Proposed OWS Vision Statement to be presented to the General Assembly as consensed upon in the V&G meeting on 11/19/2011.

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(11/20/11) From the General Assembly of the Occupy Wall Street movement, To the People of the World we offer a preliminary Declaration of our Vision.

We Envision:  [1] a truly free, democratic, and just society;  [2] where we, the people, come together and solve our problems by consensus;  [3] where people are encouraged to take personal and collective responsibility and participate in decision making;  [4] where we learn to live in harmony and embrace principles of toleration and respect for diversity and the differing views of others;  [5] where we secure the civil and human rights of all from violation by tyrannical forces and unjust governments;  [6] where political and economic institutions work to benefit all, not just a privileged few;  [7] where we provide full and free education to everyone, not merely to get jobs but to grow and flourish as human beings;  [8] where we value human needs over monetary gain, to ensure decent standards of living without which effective democracy is impossible;  [9] where we work together to protect the global environment to ensure that future generations will have safe and clean air, water, and food supplies, and will be able to enjoy the beauty and bounty of nature that past generations have enjoyed. 

 


Note: This is the last version of this document which has reached consensus by the group. While there may be other versions floating around, no other version has been properly considered and consensed by the group.
The point has been raised that the word “preliminary” in the prefatory sentence terribly weakens the whole document, especially as the OWS movement is now in its third month. Even if we intend to revisit this document, the word “preliminary” is unnecessary and damaging and should be removed. If there are any parts of this statement with which we are not satisfied, we should work them out ASAP, so this Vision Statement can be put out the the world that keeps asking what is our vision and what are we are trying to do.

3 Responses to “Proposed OWS Vision Statement to be presented to the General Assembly as consensed upon in the V&G meeting on 11/19/2011.”

  1. Rich Woytowich

    Frank,
    One way to address the “preliminary” issue – and at the same time answer the question raised at the GA about the publishing of our statement – would be to adapt the wording used before and after the Principles of Solidarity statement (which can be read on this website – look under “Resources”). If we do that, we would insert, before the first line,

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

    We would insert, after the last line,

    “The Working Group on Vision and Goals continues to work toward a more comprehensive statement of visions and goals to be incorporated as soon as possible into this living document.

    This is an official document crafted by the Working Group on Vision and Goals. The New York City General Assembly came to consensus on ______________ to accept this working draft and make it accessible to the public by posting it online.”

    We could then remove the word “preliminary”.

    I followed this pattern in my most recent proposal. I would propose this change, which is really just editorial, as a friendly amendment to the current document, independent of any other changes I might propose.

  2. Rich Woytowich

    Frank and all:

    Yes, I wrote my own draft document to try to incorporate the feedback that we got from the GA. But that could also be done by editing this document.

    The people who commented at the GA asked us to address racism, nonviolence, and the notion that people who have more should pay more.

    I tried to address the last point by talking about responsibility in a way that’s different from the way we talk about it in our current document. Actually, our current item about responsibility is very similar to a statement in our Principles of Solidarity. So I would propose deleting:

    where people are encouraged to take personal and collective responsibility and participate in decision making;

    and replacing it with:

    where all who reap society’s benefits accept a fair share of its responsibilities;

    (we could word it more strongly and say “a proportionate share”)

    We can address racism and nonviolence by adding two items:

    where institutionalized racism, sexism, and all other forms of discrimination based on socially constructed labels have been wiped out;

    where non – violence is embraced as a way of life;

    I would make one more proposal. So far, we haven’t addressed the issue that seems to be at the heart of the movement – getting money out of politics. So I would add:

    where governments derive their just powers from the consent of the governed, not from the wealth of corporate treasuries;

    I haven’t yet worked out where to position each item in the document. If I figure it out before I leave home, I’ll post my suggested amended version as a separate comment.

    -Rich

  3. Rich Woytowich

    OK – here’s a version with all the edits I’m proposing:

    What follows is a living document that will be revised through the democratic process of the General Assembly.
    From the General Assembly of the Occupy Wall Street movement, To the People of the World we offer a Declaration of our Vision.
    We Envision:  [1] a truly free, democratic, and just society;  [2] where we, the people, come together and solve our problems by consensus;  [3] where all who reap society’s benefits accept a fair share of its responsibilities;  [4] where we learn to live in harmony and embrace principles of toleration and respect for diversity and the differing views of others; [4a] where institutionalized racism, sexism, and all other forms of discrimination based on socially constructed labels have been wiped out; [4b] where non – violence is embraced as a way of life; [5] where we secure the civil and human rights of all from violation by tyrannical forces and unjust governments; [5a] where governments derive their just powers from the consent of the governed, not from the wealth of corporate treasuries; [6] where political and economic institutions work to benefit all, not just a privileged few;  [7] where we provide full and free education to everyone, not merely to get jobs but to grow and flourish as human beings;  [8] where we value human needs over monetary gain, to ensure decent standards of living without which effective democracy is impossible;  [9] where we work together to protect the global environment to ensure that future generations will have safe and clean air, water, and food supplies, and will be able to enjoy the beauty and bounty of nature that past generations have enjoyed. 

    The Working Group on Vision and Goals continues to work toward a more comprehensive statement of visions and goals to be incorporated as soon as possible into this living document.
    This is an official document crafted by the Working Group on Vision and Goals. The New York City General Assembly came to consensus on ______________ to accept this working draft and make it accessible to the public by posting it online.