, you need to check that. Because it’s wrong.


      • Urbaned

        Publicize this WIDELY – it is the main reason I have hope for this movement: “Your words about wanting to “lead” and “save the movement” are also deeply alarming to me. First of all, when we say “no leaders” we mean it. Not just no kings — no leaders. Obviously, people will step into roles of responsibility. But the moment one individual embraces a leadership role, a hierarchy has been created. We actively seek to avoid hierarchy.” Thank you SO MUCH, Dicey!!

      • the99declaration

        You have no right to tell us who to include in our working group. We founded the working group by announcing it to the general assembly on 10-15-11 as per the rules. Now you say it is not a legitimate working group are trying to attach conditions. Stan Ford deleted our working group on this webpage because he disagreed with it himself: one person and you allowed him to do. I say it again, the NYCGA is an antidemocratic movement run my a small oligarchy.

        • dicey troop

          if you’d asked someone, you would have found out that announcing a working group to GA is not the process for creating a working group, and that a working group is a group that does work for the Liberty Square occupation, based in Liberty Square, not with supportive people on the Internet.

          Sir, you need to turn down the noise. This is simple stuff, but you’re too impatient and bitter to deal with it. We have a process, it existed before you or I showed up, and if you want to be involved, you don’t get to just roll in and be like “fuck your process I don’t like it!” It’s like if I wanted to run for President, but I was against voting and felt like the way to become President should really be to declare myself President, and fuck anyone who told me I couldn’t. That’s you.

    • drew

      The spokes council model will have it’s first run on Wednesday 11/2 where operational group will be determined by consensus. The admins of this site will hold off creating new groups until that process has run it’s course. We hope to introduce a new group model on the site to better reflect that process in the coming days.

      • dicey troop

        rad, thanks for the update drew. i should have noted that it all changes very soon. so, first spokescouncil is wednesday?

    • Tom Denman

      I have one last suggestion…. if you for whatever reason can’t resolve this. Lose the splitter, put up what you have of the grievances and delete or archive this thread.
      Should people like myself wake up to read this shit from their remote loacation or hear about it on talk radio without someone sensible stepping up to the mic and saying “yeah, we hit a bump and through those miracles that just seem to keep coming this movement’s way, it was quickly put to bed”… If you can’t do that, the bleeding will start.

        • Tom Denman

          Sorry buddy, but this movement is important enough to me to sacrifice my precious ego. HOW ABOUT YOURS. Work with the process laid out why don’t ya?
          Otherwise they probably should have deleted that ‘declaration’ before it HOAXED a few million people.
          You have no idea the harm you did to so many people’s credibility. I live in a seaside town in new england where the views are more right of center than left. But despite that I have been able to build a decent consensus and get people supporting this movement to come forward. But this AIN’T NYC and people don’t cop a ‘screennmane’ and then are able to disappear onto Broadway when it’s no longer cool to be you. We have to get back in our lives and have people look at us as foil heads if this thing fails. And last night I started getting confronted with a copy of your ‘declaration’ which I must say looked fairly ‘official’ printed out with so little to disclaim it. And THEN, the long litany of cat fighting on this page. I could live with it if it were merely embarrassing. I’ve had close to 50 days of my local “Fox & Friends” enthusiasts beeping their horns at me laughing. No, I can take that. But when a woman, whom I know has basically been risking her job as a local bank teller comes up to me with a nearly tearful look in her eyes. That causes me to instantly review everything I have signed on for.

        • bittylite

          LOL any person who disagrees with you is somehow censoring you. Isn’t that what got you into trouble in the first place,mistaking constructive criticism for personal attack?

          You don’t seem to be a very quick learner.

  10. BradB

    Michael… 😉

    I think what both OWS and NYCGA want is for “you” personally to join them ….
    Align with them .. be part of them … stop challenging what you havn’t taken the time to really understand yet.. hehe 😉

    Michael once you join the movement I think you can get anything you want … 😉

  11. BradB

    look at my avatar .. “Change begins with Me” … we all must change ourselves first… then we can change the world

    • Betsy Schwartz

      Thank you Brad. As I was reading through the latest posts this is all I could think of. What big egos here. It is a good thing because we need our ego, yet when we can’t change the I to WE, this is the result.

      Tom Brenaman said When you folks started down this path you weren’t creating a new social network to be the next Mark or the next Biz… You were starting down a path that more than 200 years ago, men and women went to their GRAVES to stay on and and those who had doubts but were close turned to the events unfolding and said “YES, IT’S FINALLY HERE! SOMETHING BIG ENOUGH TO TURN THIS WHOLE ROTTEN MESS AROUND” Many of us have been waiting since the day Ronald Reagan walked into the oval office… Others since JFK or Martin Luther or Bobby got killed.
      If you folks drop the ball on your country, over strife that should be settled and rapidly worked around, you will probably never see this country rescued from it’s own demise. Please don’t let that happen. Please.
      Thank you for this Tom. Nobody can control what another one says or does. We barely have a control on what we say and do as is evident while reading these posts. Clearly there are some great ideas in the declaration and elsewhere in the thousands of threads on I don’t know how many forums.
      Intention is what matters. We should all ask ourselves this question before we spew here. What is my intention in writing this and posting it?? When the ego gets in the way be aware of it. What is happening is that we are realizing that we are all connected by virtue of the fact that we are human, and we may be fighting against that.
      Process and transparency are essential for this movement to avoid a hijack as the Tea Party movement experienced. Another hierarchy to replace the one we have will likely fail as well. It is people that have to change. It is easier to blame someone or something else for the problems we are experiencing, like the miscommunication going on here, than it is to look inside ourselves for the answers. It is my hope that we can change the world, by changing ourselves and our perceptions.

      That said, on another note has anybody checked out I just signed up for the forum so I need to get on there and get a feel for it. They are planning a Congress on the National Mall. There is also a thread at for a march on D.C.
      “Love they neighbor as thyself.” When we can rise above the ego and know that only be meeting the needs of others will we meet our own, then the new world truly begins.

  12. BradB

    one more.. and then I gotta go to job…

    think of the problems that arouse at

    those problems came about because there were not enough members in solidarity with each other…
    a common goal… but not a common mission….

    lot of great work is being there… but also a lot of chaos…

    you need a large enough solidarity in place for the members to move the challengers… OWS & NYCGA understand this… as a whole … every member knows it… you need too also… that is why you are getting opposition here… everyone sees that you personally havn’t joined us yet… why should we join you yet.. make sense 😉

  13. Michael Smith

    Michael –

    I joined the 99% working group and spent days reading posts and reading how the NYGA is run. It was clear to me that 99% working group wasn’t working within the framework embodied by the NYGA so I dropped out of the group- the GA frame work is the reason for and the success of this movement – you have some powerful idea that can be made more powerful through solidarity with the NYGA. Please try to
    hear what BradB is saying.

  14. Jhilton

    Is there not room for both the 99% Declaration and the OWS movement? The challenge seems to be that the two groups are ideologically different. OWS is creating a direct democracy of occupation and as it grows perhaps it sees that by their direct actions of occupation and with enough Americans supporting it that they will create a new system of governance that enough will join and participate in. This seems too big to image and also in some ways a bit scary since it is so different, …yet in some ways it is happening already and as long as it allows for difference of ideas and practices without oppression, just let the experiment continue. It has created conversation that has been absent in America for decades.

    It appears the 99% Declaration and process wants to work with the existing system of democracy.

    Both have supporters and in a free democratic society that we all support, either as OWS or the 99% Declaration, can’t the people of America decide which movement transforms by selecting for themselves which to participate in? Perhaps their will be ways for both to work together and collaborate in spite of your ideological differences instead of fracturing either’s initiative…. because really it is not up to Michael or Brad – it is up to the people of America to get out and get involved in the changing processes and create a self determined world that thinks about the WE first. For whatever reason the working group was deleted…if it needs to move in a more autonomous way and those that support it want to let it happen that way there is no need for OWS to discredit it or for the 99% Declaration to discredit OWS…the American people are not that ignorant – they will find their way to what speaks to them…let them have the freedom to do that. Neither process is going to be perfect, but let’s hope either one helps create a more inclusive and conscious world for our children to live in peace, health and respect.

