Declaration of the Occupation

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She's become our paper's unofficial mascot and we don't even know her name.

Approved by consensus on Sept. 29, 2011, at the New York City General Assembly in occupied Liberty Square.

As we gather together in solidarity to express a feeling of mass injustice, we must not lose sight of what brought us together. We write so that all people who feel wronged by the corporate forces of the world can know that we are your allies.

As one people, united, we acknowledge the reality: that the future of the human race requires the cooperation of its members; that our system must protect our rights, and upon corruption of that system, it is up to the individuals to protect their own rights, and those of their neighbors; that a democratic government derives its just power from the people, but corporations do not seek consent to extract wealth from the people and the Earth; and that no true democracy is attainable when the process is determined by economic power. We come to you at a time when corporations, which place profit over people, self-interest over justice, and oppression over equality, run our governments. We have peaceably assembled here, as is our right, to let these facts be known.

They have taken our houses through an illegal foreclosure process, despite not having the original mortgage.

They have taken bailouts from taxpayers with impunity, and continue to give Executives exorbitant bonuses.

They have perpetuated inequality and discrimination in the workplace based on age, the color of one’s skin, sex, gender identity and sexual orientation.

They have poisoned the food supply through negligence, and undermined the farming system through monopolization.

They have profited off of the torture, confinement, and cruel treatment of countless nonhuman animals, and actively hide these practices.

They have continuously sought to strip employees of the right to negotiate for better pay and safer working conditions.

They have held students hostage with tens of thousands of dollars of debt on education, which is itself a human right.

They have consistently outsourced labor and used that outsourcing as leverage to cut workers’ healthcare and pay.

They have influenced the courts to achieve the same rights as people, with none of the culpability or responsibility.

They have spent millions of dollars on legal teams that look for ways to get them out of contracts in regards to health insurance.

They have sold our privacy as a commodity.

They have used the military and police force to prevent freedom of the press.

They have deliberately declined to recall faulty products endangering lives in pursuit of profit.

They determine economic policy, despite the catastrophic failures their policies have produced and continue to produce.

They have donated large sums of money to politicians supposed to be regulating them. They continue to block alternate forms of energy to keep us dependent on oil.

They continue to block generic forms of medicine that could save people’s lives in order to protect investments that have already turned a substantive profit.

They have purposely covered up oil spills, accidents, faulty bookkeeping, and inactive ingredients in pursuit of profit.

They purposefully keep people misinformed and fearful through their control of the media.

They have accepted private contracts to murder prisoners even when presented with serious doubts about their guilt.

They have perpetuated colonialism at home and abroad. They have participated in the torture and murder of innocent civilians overseas.

They continue to create weapons of mass destruction in order to receive government contracts. *

To the people of the world,

We, the New York City General Assembly occupying Wall Street in Liberty Square, urge you to assert your power.

Exercise your right to peaceably assemble; occupy public space; create a process to address the problems we face, and generate solutions accessible to everyone.

To all communities that take action and form groups in the spirit of direct democracy, we offer support, documentation, and all of the resources at our disposal.

Join us and make your voices heard!

*These grievances are not all-inclusive.

This post is also available in: French, Spanish, Arabic, Romanian, Turkish

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  • Hilton

    Why not end private central banks who illegally issue our money ?
    Why not end the usury injustice of income tax on the issuance of the above money ?
    Why not invent and use clean energy ?
    Why not let big corporations and banks fail ?
    Why not tax the rich corporations ?
    Why not end “crony” capitalism and create truly free markets ?
    Why not create an “internet” democracy and remove central government ?
    Why not end all the wars and remove all armies ?
    Why not free health services and higher education instead of armies and wars ?

    • Jonathan S

      How about creating a system that allows real-time consent of the governed on a national scale?

      • patanic rites

        This of course would not work in a nation of the size and population of the United States, or indeed of many nations in the “developed world” today. I fully support real-time consent of the governed on a local scale. And I support the dismantling of overgrown nations into smaller nations that can govern themselves in this manner.

  • Adam William Majkowski

    By Any means Necessary they must be stopped. We want our bailout money back. We want to have our homes back. What else is there to do but break open that big fat piggy chase bank? Spread it out to individuals to make up their own individual minds what they want to invest in. Every person deserves a place to live with no threat of ever being evicted for any reason. Every person deserves their own pursuit of happiness with a minimum living standard, easily attainable with modern technology.

