Proposal for Thursday 12/15 General Assembly: Movement Building

Posted by & filed under Assemblies, Past Proposals.

Working Group: Movement Building
This is a proposal for GA
Text of the proposal to be presented to the GA follows:
This text was agreed to by the consensus of the Movement Building group on Tuesday 12/13.
This proposal is to remove the 99 declaration group presence on NYCGA.net and to announce publicly that the 99% Declaration does not represent Occupy Wall Street.

Using the symbols and language of the Occupy Movement, an autonomous group calling itself the 99% Declaration has, for months, been soliciting funds from unsuspecting people desperate for the change the occupy movement strives to make possible. Recently they have ramped up their media campaign by airing commercials on national television. The 99% declaration has no accountability or transparency and has not reached consensus in any meaningful way on any of its pronouncements. It does, however, currently have a presence on the NYCGA website as a working group. It has also solicited funds presenting its own initiatives as though they were sanctioned by OWS.

The association with OWS lends credibility to the 99% declaration and increases its visibility, which allows the group to reach more potential donors and fool them into giving to a campaign that operates non-democratically. This fractures support for the movement and exploits those wanting to support the kind of change they see manifest in OWS.

We invite the 99% declaration affinity group to provide evidence they are operating in a ways consistent with the practice of direct democracy including but not limited to bringing their proposals before the OWS G.A. Until this time, we ask that NYCGA take down the 99% declaration from the website, lest the Occupy Movement be tainted by the agenda of the 99% Declaration, which is currently hidden.


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331 Responses to “Proposal for Thursday 12/15 General Assembly: Movement Building”

  1. Daryl Atamanyk

    I agree in the strongest terms that OWS must maintain its integrity and the integrity of the OCCUPY MOVEMENT by doing all that OWS can to not allow OWS or the OCCUPY MOVEMENT to be subverted by any persons or groups who attempt to wield power outside of the consensus model of self-governance.

    I am very concerned about the AMERICAN people losing the power recently gained for effecting beneficial change for all of us… by some group fooling the people into thinking that they represent ths masses, when all that group is interested in, is the forming of another political party left then to the vagaries of human nature again…nothing accomplished regarding the root cause of the mess we are in.

    So I applaud the drafters of this proposal for their caution in this area of my concern.

    It should in fact be everybody’s GRAVEST concern: for such would be the death of the movement.

    -the gardener

    • Paula Smith

      It is true that 99% Declaration does not utilize the “consensus model of self-governance” championed by OWS. because we live in a representative democracy and that is how we operate. The entire purpose of the group is to facilitate a coming together of elected delegates to ratify of petition of grievances to present to the government for redress in accordance with the Constitution. We wish to fix the system, not tear it down.

      • amber

        Occupy has woken up this country from its slumber with teach ins and protests. I stand in awe of its influence on the national discussion… but it is this draft created by your working group that has inspired and propelled me to take matters in to my own hands and be the change i want to see. What is so wrong with this?

      • Steve Scher

        Regarding:
        “we live in a representative democracy and that is how we operate.” – Paula Smith said on December 15, 2011
        Why do we live in a representative democracy?

        Because it takes weeks to travel by horse so we need representitives ….no….. must be because it takes days for a letter to be sent…..or…oh wait…now we have email…..I know…. to make sure that citizens cannot directly control their own government but rather so the government can control its citizens?

        Gosh….. well at least we can set up a new party using the representitive model……
        no way we’d want to use direct democracy… after all…. with all the 21 century technology at our fingertips there might be a way to eliminate the function of “representives”…and then what about all those unemployed 1%…….?????!!!!!
        *****************************************************************************************************
        Seriously…… I’m surprised that this proposal ( never presented to any GA anywhere so far as I know as anything other than as an announcment ) hasn’t also called for the same group of ” delegates” to morph into a consitutional convention to suggest a few changes to the articles of confederation….. ummmm ..I mean constitution…..

        • James Sanders

          Oh..and wait..sure..EVERYONE has access to all that technology right? EVERYONE has transportation in rural and outlaying communities..so EVERYONE will be head right? Or have you forgotten..most of the 99% you supposedly support..latest studies show that almost 1 in 2..yeah..I said 1 in 2 are in the POOR category financially. So poor people have all that stuff I asked about right? No, but at least they have phones, and at least they have that mail so they can send off a letter and be heard..etc..etc..etc. So seriously..I’m surprised your tone and lack of thought even allowed you to post the above..because surely..all that smarts you have and condescension..I’m sure you’ve got an answer to ALL of the questions I just asked..right?

          • dicey troop

            I never understand this argument. The Internet is available to folks of all classes and stripes in countless ways. Access suffers from inequity, yes. Folks who don’t have a computer of their own have serious limitations to their access. But, still, it is not unavailable. It seems like there’s often an age divide on this. In every case, this is an argument for increasing access to technology and tech education, not avoiding the use of these tools. IMO.

    • Jondean

      “when all that group is interested in, is the forming of another political party left then to the vagaries of human nature again…nothing accomplished regarding the root cause of the mess we are in”

      I believe that all groups are pushing forward towards positive global social, economic, and environmental change. Some of that change will be acheivable in the near future, and some change may take generations to implement. There are issues, however, that require immediate redress. Many Occupations that have happened recently bring attention to conditions that need immediate redress, such as Occupy Our Homes. The fact remains that we have not done enough to bring change to a system that is at the heart of the cause of the overwhelming pain brought to the Global Community….our own Government. We can rally and rail at this corrupt system, but the only way that I can see to bring about much needed immediate redress, is to bring the system down from within, And if you would disparage those that would find a way to achieve this immediate redress as “another political party left then to the vagaries of human nature”, how else then would you acheive it? Who would you trust to do it? Because we are all working together towards the same goals. If you do not trust your members, for we are well and truly members of OWS, to find a way to begin to systematically dismantle the inherant corruption of our Government….how do you propose that immediate redress be accomplished? This Working Group is not about the formation of a “Liberal Tea Party”, as I have heard it called in other circles…it is about the legal furthuring of the OWS agenda, within the current framework.

      • Lopi

        the essential difference is that the 99% Declaration folks are pushing for a representational democracy (voting, delegates etc) and OWS is pushing for direct democracy (consensus building)

        these two principles are at odds with each other.

        It’s not to say that a multiplicity of tactics is not good, but rather, they, the 99% ought not ride on our coat tails so to speak because of this fundamental difference. There is no integrity in this association.
        It seems to be aligned simply because of the popularity of OWS and utilizing our ground swell to push forth their own agenda

        It’s scandalous that they have been gathering donations in ows’s name.

        I support this proposal 100%

        • James Sanders

          Lopi, I invite you to read what I’ve said elsewhere on this page about terminology, definition, and potential overlaps because there is no other way to define something. Once again, if there is no other terminology to better define, then why will you and others automatically assume foul or misdeed? If you have better terminology that won’t overlap, then I welcome you to offer it, but of course, that will take some research into what we really are on your part.

          Also, I’d like to challenge your notion of consensus building. If something is to affect the entire population, then how do we get that entire population into one area as a means to vote consensus as OWS/Occupy does through hand gestures? Even if you could, will it not be required that SOMEONE is trusted to count all those hands? I applaud OWS/Occupy for bringing things to attention. I applaud your strategies for making sure everyone’s voice is heard. I suggest that there are just situations where such methods will be highly impractical..and how will the methods dealing with those impracticality differ from the already present methods you no longer like?

          • Lopi

            we are not trying to change your model, good sir, please do not try to change ours.

            we are going to have to agree to disagree. I respect your perspective but I whole heartedly disagree. If you do not agree with consensus process, for whatever convincing arguments you can make are immaterial, this movement is based on this model

            instead of trying to change the entire model, my suggestion is you simply practice your model and allow us to continue to practice ours.

            diversity of tactics, good sir, diversity of tactics

            good luck with your theories. I guess time will tell, no?

          • James Sanders

            And we’re not trying to change your model either..but it still..in commonality between what YOU are doing here with OWS/Occupy matches OUR model in trying to make sure PEOPLE get adequate representation and their grievances are addressed..motivating government change towards the better we all want. As I said..I look for commonalities and reasons to unite..not reasons to discredit or bash down another group working on the some of the same goals as mine. On the rest..we’ll agree to disagree..live and let live..I have no issue with that..but I DO value your time Lopi, and I THANK YOU for presenting your opinion.

        • Amber Bowman

          That is not true. The group has not collected donations in OWS name! The draft is a product of an OWS work group. We don’t wish to ride coat tails, but, we can’t change the history of the draft.

          • dicey troop

            the draft is *not* the product of an OWS working group. that’s *exactly* why this proposal exists.

        • Paula Smith

          We are not collecting donations in the name of OWS. Everything we have written and the numerous discussions on our Facebook pages makes that clear. The 99% Declaration grew out of OWS and was founded by members of NYC-GA. The ONLY purpose of the Declaration is to facility a national assembly of elected delegates to ratify a petition of grievances. We are working within the framework of the Constitution to produce a legal document which must be addressed by the government.

          • Lopi

            Thanks, I was misinformed, perhaps.

            The point remains that the 99% Declaration Group is not part of the NYCGA, so as such, regardless of who founded it, they ought to operate as an autonomous group outside the NYCGA website.

            It’s a pretty simple matter, not one to get emotional about.

            The 99% Declaration is not working with the NYCGA. Therefore they ought not be listed as one of the NYCGA’s working groups.

            What is the point of being on the website if you are not working with NYCGA?

            I know there are many autonomous groups across the country that are in partial alignment with ows and nycga, however, we do not list these groups on our website.

            This is a particular affiliation that is specific to the NYCGA. Why is the 99% Declaration Group so KEEN on using this platform?

            Why not take the funds you’ve collected NOT in our name, and use them to make a new website that is solely for your group??

            this is not a rhetorical question. I am serious. WHY?

          • Liz

            Why are you misrepresenting the supporters of 99D as “desperate” in this proposal? I am affiliated with two Occupy movements, an environmentalist vegetarian, Progressive, and I am NOT desparate. I support both Occupy and 99D. Finally, I dont see who put Ows in charge of Occupy. It is leaderless.

          • David Andrew

            @LOPI “we do not list these groups on our website.” So this website is not about inclusiveness and gathering *real* consensus, it’s about excluding whomever doesn’t tow the party line of a handful, dare i say 1%, of all OWS protesters.

            Why is it important you ask? Because regardless of statements from the NYCGA, the world believes that the NYCGA is OWS HQ. This is akin to the church saying ours is an Earth centered system when the fact is it is Sun-centered. Saying we are leaderless doesn’t make it so. What gives you the right to say what OWS is pushing for and exclude the 99%DWG on that basis? (“the essential difference is that the 99% Declaration folks are pushing for a representational democracy (voting, delegates etc) and OWS is pushing for direct democracy (consensus building)” Says who? You? A handful of people , unknown to the rest of the world, who stand in a park in NYC?

            When will you realize that there is only one way out of this conundrum the NYCGA is in. The NYCGA must publicly acquiesce to a National GA that can clearly represent all Americans. Then on to the GGA.

            And one more thing, what about those funds collected in the name of the mass movement known as OWS. Exactly where is the consensus on what those funds are used for. Exclusively in the NYCGA correct?

          • Lopi

            David, Others may think we are the headquarters for OWS, but I assure you those of us who are working our asses off over here do not think that, of course I cant speak for others, but from the people I know, they never promote this as such.
            We are not trying to tell others in the country or world how to run their assemblies

            Says Who? Our general assembly. Namely the NYCGA, the people that formed this website that your group wants to surf upon false pretense.

            If you want to belittle the NYCGA to one park, zoo cotti or Liberty, that’s fine. I am fine with that. We are tiny and insignificant. go ahead with your bad self, man. You don’t need us, we are nobody, so why are you fighting so hard to get on the website we formed to deal with the working groups that operate the NYCGA in our tiny park, that is full of piggies.

            I just wrap my mind around why you and others deride the NYCGA so much yet at the same time want to be part of us so badly. If you think we are a bunch of arrogant fucks who think we rule the world, why the hell do you want to be part of that???

            of course, we are not, I mean, we the exceptions of maybe 5 people. ha ha (that was a joke) (oh never mind you wouldnt get it)

          • James Sanders

            Hey Lopi..why do you assume that David is part of us when maybe they’re not? Maybe they just seen this and decided to say something because they have issue with it and maybe are part of YOUR group or another Occupy? I don’t see you even bother to ask, you just make an assumption. I have no clue who they are as I don’t know every member of our group..but it seems obvious you’re making assumptions that just might not be accurate.

          • dicey troop

            the group was “founded by members of the NYCGA”? no, it wasn’t.

            folks who commute to new york to propose to our GA are doing it wrong. occupy *your communities* and build *your own voice*. if someone here is into it, someone *here* can support your ideas.

        • Sam McKay

          The truth of the matter is that with current voting systems a direct democracy for the entire country is NOT possible – how do you expect to collect 300 million points of view and ascertain a consensus?

          However, I’ve stumbled upon one way that we might be able to accomplish it, and am attempting to start development of an application based on the theory that could be used in the future.

          The theory is here if you are curious:
          http://zelea.com/project/votorola/d/theory.xht#medium

          The 99% Declaration group is working together to achieve our common goals including the creation of such a voting system. We are open to suggestion and input from ALL Americans, so rather than bash it and break it down, I implore you to work with us to accomplish that which can only be accomplished TOGETHER.

          • Lopi

            this proposal is simple, its about the website.

            if you dont agree about consensus, then do not work with the NYCGA but rather work with the 99% Declaration group.

            You know the thing about respecting differences? this applies here.

            If we were talking about religions, you would not be trying to convert me to yours, I hope.
            So, we can agree to disagree and respect each other choices.

            My choice is with consensus building. And Non-violence.

          • s.t.

            Sam, one could make a solid argument that a true representative democracy is also NOT possible with the current voting systems we have in place, along with the tendency in human nature for people to act in their own self-interest vs. the interests of the people that they are supposed to represent.

            the interesting thing about direct democracy is that it cuts out the middleman. of course, it opens up an entirely new set of problems, including the tendency of humans to engage in groupthink (see the Asch experiment for example).

            i personally salute & respect your efforts to make representative democracy more representative. however, there are many of us that choose to approach this problem from a completely different angle. where the eventual sweet spot may be is a symbiosis between the two. have you explored sociocracy at all? this is the closest fusion of the two approaches that i have yet to find.

            whatever approach we each decide to take, we all must be cautious to not spin our wheels reinventing the wheel. unfortunately (or fortunately) we occupy a time where there is little to be wasted.

            “We are now faced with the fact that tomorrow is today. We are confronted with the fierce urgency of now. In this unfolding conundrum of life and history there is such a thing as being too late. Procrastination is still the thief of time. Life often leaves us standing bare, naked and dejected with a lost opportunity.”

            - MLK, Riverside Church, 1967

        • Jondean

          Why do you say “these two principles are at odds with each other”? It is quite clear to me that these two principles must work together with each other! Point of fact: even within OWS there is the use of “representational democracy”, as one or however many people would go to represent our group at the GA…all of our members do not live in NYC, but rather Nationwide. Within our specific group, we do use consensus building, and all members have a voice. These two principles work together very well, when used with honor and integrity. If our Government, a representational democracy, was not flooded and bogged down with corruption and greed and instead worked directly for the People, what quarrel could you have with it? If it’s members were focused wholly on the good of the Nation, and not on lining their pockets….how would that take away from consensus building? Would such a government work to stifle it’s constituents free political expression?….probably not. To that end, we are Indeed an OWS Working Group, and are working towards the same goals held dear by OWS.

          Your use of “they” and “ride on our coat tails” language is dangerous. It separates the 99%…because We Are Also Part Of The 99%. I, myself, have marched in solidarity with OWS and on one of the coldest days this year in the sleet and snow, I was in Zucotti Park with my family, in solidarity….as well as donating items to the comfort station. To suggest that I have no place in OWS, or that I work in opposition to OWS is hurtful and exclusionary. It also has the effect of turning OWS into an excusive club, that not all may enjoy.

          If we were talking about religions, I would want for us to be able to pray to our respective deities together, in the same space, in peace.

          • Liz

            Well said! Parallel strategies with common goals only lends more support to push for change! Everyone in the 99% must push for change in whatever way works for them.

          • Lopi

            that is all fine and good, but I stand by what I said.

            Representational democracy does not work within the framework of Direct Democracy or Consensus building.
            In a voting system, the minority looses a voice.
            In consensus the minority voice is equal

            As I keep saying, a diversity of tactics is GREAT

            So keep practicing your religion, make a website for 99% Declaration and have at it!

            We are not on the same page on a very fundamental, core issue. I am sure there are many other principles where we overlap.
            This is why people form autonomous affinity groups. These are not under the body of the NYC GA. So they ought not be on the NYC GA website

            If you do not live in NYC, form a legislative or decision making body in your region that you feel good about.

            What’s the problem? I don’t see a problem. Forge ahead! Go for it!

            If you prefer voting, go with 99% Declaration
            If you prefer consensus stay with us
            if you are bisexual, sleep around!

          • David Andrew

            I placed the above in reply to LOPI and it appeared in the wrong place. Why do some comments not have reply buttons?

          • James Sanders

            They do David, but you have to go to the top level of the indent to use them..just like I did with this one. I hope this helps you =)

    • fran

      we must come together…45 million Americans are living in poverty while CEO pay went up 27%…..we need to come together now….we can’t wait anymore…stop fighting and get our shit together!!!!

    • Michael Pollok

      I just found out about this. We are putting down the deposit to reserve the venue in Philadelphia tomorrow. It is a state of the art facility that can accommodate 900 people. We are providing this facility to the delegates and take no position on what they create. If they complete a petition for a redress of grievances, we have a permit for the delegates to march to Independence Hall and sign the petition publicly. All of our finances are completely transparent and we display our donation at least three times a week. We began as a small working group at OWS in Zuccotti Park and we now have more than 6000 online members. We have followed all of the requirements to become and remain a working group. We have no submitted our suggested grievances and solutions because there has been no consensus on whether to even make demands. Our “demands” are only suggestions for the 876 delegates to consider. We ask you to think carefully about what you are doing and have members from all of the Occupy groups register as delegates to attend the National General Assembly in Philadelphia from 7-2 to 7-4. You may register here: http://www.the99declaration.org We did a radio show yesterday to discuss the 99% Declaration so may you should listen for yourself rather than base your decision on the uninformed statements of people who have no connection to our working group. Why you would want to alienate 6000 motivated members of the 99% is beyond me. You may listen to the show here: http://www.progressiveradionetwork.com/occupied-territory

      We are working on a new television commercial and an article in a major news magazine. We also have additional media appearances coming up in January so we hope you listen and find out what we are really about.

    • Michael Pollok

      Why were we not invited to speak on this proposal? That does not seem very democratic? Why do you claim to be democratic but act like a corporate oligarchy?

  2. Daryl Atamanyk

    Continuing the above comment I made, I’d like to give an example of my concern:

    For example: the group called MILLION OCCUPIERS MARCH COMMITTEE professes to be “independent.” However, 99% group was a moderator for the COMMITTEE group [although suddenly just now the "99% group" has ceased to be a visible moderator for the COMMITTEE (I don't know if 99% got removed; or if this is a reflection of 99% now trying to hide its involvement in that COMMITTEE group: I'd like someone on the ground at OWS to pose that question)]

    And so I went so far as to post in one of the COMMITTEE’s forums the following concern of mine in regards to the marches of millions the COMMITTEE proposes to facilitate for July 4th. My post began:

    “I would feel infinitely more confident with the marches’ do-ability if the OWS NYC General Assembly arrived at consensus to put out the call to the nation as a whole that these marches…or one HUGE march on DC…was on. [Google search: Kumbh Mela Wikipedia] OWS remains unquestionably THE DOMINANT BRAND.”