  15. richard hodge

    I am. Member of the forum which recently had so much problems. I don’t know where this Ron Paul takeover idea comes from, it wasn’t what I experienced. Yes there were some Ron Paul supporters but the were engaging in a constructive way, debating in a more or less civil way they were always outnumbered but their construction was valuable because it was different and made everyone think. The issue which caused the split was a discussion on decision making in the forum, we hadn’t evolved a decision making process and were split between those that wanted simple majortiy voting and those who felt that a larger majority would be more inclusive and more consensual. Michael objected violently to anything more than simple majortiy voting, I respect his position but many of us felt that we could explore better working practices. But we were all commited to a process of discussion, argument and counter argument, Michael seemed to think his position was right and that he had to promote his position aggressively. When Michael left the poll we were running showed most in favour of some kind of supermarjorty ranging from 60 to 100% but the 51% option had the most votes and I think 34% of all votes cast, but even before Michael left there were new ideas about how we could work towards achieving a more consensual process. This may seem like a silly discussion to most but we were/are a group that were finding our feet and working out how we wanted to organize ourselves.

    That’s all I have to say.

    let the trolling begin, because intimidation is always the best way of silencing opponents

    • JTFaraday

      Okay, I’ll take the bait.

      “Michael objected violently to anything more than simple majortiy voting…Michael seemed to think his position was right and that he had to promote his position aggressively. When Michael left the poll we were running showed most in favour of some kind of supermarjorty ranging from 60 to 100% but the 51% option had the most votes and I think 34% of all votes cast”

      So, it should be called the <51% declaration?

          • richard hodge

            In Britain where they use the same voting system as you do, there are some seats which are won by as little as 10% of the vote. 20% are not registered of those that are only 55% bother to vote, which in my book is a vote against all of the candidates. And if the vote is pretty evenly divided between 4 parties and in same places it is then you can get the extreme scenario where 10% of the adult pop elect a representative. How low can you go?

  16. Stanley Ford

    So let me set the record straight so that everyone may know what the truth is. I fully support the idea of Liquid/Direct Democracy and crowd sourcing grievances but what I discovered was that this group did not offer that. It offered a closed and unapproved declaration and an unapproved plan for delegations. I originally volunteered to mediate differences between the 2 groups and resolve the differences to no avail. My hope was that we could help build a tech community to build the infrastructure to support Liquid-Direct Democracy thru Crowd Sourcing like here:
    and here:

    The Spanish are already going down this path:

    This completely eliminates the need for delegations and moves our democracy into the 21st century.

    Below is a forum I posted for Michael specifically about his 99 Declaration:

    “I say this openly in forum so that each and every one of us can ask ourselves these exact same questions and then find that the answers are not even in the same heart as the OWS movement. And once you ask yourself those questions you will come to the same conclusion as I have.
    Why would anyone without pre-established needs need to fund raise and seek tax exemption under a 501(c) 4?
    A 501 C 4?? Really??
    A 501 reserved for Super PACs that allows for anonymous unlimited funding??
    Really? And we’re fighting against Citizens United and this exact same thing??
    Who are the trustees? Who has vetted them? Who sits on the financial committee?
    Where the Minutes of Meeting?? Who decided this?? When??

    One person.

    In a movement that is supposed to be entirely transparent collective open and organic. And then elect to use PayPal as a vendor of choice.
    PayPal?? Are you kidding me?? Why not just give our money right back to banking cartels and cut out the middleman. We’re now to support a financial transaction company that refuses to support our brothers & sisters at WikiLeaks?

    You refuse to listen and you just keep talking. You refuse to return calls and emails but you keep pushing this entirely unapproved and inorganic plan that was never decided by collective consensus.

    I have spent a ton of capital trying to mediate a resolution between the NYC GA and this movement. I am done.

    Your primary concern before even sorting out basic backup & admin procedures or forming consensus on fund raising or even addressing OWS concerns or responding to me or anyone in the facilitation groups is to create a PayPal account and a 501 C 4 and to put up a commercial so people can donate. Do you not see the hypocrisy??

    I do NOT speak for OWS or the NYC GA but their message is quite clear to you and everyone else involved in this:


    That’s it. Until those 3 things happen this movement will not now or ever speak for the OWS movement. I personally will see to that. You do NOT seek funds before you have established need. What need do we have for money, right now? You want a server and domain? I’ll give you one.

    If you are genuine and if this is real then those are 3 very simple things that you can do to resolve this. Then we can enter into a dialogue and follow the correct process to move this forward. Until that time this should be viewed as nothing more than another attempt at co-opting and making money. And rest assured the entire OWS movement will know what the truth and facts are and will make their own judgements in kind.

    Everyone in the US is attempting to co-opt us; from the Democratic party to Unions to TV talking heads selling books. That is reality.

    I love each and every one of you my brothers & sisters. I have nothing in my heart but love for each of you and what we are trying to build. I know each and everyone one of us has passion and enthusiasm to build something tangible on a national level. A Virtual Occupy movement, a national general assembly thru Liquid Democracy. But NOT like this. Not blindly following one person without question or cause or collective agreement. Everything we do MUST be in open transparent view for ALL to see and ALL to approve. That IS the point in all of this.

    Within OWS ALL are welcome ALL are free to voice their opinions no matter how batshit crazy some of us might find those opinions to be. With that in mind none of you can remove me from this effort lest you not hold true to the ideals that got us here in the first place. And this cannot move forward until all of these questions have been resolved to the satisfaction of all who are involved, including me. That also means respecting the wishes of the OWS movement and the NYC GA.”

    So the 3 terms as presented by the facilitation groups of the NYCGA have NOT been met since that time.
    Multiple members of the steering committee have either been kicked out or given up; not sure how many more have been involved in the exodus since I removed myself from the steering committee. Kicking people out of a “democracy”?

    In keeping with my word to the NYCGA facilitation groups and the NYCGA Admins I removed the 99 Declaration Group from the NYCGA Website. If the 99 Declaration groups wish to re-join they know what the terms are and may present their case to the NYCGA directly. I will no longer act as a mediator in this. In the interim this group should only be viewed as another means to co-opt the OWS movement for personal agenda or gain.

    But my personal opinion is that our efforts are better spent working within a consensus thru democratic means on building up infrastructure to support a Virtual National Assembly by using Liquid/Direct Democracy. I think this is what a lot of us in tech signed up for and I think it also has popular consensus within OWS. Just not sure how we get there but I’m willing to work on it.

    Be Well.

    • dicey troop

      Thank you for this. And what you’re doing. I hope we can get up in Liberty Square at some point.

      • Stanley Ford

        Thanks Dicey.
        It’s been a long rough road for a few folks trying to work thru this and my goal has always been to ensure we stand united as one, nationally & ultimately globally.
        I’m still reaching out to some of the tech community to work towards building the very necessary infrastructure we need to have for a Virtual General Assembly thru Liquid/Direct Democracy. The need is obvious and the vacuum is wide and as time goes on more and more folks, even well intentioned ones, will try to co-opt our efforts for their own gains, unfortunately. But rest assured that the people united we can never be defeated.

        I’ll be in NYC in early December and hope to see you there.

        Be well,

  17. dicey troop

    Hi everyone,

    I appreciate all of the information here — transparency is key. I wrote a first draft of a document entitled “OOPS: A Working Guide to Out-Of-Process-Statements Misattributed to Occupy Wall Street”, and published it on my tumblr, a little while ago:

    The 99 Percent Declaration is the first thing dealt with there. Obviously I need to add quite a bit to the piece regarding this and all of the other events. However, I think it’s worth pointing out that what’s happened here is quite similar to what happened with the Demands Working Group, which was also deleted under strange circumstances due to a lack of attention to process.