    • Lauren SC

      “By ANY means”? I’m hoping you mean any means within some principled limits, right? People who think their preferred ends justify “any means” should frighten anyone with a conscience.

  • blitznstitch

    Most corporations are closely-held, meaning they are made up of families, friends, and acquaintances – people who know each other that get together to do business and hopefully turn a profit. These corporations are commonly referred to as “small businesses.” Also, our law mandates corporations have the sole purpose of profit for their shareholders, if a CEO of a corporation tries to do otherwise (Like Henry Ford did when he hired workers instead of paying dividends to shareholders) then that corporation is going to face a lawsuit in Delaware and lose. Ever wonder why corporations are all incorporated in Delaware? Because Delaware’s state law (which is what corporations are made under – not federal law) is strict on the purpose of a corporation, and so all public corporations are Delaware “residents” because that way their investors know if they invest in this corporation, the corporation will not screw them. So Occupy WallStreet – if you want to change corporate behavior – Occupy Delaware Legislature!!!!! Duh…

  • Lizzyb

    Right on brothers and sisters! We are our last best hope for this country and this world.

  • Johnqpublik

    So the protest is directed at “corporations” and “they” and the recommended remedy is to make your voices heard? Just wanted to make sure I understood the Declaration correctly.

    • Kevin murray

      So, the fed gov should:
      Give people free homes
      End patent rights on medicines (that will help the Pharmas get rid of their pesky R&D budgets)
      Forgive a trillion dollars in student loans
      Stop making weapons in a world where werethe Chinese have created a new arms race
      Allow the economy to crash instead of give bailouts even though the hyper inflation it would have caused would have made paper money worthless

      How about you all go back to college and get a degree that has some value instead of a MA in cultural studies get an MBA. What did you intend to do for a living with that? How about instead of Graphic Design, get a degree in Engineering?

  • Bruce Eggum

    Will New York provide a General Assembly of General Assembly’s ? We need a place to begin. Thanks for all you do. Bruce

  • Crgaillee

    The energy being created here is in my opinion, moment when I feel it’s the presence of God sweeping through history saying; “This will not do anymore.” He is stirring the people around the world in a very broad way. When one sees this, they have no other choice than to grasp his robes as he sweeps by.

    • Paul Dail

      Seems like you might need a Doctor. Your having delusions.

  • boop

    Although I agree with all the things listed in this declaration we should absolutely insert something about the way that the government is not only allowing this to happen, but is actively perpetuating it and refusing to stop it.

  • digitaltoanalog

    Last time I checked, America was under a representative democracy. It was never set up as a direct democracy. Where’s the spirit from?

  • Bainesjr

    I know it is of upmost importance for us to see immediate changes that would re-stabilize our economy here in the United States. I agree with each of the 21 issues set forth in the Occupy Wall Street’s Occupation Declaration, which is filled with revolutionary ideas. I believe in all the ideas and so did our founding fathers but the elite have always seemed to make things the way they wanted them to be. It is critical that we set up 3 main initiatives for Main Street and the Occupy Wall Street movement to focus on, to ensure we have progress from the worldwide protests:
    1st–Taxing the Federal Reserve (which has private shareholders) a 1% tax and within 5 years to Enact our US Treasury to begin backing our own currency and not rely upon the Federal Reserve;
    2nd–Enact a law that would make it unlawful for Corporations or Individuals to refuse to manufacture patents within a specific amount of time, especially patents that would bring forth newer sources of energy, and selling the patents when they are found guilty by the Supreme Court.
    3rd–Lastly and make it illegal for corporations to receive federal or state welfare or bailouts, ensuring a democratic and capitalist system is brought back into alignment with our founding ideals.
    This would erase our National deficit in less than 5 years. This is only a start for the problems facing American but it would usher in a new era of political change starting with the movements on Main Street.

    • Kelley805

      Bainesjr I respect your opinion and energy but your solutions are missing the cause.
      1st – taxing the Federal reserve is like taxing a congressional committee.
      2nd – the patent law has been rewritten and takes effect Jan 1 2012
      3rd – Congress already changed the law so Big Banks can no longer be bailed out. thanks to Barney Frank.

      So instead take the power away from the corporations – aka take personhood away from corporations via a constitutional amendment. see

  • Kelley805

    We need to get the money out of politics aka end corporate personhood. see

    But we cannot rely on Congress for change. We need to pressure state legislatures to pass constitutional amendments to fix the problems.