GA-AMENDED 1/24/12 DRAFT OWS VISION STATEMENT

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What follows is a living document that will be revised through the democratic process of the General Assembly.

GA-Amended 1/24 Draft OWS Vision Statement

We the people of Occupy Wall Street, in solidarity with the people of the world, gather to build a just society and a flourishing environment for future generations.

Our political and economic systems are broken. Power corrupts, absolute power corrupts absolutely, and we live in a world where wealth is power. Our democracy now belongs to the highest bidder. Today, we must remember the lessons of history, restore human dignity and begin anew to build the bonds of trust and goodwill among all.

From the General Assembly to the people of the world, we offer a Declaration of our Vision for the future.

We envision a free, democratic and just society, built on the following principles:

LIBERTY: whereby we secure the full spectrum of human rights – political, civil, economic, social and cultural – against violation or infringement, particularly by unchecked corporate power and unjust governments; where we preserve the public availability of common spaces and other resources, such as open-source technologies, to promote the free flow of ideas and information.

PEOPLE POWER: whereby decision-making, in every form and at every level, exists by the will of the collective; where neither wealth nor history alone will justify power; where everyone’s voice is heard, and no one is marginalized.

PEOPLE BEFORE PROFIT: whereby we value human dignity and needs over monetary gain, elevating them to a place of primary importance; among these are the rights to meaningful and fairly-rewarded work; a decent home; abundant sources of clean air, pure water and natural, nutritious food supplies; and free, comprehensive healthcare and education.

FAIRNESS: whereby we collectively call on all who enjoy society’s benefits to accept their share of society’s responsibilities; where everyone has an equal opportunity to thrive and power is shared equitably by all so that no one is allowed to exploit, oppress or enslave another.

EQUALITY: whereby we reject all forms of institutionalized discrimination and oppression, on any basis, including but not limited to race, age, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, disability, religion, national origin, nationality, ethnicity or economic standing.

JUSTICE: whereby transparent and accountable social, political, legal and economic systems work to benefit all, not just a privileged few; these systems are restructured or replaced when they fail to do so – specifically, the prison-industrial complex, where profits are gained by the labor of an incarcerated population composed disproportionately of the poor and people of color.

ENVIRONMENTAL STEWARDSHIP: whereby the wealth of our economy emerges from the health of our environment and therefore all societal activities are conducted with respect, humane treatment and foresight to ensure that all life is sustainable and that the world has room to flourish, now and for future generations.

PEACE: whereby non-violence is embraced as a way of life, and we resolve to live together in harmony and celebrate principles of compassion, appreciation and respect for diversity and the differing views and actions of others.

It is not enough to know better; we must do better. Our social and political ideals have to be claimed and asserted by each generation.

We look forward to a day when we can shift our focus beyond the notion of individual rights, towards a culture of sharing, where our love and compassion for each other and our world will be the only guides we need. 

We affirm our commitment to live this new world in our hearts and make it a reality.

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