    Also similarly, the 99 Percent Declaration first appeared as a lengthy, self-integrated text produced by a “working group” with questionable process. This doesn’t work for #OWS and anyone who tries to do this will, I daresay, meet the same frustrations. We create everything collaboratively in this movement. If you seek to make a demand or a grand plan for action, my suggestion to you would be to come up with a general idea, find those who are interested, and then hash out a plan by consensusing on individual components and even sentence-by-sentence.

    Next, you bring it to the General Assembly as a discussion item w/ breakout groups. You get feedback, you get questions and concerns, you take careful notes and then you use them in consensus w/in the working group to make changes that increase the palatability of your document.

    Rinse, repeat. How many times did the Structure WG have to go through this? 6 times at GA, plus a week of teach-ins before the last one? That’s a model for how to do this.

    Listen: if you’ve developed an idea like the 99 Percent Declaration independently, don’t bring it to Occupy Wall Street unless you’re prepared to completely let go of it and make it the movement’s. Our process is not designed to ratify your own ideas, it’s designed to include everyone in a process that lets all visions influence the outcome without sacrificing purpose or potency. For something like the 99 Percent Declaration, which asks for enormous buy-in by not just the #Occupy movement but also the entire country, the benefits of going through this process could be huge. Unfortunately, if you wrote it, and you’re really attached to it, you might not like what it turns into.

    The fix is: detach yourself from the specifics, commit yourself to the idea, and let the process help you make it work for everyone.

    • trailmix


      You hit the nail on the head by saying “don’t bring it to Occupy Wall Street unless you’re prepared to completely let go of it and make it the movement’s”. This is all the working group wanted, (to work with the GAs in deliberating whether a delegation was needed, how to go about electing one, what should go into the initial draft petition, how to define consensus electronically, and so on) but Michael focused instead with almost laser-like precision on the topic of raising money, placing a paypal link on his main document page after only one week of the group’s existence, and no effort to define a finance committee or purpose for the funds, while simultaneously soliciting video producers through links to NYCGA website, the99declaration facebook page, yahoo group and forumotion forum, asking to make a commercial to promote his fundraising efforts. Who in their right mind would *not* question these activities?

      Anyone who stood in Michael’s way became his target, the subject of manipulation and false accusation, effectively driving away his opposition. This from someone claiming an urgent desire to take democratic action in the interests of the 99%.

      By not acknowledging our concerns, it is, rather, *he* who effectively blocked *us* from doing what was necessary to build consensus and help him achieve his goal of electing a delegation. In so doing, he openly stated that he would not give up control over his document at and that all permanent changes would have to go through him.

      I will take this moment to remind others that although the group was deleted, the facebook page remains, the primary document page remains, the .org and .com domains remain, and the group continues to move forward with its efforts. One has to wonder, in that case, why such vitriol condemning the OWS movement was spewed from his nycga member account?

      If the99declaration can play by the OWS rules and achieve concensus among the GAs then their efforts deserve acknowledgement and the group here reinstated.

      However, I would encourage Michael to actually use his real last name this time, instead of telling people a fake last name, which went far to ruin his credibility. I would encourage him to take a breath and stop making false accusations in the name of pushing through his own agenda. I would demand his first focus be congruence with OWS procedures and obtaining consensus within the GAs. And I would encourage him to embrace those who would act to build concensus with the GAs rather than to admonish them in private while extolling their efforts publicly.

      But until that happens, I personally will not lend my support to, and will actively work to help resolve the existence of, any links on GA web pages to any group that openly disavows itself of OWS (as was the case with the99declaration group at issue here, which in the top header of the group stated that it was not affiliated with OWS or NYCGA and did not represent it, in recent days).

      After all, why would any GA want to place a link on its pages to any group which claimed openly to not support it in return?


  18. richard hodge

    I would add to Stanley’s post

    By saying that our group made no decision to raise money or to affiliate ourselves with Ows, we had discussions on these issues but no decisions were made because we had no decision making process. How these things happened without our consent is a mystery to me. It would almost appear that our efforts to agree on a decision making process were deliberately sabotaged, maybe because it wasn’t certain that we would support these things

  19. emma

    Michael, why are only US Citizens able to become delegates in your National General Assembly?

    I live and work here legally, I pay just as much tax as everyone else but am not a US citizen.

    I warms my heart to hear that a group proclaiming to be part of the #OWS movement will shut me out, just like the US goverment shuts me out on so many levels.

    • Shas Cho

      “Michael, why are only US Citizens able to become delegates in your National General Assembly?”

      Perhaps the answer lies in the word “National.”
      I was a legal non-citizen immigrant in Canada for 20n years.
      I didn’t expect to vote in anything “national.”
      The day George Bush invaded Iraq I applied for citizenship and got it.
      Now I can vote.
      Makes sense to me.

      • emma

        “I applied for citizenship and got it.”

        Therein lies the rub. If it were that easy, I’d apply tomorrow.

        • Douglas

          It’s simple, a citizen is “a LEGALLY recognized subject or national of a state or commonwealth, either native or naturalized.”

          I never applied for my dual citizenship in Canada because my dad is Canadian. I have no legal standing and can not receive health care nor can I vote in Canada. I lived in Australia for a while, but was a U.S. citizen. There was a political party called “One Nation” a party of racists whose platform of “one” meant just the white people (no joke!) I was free to speak out about this horrible party. I could even get involved in action groups. But I would have had no legal standing to represent the people of Australia because I was not legally a citizen. I could certainly work in solidarity with them, but not legally represent them. A lot of people do not seem to understand the core notions of citizenship.

          • emma

            “I could certainly work in solidarity with them, but not legally represent them.”

            Exactly, I consider myself a member of the OWS movement, I attend GA’s, I go to working group meetings. I have the same rights as everyone else in the G.A.

            Yet, Michael – who claims the 99% Declaration represents the OWS movement – will not extend me (and every other non-US citizen participant) the same privilege in his National General Assembly.

            I thought the idea here was to right some wrongs of our current society, not impose the same limitations.

            disclaimer: this is by no means a rant about US immigration procedures. I came to the US knowing full well how hard it would be to find an employer who would sponsor me for a work visa, to obtain legal status, to PAY for the application, etc. However, I didn’t think I would have to put up the same BS at OWS. (and I don’t. Because the 99% Declaration is not part of OWS)

  20. Tara Carreon

    A very similar thing happened to us over at OccupyTucson I proposed at the first general assembly that we vote on some goals to guide us. We voted by consensus that our starting goals would be (1) stripping corporations of their undeserved legal status as “persons,” and (2) making it unlawful for corporations to contribute to political campaigns. After the meeting, we wrote it up into a Mission Statement Version 1.0, and that’s when the shite hit the fan with the secret power trippers controlling our group.

  21. Tara Carreon

    One of the other things — among many — that got us in trouble with the professional Revolution Makers was voting by consensus. At the first meeting, the non-leader leaders advocated consensus. I opposed it, and proposed instead 2/3rds. That was passed by consensus. Afterwards, none of the non-leader leaders remembered that this had happened, and omitted it from the Minutes of the Meeting. When I reminded them that I made the motion, it was seconded, and passed, they insisted on bringing it to ANOTHER vote at the next assembly. They had their people lined up to make the consensus argument, but the group of 220 people voted 75% instead of consensus. Then the non-leader leaders announced that that would be the vote for TODAY only, and that once the occupation started, it would go to consensus because then we would have lots of time for “radical democracy.” The non-leader leaders won’t give up their ideas, and they turn your ideas into nothing. That is why I no longer support the Occupy Movement. I believe they are run by the Revolution Makers who have run all the color revolutions around the world in the last decade: i.e., The CIA.

    • dicey troop

      Tara, if you don’t support the movement, why are you here? Consensus is a crucial part of #occupy and General Assembly will not work without it. It sounds like you have some people not respecting those principles or not living them, and I’m sorry for that if it’s true. But to suggest that this is run by the CIA is ……. to be blunt: you need to let go of that idea and find another explanation that actually makes sense.