    And my post ended partly with the following:

    Lastly, I’m still concerned with march(es) “to what end?”

    Is this initiative ultimately in support of an OCCUPY POLITICAL PARTY? Or is it in support of an AUTONOMOUS OCCUPY FORCE OF NATIONAL CONSCIENCE? …an ongoing form of watchdog, if you will, but not an actual political party.

    And why are the marches not coming together as one to leave behind a genuine NATIONAL GENERAL ASSEMBLY that continues the use of the process of consensus? Or is this some kind of “power play” by some group or another who have designs on taking the reins of power in the movement, and directing the movement according to their group’s egos’ whims, rather than humbly bow to the power of consensus?

    So the above was extracted from the post I placed on the COMMITTEE forum thread.

    Yes please do get to the bottom of this very vital matter: WHO HAS THE NUMBERS HOLDS THE HAMMER!

    I hope OWS understands this.

  3. Daryl Atamanyk

    If OWS doesn’t “go for the numbers” OWS … will… fail…in the big picture.

    Those loyal to OWS have laid out an OWS GRAND STRATEGY to do what OWS has to do in the spring of 2012. That OWS GRAND STRATEGY is laid out in the forum entitled OUR MORAL CONDITION in VISIONS AND GOALS.

    Dear MOVEMENT BUILDING people: please get up to speed on the OWS GRAND STRATEGY by reading the open string of the two forums entitled OUR MORAL CONDITION (one string got censored and closed). You snooze, you lose, mi amigos. Time is getting on…

    Don’t get half-hearted on us now…

  4. Robert Gahtan

    At this stage of it’s development many ways can build the Occupy Movement. However, I think that the best approach to reach out and recruit millions of citizens to it’s banner,is that of Teach ins. Teach-ins will attract those who are open to new ideas and already have sympathy for the movement. Teach-ins can feature well known speakers (Robert Reich, Michael Moore etc.) that in turn attract new recruits. Teach-ins also have the valuable effect of educating our own membership on. Teach-ins also make it safe for newbies to come to the movement. Teach-ins also assert and protect our right of free speech and assembly. This is not a really new idea, to those who had experience in movement building in the sixties. Please Google “Occupy Teach ins “

    • James Sanders

      Robert..no disrespect intended..and I agree that teach ins are WONDERFUL..but..what about all the people missed that can’t PHYSICALLY be at a teach in? To support OWS/Occupy..does someone have to be physically present to support it? How many thousands or millions are you missing if teach ins is the only focus? OK..maybe I misread into your words a bit there because you don’t say it’s the only, but you do say the best. All I’m saying is this, we have a group that has 5000-6000 members..many of which support OWS/Occupy by wondering different comment areas and propaganda mills trying to provide a more accurate slant of OWS/Occupy, defend bashing and unfounded allegations against OWS/Occupy etc. It’s up to OWS/Occupy what they’re going to do with these facts. Are you going to keep being counterproductive to both efforts, which are similar dreams and goals we both share, through promoting to OWS/Occupy that 99% should be “not supported”..which in turn sends zealots and radicals to our site to bash some of the very people that support OWS/Occupy to LOOSE support..or are you going to look at our similarities and welcome us with open arms like we’ve done you DESPITE your radicals and zealots that come to beat us on our websites..like Jack here on this page and his friends?

      • Liz

        If I am reading this correctly, you are saying welcome groups and efforts that share common interests, particularly because of geographic restraints. I couldn’t agree more. I am inWashington. I have no idea what you folks are doing in New York, and I certainly do not think you represent me. The99D is a set of areas I would like to see change in. If you folks want to change those areas too, then lets get to work! If not, nice knowing ya.

        • Greta Ann

          Liz, I couldn’t agree more with you. I also am not in NYC and have no clue on what they are doing there other than what I see on the net. I often asked the 99D why the Occupy groups can’t come together. The ideals within the Declaration are on task, in my opinion.

        • David Mauriello

          awesome, we all have a common goal, change for the better. We must continue to move toward thats goal. Together united we’ll never becar defeated!

  5. Robert Segal

    Does the money solicited go into the General Fund? If so, what’s the problem. OWS welcomes all announcements calling for donations, regardless of who’s asking.

    If solicited money does NOT go into our General Fund, then, by all means, sever any apparent relationship.

    Who is this Daryl whatisface and what’s his problem?

    • Jackrabbit

      99D is soliciting money for its own campaign that has been organized without any input from the NYC GA.

      • James Sanders

        Bullcrap Jack..this thing was offered OPENLY as a GIFT to OWS/Occupy. You guys shunned it. You turned it down. You told it to go away. So it DID so. Then, it worked on it’s own because it had a dream, just as you all have. Now, you want to bash and discredit it. You had your opportunity. It’s in the cause of the greater good, and 5000-6000 members support it. Some of those members support OWS..but people like Jack there that come to the group pages to bludgeon and beat us down..the very same people that support you..and others like Jack there..well..you tell me why OWS/Occupy is getting some bad opinion.

        • James Sanders

          Oh, and no, it doesn’t go to your funds. Why? You don’t support us nor have you offered to help and back our costs in what we’re doing. Why should the donations go into yours? HOWEVER..with 5000-6000 members..have THOSE people donated to your fund? I’d say with the way they support and believe in you, and US, yeah, they’ve done that.

          • Lopi

            Good Sir. Hello.
            Obviously, there is some contention in this discourse.
            Allow me if you will to point out that there is an elephant in the room

            If the 99% declaration people have a dream that is not the same dream that the ows people have, or better stated, we have similar dreams but the means to achieve these dreams are split at the seams, perhaps it would be better to stop using our memes.

            Was that prose too vague? Ok, allow me to reiterate.

            There is an underlying principle that is at odds betwixt the two.
            99% Declaration is all about changing the system using the system in place
            OWS is all about changing the system by creating a new model.

            These are not the same means. So, of course there is going to be contention in the discourse. This group does not belong within our structure because they are using a different structure. It’s suspect when a group with core principles that are out of whack with the core principles of another, larger group (with more popular appeal, more name recognition)
            is gathering money that does not go into the GF of OWS

            So, we said we don’t want the money. That means we do not want to be aligned with the politics of the 99% because we are, at the core, out of alignment with this group.
            If you know anything about bicycle wheels, if one spoke is out of alignment, it throws the whole group off. To maintain INTEGRITY it is IMPERATIVE that all spokes be in alignment

            SO, in conclusion, 99% declaration group ought to go on it’s merry way and keep up the good work, but do it on their own wave of popular appeal, not on the wave ows is hanging ten on

            peace out

          • James Sanders

            And I welcome you..once more..to see what I said above..and below..about words, terminology, and definition.

          • Lopi

            No, it’s simple. The 99% Declaration Group is not working within the NYCGA, so as such, ought not be listed on our website. Terminology, definitions are not the point.

            Stop trying to muddy the water.

            It’s Clear. And Simple.

            The group, the 99% Declaration, is not working within the agreed upon framework of the NYCGA, they are not part of the NYCGA, they do not give funds to the NYCGA, they ought not be listed on the NYCGA website.

            Blam. End of story. Finito.

          • Sam Redman

            I agree with Lopi.

            My choice is with consensus building and non-violence the keys to a new course for America. It’s not about terminology it is about philosophy. It’s about revolution versus reformation.

            The 99% group should not be listed on he NYCGA website.

        • theky99

          Here, here James. I agree. It is in the best interests of BOTH groups to UNITE. I have been to the Occupy/Cincy at Piatt Park in Cincinnati, Ohio and I will say that I saw people carrying the US Flag, I saw people carrying the Flag for Communism, I saw Union Flags, and I saw “solidarity” Flags. There were former Republicans, as well as Democrats, and Independents…BUT the one thing we ALL had in common was the rage toward the current situation in Government, with the common rallying cry that says “Someone (like ALL of us), should do something. OWS/Occupy needs to accept this open hand of brotherhood for a common goal to restore Constitutional Integrity for ALL Americans. I support the Occupy Movement, and I full well realize that The 99 Declaration was a direct result of that movement. The movement will spawn all sorts of groups, and will evolve itself, but what we all share is the same heart for freedom and Democracy. Offereing verbal support will turn out to be much better than withdrawing it, for both groups. 99

        • dicey troop

          a “gift”? sorry, but a) gifts aren’t part of our collaborative consensus process and b) you want to *hijack* our voice for your own purposes. stop representing yourselves as part of OWS.

  6. James Sanders

    And you base your allegations on consensus from what supporting proof to back up your allegations? Because your word and suggestion of such is law or above reproach in some way? That goes for ANY of your allegations above. Have you bothered to look around the OPEN group pages on FB? Have you bothered to scroll through the numerous votes posted before ANYTHING is done there? Yes, I AM a member of this group. Yes, I HAVE spent months looking into things both OWS/Occupy related AND this group. What saddens me the most is the paranoia exhibited by so many OWS/Occupy members, and this right here is just an example of WHY that happens. Oh, and before anyone starts bashing me for being a group member, I’m one of those 99% you supposedly fight for. I’m also one of those 99% that has gone around numerous boards and comment sections DEFENDING YOUR actions. The final thing that saddens me, is the pissing contests going on to control and take credit for where the 99% declaration comes from, because it IS an ideal in the present examples that MANY of your promote, and the group itself has already posted repeatedly on their FB group pages AND their “About” page that we are NOT OWS/Occupy..but we have similar goals, and we support you. Thanks for that return of support with things like this. We’re on the same side..can we stop pissing and moaning about who’s idea it is and stop trying to discredit something that IS in the cause of the greater good? How can ANY of you say you speak for the 99% of the people if you’re going to trash a group like this one without doing your own research before making outlandish allegations that are easily DISPROVED with a little bit of time and effort. Transparency in this group is there..but it’s still fledgling..and it’s taking time to get the FULL transparency in place. Can we stop with the paranoia?

    • s.t.

      hi James, question for you: does this working group have regular group meetings in NYC that are open to public and for which minutes are posted on the NYC GA website so that we can determine for ourselves the legitimacy of these allegations and your rebuttal?

      • James Sanders

        i will have to presently defer that part of your question and ask that someone in the know come back to this page and answer that for you. What I CAN offer you at this point..is that facebook..if you think about it..is a kind of OPEN meeting. So now, we’re going to place “physical” limitations on things? Is it not a meeting when information is provided openly in a venue to allow people to debate at their leisure? Is it not open and transparent when those groups are also open to the public? Is it not open when, after such points, nothing is done until put to vote? Is voting not democratic?

        • s.t.

          thanks for your answers James & Paula. it was not clear to me how you arrived at decisions, so thanks for clarifying that for me.

          re: is voting not democratic? it is, WHEN (and if & only when) the voting mechanisms are open & transparent. (see Russia for exhibit A.)

          re: OPEN meetings, wholeheartedly agree with your idea of opening up boundaries, physical & otherwise. however, since the organization as it stands is constrained by physical limitations, it doesn’t seem unreasonable to also hold meetings in the physical area of where the organization exists in order to complement the online discussion.

          also, i don’t do facebook, for a # of reasons, including not trusting their security measures and their relationship with Goldie Sacks. so i guess i’m shut out of your group then (at least for the time being).

          btw, if i were in your group, i would propose that the convention be held in Poughkeepsie NY, instead of Philadelphia, where the NY State Ratification Convention was held, which resisted the hardball tactics of the tryrannical Federalists and out of which was drafted what came to be known as the Bill of Rights.

          modeling a convention after a constitutional convention which was boycotted by the most staunch defenders of liberty at the time, including Thomas Jefferson, Thomas Paine & Patrick Henry, does not seem to be in the spirit of inclusiveness. however this opinion is irrelevant, since i don’t do facebook and thus don’t have the ability to have a voice in your group.

          cheers.

          • James Sanders

            s.t. I would humbly invite you to the website..we are working on increased functionality there..and for the record..the “declaration” as it sits is a SUGGESTED REPRESENTATION of what a final MIGHT look like..nothing more..nothing less. It was to illustrate the final outcome and goal we have, which is an effort for the people and of the people just like our forefathers envisioned with the Declaration they created. As such..besides these points..we are a FACILITATION GROUP ONLY. Our intent is to provide the means and mechanisms for the public to ELECT delegates to represent them in the writing of a new declaration of grievances against our government. We take no party nor affiliation sides in this endeavor. It is an OPEN process..ANY party/non party can run for delegate election. At the end of that election, we will provide the “work area” for said elected delegates to create this new declaration. After completion, we will serve it as a LEGAL DOCUMENT to ALL three branches of our government..and will provide copies to EVERY CANDIDATE running for election coming up. After such, we will maintain record of elected delegates as a potential poll should clause V of the declaration be enacted. At such time, that would mean government’s refusal of redress, and we’d support running/supporting our own delegates in the next elections. That is the basics of our group and what it’s doing. It is about change for the better and the greater good, hence why the 99% applies to it.

          • Sam McKay

            Not being on facebook does not prevent you from playing a role within the group. There is a separate website and functionality is being added constantly.

            This group is still in its infancy and growing pains are to be expected. Feel free to voice your opinion on the location of the assembly within the working groups on the site (which should be back up in 12-24 hrs).

            http://www.the99declaration.org/

            In the meantime, the original site can be referenced here:

            https://sites.google.com/site/the99percentdeclaration/

          • s.t.

            thanks for the clarification gentlemen. apologies if there were any assumptions implied to the contrary in the above response.

          • James Sanders

            Naaa s.t. No apologies needed on YOUR behalf..however..I take GREAT issues with the derisive and defamatory remarks in the post by Leo. I’m sorry, but it’s quite blatant in my humble opinion when things are readily out in the open. There seems to be a group of influence within your ranks that want to smash this down. I do not know their motives, but I suspect ego and power struggles are involved. I offer this claim with this supporting reasoning. I have seen GA leaders that follow our pages post comments in surprise that various other GA’s are considering our group and goals. Why are they surprised? They are surprised because when they have mentioned our group to other GA’s, and unfortunately, I do not know which ones, they are told “We don’t support that”. There seems to OBVIOUSLY be something in the OWS/Occupy grape vine motivated somehow at this point towards that squashing ends I mentioned. As a group member, knowing the commonalities between OWS/Occupy/99%, I can’t help but question why such actions are taking place. If nothing else, maybe something you and other free thinking people here might want to look into.

        • dicey troop

          * facebook is not part of #OWS. facebook is not somewhere you can participate in the consensus process of *this occupation*.

          * we don’t want to quash what you’re doing, but we do want you to leave us out of it. we are a *horizontal* movement. it is completely inappropriate and totally disrespectful to advocate for a vertical (and highly problematic) process while wearing our colors. we want to quash *that*, yes. your whole program is a malicious attack on our community and our values.

          • Sally Marks

            You might want to rethink your use of ‘we’.

            As far as I can tell, you speak for yourself, not everyone, unless you have had a consensus done. If you have and I have missed it, please, provide a link to it and I’ll be more than happy to issue a retraction.

          • dicey troop

            I speak for myself but since I’ve been to almost every GA since October 12th I can give you an honest and accurate assessment of where we’re at on things like this. We routinely send any proposals that are either reformist or generally co-optive packing. This comes from dozens of consensuses expressed at the NYCGA.

            Regardless, when I say “we”, I’m talking about everyone from OWS who has commented on this page or to whom I have spoken about this in real life. Each occupation makes its own decisions.

            The reason Michael has shunned and disrespected our process is because this document could never have come out of it. The plan that emerges from OWS already exists and is evolving of its own volition. And if and when we do come up with a structured proposal for scaling up, through our consensus process, it will be true to our values and tuned by countless voices in real-time, livestreamed.

      • Paula Smith

        99% Declaration does not have regular meetings in NYC because the members live all over the country. We communicate online through our open Facebook group for the time being while our website is being completed. As James Sanders stated, all major decisions are discussed and voted on.

        • Amber Bowman

          And disscusions,debates,and polling keep going around the clock from coast to coast. All in the open for all to see.

        • Susan Carrier

          The 99% Declaration is the only group oriented toward change that I have come across that actually is doing something specific to faciliate that change to actually occur. It is not local to a particular area – a factor that functionally excludes any person who is not from a particular local area – but has opened itself to a potentially far broader membership. To affect change on a government, which is a Constitutional entity, by utilizing Constitutional means seems the epitome of a sensible approach and completely in line with the generally accepted vision of our founding fathers – perhaps not of each and every one, but as it turns out, consistent with the majority who went on to found this country of ours.

          I don’t believe we want the equivalent of an “Arab Spring” to occur in this country. That kind of chaos would open the door to subversion by hired guns who might infiltrate into leadership positions and actually end things up being far worse than they are today. THere is massive money and profit behind the way things are today, and there is no way those folks who have the most to lose are going to sit around and watch chaos occur without getting in there and taking on as much power and control as they can, so that when the dust settles, they are still in the positions of power – even if those positions look different.

          We can fight among ourselves and quibble about we want to do it this way or that way, but what we really need to be doing, in my opinion, is joining together and bringing a strong, organized, recognizable, legally defined presence to the table of change. You bet your bottom dollar they are meeting in furious fashion to put a strong organized face on the status quo that is being threatened. You don’t put a herd of cats in the ring with a well trained fighting dog and expect much of an chance of success.

          Lets get it together, utilize a structure and get on with the changes that are needed to put this country we call home back on the right path to caring for 100% of its citizens.

  7. James Sanders

    I would propose a final question. So now..OWS/Occupy has the trademark and ownership on words? The terms used are very specific to the very definition of what the 99% group is about. So before you start with the “we own that” argument..how about this one..find out what the group is about..then you suggest openly a just as good or better idea for the language used while maintaining the spirit/intention of the group and goals. If you can’t do that, then guess what, you have no right to SUGGEST co-opt etc..because at that point..it’s terminology, words, and definitions YOU DO NOT OWN. Think about it.

    • Liz

      are you kidding me? Someone is saying they have patented these phrases and another personcannot use them? Hypocrites!!!!!!!

      Over here in Seattle, the Seahawks had to pay a hefty sum of money for the right to use the phrase The 12th Man. It was patented by some college. So, you see, these types of quarrels belong with the 1%.

      • Lopi

        No Dear, it’s not about phrases. It’s about guiding principles.
        It’s also a simple matter of logistics.

        This is the NYC General Assemblies website. All of the working groups listed here are functioning members within the NYC General Asssembly. We all report back to the General Assembly and have functions specific to our region. Also we cross pollenate between the groups that are all under the same roof so to speak.

        This other group, for whatever reason, is listed on this website. They do not function under the same roof. They do not meet in NYC, they do not participate with our GA and they do not utilize the same basic principles that all the other working groups listed on this website utilize.

        There fore they ought not be listed. It’s not a proprietary matter. It’s a collective model and they don’t fit in the framework of this collective in many ways.

        We are simply asking for integrity to be upheld.

        There are many groups across the US doing great work. They are not all listed on this website because this website is, as I stated already, an umbrella or roof for the NYC, Liberty Plaza GA. Not the bronx, not brooklyn, not queens although all of those entities are in solidarity with us

        I hope this had made things more clear for you

        thanks for listening

    • Monica McLaughlin

      Trademark rights have been applied for.

