What is it the 99% demand?
Posted by Amalia
Why are you here? A very common question in the occupy movements. Many of the 99% simply say they are there because of “corporate greed” but others go into depth stating they demand change, not just want it, and declaring it highly important the public becomes aware of issues that continue to affect them socially, economically and politically. Their #OWS website states, “#OWS is fighting back against the corrosive power of major banks and multinational corporations over the democratic process, and the role of Wall Street in creating an economic collapse that has caused the greatest recession in generations”. It is clear they are there to spread the message and fight back against a corporate power but what exactly is it that they demand and how do they expect to succeed? That is in fact the famous question the media is circling in the encampments. Because there are thousands of people in the occupy movements, there are thousands of people with demands that are either completely the same or completely different. Therefore, there is not a legitimate set of demands given by the movement. It is a movement that has people from different ethnical, political, and economical backgrounds but that still unite when being part of the 99%. Although proposed demands are not set in stone, #OWS NYCGA listed, not a few, but several demands, better known as grievances, in their 99 Percent Declaration. According to the declaration, the grievances are to be discussed in a general assembly that is to take place in Philadelphia on July 4th of next year. The grievances are to follow a direct democracy strategy through assemblies that serve to reach a consensus among the people. According to the declaration, the national assembly will focus on an outline of a “six point plan” where they will:
- “Elect one man and one woman from each of the 435 congressional districts in March 2012 plus six delegates from Washington, D.C., Puerto Rico and the U.S. Territories”
- Ask the delegates to “draft a list of grievances” where they will “be called upon to state their positions on the issues being debated”
- Meet at the general assembly on July 4th of next year where they will “ratify and sign a final petition for a redress of grievances and solutions and plan a potential new independent party to run in the 2014 mid-term election”
- Address that the grievances will “be served upon all three branches of government and all candidates running for federal political office in 2012”
- Wait for “the 213th Congress, president, and supreme court to act upon and redress the grievances listed in the petition” and later question the 2012 candidates and their support they have or may not have on the grievances.
- And finally organize a new independent party if the grievances are not supported
Some of the grievances, or perhaps the demands people continue to ask for, stated in the declaration include the following:
- “Elimination of the Corporate State”
- “A Fair Tax Code”
- “Ending the War in Afghanistan”
- “Healthcare for ALL”
- “Debt Reduction”
- “Immigration Reform and Improved Border Security”
- “Ending of Perpetual War for Profit”
- “Reforming Public Education”
These are only a few but you can read the complete #OWS NYCGA Declaration with all of its grievances here: www.nycga.net/resources/declaration/. The list of grievances is today, unofficial. Even though the previous are not valid demands that apply to all occupy movements, the NYCGA 99 Percent Declaration can be seen as a framework that will influence and spread to other occupy movements that will perhaps follow their paths.
About the 99% Declaration: https://sites.google.com/site/the99percentdeclaration/about-the-99-declaration-1
#OWS New York City General Assembly: http://www.nycga.net/
#OWS NYCGA FAQ: http://www.nycga.net/resources/faq/