  22. Darrell M. Stafford

    How do you create change and keep 99% together:
    GOAL: To create an honest, ethical and representative government while curving the special interest groups in Government and Corporate America.
    1. Change the oath of office for Congressmen to state they must represent the people of their district. Required a signed CONTRACT from all candidates running for office stating they will represent their district.
    2. Make all federal elections non-partisan (no political parties) like local elections.
    3. Require the SEC to create regulations to control the power of the 1%ers on the Board of Directors of large corporations. The Directors are Corrupt, not the Corporations! Give more power to the small stockholders and workers. Do not allow any “account managers to vote” for Directors. Direct ownership in required to vote
    4. Create an EQUITY TAX applied to those Americans with a NET WORTH of $20 million or more. The EQUITY TAX would have a sunset clause where it would end once the National Debt is paid off.
    5. Reduce the level of the Federal Government to the 1980 Budget plus an inflation rate (1981 to 2011).

  23. richard hodge

    I’m impressed I was expecting to get my head shoved down a toilet bowl for daring to tell my side of the story, what a refreshing change

  24. Ann B

    Wow, I think this really stinks!

    If you think so too, then I’d like to suggest to OWS, and all of us that support this movement everywhere, to watch the free FISHEAD movie. It talks about why this sort of stuff stinks. Go to, and get the free password by email; or if you already have a password, watch it again at

    You may very well see the answer to a big part of this problem there. Also, you will be better able to resolve it and maybe help prevent it in the future.

    Think about it. Not all the 1% of people are the top 400 billionaires, especially since our world just hit 7 billion people yesterday. Please watch the movie. It really helps to explain the mess we are in and what to do about it.

    Ann B

  25. Ann B

    P.S. Oh, and Richard…it could even help explain those pesky trolls. I’m glad they didn’t do any of those awful things to you.

  26. the99declaration

    Most of what is posted here is untrue or inaccurate but I am not going to invest the time to respond since I work full time, represent numerous OWS protestors pro bono who were arrested, and I have far more important things to do than waste time here.

    Anyone can tell from the postings on this web site that the NYCGA will not help you unless you subscribe to the very narrow goals of it’s oligarch agenda. I always find it so amusing that most of us hate oligarchs but that is exactly what the small group of planners and dictators at #OWS NYCGA are. They try and misdirect you by saying you don’t understand us. Well I have been down to Liberty Park to observe how they operate. Our group does not serve their goals so they attack us, delegitimize us by saying we did not follow the rules they keep making up.

    We will press on with the election of 870 delegates on our own and then hold a National General Assembly in July. People can join us or not but we have a right to peacefully assembly and petition our government just as #OWS does and they should respect our rights and stop trying to prevent what we are doing. “Those who say it cannot be done should not interrupt those who are doing it.”

    I warn you, these people are master manipulators and liars who have their own agenda that really is not for the benefit of most Americans. Many of the core actors are anarchists who want to destroy the system for the sake of destroying it and the opportunistic conditions that would result for them if the system collapsed.

    Yours etc.,

    Michael, Facilitator of the #OWS Working Group on the 99% Declaration announced to the NYCGA on 10-15-11 at 7:45pm but deleted from the minutes by Winston Smith.

    • richard hodge

      So the people on the forum were anti democratic Ron Paul nutters and the people at Ows are anti democratic anarchists

      Wow the enemys of democracy are everywhere, and here I was thinking that they were all in govt

    • dicey troop

      Hahah your “announcement” isn’t even in the minutes? WOW guy.

    • bittylite

      I am beginning to think this person is delusional. His announcement magically disappeared from the minutes, everybody at OWS is antidemocratic, and invisible gremlins are trying to censor everything he writes. I am wondering if he has a tinfoil hat on as he’s typing.

    • Urbaned

      Or, just a giant black hole. He just won’t listen, yet sends a letter to President Obama stating he is supported by OWS. If we find people like this, and there are sure to be others, we need to treat them like the street people who come to the GA meetings: listen, consider, and act. We cannot let people who don’t know how to collaborate bully us, call names, or threaten us.

      If I had a full time job and could afford to live in a comfortable place in NYC, I would not be bullying a bunch of people who ended up on the street because they lost “the American dream.” I would try to help and not fight. The ego is unfathomable.

  27. Chris Sarns

    Your comments about the NYCAG and OWS are beyond the pale.
    Please remove my name from your working group. My account at your website is screwed up and I can’t log in to remove it myself.

    Vaya con Dios

  28. dicey troop

    I’d also like to point out that this entire Declaration’s idea is impossible to enact at this time. No occupation can speak for the entire movement, and this declaration dictates next steps to all 50 states, presumably assuming that occupations will support this in each of them.

    Nothing like this can be considered until some kind of national, directly-democratic GA comes to exist organically. But wait — once it exists organically, we won’t need this weird-ass republican blueprint. Guess we can just put this one to bed, then.

    • Betsy Schwartz

      Exactly what is needed, a national directly democratic GA. What a great vision!! I share it!! I embrace it and WE WILL MAKE IT HAPPEN. Together!! Thank you dicey!!

      • BradB

        I tend to support a hybrid concept…. Direct Democracy, with Representation, and a People’s Veto …

        here’s my take…

        Direct Democracy…. one person one vote … is the moral & right thing to do….
        Representation… (if not corrupted) … help’s advance the ideas…it keeps the focus on issues … it helps educate the issues to more… it’s very existence keeps the issues in the spot-light… it also provides jobs… and reduces apathy… the problem we are having now is that it is corrupted and wields too much power…

        We can keep Representation working for us … there are many ideas on the OWS & NYCGA sites that will force the Rep’s to represent the people….and it will work if we have a “People’s Veto” to insure it…

        So we start with Direct Democracy … we have a vote at Community level… then Representative delivers our vote… since we already have the People’s vote.. it will be hard for the Rep to vote his own way .. no? …

        If a Rep does not deliver the vote of the constituents… we remove him/her from office immediately…

        So now if the Rep disagrees with the people’s vote it would be his/her task to campaign and move the people to his/her views before the Community level votes… which will create discussion & build consensus…

        If the people lose the solidarity with the Congress, Admisnistration &/or Judicial … it is simple … we organize and assemble a “People’s Veto” of any law .. at any time we see fit… given some threshold … say 75% of registered voters ???

        the added advantage… is that now we have our government working for us… We only have to show up when necessary…

        • BradB

          a reply from ….Jimboiam (Mobile, AL) 1 points 8 minutes ago
          So you support a pure democracy? Would you have supported a direct democracy in 2010? There would have been tons of anti abortion bills, bills ending medicare, ending social security, etc. Would you have been happy with the result considering it was a widespread conservative victory? Democracy is 51% of the people ruling over the other 49%. It is not a stable form of government.

          good points imo

          • dicey troop

            Direct democracy using consensus differs substantially from direct democracy or any democracy with a majority rule vote. I agree fully with Jimboiam that any majority rule system isn’t stable, but i also wouldn’t call a first-past-the-post 51% system democratic at all. Under a consensus or modified consensus system (9/10ths majority), I would welcome all of those issues being brought because they would not pass and might even someday be put to bed.

          • Opticality

            It’s all in how the votes are counted. Check out Borda, circa 1700, who proposed weighting votes to eliminate paradoxical outcomes. If there are 3 candidates each voter gets 3points to assign, 3 to the first choice, 2 to the 2nd choice, etc. The candidate with the most points wins. This helps ensure that the result is correct for peoplevwho would accept their second choicecas long as their third choice loses.

  29. Decidedvoter

    There are things I so wish i could say here…but what I will say is that there is a clear agenda by this supposed “:Demands Working Group”, they are using the media like propaganda and as we all know…the media has their own agenda. I hope the next time David Haack is interviewed by the NY Times or he blogs at the Gaurdian UK he will once and for all disclaim any further intent to push this garbage. These guys may think they are doing “the right thing” but so did Hitler. Yes…I went there.