      Trademark/Service Mark Application, Principal Register
      Serial Number: 85454550
      Filing Date: 10/24/2011
      NAME OF ALL GENERAL PARTNERS, ACTIVE MEMBERS, INDIVIDUAL, TRUSTEES, OR EXECUTORS, AND CITIZENSHIP/ INCORPORATION: Victoria Sobel (US), Pete Dutro (US)
      MISCELLANEOUS STATEMENT
      To the extent that it is possible, this application is intended to vest trademark rights in “Occupy Wall Street” in the unincorporated association “Occupy Wall Street” as a whole, not in the individual applicants as joint applicants per se. Any uses of the “Occupy Wall Street” mark herein claimed are and will be authorized by the majority vote of the General Assembly of Occupy Wall Street or a duly designated agent or agents thereof.

      • James Sanders

        Umm..we don’t call ourselves OWS..we firmly explain the history of us..so just out of curiosity so I can verify for myself..where is a “listing” of such marks? Just so I’m aware and can compare.

      • Lopi

        the trademark is to protect us from being sued by other people who start using it to make profit and then claim that we have been infringing upon their trademark rights.

        everything can be slanted to support insinuations. Just ask Fox News.

        • James Sanders

          I know I’m quite aware of what it is..but that is not my question. My question is I want to see a list so I can IDENTIFY how we’re “supposedly” infringing OWS/Occupy’s rights to such things as alleged in the initial post by Leo. Failure to provide such link does not afford me the ability to make such a comparison now does it?

  8. Sam McKay

    Fear and suspicion are not constructive to the consolidation of the American people in an effort to propagate change. The effects of power and control are becoming more and more evident, even within the Occupy movement, when we start focusing on differences and pointing the finger at one another.

    We MUST learn to get past minor differences in opinion and WORK TOGETHER if we ever hope to change anything.

    Spend less time looking for ways to single out those who have a slightly different opinion than you, and instead focus on our common goals – eradicating the corporate state and the influence of money in the government.

    It appears to me that the 99% Declaration group is aiming for something bigger than occupying space and protesting to a government that would rather enact a police state than listen and change their ways. Creating a better democratic system from scratch is no simple task, and there are many problems that need to be worked out.

    I for one admire the initiative that was taken to get this started. It seems to be a well-conceived notion and a valid vehicle with which to instigate change. Instead of singling them out and writing them off, perhaps the Occupy movement and the NYCGA members should volunteer to HELP FIX THE PROBLEMS they see with it.

    We can’t let fear and suspicion guide our actions – if we allow that to happen, then we are no better than the corporations and wealthy politicians that seek to keep us down.

    • James Sanders

      I humbly thank you Sam for your words above, and in sentiment, I agree with you. I’m tired of this OWS/Occupy/99% divide..we’re ALL on the same team. Why? Because ALL of those groups have members of the 99% you say you champion. Once again, think about it.

    • Susan Carrier

      The 99% of us included in all flavors of America that is not the 1% with the money, power and control is equal to roughly 297,000,000 people. As a cohesive group, I would imagine we have the clout to make change happen. If you take this or that Occupy group and its individual supporters, group by group, they are not even a significant number of people up against even the roughly 3,000,000 that represents the 1%. What makes these smaller Occupy groups meaningful is they have galvanized a lot of attention and have raised a lot of consciousness – absolutely all to the good, vitally necessary, and even beginning to touch some of the few good folks in the Congress inspiring some legislation somewhat in line with redressing some of the current broken aspects of our Government. But folks, you can only sit in the park for a certain period of time before people who only touch your efforts through TV get lost in their own lives again and divert to the next news cycle or the next whatever it is that catches their attention and lose interest.

      This effort HAS to become cohesively national. It has to become available to all people no matter where they are in this country. People have to not sit passively watching what someone is doing in the park in Boston, Philly, NYC, Seattle and so many more places where people of principle are protesting and making their feelings known. A method has to be created to facilitate those people to come together with the whole in a way that allows them to remain in their lives, doing their own business of taking care of their families as they must, but still be able to participate in an actual way in the business of change.

      In my opinion, the 99% Declaration group, has as its stated purpose doing just that. I live in Maine. We have a few folks occupying the park in Portland and the park in our State Capital of Augusta – but other than their presence in the park and the lawsuit they are about to file trying to stave off the vote of City Council to not give them a permit to continue occupying the park, even our local news is not talking about their goals and values and desires for change. All they talk about is the occasional violence or robbery in the assembled group, the mess they are making of the park, and the fact that they are fighting to stay in the park as a First Amendment right (which it is, not to belittle them in any way for fighting for their right of peaceful assembly) but that is a different issue altogether than making true change in the way the 1% control and govern the rest of us.

      I think supporting the 99% Declaration group is a central pole around which a broader national group can be facilitated to become cohesive and take true action to form a slate of grievances and changes that need to be brought to the existing government for redress. It feels like the right way to honor and preserve Liberty in a country that was founded on the principles of Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness for all citizens.

  9. fran

    Stop fighting…this is bigger than egos….the 99 declaration is a draft and can be changed with everyone’s input…period…if you want change..run as a delegate…all progressive need to come together…its about our country…not about ourselves…..otherwise we lose everything

    • James Sanders

      Exactly Fran..I share your sentiments..and I thank you for your time and words.

    • theky99

      I agree with Liz as well. When I went to Occupy there was noone at the door checking my credentials.

    • dicey troop

      this is not our process and we do not consent to it. it really doesn’t matter how “open to change” it is (it’s not, though) because it has *NOTHING TO DO WITH OCCUPY WALL STREET*.

  10. jason cox

    bullshit. if you want to REALLTY affect change, you must embrace LAWMAKING. repeat after me: LAWMAKING. Say it again. I’m dissappointed with some of the OWSers/Occupiers who prefer to endlessly live in a world of protests, polling, pepper spray & permits, instead of work to actually CHANGE LAWS in all of our favor. Good riddance. We’d like to have you on board, but I can assure you, we are moving on without you.

    • Sam McKay

      This type of passionate response is understandable, but not constructive. Emotionally charged language incites an emotionally charged response (aka flame war). Let’s try to focus on solutions and the task at hand.

      We need to support each other and look past our minor differences in opinion. The TRUTH shall set us all free in the end.

      • Liz

        Good luck Sam. How will you spread the truth? According to CurrentTV news, the Occupy movement will not talk or work with lawmakers (in NY). So, they will never learn the truth. How are getting your truth to the public? Mainstream tv? WeALL know what kind of truth that is portraying. So, exactly what IS the plan, if you are going to avoid politics, existing lawmaking and policy options, and rely only on the media?

        • Lopi

          let us carry on, if you do not agree or think we are doing it wrong, carry on your way and together, with a diversity of tactics we will change the world

          we don’t have to agree on the tactics and we dont have to convince you that our ideas will work either.

          Allow people to disagree and to follow the path they believe will lead to solutions. Do not deride others paths but instead walk strongly upon your own chosen path. To stray from your path to attempt to convince others of the rightness of your route only delays your journey

    • theky99

      I talk to working-class people on a daily basis because I’m one of them; and they ALL (not some, ALL), tell me that they are growing tired of the same stuff from the Occupy movement…They want to see some organization that has to do with them. They are not comfortable with protesting, marching, etc. But they do want change, and feel that they are the 99%, which they are. But they feel better represented by someone like The 99 Declaration group than they do with Occupy. They hand of fellowship has been offered SEVERAL times by the 99%ers, and NY has slapped it away. Sad actually.

  11. Robert Segal

    Applause to all trying to raise funds to make the world a better place.

    That said, even though the bulk of the text accompanying this proposal is rather hostile to the 99% whatever-it-is group, and even though James has every right to come to the defense of his group, the actual proposal was pretty short:

    “This proposal is to remove the 99 declaration group presence on NYCGA.net and to announce publicly that the 99% Declaration does not represent Occupy Wall Street”

    OWS gets to clarify the non-representation issue, that’s fair (because it’s true — the 99% group is its own thing) and then we can debate the merits of whether to pop the 99% Working Group off this website based on whether it meets criteria (whatever those are) for being part of the General Assembly in New York.

    OWS has a central decision making body: The General Assembly in NY. Each working group, caucus, movement group, et cetera is defined by its responsibilities to our GA. If the 99% group is not a sub-group of the GA here in New York, it has no business being a W/G on this web site. It’s pretty simple.

    • James Sanders

      I can respect that Robert, and I agree if it’s a case where the group needs NYC representation or participation, I’m quite sure we have members that can facilitate that. I DO know that at least ONE of the founders was present in Zuccoti during the events up to just prior to the eviction. At that time, a return was prevented because of his help getting those arrested released, and other life situations. I am not presently aware of our group actions there since. Would it be safe to say that this debate becomes moot if we find a way to maintain a presence in NYC at the functions? If so, then I can try to help facilitate that end goal. I humbly await your reply.

      • Lopi

        OWS is not a representational model. We do not do delegates.
        The basic fundamental core issue that is at odds between the two groups as far as my opinion goes
        is that 99% Declaration is pushing to utilize a voting system and delegates ie representational
        and OWS is utilizing a consensus model which is very different from voting. Also, OWS is not presently pushing for delegates to represent us. (spokes is not representational. spokes rotate, when functioning correctly, they can also be instantaneously repealed if they are not voicing the opinion of all in the cluster, I know, I did it before :) )

        So, this said, it’s the core of the misalignment that this proposal addresses.

        Alot of us feel that this group should continue their work but stop using the OWS name, NOT out of some kind of proprietary claim to the name but because the UNDERLYING PRINCIPLES are at ODDS

        If the core issues are not in alignment, then there is no integrity in the decision to remain on the website.

        Your members may actually agree if they could stop feeling wronged by it and get that it a simple matter of having different guiding principles.

        If someone, out there, who knows not of either group, but who, feels in their heart and mind that there is something uncompelling in the current system of voting and they wished for a new system, such as a consensus model to be used, and then, they found out, about OWS and were glad and then, they found 99% declaration on the same website, don t you think it would be confusing for them?

        IT”S NOT THE SAME THING. Representational Government vs. Direct Democracy

        think about it

          • Lopi

            Stephan, I am not here to convince you or anyone else that consensus is the model to utilize. If you don’t like consensus, please, feel free to continue to use voting or any other method you think will work.

            This proposal is not a debate about consensus vs voting. This proposal is about whether a group that is listed on this website ought to be listed on this website.

            It’s rather simple. They are not working with the NYCGA, so why are they on the NYCGA website???

        • James Sanders

          Also, I’d like to challenge your notion of consensus building. If something is to affect the entire population, then how do we get that entire population into one area as a means to vote consensus as OWS/Occupy does through hand gestures? Even if you could, will it not be required that SOMEONE is trusted to count all those hands? I applaud OWS/Occupy for bringing things to attention. I applaud your strategies for making sure everyone’s voice is heard. I suggest that there are just situations where such methods will be highly impractical..and how will the methods dealing with those impracticality differ from the already present methods you no longer like?

          • Lopi

            James, As I have said already like 20 times on this thread. This proposal is not about challenging consensus building vs voting.

            This proposal is about whether the 99% Declaration Group belongs on the NYCGA website.

            You are welcome to not use consensus if you think it’s untenable. OWS, on the other hand, is committed to this model of decision making. If you do not agree with it, clearly you ought not be working with it. Why would you enter a group and try to change the very basis of the entire model? Practice voting within your autonomous group and stop trying to change our agreed upon mode of operation.

          • James Sanders

            Consensus if voting is it not? We operate similarly to how OWS/Occupy operates..we reach decisions the same way..so it would seem your issue is with the end product that we’re promoting? Just for clarity..because..as has been said different times throughout this page..NOTHING on the FB pages nor the actual website is done WITHOUT the members voting on it. Again..that’s CHANGING or TRYING to change OWS/Occupy how? It’s not. So your argument, on that, is moot. We vote before we do anything..on ALL issues. So again, I guess it all falls down to our end product?

          • Lopi

            Voting is not consensus, James. For reference, please read CT Butler’s book: “on conflict and consensus” http://www.ic.org/pnp/ocac/

            It’s not about being similar. It’s the basic difference. Voting is not Consensus.
            It’s just not the same thing!

            So, the fundamental difference is quite huge. Great that you vote on everything. Great!

            I personally would not feel comfortable being involved in decisions that involve voting as the only recourse. Minority voices are lost in that model

          • Urbaned

            And, Lopi, what will happen to OWS after we support this representational model? We will be forced to change. I think we’d never really achieve the nascent consensus model we are just beginning to fathom! Additionally, this whole debate is detracting us from moving ahead. It’s “drama,” and I think a lot of people like that! Kind of like “trolls?”

            The butterfly effect says that every action affects every other action. If we stick with the 99 here, it will surely change OWS–first, in the way we are all putting our energy in to it (although the discussion about voting is getting better), secondly, in doing the proposed Convention and not focusing on other work, (even if ONE person here does so) and thirdly, in the evolution of our movement.

        • Paula Smith

          I have no problem with OWS utilizing the consensus model, but you must understand that the majority of the 99% don’t share your views on that issue so you cannot claim that you are speaking for them. I’m sure the majority of Americans do NOT want to throw away the representative democracy set up by the Founders or they would have worked to change it over the last 235 years.

          I am immensely grateful to OWS for bringing attention to the cause and fully believe that there is more to be done in the way of protests and demonstrations, but it is time to move forward. Regardless of methodology, we all want to change the way things are done in Washington and should work together toward that end. I believe the primary grievance of most Americans is that our representatives represent the 1% rather than the other 99% of us, and there is no reason we should not be able to work together to change that.

    • Sam McKay

      The proposal wasn’t worded as simply (and neutrally) as you just put it. The derisive language and tone attacks the credibility of the 99% Declaration organization and is, in my opinion, unfounded.

      As it is a separate entity, I fully understand your point though. My point, on the other hand, is that although the 99% Declaration does not represent, speak for, or raise funding for the Occupy movement or the NYCGA, that should not prevent the groups from supporting each other and working together for a common goal.

      • dicey troop

        it’s not unfounded. it’s completely founded. this has been an attempt to hijack #OWS’ voice to further the cause of a singular vision. it’s an appalling breach of good faith and we reject it, its model, and its tactics.

  12. Sally Marks

    Someone once said (some Roman guy I think) ‘Divide and Conquer”. The more factions and lack of focus, the weaker the ideal becomes. Instead of looking reasons to be separate, you should be looking at reasons to be together.

  13. Dan Chilton

    I just jumped in here, and I’d like to offer my $.02 as an observer of this exchange.

    This caught my eye : “YOU DO NOT OWN” – 2nd person plural.

    If there was inclusive and true solidarity here; a mere miscommunication about a working group, then
    I wouldn’t expect to be reading questions of what “you own”
    As a matter of law trademarks that are so similar to another so as to cause confusion are generally considered to infringe on the original.
    As a matter of solidarity and support, I wonder why there is this apparent conflict of “we v. you” and “mine v. yours”.

    IMO – OWS has little in the way of legal framework for ownership of trademarks, and asserting property rights.
    and that seems antithetical to the spirit of OWS.

    James- I don’t know if you want ownership or credit or just recognition for your work on behalf of us (the 99%).
    I don’t know if you’re capitalizing on the name recognition of “99%”

    I suggest that there have been miscommunications, errors, missteps, and hurt feelings.
    If there is a seperate entity that needs to join OWS, then it should find a way to fit join in, contribute everything you’ve got, relinquish any property or branding claims and go with the flow.

    If you want to have your own thing outside OWS then you really need to distingish yourself from OWS. Brand yourself and your efforts differently and distinctly, like “The Sanders Group”, and don’t try to siphon off the the momentum OWS has created.

    If you want to contribute to what OWS is doing, my suggestion is to not require special handling, to not require time and effort to manage your quasi OWS efforts.

    I’m guessing that either way you choose will be fine, but dwelling in that in-between gray area is going to be detrimental to the good you’re both trying to do.

    Both sides, forget the missteps, decide if you’re together or apart.
    There’s too much to do. Don’t stop and fight about what ‘you own’.

    • James Sanders

      Dan..I mentioned that because that’s the normal argument that anyone bashing our group uses..that we shouldn’t have used this or that terminology because of XYZ. Please see my other statement on this page about similar subject. Personally, I don’t give a fat rat’s bottom WHO owns or gets credit. I DO, HOWEVER, question how members of OWS/Occupy can come and bash a group like ours yet tout they speak for the 99%? What am I? I surely don’t have millions or billions. Am I not one of the 99%? Do I not support OWS/Occupy? *yes, as a matter of fact I do* Does that clarify things for you Dan?

      • James Sanders

        Also..so it’s known..I’m not a founder of this group..I’m not much of ANYTHING to this group other than a member. Am I highly visible because of things I’m doing trying to help this group? Yes I am, but, all I am is a member taking action. Nothing more, nothing less, and I find this divide stupid. Just my humbler opinion. We’re on the same team here in the fact that we want better representation for our people, and we want a government that acts on their behalf like they once did and have failed to do so again for many many years.

        • s.t.

          “I’m not a founder of this group..I’m not much of ANYTHING to this group other than a member.”

          James, it should not matter whether you were the “founder” or just signed up yesterday. that’s the point.

          that it seems to matter, (implicitly, both in your above response and elsewhere that i’ve observed), is enough to warrant a concern, imho.

          remember, even in a “representative democracy”, representatives are public servants. that are NOT public servants, but rather serving their self-interests, is exactly the hypocrisy that should be addressed in our representative democracy.

          • James Sanders

            s.t. I can understand my concerns..but can you understand mine wanting people to know..I’m just one of you..I’m here taking action on behalf of something I believe in..just as you do? Please..I know you do not know me..and I can understand your “concerns”..I’m just addressing mine as a means to make sure ALL reading this know..I’m nothing “official”..just another Joe. I hope that made sense to you..as I read it..I might have been babbling so I ask to make sure. I am ALSO one that tries not to make assumptions..so if I didn’t say it or tell you..you don’t know..and I like trying to avoid miss-communication as much as possible. =)

          • James Sanders

            I can understand YOUR concerns* Dang..cold..lack of sleep..and typos. Sorry about that s.t. =)

          • s.t.

            and i understand yours, my friend. what i was attempting to address that your voice is as important and vital to your collective point as any others, regardless of your position in your movement. and that that position has been defined to us by forces that have imposed on all of us since birth.

            what we arguing at the moment is horizontal vs. vertical. what i would propose to everyone is that in arguing this, we are all limiting ourselves to a linear view of reality (a pyramid is a great example). perhaps instead, we should open up our collective mind to a curvilinear reality (a circle as an example).

            i.e. when you trace the boundary of a circle, you travel along both a horizontal and a vertical plane at the same time with every step.

          • James Sanders

            Thanks again s.t. and I see your points..and I agree as well. To me..what I’ve seen in this group..is what happens. The meetings are basically all the group members posting status discussions on all different sorts of things. If someone wants to add something..my usual suggestion is to post a status for discussion to see what the general mood is about the idea. From there, they get a feel for what the group wants, and if the choose, it then moves to a poll for a vote. Again, that’s the person with the idea doing this. Yes, some ask for assistance from me or another page admin in making things happen. Speaking for myself solely, when such requests are made, I do them. In the end, the results are completely then dependent on the vote within the poll. As opposed to OWS that does their voting based on those present..we let ours open for days on end before closing them and then go with the results via the vote. So, how different are we really than OWS other than the end product we’re promoting? As I’ve said, MANY made ASSUMPTIONS about what goes on there without taking any REAL time to come look and see. Those pages are open to the public.