    And Michael…let loose that grip dude you have the right…but don’t use this movement, the 99% or any reference to OWS. Find another movement to glom onto or start your own. Freedom of assembly does not mean you can just take from the reputation of others and then use it for your own agenda!

  30. Michael Thompson

    I just want to say that I was at 60 Wall last night and watched the “Demands Group” or whoever the fuck they were tear at each other like hyenas over whose demand was most important. It was evil shit, an obvious whirlpool of ambition and egos on steroids. I wanted no part of it because there is real work to do.

    When I first came to OWS I had far more conventional views about demands than I have now, but it didn’t take long to realize that yes, demands are not what OWS is about. I was resistant at first, being a typical NYC narcissist who thinks he’s alway right, but cared enough about the movement to think about it and listen. I learned:

    OWS has no demands because we’re past demands, we are the demand. Any list of demands will be co-opted by the corporate media. Just as important, being horizontal and not having any demands help us not to have leaders, because it takes leaders to articulate demands. Not having specific leadership protects the movement from oppression, turns us into a thousand points of light that cannot be put out. Things will evolve over time and battles will arise, we don’t have to pick issues they will come to us as we fight the system anyway.

    The demand folks who refuse to see this are either still in denial about the strength of the corporate state or hopping on board the only opportunity for change that has come along since the 60s. This is understandable, but does not make it all right to use OWS to fulfill their agenda. They are also a magnet for trolls, who gravitate towards controversy in order to disrupt us. Comes with the territory, I guess.

    I also went on google and read the demands about a week ago and the version I read said, in its incredibly brief Immigration Demand, that visas and citizenship should be given to immigrants pursuing their education in America so the “finest minds in the world” can stay here. No mention of the rights of poor immigrants was made.

    This was so fucking ferociously racist that my conversion away from any form of demands was completed on the spot, demands are treacherous by definition for us. I suppose I should thank these folks for helping to educate me to reality, but the meeting I could only stomach for a few minutes last night was not an experience I would care to repeat.

    Education is critical! If the news of Wikileaks folding after the credit card companies attacked them without due process isn’t enough to convince you we are past the electoral process stage, what will it take to convince you?

    • Michael Thompson

      Let’s just leave this alone, they’re fueling off us. We’ve got better things to do.

    • JTFaraday

      “I just want to say that I was at 60 Wall last night and watched the “Demands Group” or whoever the fuck they were tear at each other like hyenas”

      I think this is what happens when you jump to policy prescriptions too quickly.

      On the other hand, the people on the 99%declaration group site, in keeping with its name, seem focused on our disenfranchisement.

      However, in stark contrast to its 99% name, the apparent founder of the 99declaration group wants to narrowly channel public participation too rapidly.

      Another issue with the 99declaration site is that, while I think the attention there paid to the monetary system and its connection to our disenfranchisement has some analytical merit, it seems like the group is primed to get jacked by the End the Fed movement.

      In which case, the 99declaration group is about to become a specific policy vehicle. This seems even more likely given the founder’s decision to narrow participation.

      If the overarching issue is our disenfranchisement, and I think it is, then I would want to hear more from the people first. And, I would want to be part of a political movement that facilitated that.

  31. premilla dixit nag

    This is what democracy looks like. Understandings, misunderstandings, debates, retaliations, righteousness, accusations, conciliations, corrections, grand-standing, kindly interventions, revulsion, exclusion, dropping-out, turning away, burning out, enduring, bringing together, keeping our cool, empathizing, sympathizing, having a sense of humor, letting go — and so we build from a messy human world a less messy human world, as we learn from experience how not to do unto others what we would not have others do unto us. After all, it is humanity’s ancient wisdom we wish to unfold in action, in how we deal with each other and this splendid earth is it not : how not to do unto others as we would not have others do unto us? So lets give each other the benefit of the doubt, understand that we are indeed making the road by walking, understand that we will need a great deal of forbearance with each other, understand that we will need trust, understand that we must be the change we wish to see, understand that in the face of all manifestations of violence we will work together to disarm each other, understand that ends and means are indivisible when it comes to building a non-violent, democratic economics, politics and culture.

  32. Douglas

    The 99% Declaration was the first time I had read a list of concrete ideas to try to remove elements of corruption from our representative form of government. These are ideas which can became law. With bribery and kickbacks, and those who control big money, etc. under greater control THEN can we elect people to truly represent the 99%. I find a great many of the other 20 suggestions listed so far interesting as well.

    Today I read things on this site like: “First of all, when we say “no leaders” we mean it. Not just no kings — no leaders.”

    Does this extend to establishing a completely different system of government for the United States? Is the GA in NYC talking about abandoning a Republican (not the GOP folks who don’t know better) as found in the Constitution? (I’m NOT accusing OWS NYC of taking this position! I’m ASKING where the stand. I simply don’t know all the way over here in the Wild West.) IF they are, they’ve lost the battle. Is this about restoring democracy to our Republic? I’m interested in the latter.

    United States Constitution Art. 4 Sec. 4 Par. 1 “The United States shall guarantee to every State in this Union a Republican form of Government.” This country is a Republic, and that was intentional.

    John Quincy Adams – “The experience of all former ages had shown that of all human governments, democracy was the most unstable, fluctuating and short-lived.”

    James Madison – “Democracies have ever been spectacles of turbulence and contention; have ever been found incompatible with personal security or the rights of property; and have, in general, been as short in their lives as they have been violent in their deaths.”

    John Adams – “Remember, democracy never lasts long. It soon wastes, exhausts, and murders itself. There never was a democracy yet that did not commit suicide.”

    It is the corruption we need to remove as much of as possible. (There will ALWAYS be corruption in ALL forms of government. To think otherwise is to have not read history seriously.)

    Here in Portland, Oregon the Occupy movement is considering finding a local building to meet in instead of the park whereby regular protests, speeches, and rallies can be organized. The park has devolved, sadly, into a place that attracts crime committed by those who have nothing whatsoever to do with the movement. Even a local Police dept. head made it clear on the news that it was NOT the Occupy movement who is involved in the spike of crime downtown.

    It’s time to take the attention and the momentum and move forward with some concrete plans that can legally impact our corrupted representative system. I like a lot of what’s in the Declaration so far.

    Reading The 99 Declaration at face value, across the continent, removed from the debates and personality issues in NYC, sparked my attention, my intellect, and my desire to get involved. A written petitions of grievances, if which we get hundreds of thousands, if not millions of people, to approve through some kind of elected representation is something supported by our Constitution and can gain support of the populous. Our representatives can (had better!) take this seriously. They can vote on and make these demands legally binding our those who claim to represent us. This isn’t to say that a lot of other ideas, actions, and other work is unproductive! Hardly. Please don’t think I’m one who is saying that OCW isn’t “doing anything.”

    No one over here has any clue about local pissing matches- at least until they tune in here! We need substance leading to legally binding actions. Get it together people. We can NOT afford for this to disintegrate. If you can’t work together on this – work separately and be charitable to each other. This sort of public discontent only makes the Banker smile and light up his cigar. Frankly, I’m sick of that stench.

  33. BradB

    Douglas, there are members of OWS and nycga that like and support the ideas of the 99 Declaration… Stan supported it .. that’s why he offered to Admin the page … but because of not complying with the process.. which has been adopted by consensus here… the page became nothing productive but simply a holding tank of disparaging comments… I don’t think there was any updates or posts from anyone at the forumotion forum.. except from me… everything else was complaining…honestly it should have been taken down imo… now can it be restored ? I’m sure if members want it.. and want to play with the same rules as everyone else does … why should one group be special…

  34. Herbert

    99 declaration / OWS rift: the facts

    I have been involved in the 99 declaration “group” pretty much since the beginning and I want to give you my version of the facts:

    1) The 99 declaration group was sabotaged by Michael. Not happy with the democratic turn discussions were taking (he seems indeed obsessed with power and does not tolerate dissent), he screwed things up and forced quite a few very active contributors to call it quit.
    2) I met some great people in the group and all contributors there have deep respect for OWS and were well aware we could not “sell” our initiative to the NYCGA. Two of us were assigned the task to liaise with the NYCGA. But Michael being completely out of control, purported to represent the group and went nuts, discrediting everyone.
    3) Please dont consider people active on the forum as having their little ambitions and agendas. Pretty much everyone is out there discussing ways to improve society, in all HUMILITY and RESPECT for each other. Again, all of us were screwed by this guy and some of us dont even seem to realize that.

    I hope there can be viable discussions and exchanges again.

    • Eric

      Having followed this from early on, I agree with Herbert here.

      It’s too bad, because the document was a good start.

      And national unity is a good idea.

      And a national assembly is a really good idea.

      So, how do we co-opt these ideas and make them happen?

      • dicey troop

        I agree so completely.

        There are existing working groups on long-term visions and goals. As much as I know some folks want to see this sort of thing come about on a timeline pegged to our electoral system, I see the natural evolution of what we’re currently doing — holding some 2000 consensus-based, directly democratic people’s assemblies around the world — being to form ties between them, and then directly democratic structures to help them speak together, and then between them, and between them, until we have something that shares aims w/ Michael’s solution. As you can imagine, it would look very different in the details, but it would be of similar effect. And around and within and above this superstructure would bloom millions of horizontally-organized groups getting things done, the way we get things done in the Park.

        (I feel like people don’t understand how much logistical and determined effort it takes to just keep the occupation running, especially given all of the resistance we need to be putting up and all of the hurdles we’ve got to jump through each day. If Bloomberg would just let us be, we’d be much more fully focused on the political questions we all want to find answers to.)

  35. Murray F.

    The people (or this one person), may not be very democratic, but the overall ideas they have seem to me quite worthwhile. The one thing I do NOT see on the OWS site is there is no overall goal, whereas the 99 percent declaration has a focus and a goal. The OWS is doing amazing things, and I’m fully supportive, but a goal must be created so that it’s reason for being can be justified. Right now, in my humble opinion, it is too self contained and not looking at the big picture. I realize it takes time to develop, but please show some progress towards your goals to keep attracting positive feedback.

    There should be a tab at the top of the page that gives the overall goals of OWS. Right now the ABOUT tab really does nothing. That is where the goals similar to the 99 percent declaration should be posted. Let people see at a glance what you’re all about.

  36. Rick Powers

    I like the idea of running our own candidates. With the strike in Oakland we demonstrated our potential and solidarity. Just the threat of having to run against us may “scare” up some votes for such things as Glass-Stegal, etc.
    A real third party would throw such a wrench in there political routine that I think they will do anything to avoid that. They would find themselves having to talk about real issues with smart people. Their biggest fear.
    Lets put aside the personalities and try to put this thing together. We need to move on all fronts available to change the world.
    Peace and solidarity,

  37. the99declaration

    Look, this is the declaration as it stands now: It is constantly evolving and changing. We get about 3000 hits a day on the document webpage and a constant flow of ideas and suggestions.

    We are about to release a professionally produced commercial to raise awareness about the election of delegates in April and National General Assembly in July.

    We have a working group of 2300 people who propose and vote on every substantive change to the document online.The number of people in the group increases every day. I don’t know how more democratic we can be.

    We are going to start raising money in two weeks so we can pay for the election of the 870 delegates to attend a National General Assembly in July and we will pay for the venue. That elected body will draft whatever demands, petitions, grievances they desire or they may do nothing. That is not our concern but at least the people acting on OUR behalf will be democratically elected. #OWS has no legitimacy, other than as a protest movement. Unless and until they elect representatives on behalf of the 99% they will always be considered a self-appointed oligarchy and co-opting anarchists.

    The 99% working group has two functions: organize the election of delegates and provide a venue for the NGA.
    We have a tertiary role of making suggestions of grievances that might go into a petition for a redress of grivances as authorized by the constitution.

    If you want to help us, join our working group. If you want to block us, then block us. If you want to bad mouth us, do so. The amount of anger and energy spent on us only tears down the #OWS movement so we all fail.


    Michael, Facilitator of the #OWS Working Group on the 99% Declaration announced to the NYCGA on 10-15-11 at 7:45pm.

    • dicey troop

      Michael, I don’t know how else to ask this of you: please stop representing yourself as part of #OccupyWallStreet. It’s profoundly disrespectful to the thousands of people participating in good faith in Liberty Square. I’d welcome your process if it were rooted in any physical occupation or if it was true to the movement’s consensus-based decision-making system.

      Questions of what Democracy is are essential to this movement and many of us are not satisfied that majority-rules voting is what it looks like. We’re hashing that out. Please come do that with us and do not jump the gun and take over the movement.

    • Herbert

      So funny you say this is democratic after what you have done to “purge” people who argued against your methods, twice in one week:

      First, by killing the Yahoo group when people questioned your proposal to start raising funds;

      Second, by sabotaging the forumotion where people had managed to reorganize and started to work both efficiently and democratically.

      All of you out there: you can see on the 99% declaration’s google page that the content / declaration is “copyrighted”. Where is the altruism in that?

      Now it is clear to me why the NYCGA was reluctant to deal with this guy. They immediately saw right through him, unlike some seemingly bright people who are still helping Michael build his virtual empire.

  38. Murray F.

    I have to admit that the 99declaration group is at least doing something positive and it’s a shame that OWS doesn’t work WITH the group rather than against it. What I’m finding interesting about this whole OWS is that there is some
    dissention between OWS and the 99% declaration people, both of whom are occupying Wall Street. The OWS group seems to just be organzing a large national protest group, while the 99 percenters are trying to set up a
    declaration to offer solutions and possibly even elect a whole new political party. The OWS declaration on the website only lists problems, but nowhere that I can find does it suggest solutions.

    Please bury the hatchet and work together as there is much to be accomplished, and you both have great ideas! Dissention will only ruin both causes and give outsiders (such as the 1 percenters),, an excuse to put down the movement.

  39. BradB

    well… I’m getting tired of Michael criticizing what he hasn’t taken time to understand… even though I would like to see the/a National General Assembly working or study group here … personally I say… until Michael shows the same respect we all show each-other let him go do his project somewhere else.. because he certainly has no solidarity with OWS…

  40. Scott Galindez

    Lets get real here…the reason this group wants to have elections by Congressional District is it sets up a separate structure from the General Assemblies around the country. This group only wants the name, but doesn’t want to work within the general assembly structure.

    If they did the proper structure would be to organize a National General Assembly with reps from each GA, not each congressional district. If that body decided to organize a broader convention, it would have the authority to do so, if it was truly representative.

    The 99% Declaration is an attempt to take advantage of the movement to further the agenda of a few.

  41. Randall Burns

    I read the 99 Declaration originally in part because i though it was something officially out of OWS.

    What I saw while participating within a group of folks that had a similar perception:
    a) there are OWS sympathizers out there that identify strongly with the current congressional structure(35% according to a poll I ran)
    b) a big block of OWS supporters strongly prefer either direct democracy, choosing delegates by lottery or some form

    I’m not sure exactly what kind of organizational structure would make sense when it comes time to have a national general assembly. I personally would love to see just how 100 Occupy participants selected by lottery would interact with 100 US voters selected by lottery. What kind of common ground might they find? (I somehow think the sole member of the 1% that would find themselves in that group would feel, very, very lonely).

    I think the Occupy movement has a real chance to impact the national consensus and through that the legislative agenda. However it will take learning to really understand the full range of experience in the 99% and focusing on the areas of common ground-and the areas where simply learning the facts can bring about greater consensus.

  42. Randall Burns

    One thing about it: one block of people that get attracted by the congressional district model of election:
    people who strongly want to believe the only problem with the US government is money in politics. These folks know something is very, very wrong, but they truly believe that if the money in politics issue is solved, the government will loose all traces of corruption.