    • Amber Bowman

      Dan this entity started in a ows working group and went national… not the other way around. It is difficult to separate when it’s roots and history started this way. I agree that this group does not behave like a GA and perhaps the label NGA is not an appropriate name and so I am actively advocating that we change it. Occupy

      • James Sanders

        Yes she is, and I tend to agree a bit with sentiments..but I see potential overlaps in wording and verbiage on the basic premise of defining what we are. As such, I’m sorry, but those wishing to think some other divisive insidious intent is the cause are simply not looking at the big picture. We need appropriate wording and verbiage to define what it is 99% is..and as such..that could mean the need to share some terminology.

  14. Marshall Davison

    Thank you James, Sam and Paula. IMHO, OWS seems to prefer to continue to engage in acts of civil disobedience to further their cause rather than specifying their grievances and doing something to get the government to address the issues. This is why I support The 99% Declaration. They are taking action to do so through attempting to ratify a concencous of grievances democratically and bring these issues to the government. This is something OWS has been unable or unwilling to do. Why hasn’t the Occupy movement come together, with all of their GAs, to establish a plan to get these issues addressed? Either get onboard with moving forward, or get off the train. The 99% Declaration would prefer to have your support, but if not, don’t try to impead their efforts.

    • James Sanders

      Exactly kind of Marshall..train..plane..bus..car..I don’t care. This group offered this to NYCGA on a silver platter..as a gift..and the infighting and bad blood from assumptions and allegations is just ridiculous. We have common ground. We have joint beliefs. We have similar dreams. We can either unite and become stronger, of the “influencial” within NYCGA/OWS/Occupy can continue to trample us like they have. It’s THEIR choice..but realize..in trampling us..just as your members coming to our websites and facebook pages to bash us..you ALIENATE some of the very people you look to for support. I’d humbly ask that you remember that.

    • dicey troop

      the #OCCUPY movement has many issues and demands. none of them are resolved with any kind of sustainability by this plan. we are not a representative democracy, we are direct democracy and that is essential to #OCCUPY. it takes *time* to build something fresh. there is no consensus at #OWS for resurrecting the corpse of the republic; it dug its own grave. it’s over.

  15. Sam Redman

    It seems rather apparent why the “leaders” of OWS would seek to disassociate OWS from the 99%
    group. They represent two diametrically opposed agendas.

    The OWS embraces the “consensus model of self-governance.” The OWS seeks to change our form of government from a representative democracy to a horizontal system of popular voting, sort of like the way the GA is intended to work (although the spokes council approach starts to make things look a bit like business as usual).

    The 99% group’s purpose is to elect delegates to present grieviances to the existing government.

    OWS is about (non violent) overthrow of the present government. The 99% group is about reformation of the current form of constitutional government.

    The twain shall never meet.

    • James Sanders

      Then I guess, OWS/Occupy are going to have a really rough road to hoe..because..most people are going to want to see present government fixed..not create a new government. So in that then, I wish you luck with it Sam. Good luck getting millions of people to want such a drastic change.

    • s.t.

      “OWS is about (non violent) overthrow of the present government.”

      that’s not true, Sam (see the P&ER group as an example), although you should be commended for exposing the struggle that exists within the movement under the surface.

      perhaps OWS is not a political movement at all per se, but rather a movement that seeks to expose those opaque flows between the social-political-economic nexuses that serve to enchain us all on a global scale. once those flows bubble up to the surface, obviously there is going to be conflict in how to redistribute the flows. that might be the point where we exist at this moment.

      • James Sanders

        Dang it s.t. You had me having to break out my dictionary again =)

    • stephan

      I thank everyone for their insights. This discussion is enlightening. I’m weighing in here….in my opinion, there’s no conflict between OWS and 99%. Different methodologies don’t have to mean separation, and I don’t agree that 99% is “siphoning off momentum” of OWS. There’s room for all. If you were at the Racial Justice workshop last night, in the discussion on Solutions to Aligning Principles, Practices and Politics for advancing Inclusion, Equity and Unity, it was stated as a method for unification that.instead of reacting and generating grievances, best to generate strategies and solutions. The GA is fantastic and unique and tons of people fight for it. I do….I want a consensus system for everyone. I think that it’s more inclusive than parliamentary process. But I won’t bash an effort to petition government with grievances and elected reps. All the more power to it… it should have more power from OWS, and it will bring more power back to OWS in the end. UNIFY.

      • Amber Bowman

        Thank you Stephan! We are looking for ways we can coexist instead of splinter. The language of the proposal Imo is inflammatory. We are real people who want whole government change.

      • theky99

        Hell, just look at the Republican nominees for crying out loud! One is a roman catholic, one is a presbyterian, two are mormons, I’m not sure what rick perry is, but it’s scary!, etc. But what they agree on is that THEY ALL are republicans, and as such share the common goal of defeating obama! Enough said, we are on the SAME SIDE!

        • Urbaned

          It’s probably not going to happen, James. So, offline – apart from OWS, I will watch and applaud the 99% Declaration. Heck, I might even vote for it. But, it’s not part of OWS.

  16. Marshall Davison

    BTW, as a side note, your proposition is written in a hostile and demeaning tone. This is not the way to collectively affect change. You have already brought down The 99% Declaration website, so what is the point? The damage is already done. I suggest your GA rethink their stance with respect to this proposition.

    • James Sanders

      Brought down the 99% website? No, we made a server move and are awaiting DNS propagation to catch up. Yes, it’s presently down. NO, it’s NOT permanently down. Or did I misunderstand something Marshall?

      • Marshall Davison

        Sorry, my misunderstanding. I thought the GA had some involvement in taking away use of a server. I appolgize if I misspoke erroneously.

        • James Sanders

          I cannot confirm nor deny that Marshall..as I do not know the FULL details..but I’d suggest it doesn’t matter anyways. We’re doing a server move..it’s almost complete..DNS should update within the next hours and at least by midnight or early morning. You are entitled to mistake..I had your back and set it straight. No worries =)

  17. John Crocker

    If someone can point me to any GA in the country that is actually considering a National Strategy to do something besides protest please let me know. Otherwise I’ll keep being supportng the 99% declaration. Also if someone can explain to me how GA and Concensus scales to reach groups of millions please point me to that information as well.

    • James Sanders

      Thank you John for your support..but I hope you will ALSO continue to support OWS/Occupy..after all..99% WAS a founded working group initially back in October..it WAS on this very site. We CAN provide member coverage physically if that is NYCGA’s wish. I now await their decisions on this..and will facilitate whatever I can in the process. Tanks for your time John.

  18. Karlie Cole

    I don’t see that these are opposing ideas. Both are ways to non-violently change our government. Working from a “Yes, AND” model both strategies should be employed. It is possible that what the 99% is doing could create a new alternative Congress, depending on how things develop, that is by the people and for the people. Having a structure for new government is important in revolution as we’ve seen in the revolutions in other countries. It is difficult to deal with the period of nothing when a government has been taken down. Not saying this is the stated goal or how things will transpire yet it is a possibility. Protesting is a necessary part and so is building the new.

  19. Karlie Cole

    Also, 99% is new and nearly all online. We are working as fast as we can to get technology in place to support consensus building and secure voting structures to do this online. It is not that way yet though it is a goal for development. Delegates will be elected and that part of the structure is representative – though I would say a far cry from what representative means in the current government as representatives will not be influenced by money and will be influenced by deep discussions with the people they will be representing. We are exploring many new models including Communicative Assent and Sociacracy (to name just a couple). There will be a Voting Working Group on the new website (amongst others) and all are welcome to participate in shaping a new way.

  20. Karlie Cole

    NYCGA had nothing to do with the server being down. We are simply moving to a more secure and faster server and DNS propagation can take up to 48 hours. We are reloading the new server right now. Hopefully it will be up later today. We apologize the inconvenience and any confusion that has arisen while we redo our system (not unlike the inconvenience and confusion that will arise as we redo our system of government – ;-)… though much smaller than that is and will be….

  21. Lopi

    The 99% Declaration Group does not represent NYCGA, does not share the Funds they collect with NYCGA, does not meet in NYC and Is not an operational, movement based working group or caucus. They are not a guild within a working group that currently works with the NYCGA

    There fore, why is it that they are still on the website? This website is for NYC working groups to co-ordinate their activities.

    NYCGA and OWS does not endorse any political party.

    NYCGA and OWS do not support a representational model of voting and delegates. This is the gist of the core difference. We utilize a form of direct democracy where every person has a voice. We do not vote, we build consensus.

    I support this proposal 100%

    Because it’s a simple difference of models that are not compatible.

    thanks for listening.

    • stephan

      then perhaps with that in mind, the GA could decide if they can remain on the website or be shunned.

      I think that if they re-word/amend their mission/purpose to read something about their respect for the founding principles of OWS and for the consensus (or consent) based process, or something, etc, etc, but they are trying to effect more immediate solutions etc, etc, in a representational structure etc etc, familiar to the majority of people etc, but that they do not adhere to representational democracy a a fixed ultimate goal.

      • Sam McKay

        Its about attempting to fix the problem from within by working within the bounds of the system we have at our disposal, while simultaneously creating a new system that accomplishes the goal of direct democracy through a more functional representative democracy than what is current in place.

        Direct democracy for 300 million people is not possible TODAY, but by working within our means now to address our concerns, while simultaneously working to create the system that WILL allow direct democracy to work, the 99% Declaration is doing everything possible to SOLVE THE PROBLEMS.

        http://zelea.com/project/votorola/d/theory.xht#medium

        Organizing small direct democracies that protest our current situation but that don’t offer a feasible alternative will never gain support from the actual 99% of Americans out there. The 1% will continue to discredit and imprison those who oppose them in this fashion. The only way this ends without violence is by fixing the problems from within the system we are stuck in.

        What frightens the 1% the most is that the 99% CAN VOTE. But our votes are meaningless as long as we remain divided.

        • s.t.

          “our votes are meaningless as long as we remain divided.”

          and as long as the votes themselves remain counted in a fashion that is not transparent to all of those who vote.

          you want incremental change Sam? occupy the fucking machines that count your damn vote without a verifiable paper trail. stop them from being delivered from your individual precincts. force the votes to be hand counted and triple-verified. that’s a start.

          and then invent a mind reader so that every one of us can be assured that the servant we elect does not go back on every single word that (s)he promised when hustling & bustling on the campaign trail. either that or pass a law that makes the penalty for breaking a promise by an elected official punishable by enforced nudity in a public square for a year. food, water & shelter & meds provided, ‘cuz we’re a compassionate people.

          please excuse my french but your insistence on not even dipping your toes into the Rubicon makes it quite difficult to build any sort of consensus on this issue.

          don’t be afraid, the water’s actually quite warm.

          • stephan

            or go back to putting people in stocks in pubic places and having rotten stuff or cheap perfume or dog shit thrown at them by anyone passing by. Or initiate a program called “toilet training for elected officials” focusing on getting them to pass their waste in composting toilets and not flinging it everywhere willy nilly all over public trust.. But WRT your suggestion for 99D about voting machines, if you read through their proposal, you’ll see that they are indeed trying to solve problems that include voting irregularities/failures. Another thing, what’s beguiling to me about objections in general here posted is the smokescreen that this is so different from OWS as to be destructive. But OWS has a political action working group associated with it listed on the site which is working to change present representational electoral process. Please explain to me what’s the difference?

        • Lopi

          hi guys,
          I am not saying “our way or the highway”
          I respect a diversity of tactics. We are trying to maintain integrity with the website, that’s a simple thing.
          Stephan, your suggestion is great and that is, I believe, what this proposal that has caused this discussion will decide.

          • stephan

            my problem is that it’s really mind boggling to read through the 99D structure on the website. It’s like taking an advanced math class. I get the impression, reading through the flo charts and diagrams, that the process is more than just a simple prima facie representational one. Please try to pare it down and make it clear what the working structure is. I’m not sure all the confusion isn’t caused by misinterpretation.

    • Amy Kozody

      I have been a supporter and follower of both OWS and 99%D and can understand the proposal to remove the group from the website, but I agree with others sentiments regarding the hostile tone of the proposal. And, as far as your statement that “We utilize a form of direct democracy where every person has a voice. We do not vote, we build consensus.”, well then, how do I have a voice there? I have to say, I feel much more present in the 99%D than I do OWS. From the posts in this thread, I am afraid that OWS will remain a NY movement while I believed it to be a national and even worldwide movement. If you want to remove the group from the website I think that is completely reasonable but, if you want to disparage the approach, then I question how you intend to speak for me or anyone else not present in NY.

  22. Dan Chilton

    I sense good will here, :) and
    miscommunication, and unclear guidance.
    Chalk it up to organic development, and growing pains.
    Suggest that both sides agree on some provisional plan or framework, until you can hammer out a final plan.
    **Try to define the framework of the relationship first, THEN try to resolve differences of opinion on particular issues later, if thats possible.
    (Put past missteps behind)
    ======
    Maybe its my grammar school training, or other’s lack of it, but direct democracy is very probematic and has difficulties being efficient and scaling up. I don’t think concensus can ever ‘scale up’ to a group larger than dozens.
    I don’t think it possible to get 500,000 people to all agree that the sun is shining much less getting 250,000,000 to agree on healthcare.
    I believe OWS will come to see the limitations of direct democracy on its own, and will drop the idea that the US constitution will be totally scrapped in favor of direct democracy.
    Best to try evolution before resorting to revolution.
    - My $.02

    • James Sanders

      Thanks Dan..I appreciate your kind and wise words..and yes..mostly agree. Hence the reason why we’ve reached out to OWS..including back in October when members WERE PHYSICALLY there. I’d just like to get the air cleared once and for all about the whole “riding OWS/Occupy coat tails” and the whole “co-opting” suggestions going on. It’s a simple matter of terminology that applies and needs to be shared between the two groups..if nothing else. In the end..I still feel that OWS/Occupy and 99% can work together..but with all the rhumors and allegations..and very little doing independent research or thinking on this..it’s really causing us additional growing pains when OWS/Occupy comes bashing down our “digital doorsteps” as a means to trash and discredit us..and I’m sorry..but that DOES happen. In coming here, did I degrade or bash anyone? I think in different spots I’ve mentioned my support of OWS/Occupy as well correct? Do I support ALL OWS/Occupy ideas? No, I don’t, some of the methods create collateral damage pissing off the very people they’re championing for. HOWEVER, I still believe in the core over all. All I’m asking for is some clearing of the air. That we get the SAME respect we give OWS/Occupy. I’d like to work together..but that’s going to be up to your members..just like it’s been up to our members as well. Thanks again for your time.

  23. Sam McKay

    Its understandable to want to separate somewhat on the basis of slightly different ideals and funding.

    But that does not mean that we can’t work together towards a common goal>

    It’s the slandering and outright denouncing of the 99% Declaration that I find to be unnecessary, uncalled for, and against the spirit in which both organizations supposedly stand for.

    If you want to dissociate, fine, but resorting to slander isn’t going to help anyone.

    It would be of good for both organizations to support one another in spite of their minor differences in support of the common goal of ENDING THE CORPORATE STATE.

  24. Dan Chilton

    Another thought. Not directly to the issue of ‘membership’ of 99D.

    If the GA decided ‘all must be done by our methods…’ how is it that at some future time when the movement grows in numbers, the authority extends to the new members that never voted?
    There’s a paradox here,
    if (for argument’s sake)
    most people joining OWS this month are okay with near consensus, or super majority or just majority, and
    the few who decided consesnus is THE way,
    then by what reason would the few have authority to determine the issue for the many?
    Should the issue come up for a vote? and would it have to be determined by consensus? And would a -minority- of holdouts block majority rule?

  25. Yoni Miller

    Many valuable comments have been made here. I think it is clear that “The 99%” group is filled with good intentions and many excellent ideas, but its models are just fundamentally different from the NYCGA. That said, it does not preclude a future co-existing relation, but in order for that relation to happen, there needs to be a future proposal to support and define such relation.

    To answer how OWS would have consensus building with millions of people, in a direct democracy, it doesn’t mean every single member has to be present. I do not participate in every single GA, but as a white male middle class person, my views are well represented in the GA. The way it differs from the Delegate system, is that I do not have to stick with any one leader (ie other random white male middle class people) because I can always go there, and be present if i feel a certain perspective is not present there. Indirect democracy provides for practical applications, but it loses out too much of the representation imo. In the future, where our national efforts can be tied up, I’d certainly perhaps support a national GA, but for now, we need to focus on local GA’s, because they’re the ones who actually get anything done.

    In order for them to have proper delegates, they should seek (in my opinion) the approval of the local GA if there is one.

  26. Lisa Rubenstein

    This is a terrific thread. I think that all of the points are valid and, that, through this discussion it is clear that OWS and 99% are two very different groups whose commonality is justice for all. But it is important to understand that the medium is the message; 99% are pursuing a political path whereas OWS is not. We are a social movement, and, at the moment we choose not to engage politically. We are not a revolution, but, rather an evolution; we don’t want to fix or change, we want transformation. This will not happen overnight – and that is great. We are not participating in a corporate quarterly calendar; we are planning for the long term.
    That being said, I think it is best to occur as two separate entities, primarily for the reasons already stated, but more importantly, there is a lot more power when the message(s) come from multiple sources. When numerous groups declare their dissatisfaction for the same reasons, it makes it difficult for the ‘powers that be’ to continue to feign ignorance.
    It is in both of our interests to separate and move forward with what feels right, independently. But it may also be in both of our best interests to continue the conversation.

    • Nanette Carter

      I truly think our voices will be better heard in mass numbers and not small choirs… Just imagine the sound of 1 million people standing together versus 10 groups of 10K? Just a thought… One candle can light a room – A million candles can illuminate the world!

  27. Dan Chilton

    -Common ground- ?
    If OWS wants the US government to be radically replaced, and 99D thinks it the system can/should be changed step by step, then perhaps ows’s can be seen as the goal, and 99D’s as the means.
    Radical change can occur over time. Sometimes slowly at first but progressing in stages as far as necessary.

    I see a role of changing the system from within, from protest, direct action civil disobedience and other means.

    If OWS is actually advocating a ‘reset’, a revolution, a peaceful overthrow, an outright break from the past, revoking the constitution and a sudden break from the past, then OWS is advocating a goal -and- a means, and I don’t see much common ground.

    If you’ll indulge this analogy:
    A patient seeking a cure tends to seek the least sugical, least invasive least disruptive cure, if that doesnt work, doses can increase, and other stronger measures can be applied as needed.

    But if you go flat out for revolution right out of the gate, you’ll alienate ‘moderates’ like myself, and you’ll probably get much much more pushback dissent and resistance at almost all levels.
    ====
    Finding a way to interact with autonomous affiliated groups may have the benefit of being more resistant to disruption infiltration and sabatoge.
    Triple that if you go for flat out for revolution.
    -My $.02

    • Jondean

      Thank you so much for your sentiments! I have expressed similar opinions here and elsewhere, and see all groups working together peacefully, and in unity, towards the same goals. There is no reason for divisiveness…let us all work together for the benefit of all!

      • Urbaned

        No, we cannot work with 99% Dec because it is possible that the Declaration and Convention is not in the best interest of OWS, and the idea was concocted before OWS started. They may get more support if they stop enmeshing themselves in this group and work autonomously. It would give OWS a chance to figure it out on our own. The same thing would be said if the Democrats, Republicans, Tea Partiers, or any other group tried to come in and say that their goals are in line with ours.