    This is a tricky issue to deal with:a lot of these folks are people of very modest means that have a lot of patriotic identification and are very sincere people with real values. They are not part of the 1% and aren’t really directly identified with the 1%-so there is an important question on just how you want to relate to them.

  43. the99declaration

    Here is me announcing the formation of the #OWS Working Group on the 99% Declaration to the NYCGA on 10-15-11. This appearance was deleted from the minutes while all other speakers were recorded. Our official working group website was deleted by Stan Ford without authority from anyone in our Working Group. We never had any admin control over that group and could only post.

  44. Herbert

    I strongly hope the NYCGA together with all GAs all around can take over this idea, that is:

    1) Organize elections for the election of national delegates to a national general assembly
    2) Said delegates come to a consensus on a list of grievances.

    This is indeed a wonderful idea. Can you imagine the entire population voting for change and real representatives of the population coming up with a finished document for the attention of all branches of government?

    To achieve that, I proposed two things (popular but unaccepted by Michael):
    1) Online-voting instead of paper ballots: more than 80% of the forum was in favor of online voting.
    2) Instead of 1 male/1 female delegates by congressiontal districy: proportional representation by voting for delegates on a NATIONAL level, but with the flexibility for voters to choose their delegates by gender, location, ethnicity, age, etc.. this will allow fair representation of female candidates and minority candidates, taking the issue out of the group’s arbitrary hands.

    What is really sad here is that despite the original idea being great, the method to make it happen is that of one sole person, with no care of what the majority suggests is the best.

  45. Iden

    I was drawn to the proposals of getting the $ out of government and public service and many of the other “suggested” grievances for a “suggested” assembly of delegates. Because it had a group here on this site I mistakenly assumed at first it was a solid piece of NYCGA. As I got involved I found out the details and I came to conclusion that the author was dissembling and twisting the common understanding of what it means to be a actual working group. He was taking advantage of new people not being familiar with the nuances of the GA process. As far as I know he never did any meetings down at nycga or report backs or anything like that. He just went around saying he had an OWS working group cause he announced it once.

    The person doing the “suggesting” proved too hard to work with for the people I was with who were trying to work with him. Personality issues aside, lots and lots of people all over the country both within Occupy and not formally within Occupy have had their attention piqued by these ideas so we *can* separate the ideas from the author of the document and his “suggested” processes which are not in line with Occupy core values of transparency, consensus, accountability, and accessibility so much as they are more like an end justifying a means. That is the opposite of OWS as far as I get things. Occupy I would characterize as being as much about the process itself as it is about any specific demands. The process is the message to some extent.

  46. Danijel Matijevic

    In my humble first-post opinion, the most sensible thing to do at this moment is to invite Michael to a General Assembly of his choosing, where he can present his views and hear the views of other occupiers. A ‘parle’ is the only solution if neither side wants unnecessary quarrels in the movement, and to me it seems Michael is passionate about the cause as much as the occupiers. What everyone must understand is that the vote of the Assembly has to carry the day and I’m sure that if Michael comes to one and argues his national plan of action, many will find it appealing (many have said so in this thread alone). However, he should also be ready and willing to accept the outcome of the vote: modifications to his plan, or delays, or whatever the GA votes for. What I saw happen in this thread is, on the one hand, besides criticizing this or that aspect of the movement, Michael asking something along the lines of “why can’t we just each push our own agenda and not obstruct each other.” In response to his words and actions, many of the occupiers, on the other hand, attacked him and his ideas (despite the fact that some of their fellow occupiers who have not joined Michael think these ideas are worthwhile) and told him, in essence, to eff off. Both sides transgressed to an extent. We can push two agendas, Michael, sure, but the point is that we shouldn’t, because that will, no matter how noble your intentions, divide the movement, divide the attention of supporters (the great majority is strewn across the country and have barely time to participate a few hours a week – if there are two agendas, they will surely not follow both, but pick one (if they don’t start deeming us frivolous) and the support will inevitably split), show both movements’ enemies that we are dividing (and give them ideas), and surely weaken the movement — this could eventually turn out to be quite critical. Sure, it could turn out okay, but it could also be disastrous. Nobody should forget the size and strength of the beast we are taking on here. Yes, We the People are strong, in numbers and as the underlying crux of the whole democratic ideal, but we are also fragile (as this very thread insinuates). On the one hand, the corporations and their political cronies have been evolving into this near-perfect, multiple-headed behemoth (carving realistic, benevolent masks for each snarling head: democracy, philanthropy, patriotism, honesty, etc.) for many decades. On the other hand, this movement is young, in the first stages of its evolution. Nobody should suppose that its early successes and growth show invincibility or any kind of inevitability. We still don’t know how this whole thing will turn out, despite our willingness to give it our very best. We are hopeful and intent on succeeding, but we should also heed the lessons of history and avoid unnecessary malignancies. Divisions are the worst enemies of fragile, forming groups. What we need to carry this movement forward is a concentrated action. CONCENTRATED action. We can’t afford whole groups of supporters to have to choose between agendas. For, what this split seems to announce is the following potentiality: by springtime, when Michael and his fb group (let’s call them the Declarationists) have completed their declaration and tentatively organized their national election and national assembly, #OWS might come up with their own strategy of nation- or inter-nation-wide organization; the Declarationists, it seems, will follow the congressional district vote pattern; the #OWS, if it takes the nation-wide road, will more probably follow the pattern of elections in various local GAs that will send elected delegates to a national or international assembly. At that point in time we will then have two sets of separate elections and two national assemblies (not to mention the legislative assembly that People’s Congress is planning for the coming spring in DC – linked to by Betsy right above – so, maybe even three national assemblies!). Can you see where that might be going? With multiple para-elections and elected delegates from this and that group (including the attention 2012 presidential campaigns will attract), the corpoliticians will have a very fine excuse to call each delegate illegitimate, knowing that the people’s support for each of them is divided, and we might then be trampled by that same people’s (part-time supporters’) switch in interest as the myriad of 2012 presidential candidates and campaigns start flooding their sensory outlets (especially with the humongous amounts of money that are now going to legally issue from “free-speaking” corporate anuses—I wonder how the poor things will be able to afford it in this recession that hurt them so—right into the media subwoofers, capable of smothering most other sounds in the ears of citizens), and thus we might head to becoming a mere interesting footnote in the history of enslavement of America and the wider world (like the Nazi resistance movements in Nazi Germany, which were all very interesting and noble, but ultimately unsuccessful).

    Nobody should forget, either, that this movement here, these unexpected developments, are the source of hope and relief to millions of people in this nation and elsewhere. Do you all remember that guttural anguish and disappointment caused by Obama’s “change,” “yes, we can,” and “hope” turning into a passive and overly conservative presidency? (I am not here attacking Obama as a person – he might have had good intentions and is perhaps severely limited by strings and pressures that our movement is trying to scissor off DC. But what’s he doing, or is unable to do, is simply not working out.) The sense of betrayal. Desperation. Hopelessness. I certainly felt it. And then we wake. This is amazing. Powerful. Please, do not risk it for anything. No individual idea or confrontation or dislike is worth risking this movement, this waking. Angry #OWSers, Michael, and anyone else who might have a qualm with this or that concerning the movement or any of its individual actions or members: think about those millions who are finding hope in this, think about them and put out a hand, look to the common goals, talk, come together, smooth out your differences, use that democracy that we all find so powerful and worth fighting for, forget pride, put things in perspective, submit your ‘selves’ to concentrated effort (while, of course, expressing your ‘selves’ in voting, presenting ideas, etc.). Sure, there will be bumps, but they should—if at all possible—be kept within the movement, accommodated and solved by the movement.

    So, my point is, Michael, come to a GA when you can, present your ideas (concerning the declaration or fixing the way GA votes/decides), talk, argue, convince, and bring those fb supporters you’ve accumulated into the concentrated effort. And those of you who had qualms with Michael, get over it, shake hands with him, and talk constructively.