        • Jondean

          The 99%Dec is not an attempt to co-opt the larger OWS movement. To to so, would be to say that we know best…and we don’t. I don’t think any member of the 99%Dec would say such a thing. It would also say to all, that the work done by OWS was only to build a 3rd party…which would also be false. WE can recognise how valuable the work being done by OWS is, and we Celebrate that work! I am an OWS member, and have marched in solidarity with OWS…as have members of my family. Working with the 99%Dec WG is a way for me to create my own Change in my own way. I want to work towards a Government that will embrace OWS, Direct Democracy, and Consensus Building….not sic police on them, and write laws to detain them indefinitely for their social-political-economical expression. I want an America that is free of a tyranical oligarchy, and a government that works for the People, and enacts laws that ensure that the current horrific level of corruption does not happen again. What quarrel could you have with those who want to help shape a government free of corruption, and malice? And how would people working towards that end be any threat to OWS?

        • Karlie Cole

          Really? I thought OWS was about the 99% which includes Democrats, Republicans, Tea Partiers, black, white, green, men, women, whatever race or distinction you want to name and spaghetti monsters for goodness sake. Really? Why this feeling to separate out now as some kind of separate brand? If OWS does that (regardless of what 99% Declaration does) it’ll have little staying power at all. The strength is in the 99%.

        • Nanette Carter

          So this isn’t really about what is in the best interest of ALL AMERICANS only the OWS group? WOW! Sounds like the people inside the buildings of Wall Street – “it’s not about them…. only us….” Seriously… does OWS signs and voices not say “WE are the 99%”? I don’t see the signs that say “We are ONLY the Occupy Wall Street Group”

          This is so ridiculous – there is so MUCH work for ALL of US to do – TOGETHER!

          Our government has done a fine job of DIVIDE and CONQUER and that’s what this all sounds like… If you don’t play ball my way then you can’t play ball…

          As I understand the grievances are those that originated in the OWS movement as of last September… So who in the OWS movement has taken the lead to decide who can or can not work on this movement to help move it forward and under what circumstances those efforts can be conducted?

          • James Sanders

            Oh..tons..so now it’s back to the obvious ego and pissing contest..I wonder by chance what sparked some of that? I guess it couldn’t have been anything that Michael did, or our group suggested, or supported right? You very MARGINALIZATION of the rest of our group members here through your continued focus of Michael and suggestion of our removal pretty much says it all. OWS was offered to board the plane WITH us back in October. OWS CHOSE NOT to board the plane. OWS NOW looks back with regret. SO..they will NOW discredit..marginalize..and promote their own in house group as the result. It’s pretty obvious. The story is right there before our eyes now. Thanks for the clarity.

    • Sam McKay

      Thanks John! That’s what I’m hoping that we can develop (securely) in the near future!

    • Susan Carrier

      If you look up the formal process for achieving concensus, after all the discussion and raising of issues has been waded through, the actual achieving of concensus is through signifying individual agreement or disagreement – which sounds an awful lot like voting to me.

      Seems like whether you sit in a park or a room and discuss and raise issues and then ultimately reach concensus by a show of hands, or whether you do it on a broadly available web site where people can contribute to discussions, as this long thread has done, hammer things out until some kind of meeting of the minds occurs, and then a process of formalizing that meeting of the minds occurs via “voting” instead of “a show of hands” – I may be dense, but I don’t see how those two things are any different at all.

      I do see that people are loyal to the process they have personally engaged in, and may feel a range of feelings about that from protective, to defensive, to even openly hostile toward what may be perceived as competitive entities. But the perception may be the issue, in fact. I don’t think we are competitive. I think Occupy groups are the raising of consciousness arm and perhaps the 99% Declaration is the vehicle of action arm. The body whole does not object to having two arms, in fact, two arms is a really good and functional thing – as important as opposable thumbs toward being able to engage a task and get it done.

      Let our principles, ideals and goals be the body and let the groups be its two good arms raising consciousness and effecting change together.

      I think we all need each other – but that’s just my opinion.

  28. Dan Long

    First off, I would like to thank the Movement Building committee for giving us the power that they have released through their words. When one has to resort to outright lies in order to get what they want, it surely means that we have some potential. The lies are not quite as blatant as the Tea Party attacks that we so often receive on our national front, but the terminology is every bit as accurate, and just as deceptive. To suggest that anyone that donates money to the 99d group is ‘unsuspecting’, is about as stupid a comment as I have ever heard. The goals of the declaration group have never been hidden, and are open to all to all inspections and comments. The suggested goals were nominated, voted upon, and elected through the same process of democracy that you yourself use. In fact, I think our system is even better than yours because not only can I submit a ballot, I can submit a comment or two directed at the motivation for my choice on any issue. Additionally, our elections never take place inside a span of twenty seconds as yours do. Ours remain on the board long enough to give everyone the opportunity to read the comments, dwell on the topic, and make a responsible selection in their choice. I think that covers direct democracy for now. We have it, we use it, we like it.

    Now, lets talk about representative democracy for a moment. It’s very relative, since you use it yourself. You have committee after committee after committee full of your representatives. You trust them to do your investigating for you, AND you trust that the results of the investigation were accurate before you put it to a vote. Sounds extremely representative to me, and I now challenge the Movement Building Committee to disband the process and remain with the direct, participatory form of democracy it swears will restore order to the nation.

    While the Movement Building Committee, in my opinion is totally clueless as to the machinations of democracy in action, there was one intelligent set of comments above from a GA member that told it like it was. We don’t frequently visit the NYCGA, instead relying on our written word to maintain our stance. Should we change our ways, and agree to a liaison of any type, we still would remain outsiders at your little clique. I see no reason to continue to seek the support of the NYCGA, or any other GA for that matter. Your air of self-importance reeks of the very oligarchy that I despise in all of America. Our mission was started by the very members of this General Assembly, yet you are so near-sighted you can’t see the conclusion of our life span is only seven months down the road. Good luck to you, in all that you attempt. I seek the remainder of the 88% of the people that are dissatisfied with our Congressional mockery. I’m sure that the majority of them will be willing to listen to honest reason, and to extend their support whenever, wherever they can.

    • Nanette Carter

      Where’s the LIKE Button? Well said – “little clique’ – we already have a big CLIQUE in Washington DC we’re trying to dissolve…. “Air of Self-importance…” NONE of us are but a mere drop of water in the ocean… there is room for ALL of us on this effort or surely NONE of US will survive!

    • dicey troop

      a “clique”? it’s called an occupation. go OCCUPY somewhere, make your own GA and working groups, use consensus process and then speak with that voice. or, quit glomming onto our ideas and name and do your own thing. it’s that simple.

      also, the text of the proposal is a spot-on accurate statement of what the 99% declaration is. sorry, it’s just facts.

  29. Nanette Carter

    Please forgive me – but, this all sounds like the echos in the halls of the Capital building in Washington DC — to which, I was just there Dec. 4 – 10…. It sounds way tooo POLITICAL and not all compromising or inclusive – or even trying to build a bridge between the two fractions.

    The truth is WE ARE ALL IN THIS SINKING BOAT TOGETHER! WE NEED TO BE CHANGE WE WANT TO SEE IN THE WORLD – that may mean WORKING TOGETHER….

    Talking about who’s on who’s web site is so juvenile. Isn’t more important to support each other in order to educate more people?

    You talk democracy and consensus – and yet, all I hear is my way or the high way and frankly, I hear way too much of that out of congress … So, I guess that which we destain we ultimately become – which is exactly what “they” are all waiting to happen – an IMPLOSION of the whole movement!

    I’m affiliated with several “Occupy” groups across the country – and there are an equal amount that are “closed” occupy groups to their locations only (Occupy Prescott for example)… So how to you all propose WE effect change if we can not come to some CONSENSUS as to how best to RESPECTFULLY WORK TOGETHER?

    Isn’t it possible that there may well be a need for some division of effort? Some to write the grievance? Some to address protests, locations & times? And still ALL BE CONSIDERED PART OF THE SAME EFFORT?

    I haven’t been to Occupy Wall Street – so does that mean I don’t count? I have helped to work on the 99% Declaration – because it is something that I can do… I utilize my skills to help prepare a document worthy of representation of ALL AMERICANS for the BENEFIT OF THE COMMON GOOD OF THE COUNTRY?

    Are there grievances in this working document that the Occupy Wall Street disputes? Or is merely, the process at question? What ever the issue is there NO way to COMPROMISE so that WE can ALL work together – or are we just recreating another ineffective, ego driven, system?

    • Urbaned

      Nanette, the foundations of OWS are transparency, non-hierarchy, and non-violence. The 99% Declaration scares me about the issue of hierarchy. People have asked this man to leave OWS alone for a very long time. People are now saying that he is misusing OWS for funds. There is no reason whatsoever that Michael cannot use moveon or any other pre-existing organization to promote his agenda. As I said before, I might even like it better, and I am still very afraid of this. Many many people here are not happy with this and it is dividing OWS. After Michael is finished doing that, then he can try to change our country with a convention. Michael really needs to learn to listen.

      • Susan Carrier

        There has never been any solicitation of funds via the 99% Declaration group that has even cited OWS that I have ever seen, and I have been following along for weeks and weeks now. When I contributed, trust me, I had no misaprehension that I was contributing to OWS or any other Occupy group. I knew fully, clearly and transparently that I was contributing to a group which had taken on the mission of trying to provide the venue, ways and means of helping the 99% of under- to un-represented American have a voice that would allow them to create a slate of grievances for redress, formalize them in a National General Assembly in Philadelphia between July 2-4, 2012 and ultimately have that list submitted formally to the newly elected three branches of the Government of the United States of America.

        I did not think I was supporting folks in tents in a park in NYC, not that I have anything but the utmost of respect for each and every one of you who have found and utilized that particular vehicle to express your protest. Your efforts are absolutely vital to the process, and without it, the vast majority of people would never wake up enough yet to quite do anything about it. But once people wake up, there has to be some kind of tool of action, vehicle of change, way to take the ideals to tipping point beyond which this country of ours begins to grow toward change for the better.

        I have seen no evidence of hierarchy – only the core of folks who did all the work for the first days until the effort began to attract others, and a very noble effort at including all participants in the process.

        This is not one man’s agenda it is America’s agenda, and if it isn’t yet, it darned well should be America’s agenda, to clean up the corruption in Washington and get back to the business of having a country of the people, by the people, for the people – the 99%.

      • Paula Smith

        99% Declaration is just as transparent, non-hierarchal and non-violent. “People” say a lot of things, many of them based on misinformation and some of them outright lies. How is 99D misusing OWS? All we are doing is urging the GAs to register delegates who will represent their desires and goals and allow us all to work together to wrest control of the country from the 1% and those who support them and return it to the 99%. That’s all. No one is raising funds for 99D in the name of OWS. All donations made to the 99D not-for-profit are for the express purpose of facilitating an election of delegates and securing a venue where those delegates can ratify a petition of grievances. All funds collected to date sit untouched in an escrow account, although we will be using part of those funds – with the consent of group members and donors – to place a deposit on the venue. Once the petition is ratified, signed and delivered to all three branches of government, the job of 99% Declaration is over.

        • Urbaned

          Who came up with this plan, and when? Did a group of OWS people have a conference and come up with a Constitutional Convention plan? If so, I must have missed something in the past 3 months. What I know is that this was formulated before OWS started, and then Michael got approval for it – by a very narrow margin, when people didn’t even really know about the plan, or basically how to run a GA at the time.

          And, while it is a noble cause, it is not the only cause, the main cause, the most important cause, or a valid cause to bring here. What if this was the Tea Party? It would probably have been shot down long ago. But because it seems to be in line with progressive values of change, it almost fits.

          But, it really doesn’t. And SO MANY PEOPLE have asked Michael to NOT USE *this* platform for this purpose for SO MANY MONTHS. If Michael wants a Constitutional Convention, he should do it on his own.

          I’m also going to say that unless this topic is resolved once and for all, I am not going to have anything to do with the Convention. I’ll probably tell all of my friends about how problematic it became for OWS.

          Wouldn’t Michael have a better response if he went to a platform where 100% of his people supported him? Maybe he is sabotaging himself here?

          This is the last I’m going to say about this. I’ve spent HOURS of my time on this issue, and I want to focus on more important matters, like building volunteer websites, etc. Please let us get back to OWS work.

          • Paula Smith

            By all means, get back to OWS work. No one is forcing you to read our comments.

          • James Sanders

            is Michael the only one here posting replies from our group? Are you going to keep marginalizing the rest of us that feel..obviously..that there is some benefit of building a bridge between us? Is anyone going to answer my question posed repeatedly about our local NYC members participating at NYCGA meetings an adequate solution to help finish building this bridge? Can I get an answer to that question? Can people stop marginalizing the rest of us through the continued focus on Michael?

  30. David Itkin

    I have followed and supported the group occupying McPherson Square here in DC. My fourteen year old son and I participated in his first act of non-violent civil disobedience their, taking over 16th street for a march that had no permit, with DC cops trying (albeit not very hard) to insist we move over to the sidewalk. I’ve chopped vegetables in the kitchen tent there and my son attends its GA’s occasionally.

    We’ve both been very impressed with the idea of “the 99%” taking back control of our nation from the 1%.

    In my view, the 99% Declaration group is doing important work. The idea of an assembly, on Independence Day, to draft a petition for redress of greivences, is sensible, positive and beguiling. It works on levels both strategic and powerfully symbolic.

    As it stand now, there is no final declaration, just a draft. It needs improvement. The people most likely to have ideas to improve it watch the OWS website. Taking the current draft down would be a step backwards.

    No one is being misled. At least no one who can read simple English. My $36.00 contribution was made in full knowledge that the money would go toward organizing the assembly in Philly, to draft, redraft, edit, improve, amend, amplify, hone, fold, spindle and/or mutilate the version on the web.

    I’ll make my next contribution with eyes similarly wide open.

    OWS overestimates its centrality if it thinks it owns the phrase Ninety-Nine Percent, or the language of protest, anger and disgust emanating from occupied spaces all over the country. Asserting otherwise makes OWS sound a bit like Donald Trump trying to trademark the phrase “You’re Fired”.

    It is not an ironclad rule of nature that, when progressives form a firing line, the stand in a circle, facing inward. It’s just a bad habit. Let’s try to break that habit.

    Our oppressors are not to be found among the admittedly over-earnest and at-least-mildly humorless denizens of the Ninety-Nine Percent Declaration camp. Nor among the equally over-earnest and under-humorous folk no longer occupying Zucotti Park.

    They’re in boardrooms in New York, caucus rooms on Capitol Hill, and vaults filled with ill-gotten booty in every big bank in America. And they get some of their heartiest laughs watching little dramas like this play out.

    • James Sanders

      Hello David, thanks for your contribution, and I thank you very much for speaking out here as an Occupy member, and one of our members. I look forward to seeing you on our boards, and I do very much hope you join in our discussions.

      • David Itkin

        I’m on the boards when I can be. Thanks for noticing. Many hands make fast work.

        Now, my favorite salutation, from my time as a flack for the Teamsters:

        KEEP THE RUBBER SIDE DOWN AND THE SHINY SIDE UP! :)

  31. Tyler

    Question – Is it not possible to participate in both? I mean, Isn’t it a possibility for one to a) go to GA and pose stances on issues via “Direct Democracy” and then b) participate in a delegate election in which said elected delegates are guided by suggestions from individual citizens (as they are expected to be as delegate representatives of each congressional district) that are decided on amongst the GA’s? It seems to me that an election of delegates is a great way to capture the consciousness of individuals who are still skeptical of OWS’ abilities to get things done. I don’t think I need to explain this anymore than I have above. Think about it. If I was in NY I would likely participate in both, and I probably wouldn’t feel like one was undermining the other, especially when the proposed list is just a suggestion that will be revised once the delegates are elected (by the people in the congressional districts – including people who participate in OWS). Like someone mentioned above, I’d be very wary of divide and conquer situations; and before someone says “The 99% Declaration is dividing peoples ideas on how to make change by moving towards a delegate voting system” I’ll say that personally speaking, I feel that one existing does not detract from my appreciation of the other. If I was in NY participating in the GA’s at Zuccotti, and then I came across the 99D I wouldn’t think that the GA’s is less valuble or that it had less integrity. They are 2 sides to the same coin, and as long as there is no move to dissolve GA’s from the 99D’s side (which from what I’ve seen there hasn’t been) I see no problem. I think if the GA’s and the 99D through working groups and the Spoke’s Council could find some way to work together and not create drama, this could all work very nicely. I think the 99D could add something to the movement that non-active citizens will find attractive, and will possibly get more people involved in GA’s. I see GA’s as a way to build consensus, and 99D delegates as a way to move those consensus into more official channels, via delegates that are elected in each congressional district. If the elected Delegates are supported by the GA’s in their particular district then they should be operating based off the ideals of the people who elected them right? And If the people in the GA’s made consensus to support a particular delegate and guide them based off of consensus that would be some sort of integration, while maintaining individual operating structures right? I may not be making sense in what I type but it makes sense in my head… I could be wrong though I suppose. Does anyone see what I’m saying?

    • Urbaned

      Yes, but we tried working with Michael before and he was not a team player. So, he should go to moveon or somewhere else and completely disassociate himself with OWS. I would say the same thing to a presidential candidate running here (and there was one) a political party, a t-shirt maker, etc. Why do we think that if the 99% convention doesn’t happen we won’t be able to work with existing politicians? This is black and white. Our Democracy needs changing, and I hope Michael does it, the correct way.

      • James Sanders

        So now Michael is to be the reason for your stance, and as such, the rest of us will be shunned as well? People cannot change? There is nothing in the way Michael WAS doing things that has not changed? Group members that came here..came here because of the derisive and disparaging allegations and assumptions posted by Leo, sorry. You want to point a finger at Michael and suggest what you just did, but Leo did what in this post that brought us here? You’ll follow that and it’s OK..but you can’t look at the rest of us here holding out a hand? You can’t look at those hands because somehow Michael had a hand in it?

        • dicey troop

          y’all are tripping. Leo is a member of facilitation who simply is responsible for posting proposals from working groups. calling the text of the proposal lies doesn’t make it true.

    • s.t.

      i see what you’re saying Tyler, unfortunately human nature does not work in the most ideal way, especially when power is involved.

      i would encourage you to either (a) find a GA that has formed near you and begin participating or (b) form one in your own community. not online…in person.

      if/when you do this, keep in the back of your mind how immensely difficult it would be to truly represent those voices as a delegate amongst a bunch of other delegates in a similar setting. then ask yourself if you could really trust anyone who would confidently believe that they most definitely would keep the group’s interest at heart at all times, once the group empowers them to do so.

      power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely. only way to counter that is to diffuse power as much as possible.

      • Tyler

        It seems to me that it wouldn’t be so difficult if GA’s and spokes councils worked with the delegates to ensure that the people voices were being heard. I suppose that is wrong though. especially since it seems most won’t even try that particular type of involvement, and I know that’s the case because delegates have not even been elected yet.

      • Tyler

        Also, to say power corrupts is a generalization. While it is true that power does often corrupt, there have been many figures and groups in history who have had a good amount of power, that did not abuse it. Look back at some of our presidents who have actually made good changes for the country, or at least tried and were met with resistance.

  32. Nanette Carter

    Tyler – if there was a “LIKE” button I would be pounding on it…. Said very well… I see a lot of promotion to WORK together here – but little back from OWS other then they are concerned that they have some how been left out… 99% pretty much says it all – and, I’ve seen the 99% Declaration reach out to GA’s all across the country inviting them to be a part of the declaration process… I don’t get this division… and unwillingness of OWS to try to establish some bridge where each effort could be recognized as embraced in order to move all of our desires for a more efficient and sustainable government. I’ve yet to hear an logical reason for the division?

    • s.t.

      hi Nanette, are there any other Occupy GA’s anywhere else in the country that have given their collective consent to the 99D convention?

      • James Sanders

        s.t. We have Occupy groups that are thinking about/working on coming on-board. So in effect, YES, this IS happening as they have taken the document in draft upon their website. Are they completely finalized yet? I can’t specifically say yes at this point as I do not know for sure, other than what I’ve stated. As I said above, the OWS/Occupy “grapevine” surely is trying to influence outlying groups to suggest they do NOT support this. Please see my comments about this previously.

        • s.t.

          thanks for the honest answer James. as far as the grapevine is concerned, everyone (individuals/groups) should be responsible enough to (a) gather enough information pro/con, (b) reflect on that info, (c) make a decision based on (a) & (b). i think this thread alone has given plenty of (a) for they themselves to do (b) and (c), yes? being concerned that there is undue influence peddling really doesn’t give credit that people are able to make unbiased decisions based on all the information. maybe it’s time to stop thinking that all of us (including oneself) are no more than children so easily swayed. just a thought.

          • James Sanders

            s.t. And although I agree, this is till some of the major things that even OWS/Occupy mentions about propaganda spinners. And although I agree with a, b, c, etc in a Eutopian world, let’s face it, our country is in such a mess who take the time to really dig into research when they’re struggling to survive and make ends meet? I’m not going to debate your points, but I DO suggest that those busy and struggling WILL in fact take “trusted” information from “well intended” sources that might be misleading. The very allegations at the top of this page ARE DEFAMATORY..and I’m sorry, but you cannot deny that. OWS/Occupy looks to THIS website for LEADERSHIP..and finding such a post by Leo DOES send a message..sorry.

  33. Greta Ann

    After reading most of these posts, I think if we all are working for the same thing, then why not join forces? Take the best of both and make the movement stronger. There is a lot of talk of NYC. What about us out here in the Midwest. Do we not get a say? How can OWS claim to represent the 99 when the 99 doesn’t really have a voice.. it’s a fraction of the 99. IMHO – all ‘occupy’ groups need to come together for the greater good. Personally I support the 99 Declaration because 1 – I have a voice, 2 – the issues are important and must be adressed, and 3 – the redress is our constitutional right. Will the new system also write a new constitution? Will that be done for a country of millions within the NYCGA?

    • Urbaned

      Good point, Ann. Maybe the nycga will write a new Constitution, who knows? It’s only 3 months old.

    • s.t.

      Greta Ann, the NYCGA does not claim to speak for you. a General Assembly allows everyone to speak for themselves. the point is not to wait for us to represent you, the point is for you to convene a General Assembly in your community and speak for yourself (and listen to others speak for themselves).

      the concern that i would personally have with the 99D model is that after empowering people to spend so much time & energy into building the foundation, its very structure forces people to hand over their collective power to a single delegate (or 2), who may or may not represent the voices of the people that delegate(s) is supposed to represent. what happens if that delegate(s) decides for whatever reason mid-convention to go against the will of the people s/he is supposedly representing? are you willing to take that risk?

      • Paula Smith

        GAs and consensus do not change laws, and I fail to see what OWS is doing to actually change things.

        • s.t.

          neither do non-binding petitions nailed to congress’s front door and i fail to see how handing over one’s power to an elected delegate with no accountability changes anything either. you say neether, i say neither, let’s agree to disagree and leave it at that.

      • stephan

        paris communes which were self organized community and work based co-operatives, same as OWS, and grew together during the revolution in France, appointed delegates with a specific mandate. Delegates were given power from the co-op to represent them for this specific task and the co-op recalled any and all delegates who didn’t fulfill their ,purpose.

      • Liz

        As s.t has correctly pointed out, the Occupy movement is leaderless. Do not seek anything more than leadership set by example from OWS or any other Occupy group. Each community must empower r themselves with local Occupy groups These do not have to be campus, they can be discussion groups that meet weekly-Whatever works. The 99%D can be discussed independently, and researched.

    • Tom Gillis

      I think there are a lot of people who support a lot of what’s in the 99% Declaration (I think a lot of it is pretty good). I think what a lot of people have problems with (and see Occupy Philly’s statement on this) is the idea that this list of demands is coming in the form of a take-it or leave-it proposal which is attached to a representative body (the “National GA”) that replicates a lot what is already dysfunctional about government.

    • dicey troop

      I think it’s pretty much completely impossible to imagine that we’d “join forces” with michael or his declaration or anyone else who tries to use us to their own ends and insults and smears us when we insist that they respect who we are and participate within the context of #OWS before using our name. the 99% declaration has no credibility other than that which was stolen from #occupy.

  34. theky99

    The sad truth is that there are people that are trying to be the power in the OWS movement and this person called “lopi”, has showed their hand. Their position is to eliminate the 99DWG from the NYCGA website, when all along the 99d has had hands of fellowship outstretched to Occupy, only to have that fellowship denied, not by concensus but by a few who just happen to moderate this site! The best thing for 99DWG to do is to put a body in the GA and settle this crap once and for all. And lopi, lose the hard-on against the 99DWG and get over yourself. This movement is bigger and better than any single one of us.

    • dicey troop

      Lopi is an ever-present participant in #OWS and an amazing lady. You should learn some manners.

      The 99DWG cannot put a body in the NYCGA without having a real-life form, and since Michael is simply using SEO, #occupy’s name, and, now, unidirectional media to push his agenda, it’s highly unlikely you’ll ever see a working group represented here.

      Furthermore, even if they did, the current plan has ZERO chance of getting consensus in #OWS. We just don’t do hierarchy or “representation” (which is a completely ridiculous concept). If you really want to be a part of a bigger but friendlier machine, go do that somewhere else! but we are not down.

  35. Urbaned

    Michael needs to find another platform besides nycga.net to promote his political vision. Sorry.

    • Paula Smith

      Michael’s political vision is to exercise our Constitutional right to petition the government for redress of grievances, just as OWS is exercising its right to peacefully assemble and protest.

      • Urbaned

        Michael is using our resources for his purposes. OWS is not using his.

          • Urbaned

            OWS is not a non-profit entity that promotes a single vision/action. It is a brand-spanking-new baby who is just trying to find its way in an oppressive world (think of Dorli Rainey, the 84 year old Seattle protester who was pepper-sprayed, think of the students whole will be in debt for the next 20 years, think of POC and indigenous peoples and people who have lost their homes, like myself, who are hoping for something new. I don’t know what that new thing is yet, but I darn sure hope it doesn’t involve representatives to the U.S. government.

            The other 99% are not coming here forcing their vision on us, or begging or threatening, either. WE are working for them – through OWS, not a separate entity. It might have been different, Michael, if you had approached this whole thing differently. But, you didn’t. AND YOU HAVE OPTIONS. I have stated them MANY times. Please, Michael – OWS is not going to alienate 7000 people, but you might. You have funds and the man-power and the ability to move this to another platform. What is your point here? It’s not like you’re going to get representatives…why are you using this platform. Go – be free – go do your SEO. You may get MUCH farther than you expect.

      • Tom Gillis

        Ultimately this is a website for groups doing day to day work on the ground in NYC to coordinate. The code here doesn’t write itself, and the servers don’t pay for themselves – it’s a finite resource that is maintained by volunteers. At some point national groups who don’t have regular open meetings in NYC who aren’t part of the regular GA process in NYC are going to need to find their own forum. We haven’t enacted a policy yet, but the policy that is up for consideration is to limit group access to local groups.

    • James Sanders

      And I will remind you, as I have someone lower on this page..your continued focus on MICHAEL MARGINALIZES the rest of us here trying to extend hands to you and the rest. WE are the 99%D..not Michael. If ANY of you’d read the process we presented in candid form while holding our olive branches of peace and cooperation..you’d realize what you’re doing by your continued focus. Michael is our founder..sorry for what he’s done in the past..I’m not him. You going to keep marginalizing me and the rest of us asking you to work with us?

      • dicey troop

        your accusations and sour attitude are pretty much exactly as repulsive as michael’s.

  36. Urbaned

    Also, I am actually fearful about speaking up against the 99% Declaration, although I have been doing so for months now. I don’t like the sense of intimidation. Not sure why this is happening. Lopi is not the only one speaking out against this.

      • Urbaned

        I worked with Michael for 2 hours about getting a Restorative Justice session when the 99D group was originally removed from the site. He did not get back to me, so my time and effort was wasted. Soon, he was promoting the 99D to other occupies all over the nation. When some of them found out, they wanted to separate from his group, too. So, he wasted other people’s time.

        He did not honor my time and he does not honor OWS. If so, he would not be trying to get it to support a representational model of government. I just don’t see how that directly relates to OWS as one of its core issues. There are many other issues that deserve as much enthusiasm and support – if not MORE. It scares me that he doesn’t listen. To be honest, I am thinking of factions that occurred and happened before WWII. Perhaps this is not as significant, but this is not a game, either. It’s quite serious. If I feel scared or intimated, I’m going to put it out there.

        • Paula Smith

          It’s all about OWS and not the 99% then, is that right? OWS represents ONLY those who parpticipate in the GAs,, and the GAs will never attract anywhere near 50% participation, much less 99%. Yours is an exclusionary model. Ours is not.

        • the99declaration

          I have no idea who you are or what you are talking about. I sent an email to restorative justice to protest the deletion of our webpage the FIRST time and now it appears it will be deleted a SECOND time. No one from restorative justice responded to me nor did mediation, or anyone else.

  37. Lisa Rubenstein

    Why do they insist on staying on this website? They should just move along now.

    • James Sanders

      “Why do they insist on staying on this website? They should just move along now.” A bit condescending wouldn’t you say? More people/members showing up to speak their words on such disparaging and derisive claims by Leo I’d suspect is why we’re “staying on this website” as we DO have members in NYC area and we still are looking to see if my suggestion and question is adequate enough to NYCGA as a means to keep this group on the website or not. I’d suspect had the information here been a bit more factual..many people wouldn’t have been here nor said much of anything at all..and we could have limited posts and this page to the real issues at hand relating to 99%D and it remaining or needing to be ousted from the website. At this time I STILL see no reply to my question relating to NYC members.

  38. Joe Hegedus

    Why are singling out Michael? When you do that it makes it obvious to everyone whose been following the 99% Declaration that you have no idea what you’re talking about. All these personal attacks are appalling.

    • Urbaned

      Because I have been working with the man for several months. It seems like you don’t have the entire picture, Joe.

      • James Sanders

        Urbaned..do I need to lay waste to OWS to combat your allegations to bring out some of the dirty laundry I’ve found about OWS methods and pitfalls? Don’t suggest that people don’t poke and look around. Don’t suggest that your view is the ONLY CORRECT view of Michael..because I assure you..I’ve done my research. As a matter of fact..with so many people coming to our website asking what’s wrong with OWS/Occupy in not getting behind us..with what I know..I REFUSE to put it out in the open to DISCREDIT what YOU’RE doing. Why? Because although I don’t approve of ALL OWS/Occupy methods..at least I have a clue that we’re fighting for the SAME THING..at the base..and that is CHANGE. Now..you can keep bashing Michael and suggesting that your view is the only correct view..or you can debate this on the actual merits and questions people are asking about why you guys don’t want to support this. 99%D is NOT Michael..it’s all of us..and I quite resent your slap in the face suggesting we’re “morons” that don’t have a clue about Michael..because in base..that’s what you just did. Obviously..some of us..like me have done our research. Have you REALLY done YOURS?

        • Justin Stone-Diaz

          Micahel, when will you start using your REAL name on this site?

  39. Tom Gillis

    Back in October, this group was deleted from the site by one of its own members (after having a falling out with Michael). When the site admins made a post explaining what happened (and restoring the group’s access to the site) we were accused by Michael of falsifying site logs in an “Orwellian attempt to rewrite history”.
    http://www.nycga.net/2011/11/01/the-nycga-true-hollywood-story-the-99declaration-group-an-expose/

    Also, regardless of the people involved and how they’ve behaved in the past, there are a lot of problems with the 99% Declaration / National GA as its stands – OccupyPhilly held a vote to dis-associate themselves w/ this group and they lay out really clearly what a lot of their issues were
    http://occupyphillymedia.org/content/99-declaration-receives-vote-%E2%80%9Cno-support%E2%80%9D-op-ga

    Namely that the National GA is going to re-create systemic problems in the existing system of government, right down to the flawed and discriminatory congressional district maps currently in place.

    • Paula Smith

      As flawed and discriminatory as those congressional district maps may be, they are much more conducive to allowing the greatest number of citizens a voice than a consensus-based GA model will ever be. No matter how much you may wish it, the vast majority of Americans will never join a local GA. Most Americans are happy with representative democracy when it truly represents them. While I greatly appreciate everything OWS has done to spur the movement for change, I’m afraid it is doomed to ultimate failure because it has no goals and it has no plan and it does not represent the majority of citizens.

      • Frances MA

        “OWS…is doomed to ultimate failure because it has no goals and it has no plan and it does not represent the majority of citizens.”
        Respectfully, if you really believe that statement is true then why are you here? This site is for the NYCGA. Period. It is not for all occupations. It is not for occupy theory or analysis, or for the launch of sister movements inspired by occupy. It is meant to be a coordination site for working group members actively engaged on the ground in Liberty Park. There are GA’s held all over NYC but they do not use this site. It is specifically for the use of this one occupation. If that feels exclusive to you then come join a working group on the ground, or launch your own site for your local GA. But this debate which has been going back and forth for days is pointless and silly. Please respect the work we are doing here. You are entitled to your own models and your own course of action. But if you are not working within our framework then please find your way to another site. We have work to do.

        • the99declaration

          Our working group started with seven people on 10-15-11 at 7:45 pm in Zucotti Park after we formally announced our group to the NYCGA and had our first meeting in Zuccotti Park. Before Bloomberg kicked everyone out we spent days there handing out copies of the declaration. I might add that the day Bloomberg kicked everyone out we were invited to meet with the Demands Working Group to pool resources. I could not make that meeting because I was trying to get people out of custody from about 1am to late the following evening when the police were refusing issue DAT’s so the could hold people and force them through the system.

          The announcement of the working group to the NYCGA is on video if you would like to see it. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Le5YI_QPPKk

          • Frances MA

            Great. So you announced the formation of a working group on 10-15? I don’t think that’s how it works process wise, but frankly I don’t really care. What were we talking about again? Why is this thread so long? FYI there were 9 agenda items on the GA list last night and I don’t even think they made it to yours. You can follow the GA via Twitter @LibertySqGA. Review last nights’ entries if you wish, but I don’t recall the 99% Declaration WG even being mentioned. Can we all get back to work now and stop tearing each other apart over hurt feelings, and insecurities, and bureaucratic process bullshit? We have a revolution to win people.

    • James Sanders

      And part of that problem is the blatant attacks and ASSUMPTIONS posted in this very thread by Leo. The whole “grape vine” affect with the influential OWS/Occupy members holding bad blood passing assumption and diversive disparaging remarks about the 99%D. Someone pointed out Occupy Phillies “narrative” which is also wrought with misrepresentation on different points and allegations easily proved otherwise by a mere visit to the open pages of our group and website. However..I am about at the notion as many other. Once again hands were extended in solidarity and olive branches offered. Yet once again people want to cling to disparaging suggestions rather than digging up all the information. You were offered a gift from the start. There was miscommunication on BOTH sides, and it seems THAT is what you wish to cling to. On the “it is here for NYCGA Period”..I had asked a question above about our NYC area members and if THEY would be present at functions was that a possible compromise? Has it been answered? NO. So it is quite obvious that the only goal of the NYCGA is to railroad and force out this group. As such..they represent even NYC how? This is a sad day in my opinion.

      • Buck

        hey james–just to clarify something, “Leo” is not the author of the original post/proposal. this was a proposal by the Movement Building WG, and Leo’s job is simply to post it to the NYCGA website for public review before it comes to the GA. As far as I know, “Leo” has no affiliation with this proposal or its content.

        • James Sanders

          Buck..sorry..he still CHOSE to post it without some type of edit..or something..to help PREVENT the “grape vine” affect going on here. Occupy groups look to these pages for leadership and support..and what did that at the top of this page basically tell them? Yeah..automatic suggestion and unfounded allegations against us. So sorry if Leo didn’t write it..Leo DID post it..and if your practice here is just to “post” anything sent to you without fulfilling YOUR OBLIGATIONS of due diligence because others look to you for support and guidance, then maybe that’s something NYCGA might was to take into consideration and adjust.

          • Urbaned

            Ah ha, James. You are calling your group “us?” I thought we were all the 99%? Didn’t you say so above?

          • James Sanders

            Nice terminology twist Urbaned..us is us..and you are included as well if you wish to be..but nice try. =)

          • James Sanders

            So now you will not only marginalize..but attack MY credibility as well. Please..do go on.

          • James Sanders

            BUT Urbaned..thank you for trying to keep me “on my toes”..I respect you for that.

    • the99declaration

      Look I may have been wrong about the minutes and our exclusion from the minutes was an oversight. But once I posted the video of me being there on 10-15 to announce the 99D to the GA why were the minutes not changed? I even wrote to the minutes group for a correction and sent the video. If my appearance was not captured on video, we truly would have been placed down the memory hole of history. Don’t you see how corrupt the manipulation of the GA and its agenda appears? Voting on this proposal without inviting us or giving us forewarning? You don’t think that is oligarchical and a tad Orwellian?

      • Frances MA

        Great. So you announced the formation of a working group on 10-15? I don’t think that’s how it works process wise, but frankly I don’t really care. What were we talking about again? Why is this thread so long? FYI there were 9 agenda items on the GA list last night and I don’t even think they made it to yours. You can follow the GA via Twitter @LibertySqGA. Review last nights’ entries if you wish, but I don’t recall the 99% Declaration WG even being mentioned. Can we all get back to work now and stop tearing each other apart over hurt feelings, and insecurities, and bureaucratic process bullshit? We have a revolution to win people.

        • James Sanders

          Why is this thread so long? Really? Umm..how about because of OWS NYCGA’s FAILURE to vet complaints? How about NYCGA’s FAILURE to act in ways to ensure the information they’re presenting here..which other Occupy groups look to for guidance and support..provided them MISINFORMATION and served NYCGA’s obvious hate and disdain for Michael Pollok without regard nor care for the many OTHER 99%D members? Honestly, can you tell me if someone was not spouting slanted misrepresentative information about OWS/NYCGA/Occupy that your members would not too show up in droves as a means to try to be candid and honest in setting the record straight? Your reply Frances really does astound me..as do many of the other NYCGA member replies on this very page. It’s OBVIOUS that your hatred and disdain for Michael Pollok clouds your judgement..an for that..I am TRULY saddened.

    • James Sanders

      WRONG..it was a website admin named Drew..dig deeper..don’t make me post the links I have to all the information..I’ve said it earlier..and I’ll say it again..there were errors and ego on BOTH sides..I wasn’t even a part of this then..so why should I or the rest of our members get slapped for past and pissing contests? Last time I’m saying it..99%D is the PEOPLE you say you represent..it’s our MEMBERS..not Michael..get the focus right..and maybe we can all finally GET somewhere with this?