    Last comment: someone said that the call for a national assembly neglects the international nature of the movement. Well, I don’t know that we’ll be able to destroy inter-national borders yet, meaning: we might be obliged to focus first on the local (as we’re doing now), and then primarily national scene (with international Occupy movements’ support, cohesion, communication), at least in the coming period. The occupiers in different countries will probably first have to change their political/economic systems nationally. That doesn’t mean the movement’s any less powerful or worthwhile. The main “made in USA” export has long been inspiration, the idea of what’s possible. If we can change America, the rest of the West (and wider) will follow. (Or, if the occupiers in England, for example, attain substantial changes in their country before us, that will strengthen our efforts.) These are, at least, my thoughts on this.

    In any case, I rest certain that the energy of this movement, whatever happens to it, cannot die. All hell can make it more difficult, but can’t stop us now.

    • Urbaned

      I spent 2 hours trying to set up a Restorative Justice (see group) session with Michael. He asked for at least one group to acknowledge and support him, and we did. Michael never replied to an email with 15 background questions I asked. Since then, he distributed thousands of pamphlets and contacted President Obama still implying the backing of OWS.

  47. Murray F.

    How about this…

    Dear Mr.Obama
    Please find below our suggestion for fixing the American economy.

    Instead of giving billions of dollars to banks that will squander the money on lavish parties and unearned bonuses, use the following plan.

    There are about 10 million people over 50 in the work force.

    Pay them 1 million dollars each severance for early retirement with the following stipulations:

    1) They MUST retire.
    Ten million job openings – unemployment fixed

    2) They MUST buy a new American car.
    Ten million cars ordered – Car Industry fixed

    3) They MUST either buy a house or pay off their mortgage –
    Housing Crisis fixed

    4) They MUST send their kids to school/college/university –
    Crime rate fixed

    5) They MUST buy $100 WORTH of alcohol/tobacco a week …..
    And there’s your money back in duty/tax etc

    It can’t get any easier than that!

    P.S. If more money is needed, have all members of congress and the senate pay back their
    falsely claimed expenses and second home allowances

    If you think this would work, please forward to everyone you know.

    Let’s put the pensioners in jail and the criminals in a nursing home..

    This way the pensioners would have access to showers, hobbies and walks.

    They’d receive unlimited free prescriptions, dental and medical treatment,
    wheel chairs etc and they’d receive money instead of paying it out.

    They would have constant video monitoring, so they could be helped instantly,
    if they fell, or needed assistance.

    Bedding would be washed twice a week, and all clothing would be ironed and
    returned to them.

    A guard would check on them every 20 minutes and bring their meals and snacks
    to their cell.

    They would have family visits in a suite built for that purpose.

    They would have access to a library, weight room, spiritual counselling, pool and education.

    Simple clothing, shoes, slippers, PJ’s and legal aid would be free, on request.

    Private, secure rooms for all, with an exercise outdoor yard, with gardens.

    Each senior could have a PC a TV radio and daily phone calls.

    There would be a board of directors to hear complaints, and the guards would have a code of conduct that would be strictly adhered to.

    The criminals would get cold food, be left all alone and unsupervised. Lights off at 8pm, and showers once a week. Live in a tiny room and pay $600.00 per week and have no hope of ever getting out.
    I cannot claim authorship of this as it was put up on a British site first, but I sure like the idea!

  48. Gabe

    There are two aspects of the 99% document that I have trouble with but have not yet been raised. One is related to an issue already raised which prevents noncitizens from serving as delegates. That same phrase excludes minors from serving as delegates. I’m 68 years old and I’ve met many young people who I would be proud to have represent me.

    On a second point I suspect both “sides” in this argument would disagree with me. I am a strong supporter of OWS and I participate in it as much as I am physically able. I think it is wonderful, but widespread as it is I suspect there are no GAs, let alone occupations, in most Congressional Districts. That being the case I don’t see how a national GA based on CDs can be realistically organized at this point, which makes it a really odd proposal for a group that criticizes the NYC GA for being unrealistic.

    For the record I’m not crazy about consensus decision making, but classical parliamentary procedure is hardly a paragon of democratic process. Nothing is carved in granite. The rules of procedure did not come down from Mt. Sinai with Moses and the 10 Commandments. They were invented by human beings. Democracy is a discovery process too.

  49. the99declaration

    Reinstatement of the 99% Working Group Webpage on the NYCGA Website

    Sine our exclusion from the NYCGA process and deletion of our webpage, we have continued on our own and our working group has grown from 7 original members to almost 3000 since 10-15-11. We have also started raising money to achieve our goal of a DEMOCRATIC election of 870 delegates to attend a National General Assembly.

    The webpage for the Working Group on the 99% Declaration was deleted on or about 10-31-11 and we requested mediation and restorative justice to have the working group webpage restored to the NYCGA website.

    No one from Mediation or restorative justice (or anyone else) ever responded to our multiple requests to have the webpage restored to the NYCGA website.

    As explained many times, a rogue admin who claimed to be part of our group called a.k.a Stanley Ford deleted our working group from the website without any authority. He apparently duped the Internet Working Group into believing he was one of our members. We now have almost 3000 members in our online working group but have been excluded from the NYCGA process. This sends a terrible message to the rest of the GA’s and supporters of #OWS across the world as our members have democratically contributed to this document since 10-7-11. Every substantive change to the document is done through online voting. By continuing to exclude the 99% Declaration Working Group you are alienating and angering the thousands of people who visit our webpage each day. Indeed, the 99% Declaration webpage has had nearly 200,000 unique hits since 10-18-11 and everyone who visits that page quickly learns that we have been excluded from the NYCGA process even though we formed our working group under that body’s rules on 10-15-11.

    We again ask that our working group webpage be restored to the NYCGA website like any other working group and we have admin control just like any other working group. Censoring and silencing us is inconsistent with the stated goals of #OWS. Our working group was duly established on 10-15-11 and we took the additional step of announcing the formation of the working group to the GA as seen in this video., There is no reason that we should not be restored to the website and given the same rights, responsibilities and voice as any other working group.

    I have made this application yet again on behalf of our membership. Please respond to our request to mediation at

    Thanks, Michael S. Pollok, Facilitator of the 99% Declaration Working Group.

  50. BradB

    Your such a fucking 1% liar… Michael… I’m tired of this SHIT…. Stan did nothing but try to HELP YOU… TELL the FUCKING TRUTH… ASS HOLE

  51. BradB

    Michael, you still don’t understand… do you ? … in a leaderless movement Stan was as much of a member of the working group as you are …. further he was an Administrator … which you could have been also … if you did not want to be the ultimate ruler…

    further he did not delete it w/o warning… which you would have known if you cared to ever post or visit the group page… or if you ever read your msg’s …. here is the msg to me …

    Re: Deleting 99 Declaration from NYCGA

    Conversation between Stanley Ford and Brad

    from, Stanley Ford
    I am deleting this working group from NYCGA.
    Until which time Michael and the rest of the group form and follow a set ground rules in accordance with General Assembly rules this group is not a democracy. Until that time all fund raising activities must cease entirely. You have 48 hours to comply before this is handed over to those who will not be named.

    I witnessed first hand Michael’s treatment of Teri & Cole and that was NO democracy. This group on this site is over.

    my reply….

    well… I guess I might understand… it’s hard for those that havn’t spent enough time on OccupyWallSt to really understand… I think Michael is starting to get it… but he is spending so much time focusing on what he thinks the dream needs… and many are fighting him because they don’t really understand the difference between horizontal and vertical structures… personally I think we can teach them.. if we keep it open… ??? I don’t know … you guy’s have more experience than I do with this…. thanks for the msg … Brad


    and I tried for the next 30 hrs trying to contact you… but obviously you did not consider me a member either… Michael… it appears that you pick and chose who your members are … only when they can benefit you…

    who are your working group members ?

    Michael… until you stop promoting false statements… you will not get anywhere…. here or anywhere else…
    further the more and more you repeat false statements … the more and more you will start believing that they are true… and then you will only be successful in lying to yourself…

    BTW, Apologies to the site for the previous frustrating language….