  40. Joe Hegedus

    I have never met Michael, but I can attest that every significant change made to the 99D, that I’ve been aware of at least, has been voted on. You’ve portrayed him like some power hungry nutcase who’s true motive is to co-opt OWS to carry out his own personal agenda. Maybe I wouldn’t like him either, but what does that have to do with anything?
    The declaration and it’s popularity stand alone. It doesn’t need Michael per se, just someone to put in a lot of work…and that person happens to Michael.
    What I can’t understand is why you and Lopi and others are clinging to this consensus model with religious zeal to the exclusion of everything else. At this point, it’s only a tactic and in social movements tactics have a short half life. If the Occupy movement is really going to achieve a more democratic and just society then it has to be flexible, adaptive and in it for the long haul. By limiting NYCGA to only those groups who pray at the altar of CONSENSUS you are alienating a lot of people who think direct democracy may not be sufficient, by itself, to achieve the kind of change that OWS has been all about since the beginning. Imagine that the 99% Declaration were to achieve a lot of it’s goals. Wouldn’t that be a much better starting point if in the end you hope that the US will have direct democracy on a large scale? To use one of Chomsky’s analogies, it’s like you are sitting at a chess board and announcing “I wanna checkmate the king!” The question is how do you get there. Think of keeping the 99D group as a part of NYCGA as sacrificing a pawn or two with the hope of taking a rook (if 99D has a partial victory) or the queen (if it achieves all it’s goals).
    Don’t let pride get in the way, because a whole lot of people are suffering right now and things are getting worse very quickly.

    Let me apologize in advance if the analogy is totally off base. This string has the first arguments I’ve read against the 99D since mid October and trying to piece together what’s actually gone down from up here in Alaska is a bit of a challenge.

  41. Joe Hegedus

    I just can’t understand why anyone would want the NYCGA to remain exclusive to a fault. It’s a huge weakness. In the big picture this direct vs. representative democracy quibble is laughable. We are all up against the most powerful interests in human history. I mean seriously, get over yourselves! Do you realize what’s at stake here?

    • Jackrabbit

      @kripkenstein Joe, it is not about exclusivity. The resolution is about accountability and transparency. 99D are not accountable to the NYCGA or the principles of the movement yet they continue to claim an association for the purposes of gathering donations and adherents. The website is for those participating in good faith in the process in NYC. This group is not and therefor should not be on the site.

      Making a blanket statement about exclusivity based on this particular instance is inconsistent with the facts. But thank you very much for your participation. If you see something you would like to change please engage in the process.

      • James Sanders

        hello again Jack..and again..we’ve pointed to pages that prove your comments BS and unfounded, yet you want to say we’re suggesting OWS etc..when our about and others clearly state NOT OFFICIALLY OWS etc. Members posted saying during donations where it was made CLEAR as well. Nice that you have selective sight it would seem.

      • Brendan

        “Accountability to the GA” is the most undemocratic tyrannical leaning statement concept conceivd since th French Revolution.

  42. David Andrew

    Apologies for picking it up down here but I didn’t see a ‘reply’ button after Lopi’s reply to me nor can I seem to find a ‘leave a comment’ space.

    I asked Lopi: ” what about those funds collected in the name of the mass movement known as OWS. Exactly where is the consensus on what those funds are used for. Exclusively in the NYCGA correct?”

    This was not answered. Lopi’s foul language laced reply ended with an ad hom attack ” ha ha (that was a joke) (oh never mind you wouldnt get it)”

    The optics here are very troubling. The NYCGA amounts to what percentage of supporters of the movement known as OWS? 1%.

    I suggest that the reason this proposal exists is that the Movement Building Working Group, 13th largest group of the 131 groups, is uncomfortable with being ‘occupied’, ‘re-occupied’ in fact, by another group, the 99%D. In a manner the NYCGA appear to have sent their ‘riot control squad’ to resist a peaceful occupation and wish to deny them the right to peaceably assemble in cyberspace.

    Moreover, as politics goes, one can’t help but wonder what went on behind closed doors in the first place to have the 99%D group put up on the NYCGA site initially, then see it disappear near the end of October, and then reappear almost a week ago only to come under renewed pressure to be removed again.

    I think I get it. There’s a battle raging within the 1% of OWS known as the NYCGA. It is not hard to believe that there is a force that wants to put the two-party system between a rock and a hard place, which is exactly what the 99% Declaration does, and a force that wants OWS to deliver the Democratic Party an answer to the Republican’s Tea Party.

    I think this proposal is a clear indication that there is an attempt to astroturf the OWS movement within the NYCGA.

    The 99% Declaration Group was cast out but continued to grow strong, not perish. Being here maximizes potential because time is very short.

    Regardless of the outcome of this proposal, we the 99% Working Group will deliver, in Philadelphia. Farewell NYCGA, for you have everything to lose. May you chose Unity. The 99% will celebrate you!

      • David Andrew

        Sure I’d love to help in any way I can. I sent a reply to the new site on the volunteer page last Saturday which included my email address. Is there a better way to contact each other?

    • Jackrabbit

      This is a fiction.

      The true story about what happened to the original site on NYCGA has been posted publicly for weeks. http://www.nycga.net/2011/11/01/the-nycga-true-hollywood-story-the-99declaration-group-an-expose/

      I find it really tedious that these same claims of victimization continue to be repeated.

      Do us all a favor and stop crapping on the organization you claim you want to be a part of. The hypocrisy is staggering, irritating and alienating to people who would otherwise be interested in helping out with either initiatives.

      • James Sanders

        “alienating to people who would otherwise be interested in helping out with either initiatives”..so once again..it’ Michael as focus..marginalizing and ALIENATING the rest of us to YOUR and OWS/Occupy’s cause? Do you not see where you are the pot calling the kettle black in the ways you have come to our very pages Jack bashing on our group? Hmm..you want to talk about hypocrisy I really suggest..given such actions..you look in the mirror in what you’re accusing Michael of. You know what they say about those in glass houses..throwing rocks and all right? Again I’ll ask..just as I did that last day you came in and bludgeoned me too on 99%D’s pages..do you not see how your actions in bashing ALIENATE our members that are your members as well? I guess everyone is to read your words and listen yet our words have no value to you..because it’s obvious even valid debate and arguments fall upon your deaf ears..your actions continue.

      • James Sanders

        Oh..and actually Jack..since you seem to rather enjoy playing the role of the “pundit”..how about I add a link to your “reality” to show how you like to cherry pick things while not conducting adequate research to learn that your present link only told PART of the story. Here..do allow me to help you with this http://diceytroop.tumblr.com/post/11834382705/oops-a-working-guide-to-out-of-process-statements That nice little link shows where OWS NYC GA wound up being WRONG on different accounts as well..the initial “supposed investigation” into how the group was initially “deleted by one of their own members”..showing that no..in fact..it was an OWS NYCGA web tech named DREW..and some other nice tidbits of information as well. I warned you guys about the charades..I’m not kidding..time to stop the cherry picking and face up to facts and practice some humility and honesty..because..for all the fingers you want to point at Michael and our group..some of those members not even a part of it when all this went down..you sure have PLENTY of your own to deal with. Now..can we stop playing games and answer my question..is a physical presence by our members in NYC an acceptable means to stop this idiocy..or is it not? I await your answers.

        • Jackrabbit

          None of this has any truth to it. Not what you say about the link or about Drew. You’re just mean, James. I’m taking my toys and going home. See you at GA.

  43. the99declaration

    so what happened? did the people who happened to show up tonight to the GA because they knew this was on the agenda vote to delete our webpage again? Not even an email or heads-up in advance so we could come and speak on our own behalf. Remember that scene in the movie Elizabeth when the Queen’s henchmen lock up the five priests in the basement so they miss the vote in parliament and of course they lose by five votes. We did not even hear about the vote forget about locking us up. No one even told us.

    • Justin Stone-Diaz

      Dear 99%/ Michael P-

      Do you not have the abiltiy to follow sentences or answer simple questions?

      You do know we can see how you are trying to SHOVE your agenda down #OWS throat & when we cough you attack us for not being hungry.

      You really have no clue huh?

    • Jackrabbit

      Actually this resolution was posted to the 99D NYCGA site yesterday morning.

      • James Sanders

        Nice..same day it’s to be talked about..sounds more like a pending eviction notice than something put into the light as a means to help a group avoid eviction.

        • dicey troop

          You’re not an #OWS group nor are you part of any other #occupation. You have a million non-abusive ways to achieve your ends, yet you insist on this really gross manipulation and theft of our voice. We’re on the ground working hard. Go #occupy or quit acting like you’re an occupier.

  44. Nanette Carter

    WOW – I’m so disappointed that this has turned into a similar format as is the current presidential debates – GOP “GET OBAMA at ALL COST TO AMERICA! Only this forum is all about “GET MICHAEL at ALL COST TO THE OTHER 5000+ PEOPLE WORKING ON THE 99% DECLARATION.

    To answer someone’s question above as to whether I see any other groups in favor of the 99% Declaration: John Crocker posted a new activity comment in the group The 99% Declaration
    Working Group “I’ll be moving an Initiative for POWS and FOSF to support the 99% Declaration
    as well as bringing this to San Francisco GA ”

    This seems nothing more to me then a witch hunt against Michael… Shame on you – there are real criminals to attack – not one of our own 99% that is trying to work with you OWS to bring about something concrete to bring to Washington DC. Aside from ‘classes’ on educating people (which I grant you is important) what are you doing? Obviously, sleeping in tents isn’t gaining any movement – only a negative image. People want change but there are a whole lot of people that can’t sleep in tents to make their point – but, they are certainly willing to lend their talents to an effort that is functioning to effect a document that lists the grievances the OWS has expressed – why can you not form a bridge to have us all work together?

    Michael is only laying down a foundation from which ALL of can work together – and there are many, many other people working on this besides Michael – so what are the real issues here? Are you telling me that because I can’t sleep in a tent but I can help with setting up a convention that as best I can see is inclusive of ALL – I’m not part of the Occupy movement or the 99% – talk about exclusion and narrow-sightedness.

    Who at OWS is running for congress? Because this just seems to me to be a lot of political whoey!

    • Urbaned

      Michael can certainly do all of this off the OWS site. I would respect him more if he did. He needs to stop wasting our time – and HIS, if he truly wants to succeed.

      • James Sanders

        And it’s also a waste of our time too? Because what you just said reads like Michael told us to come here and do this..get a clue Urbaned and hear what the people are trying to tell you..Michael does not control jack..the GROUP does. I am LOOSING respect of YOU with your continued marginalization and focus on MICHAEL instead of HEARING the rest of us. And before you play games with “us”..there are some of your OWN members here too..and yes..they are us as well.

  45. Justin Stone-Diaz

    There is NO witchhunt.

    99% Declaration/ Michael’s agneda is pretty clear & he has shown he will attack & defame #OWS if we resist his wonderful ideas.

    Read his posts through out this site & you’ll see for yourself just what his goals & prefered methods are.

    It is not NYCGA.NET’s fault 99 % Declaration is NOT based out of NYC & has found it diffucult to operate this Working Group Remotely.

    You all do know the 99% Declaration was a FULLY FORMED idea BEFORE Occupy Wall Street?

    Happy Holidays fron the 100% at OWS.

    Occupy Wall Street is the 100%, Our SUPPORTERS the 99%, our educational target: the 1%.

    Michael is just confused that #OWS has evolved and would NEVER use the 99% model since:
    IT MARGINALIZES BY DESIGN.

    • James Sanders

      And Justin..you call the above start of this page by Leo what? You want to talk about an attack? And look at you..more comments about Michael. How many times do the others here posting have to say this? We’re NOT Michael. The process we use is outlined above. Members of the group have been open, honest, and candid. I have ALSO asked in at least TWO spots above if we found members in the NYC area to be at meetings..would this be acceptable? Has ANYONE answered that above to this point? NO. 99%D is NOT Michael..maybe he founded it..but I got news for you..it’s the MEMBERS at this point..and you’re ignoring US because of your FOCUS on Michael.

    • Joe Hegedus

      We get it…you don’t like Michael. So what? The declaration isn’t simply “his agenda”. Just about every post against the 99D in this entire string discredits itself with the ad hominem fallacy and it happens over and over and over. To you guys this is obviously personal, but that’s just ego-driven stupidity and you should face up to it. The 99D is a tactic – one of many tactics. Who does it marginalize?

        • James Sanders

          As you MARGINALIZE the rest of the people here on BOTH sides trying to tell you that it’s in the better interest to work together than booting the group. But anyways, back to your selective responses and avoidance there Urbaned. I still await an answer about our NYC local people being at meeting and if that is a viable solution or not..and in NOT hearing a response to that..it once again becomes pretty much clear of OWS motives. You’re not listening to jack shit..you have your minds made up already..and quite frankly..I’m fine with that..but please do stop posting things suggesting that OWS is some victim at the hands of 99%D or Michael..because your continued practice of that is going to push me to a point where I WILL start posting links to your own INTERNAL snafus and lay waste your dirty laundry as well. I have supported OWS/Occupy..and when I come asking for support and help..I am slapped in the face because of pissing contests and egos. Thanks OWS NYCGA for that..I won’t forget.

    • Susan Carrier

      I don’t even know Michael Pollok. I was inspired to search out the group and ultimately to support it with cash, because I stumbled upon a copy of the Declaration. It had no relationship to OWS or any other Occupy group so far as I knew – and with the intensity of the vitriol being spouted about how much OWS doesn’t want us to have any affilliation with it – I’m pretty happy aftert his long evening of reading back and forth – to just let you folks go your way and us go our way. Having said that, I still think that it would be much better to figure out how to work together, a united front is what is needed to take change to the front door of those currently entrenched in resisting meeting the needs of the 99%.

      The only thing I know about MP is that he is apparently a lawyer, that he has been in the core few who initiated the 99% Declaration, which I think is a brilliant starting point, and that he has spent a lot of his personal time and money to try to facilitate this process to move forward.

      I’m 62 years old, I was right in there in the 60′s against Vietnam, etc. But this is different. This is not trying to end one little thing and trying to rally consciousness raising that through that weight alone brought pressure to bear sufficient to hasten the end of the war. This is another time altogether and money and the power it buys has entrenched itself in the very daily fabric of our lives. Nothing less than a straight-up social confrontation is going to be required to even begin to make change. It won’t come easy and it won’t come fast, but it won’t come at all if people get lost in bickering and lose momentum.

      So we could take a concensus to get behind an active process, which the 99% Declaration is trying to be. Bring in all people under a broad structural umbrella of process. The process structure is rather like a car, it is not the destination of the trip, it is a vehicle to get there.

      Someone else in a comment defined the occupy movement as leaderless – and that’s ok. But that does not mean that a neutral structure isn’t helpful. Just sayin…

  46. Joe Hegedus

    Can any of you people that want to kick this group off of the NYCGA read the declaration and stil say, honestly, that you would rather see it fail?

    • James Sanders

      Thank you Joe for your time and those words of wisdom. I seem to be failing at the commonalities as they want to keep focusing on Michael as opposed to the other numerous members that came here with a hand outstretched to them offering to work jointly..to find a way..nothing new it seems. They just don’t seem to accept the fact despite the process pretty much laid bare on this page..the 99%D is the members..NOT Michael Pollok at this point. It’s obvious the point is to oust us for their own reasons rather than an open dialogue to find a way to make it work and help finish building the bridge we tried offering.

      • Urbaned

        We don’t want a bridge, but thanks anyway, James. The Tea Party, the Democrats, heck, even Michael Moore did not offer us a bridge. And guess what? They’re all doing just fine. I know that I have been one of the most vocal opposers to your group. But, I have also offered it a tremendous amount of support. Hey, our PRESIDENTIAL election is 11 months away–what is OWS going to do about that? Maybe we should have a Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia next July4? But how can we decide on that when we can barely wipe our own little bottoms. Michael’s got a great idea, and YES, we should support the 99D. However, not as part of this website.

        • James Sanders

          You don’t want a bridge? OK..well..I’ll finish building it myself with this..and then you can burn it if you wish. Do you honestly think I can’t/don’t understand your apprehension about Michael given some of his comments in all those links I’ve followed? I’ve already said I SUPPORT OWS/Occupy..but don’t APPROVE of all it’s methods have I not? Do you really think that I’m just some zealot for 99%D and don’t apply that same ideal and thought process to Michael? Here’s the thing..I BELIEVE in an idea. Does that not sound familiar? Isn’t that one of the core things OWS/Occupy promotes? You suggest through that very mantra that people back OWS/Occupy..not based on the actions of a radical few..or the sometimes mob rule of a majority..but the IDEA which is sound and valid..a necessary for us to achieve our goals and dreams of a better country for all. Is OWS/Occupy’s dream any more valid than 99%D’s?

          You suggest..through your own words..your obvious disdain for other groups and their refusal to offer a bridge..which implies why should you help me/our group build a bridge to you/OWS NYCGA. You base this..in part..on your view of Michael alone..and your “fears” associated with co-opt etc. Do you really think I cannot understand this? Do I fault you for it? I will answer with NO..I do NOT fault you for THAT portion..but what I DO fault you with is your narrow focus. What you do..while directed at Michael and those that would circumvent all that OWS/NYCGA stands for..you allege/suggest the application of that to EVERY SINGLE PERSON on this page sharing 99%D’s view..trying to tell you to help us build that bridge. I am truly sad that you would foster so much disdain/hatred/paranoia about Michael..or any of the others posting on this page trying to be open..honest..and candid with what we’ve presented you to alter your view and stance. As a person..I respect your RIGHT to that view and stance..but I suggest that it’s clouded by things it should NOT be clouded by. Burn this bridge now if you must..but I feel that OWS/99%D and the MANY people in need will suffer as the result. Do as you must do.

    • dicey troop

      Yes. the Declaration is based on representative governance which is inherently disempowering and dehumanizing. It blocks direct access to decisions. Moreover, the format is based on the gender binary and arbitrary borders and existing political boundaries. I want nothing to do with it. We are a revolution, not a reformist movement.

  47. humblepi

    From reading this thread it can certainly be determined that there are 2 different methodologies employed for change by NYCGA & 99%. That is for sure, but I have got to tell you the personal attacks back and forth do not serve this movement well. I have seen this kinda of crap go on in the LiveStream chats, etc. Isn’t it enough that paid trolls come onto internet sites saying disparaging things about this movement, full of disinformation.

    We have got bigger fish to fry. I will be 54 years old coming this January and have waited the better part of 30 years to see this very important change that needs to happen. Stop bickering remove the 99% site from NYCGA site to maintain the NYCGA message, require some disclaimers if need be but you need to come together on more important things. The NDAA wasn’t passed for no reason. The Powers That Be are not going to take kindly to this eminent change.

    • Jackrabbit

      I agree wholeheartedly. I really appreciate that the people who are supporting the 99D mean well and this is not an attack on them. It is an attempt to be consistent and principled. I think the folks running 99D are opportunists taking advantage of the very real need for change. I think it would be a shame to think this is a condemnation of the people who support it. It is not.

      • Joe Hegedus

        We are all opportunists taking advantage of a real need for change. That includes me, that includes you, that includes everyone who has participated in the occupy movement.

        • dicey troop

          Speak for yourself. We are not opportunists; we’re here in the cold every day working our butts off for our occupation, as are occupiers around the country whom you cannot speak for.

      • James Sanders

        People running..and once again you show your lack of information and research..since the things done there are VOTED upon by the group..once again..the people RUNNING the group would be who? Yeah..that’s right..the people..which you just attacked and marginalized again because of a hatred for Michael. Congratulations. Michael doesn’t run crap..and we’ve told you that Jack on the site when you drop by to bash like you like to do in past..so please..stop playing like you didn’t know..like the PEOPLE haven’t tried to tell you you’re wrong..it’s clear you have a VENDETTA..and so do some others here as well that want to keep the focus on Michael instead of the group members that have come here honestly and candidly answering questions. As I said, this is a PRIME example why OWS/Occupy has garnered some bad opinion as well..ALIENATING and MARGINALIZING the rest because the founder did wrong in past. Thanks for that Jack..and NYCGA.

        • Steve Scher

          There is no vendetta against Michael Pollok.
          His use of language and intimidation s both documented and obvious, as well as experienced by a number of lucky folks,myself included.
          I have learned to love and respect you mr James Sanders. You have constantly acted both principled and shown loyalty where others would not have.
          The 99%Declaration “idea” existed before Mr Pollok.
          It’s one thing to back and idea, another to continue to be a party to a culture of misdirection.
          For example I know you are aware of the multiple deletions of discussions within the 99%Declaration working group.
          I note that even the latest poll to chose the name on the Facebook site was deleted after only 14 votes.
          There is a pattern here.
          That causes consequences.
          I assure you the consequences are not a vendetta.
          The objections are quite real based on actual negative events and there is no call for revenge or vedetta.
          Simply the rejection of truthbending.
          I wish good people didn’t have to get hurt by one persons poor judgement or perhaps poor intent.
          It’s not fair to them.
          It’s not fair to you.
          I wish you well my friend,you know I tried.
          -Steve

  48. humblepi

    Correction: Didn’t mean to jump the gun, The Senate passed the NDAA.

    • stephan

      just read section 1301 which is supposed to be the bogeyman. I don’t see anything written about the general detention of protesters who are not affiliated with Al Quaeda, the Taliban or any other “associated groups”. Please educate me.

      • humblepi

        I assume that you are referring to Sec 1031 and not Sec 1301. IMHO the combination of 1031 & 1032 (b) has overreaching powers. In a perfect world no problem, but we are not living in a perfect world. Not when police intentionally block journalist; both independent & those with credentials from covering arrests or evictions and Mayors obviously coordinated efforts to evict. Sorry that I don’t trust this much power in the hands of those who can’t even agree on a budget.

        1032 (b) deals with Applicability to United States Citizens and Lawful Resident Aliens-
        (1) UNITED STATES CITIZENS- The requirement to detain a person in military custody under this section does not extend to citizens of the United States.

        The key word is requirement. These salient semantics make me go HUM. Let me not get started with habeas corpus. So if my neighbor doesn’t like my politics and reports me to the authorities for what ever reasons and the authorities then suspect. Sorry just not ready to give up those kind of rights.

        Also mentioned throughout this bill is the cooperation with coalition partners and based on recent reports in the Guardian UK –The City of London Police added London OWS to a list of Terrorist/Extremist. http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2011/dec/05/occupy-london-police-terrorism-document and http://twitpic.com/7nu4b2 and http://uk.news.yahoo.com/police-include-occupy-movement-on-%E2%80%98terror%E2%80%99-list.html.

        This worldwide movement is speaking Truth to Power and the reaction by the PTB is only a prelude.

        • stephan

          I see your viewpoint. I think, rather than semantics the deconstruction brings to light, for me, interpretation and assumptions based on biases. The effective war powers act is the progenitor. This bill is just legalese fluff, not Freddie hiding in the closet. Yes, america is marching but a debate about this legislation doesn’t qualify as more important than the discussion about who should or shouldn’t be removed from the website and disengaged from OWS.

    • James Sanders

      Feel free to drop by our page Jack..we’ll be happy to debate the merrits of information presented in that article being off, and some people that were present to see the “mob rule” that went on as well. But sure, it’s posted online and unbiased right? Just like you are right Jack? And before you make the argument about my bias..I’m here defending false allegations and etc.

    • stephan

      thanks for this. The comments after this report (lisalongo) say a lot too. You make 99D sound pretty ugly! Can we dig up corresponding dirt on OWS members?

  49. stephan

    Clarification and simplification are what 99D needs to focus on IMHO. Their presentation is far too detailed and though profoundly well developed is just too friggin complicated for the majority to understand. Computer generated charts and diagrams don’t facilitate a smooth process. In fact, IMHO so much techease creates another dominant class. So much for assent or general consensus. Break it down please. Try to be a little more accessible please. I don’t understand how the process moves from the local (the community garden) to the national (stop nuclear use, or reduce military spending). Seems to me by the very nature of the structure, there will be a class of people in the know, and that class will be separate from the class that wants to improve, say, local economic conditions and have knowledge only about that. So there will still be hidden government.

    • Joe Hegedus

      You should go to the website and offer up some specific changes that you would like to see. There is a chance that you might get enough support to have those improvements made.

      • Urbaned

        What, @stephan didn’t already spend enough of his time helping you already? Geesh. Stop hijacking our energy, please. We need it as much as you.

    • James Sanders

      Stephan..I’d really like to know which “site” you’re suggesting..because if it’s the FB pages..or a typo..you’re in the WRONG place =) I’m asking for clarification, because that don’t sound like ANY part of the PRESENT site to me =)

  50. Paula Smith

    Now that 99% Declaration has been removed from the list of official NYC-GA groups, I ask only and with respect that NYC-GA members refrain from public denouncing our cause as we have tried only to be supportive and inclusive of everyone working to change things for the betterment of all Americans.

    • Frances MA

      I still see it listed. Nothing got removed. GA didn’t even get to the proposal last night. There were 9 items on the agenda and most of us are busy offsite preparing for D17 actions. if you want to follow the GA it is live tweeted @LibertySqGA

      • Paula Smith

        Thank you for the clarification. My mistake. I didn’t see it on the first page and assumed it was gone, especially considering all the comments from NYC-GA members in this thread.

  51. Liz

    You sound like Congress. I am in WA. OCCUPYOLY is getting booted out of a public park right now. OWS is not here, why? Because their area is NY. Who cares about OWS?! Who cares about OccupyPhilly?!? Sorry, this movement is leaderless and the only Occupy we all should be focusing is the one in our community! So if OWS is not interested in 99%D, lets move on! We have work to do!!!!

  52. Matt Arnold

    @Lopi and @James Sanders:
    Regardless of the format of the power structure, no process of collective decision making serves all members. Even if we remove the influence of egos interacting face to face (impossible), consensus based meetings obviously exclude the views of the people who aren’t at the meetings. That’s fine, because things have to get done, and probably most of what gets decided doesn’t affect the people who don’t attend negatively, but the fact remains that the minority is still not necessarily served. Obviously if people who are directly involved in the 99D knew about the meeting creating this proposal, they would have blocked consensus (maybe), and this could be said for any decision at any meeting.

    I recognize that you are both already fans of multiple tactics, so I’m sure you get what I’ve said above. Now regarding this website:
    If this site was created for the use of the people attending the NYCGA, it is no longer exclusive to that purpose. I live in Texas, and yet I’m participating here, and that’s a VERY GOOD THING.

    People who step up to move things forward are so crucial, and I’m really grateful for those of you donating your time and energy to improve the condition of humanity. But here’s the thing, the people that step up are always so goal focused that they get a serious case of selective listening. Be open to changing your assumptions about the role this website serves. Treat your affinities for certain methods not as religions, but as ongoing quests for what works. Look at the larger purpose. Anything that will help get more people on board is good, welcome them.

    To anyone getting emotional in discussions on this site: Have the humility to listen to your rivals, and the courage to open your heart, and you will be rewarded with peace.

    Thanks!

    • Matt Arnold

      After reading this:
      http://www.nycga.net/2011/11/01/the-nycga-true-hollywood-story-the-99declaration-group-an-expose/

      I can certainly see why OWS people are upset. I urge everyone involved to take the non-violence principal to heart. Violence is not only physical but verbal and psychic. There are a couple of verbal war mongers on each side here, let’s not allow them to steer things in an ugly direction.

      Here’s my suggestion: Michael and Justin have a cage match, everyone else drop the ego battle and work for the larger purpose of the day.

      My apologies to Michael and Justin if they feel that they are amenable to civil communication and constructive argument, your comments paint a different picture. If either of you are interested in furthering the progress of the populist groundswell that you’re both a part of, you should either apologize and change your approach, or stay out of it.

      • James Sanders

        Have I YET here said I agreed with EVERYTHING that Michael did? No I did not..and that goes for OWS as well. I HAVE asked not to be MARGINALIZED nor deemed guilty by association and punted from this website and group as the results of THEIR ISSUES with MICHAEL. I think that’s reasonable..and that’s what allot of others are saying on this page as well..like members of 99%D that came here to speak. It’s not JUST about the message that OWS is sending with the words at the top of this page..it’s about allowing emotion, ego, and pissing contests to make Michael Pollok pay for his actions while burning the rest of the 99%D group for it. Would anyone here appreciate that if it was happening to you?

  53. Danie Clarke

    I have seen both sides and as one of the 99% i like the the99declaration.org people doing what they are doing. There are most of the 99% who are getting tired of watching arogant people attacking each other and cops for what? Yea i have protested before and had no problems. I actually camped out on the US Capital lawn by the reflecting pool for 23 days and NIGHTs as i slept in a pup tent in may 2002. So protesting is allowed but being totally outlandish isn’t. I do appreciate the initial actions which has people working together bt now its time for phase 2 and well i am tired of phase 1 as are most of the 99%.. i also know about homeless people who love to get involved in these large issues that brings in support. After the work is done and all move on they will be upset and seek the next big thing. To them its about sucking this thing for as long as they can. I use to be homeless and i met and know many of these people from NYC to San Fran to oakland etc etc .. I traveled the USA from 2000 to 2004 in an old motorhome and tried to help them bt they wanted to only panhandle when i found them jobs. they prefered to drink and panhandle.. Are all the people there that? NO but they will be sure to be a powerful voice of discension when it comes to completeing this resolution. they prefer to keep getting % donations and partying.. So as for the rest of us who do want to resolve this thing its time to move to phase 2.. I knew not to even go to the occupy events because i was getting emails from some of those homeless who i knew and i knew it was for them just the next big thing.. As for everyone else who did actions and now want more .. i am with them..

    • Danie Clarke

      PS: Thats all i have to say.. i will not even come back here to argue and waste my time..

      • Brendan

        c’mon Danie… its like watching a car wreck or a movie that is so bad you just gotta see how it ends

  54. John Crocker

    Is OWS going to come out against the socialist worker party and Labour and churches and anyone else that shows solidarity with what OWS is upset about ?

    • Brendan

      I know how you can find out John. just for fun try to start a working group called “Elect Newt Now”

      • James Sanders

        THAT one needed a like button. Thanks Brendan..I needed a laugh =)

  55. Twelve

    This proposal is another example of what I think is divisive. I may need to re-crack some old books that highlight the strategies of the National Socialist and Communist revolutions that occurred in past, but I think I see a parallel. They are creating a hierarchy where people who control the agenda get a higher seat in a pecking order, thus dismantling the horizontal configuration but under the guise of being all-equal.

    To propose that a certain process must be used to institute your own autonomous action, especially when the current implementation is seriously flawed by only allowing voting for the one or two minutes that it is taking place, is not fair IMO. This type of expectation is what is disenfranchising the majority of the 99%. People want to get involved, but can’t because of this limitation. If an online system were in place I would be less concerned with the notion. It is however just a proposal, right? Did it pass a vote?

    Direct democracy is a fine model for small groups but has not been successful for large groups throughout history. It’s true we can overcome some of the hurdles through technology, but we have yet to do that. In fact, in Philly, the same people who so violently support the strict adhereence to the process are the also the same individuals who oppose online components being used.

    Quite a conundrum. I’m actually ok with not adhering to the process. It is a new institution that just appeared and now demands ulitmate rule over individualism. Feels much like some kind of reeducation or pilot program for socialism/communism. My personal stance is that those two isms are not the only choices, and in order to stand on the platform of “we are the 99%” we must embrace all choices.

    • Danie Clarke

      “In fact, in Philly, the same people who so violently support the strict adhereence to the process are the also the same individuals who oppose online components being used.”
      “In fact, in Philly, the same people who so violently support the strict adhereence to the process are the also the same individuals who oppose online components being used.”
      “In fact, in Philly, the same people who so violently support the strict adhereence to the process are the also the same individuals who oppose online components being used.”

      They have this THING and its so valuable to them and they don’t know when the next THING will come along so they are gonna control this THING as long as they can.

  56. wayne a peischl

    If we are divided The Man wins, isn’t that what it is really about ? If Some people involved in OWS are up set .I feel bad for them. But if I lose my health insurance or my pension, or if the government uses my taxes to invade Iran or Rick Perry wins the election or some of us start getting locked up as terrorist. I’m going to feel a lot worst. Lets work together in the spirit of cooperation! Nobody owns this movement it is a product of critical mass . Do you not remember what was happening the end of September When OWS was first put on national news, everybody was excited .What if the people involved in Arab Springs said we did not vote on people protesting in NY .The whole world is involved in this. Let’s not be so Paranoid about each other. Let’s help each other do what they feel their part is. Our common bond is not how we got here but where we will end up World LONG LIVE THE REVOLUTION!

    • Brendan

      it is not a product of critical mass it is a product of the people who show up at the GAs and he people who control the money

  57. wayne a peischl

    education is Free
    The 100th monkey
    AUTHOR’S FOREWORD

    Two events converged on me this summer. They supplemented each other and gave me the inspiration and added push I needed. They made me respond to the urgency I had felt brewing in me for some time to express my concern about the worldwide danger of nuclear weapons.

    The first event was my viewing the videotape “The Last Epidemic,” taken at a symposium held in November, 1980 on the unacceptability of nuclear weapons for human health. I was deeply impressed by the physicians and scientists who brought their knowledge and eloquence to that meeting. Their stature and level of experience, insight and courage left no doubt in my mind that my priorities had to be rearranged. I had to add my voice and speak out now!

    The second experience was my exposure to the Hundredth Monkey Phenomenon, which I learned about in talks by Marilyn Ferguson and Carl Rogers. This phenomenon shows that when enough of us are aware of something, all of us become aware of it.

    That concept confirmed my own intuitive trust in the basic tenet of my work — that the appreciation and love we have for ourselves and others creates an expanding energy field that becomes a growing power in the world. This radical new support gives me the counterbalance of hope to offset the doomsday story of nuclear destruction.

    There is no need to feel helpless or get paralyzed by hopelessness. We know we have the power to make changes if we can join together and raise our voices in unison. There is more power in numbers that we ever hoped to dream about! I call for us to let our numbers grow exponentially as we all take it on ourselves to spread these messages.

    We are the bearers of a new vision. We can dispel the old destructive myths and replace them with the life-enriching truths that are essential to continued life on our planet.

    St. Mary, Kentucky
    Ken Keyes, Jr.
    December, 1981http://www.wowzone.com/100th.htmhttp://www.wowzone.com/100th.htm

  58. DMW

    I love the OWS movement but this proposal doesn’t have the right tone; it sends a bit of a chill in the way it is worded, a little reminiscent of the Tea Party. The 99% Declaration I believe has been misrepresented in the manner the above was written. The group is new and learning as it goes along (just like OWS) and its motives are exactly the same as the OWS movement. Voicing standards is a good thing and so are criticisms, they help us grow, but this proposal seems to condemn without having done enough research first.

  59. Daryl Atamanyk

    From The Unconscious Civilization by John Ralston Saul: “Where does legitimacy lie?…I can identify only four options…as sources of legitimacy. God. A king. Groups. Or the individual citizenry as a whole…

    “Now, the peculiarity of the first three sources – God, king and the groups – is that, once in power, they automatically set about reducing the fourth, the individual, to a state of passivity. The individual citizen is reduced to the state of a subject. That is, he is subjected to the will of one or more of these other legitimacies.

    “In other words, gods, kings and groups are not compatible with the fourth source, because they require acquiescence while individualism requires participation. Either one or more of the first three is in a dominant position or the fourth dominates.

    “I would argue that our society functions today largely on the relationships between groups…And that the primary loyalty of the individual; is not to the society but to her group.

    “What I am describing is the essence of corporatism…

    “…gods, kings and groups…are systems devoid of what I would call disinterest. Their actions are based entirely upon the idea of interest. They are self-destructive because they cannot take seriously the long-term or the wider view, both of which are dependent on a measure of disinterest, which could also be called the public good or the common weal.

    “The society in which legitimacy lies within the individual citizen is quite different. It can happily tolerate gods, kings and groups, providing they do not interfere with the public good – that is, providing that they are properly regulated by the standards of the public good. The citizen based society can do this because it is built upon the shared disinterest of the individuals. What’s more, this has a tempering effect which can actually be beneficial to the other three forces – the gods, kings and groups. It limits their self-destructive nature by focusing them onto the longer term and the wider picture.”

    So that’s from John Ralston Saul. From me is the following:

    So really the occupy movement can do both things: one part of the movement can pursue political gains for group-oriented individuals [i.e., in pursuit of corporatist interests, because that is what they will be doing by playing the political game: there is no getting around that], at the same time another part of the movement can remain an autonomous force of national conscience. But don’t try to obfuscate the significance of the dichotomy: you are definitely on different pages, so to speak. And the political party of “group interests” will definitely be the more vulnerable to human nature re-exerting again the influence of personal greed, more so than among the autonomous group of “Elders,” if you will, who maintain their status as a politically non-aligned force of national conscience that serves to hold ALL political parties to account!

    There can be no union between the two without corruption again re-exerting itself all ‘round.

    I’m just sayin’…

    [And you know what else? The cool thing about Elders is: they recognize who each other are. It’s part of the “nature of being an Elder.” No Elder “claims” to be an Elder: rather, Elders just coalesce, and others just recognize those Elders’ moral authority, given that the Elders seek the good of the whole, not trying to exercise influence on behalf of the parts of that whole. (Of course there are signs of, and times when people are so blind, they can’t even tell the difference.)]

    Can you tell the difference?

  60. Steve Scher

    I note that Michael Pollok posted an invitation to the first meeting of the 99% Declaration meeting of its working group at a non-existent location, and after being apprised it was now a 99cent store by the one member of the group who showed up for 45 minutes in the cold with her two fifteen month old toddlers, reposted the same Sophie’s Diner location.
    No meeting was held.
    The point that ows ny is simply that, ows ny seems lost on some of the individual’s involved, while others knowingly and willfully disregard the reality.
    The shame s that others are led to believe the evil ows ny ga is out to get them, without even having the ability to read their own history as one person, and one person only chooses to delete their own forums, over and over.
    I am reminded of Nixon, whose downfall was not simply any criminal activity, but rather the coverup.
    I have gone out of my way for weeks now attempting to bridge the Gp, even to assist bring the group into compliance.
    Having not managed to attract four more to reach five people complance to attend the first and only meeting, and Mr Pollok who has commandeered even the name The99%Declaration for his own personal use, Mr Pollok choosing not to attend this one and only meeting, it appears that I’m fact this is a phantom new york city working group.

    Yes there are four Facebook groups on a national basis.
    Yes, there was an announcement made about such a group after Mr Pollok represented 7 (? Or 8) students from an upstate college, on the colleges request. Yes MrPollok writes he sat down with them to write up a list of grievances with these 7 or 8′ but where are these 8, or 7, or even ONE from the original group he describes? Any here in the NY City working group.
    I’ve met in that group some really good sincere people, and it’s a damn shame with their forums/discussion groups here deleted over and over their ability to have perspective is severely compromise.
    I have no choice but if asked, to voice full support for the proposal.
    I have left that group, and except for a few associated matters being addressed by other authorities well over my head, and over which I have no control, my association is ended with 99%Declaration.
    Too many members of 99%Declaration have communicated privately and publicly their negative experiences.Far too many and consistently.
    I am done , and move on.