Call to action: #OCCUPYWALLSTREET

by Jerome Roos on July 18, 2011

Post image for Call to action: #OCCUPYWALLSTREET

The editors of the activist magazine Adbusters have just called for a “shift in revolutionary tactics” and a Tahrir/Sol-style occupation of Wall Street.

Adbusters is a well-read high-quality magazine catering towards the insatiable hunger for information and inspiration among the global activist community. Their editorial board has just put out a spectacular call for the occupation of Wall Street. Full article re-posted below (original here, FB event here).

Alright you 90,000 redeemers, rebels and radicals out there,

A worldwide shift in revolutionary tactics is underway right now that bodes well for the future. The spirit of this fresh tactic, a fusion of Tahrir with the acampadas of Spain, is captured in this quote:

“The antiglobalization movement was the first step on the road. Back then our model was to attack the system like a pack of wolves. There was an alpha male, a wolf who led the pack, and those who followed behind. Now the model has evolved. Today we are one big swarm of people.”

— Raimundo Viejo, Pompeu Fabra University
Barcelona, Spain

The beauty of this new formula, and what makes this novel tactic exciting, is its pragmatic simplicity: we talk to each other in various physical gatherings and virtual people’s assemblies … we zero in on what our one demand will be, a demand that awakens the imagination and, if achieved, would propel us toward the radical democracy of the future … and then we go out and seize a square of singular symbolic significance and put our asses on the line to make it happen.

The time has come to deploy this emerging stratagem against the greatest corrupter of our democracy: Wall Street, the financial Gomorrah of America.

On September 17, we want to see 20,000 people flood into lower Manhattan, set up tents, kitchens, peaceful barricades and occupy Wall Street for a few months. Once there, we shall incessantly repeat one simple demand in a plurality of voices.

#OCCUPYWALLSTREET

Tahrir succeeded in large part because the people of Egypt made a straightforward ultimatum – that Mubarak must go – over and over again until they won. Following this model, what is our equally uncomplicated demand?

The most exciting candidate that we’ve heard so far is one that gets at the core of why the American political establishment is currently unworthy of being called a democracy: we demand that Barack Obama ordain a Presidential Commission tasked with ending the influence money has over our representatives in Washington. It’s time for DEMOCRACY NOT CORPORATOCRACY, we’re doomed without it.

This demand seems to capture the current national mood because cleaning up corruption in Washington is something all Americans, right and left, yearn for and can stand behind. If we hang in there, 20,000-strong, week after week against every police and National Guard effort to expel us from Wall Street, it would be impossible for Obama to ignore us. Our government would be forced to choose publicly between the will of the people and the lucre of the corporations.

This could be the beginning of a whole new social dynamic in America, a step beyond the Tea Party movement, where, instead of being caught helpless by the current power structure, we the people start getting what we want whether it be the dismantling of half the 1,000 military bases America has around the world to the reinstatement of the Glass-Steagall Act or a three strikes and you’re out law for corporate criminals. Beginning from one simple demand – a presidential commission to separate money from politics – we start setting the agenda for a new America.

Post a comment and help each other zero in on what our one demand will be. And then let’s screw up our courage, pack our tents and head to Wall Street with a vengeance September 17.

{ 36 comments… read them below or add one }

paul lavallee July 18, 2011 at 20:26

..awesome!!!!

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Andy July 19, 2011 at 04:30

I’m in!

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Riv July 19, 2011 at 21:03

A commission of people elected with corporate money eliminating corporate influence?

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Lou August 17, 2011 at 00:33

Good comment Riv. But “useful idiots” are just that – idiots. It’s so easy to tear down. Building up is where the hard work is, and that is not something these people want to hear. They claim they hate the “corporate greed” but never look in the mirror to see their own lustful, envious hearts. Envy .. is much worse than greed, because envy says I know I will never have what that person has, so I am going to make sure they don’t have it either. Your hearts are every bit as evil as those corporate monsters you so love to hate.

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Peter August 24, 2011 at 22:19

‘useful idiots’ – unfounded paranoia.

You want us to choose between the lesser of two evils, but we reject your fundamental premise; neither is worse, they are both terrible.

It is not envy that drives us but Love with all of its impossible demands.

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Sky Sheridan July 20, 2011 at 22:14

Sounds AMAZING! Thank you for standing up for the TRUTH! :)

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Lou August 17, 2011 at 00:37

Sky, what do you know about “standing up for truth”? What is truth? Until you can answer that stop spouting off your rhetorical nonsense. You ae being led by envious people against greedy people. I suggest you learn the difference, because while both are not good, one is much worse than the other. And if you operate on the basis of envy, your next door neighbor would have the right to do the same – and burn your damn house down because you have a flatscreen and they don’t. Think about it – becuase that is the truth. This is not a game, it is a clash of worldviews, ideas, and ideas definitely have consequences. The simply little “what is good for the goose is good for the gander” really is true. Be ready to accept what you dish out, or don’t dish it out.

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yoda November 15, 2011 at 07:12

Alas, the old ‘you don’t know what the truth is’ reply. So hard to argue against so easy to say. Enlighten us. Define the truth for us all. Take your time. Less words are better. tap something off. I’ll cut and paste it onto everything I own as a reminder.

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Marcvs July 30, 2011 at 10:32

Just make sure you plan it well, dont’t go there with only camping tents. You will need to organize yourselves in working groups to attend the needs of the campsite and manage any kind of police intervention in a peaceful way (give for sure that they will come to try to bring you out of there), also inform people of wich are their rights, etc…. I’m working with the Barcelona indignants and if you need some information or assistance I’ll gladly answer.

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Robin Mitchell August 3, 2011 at 00:45

It’s time for a referendum about multinational conglomerates avoiding their U.S. taxes and getting all sorts of tax breaks, adding insult to injury. This goes for the mega-rich as well. How long will it take for common sense to rear its head and ROAR?

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Lou August 17, 2011 at 00:42

Hey Robin, “roar” away, but in your roaring answer one simple question. How long do you think all the poor of the world would last if you took every cent of every greedy rich person in the world. Seriously. THink about that. Take every damn dime they have, and you couldn’t run the US government beyon a couple months, much less the starving world. So why do you think the leftist in the halls of power are alwasy pitting you agains the rich? Why? They don’t have enough to do what they talk about. They do it because they know and understand that their are millions of you “useful idiots” out there that will buy their empty rhetorical crap, cast their vote for them so they can continue doing what they do, while you go on the streets and rish getting a club over the head. Do you really think they give a damn about you? Seriously? Wake the hell up. You and all the idiots running around creating chaos are tools, nothing more. And when a tool has served it’s purpose they go into the trash heap.

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Oskar September 19, 2011 at 09:19

Abolish monetarism first! Money made of nothing caused enough evil worldwide. We have to decentralize and create communities with no more than 50 inhabitants each to avoid anonymity (in the right way – the missing point in democracy is that it’s based on statistics, not actual point of view of an inhabitant). Create neighbourhood of cooperating family like communities, not anonymous conspiring and unsitisfied individuals. We have to use our brains – quit living through other’s ideas. The time is here!

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Lynn Roethler September 25, 2011 at 04:43

The demand is not to take money from the rich, it’s about keeping their money, and the money of the corporations away from our government representatives. So it’s really about letting the rich keep their money – and good riddance! Let them spend it on something else, anything else but buying our congress!

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squigoth August 3, 2011 at 09:15

Great idea, fraught with danger as it is, and I wish you luck.
Please remember the police and national guard you are going to encounter are Americans as well. Also please consider this: the moment an anti war, anti USA or pro Palestinian (for example) banner goes up in your camp you are going to fail. Some are going to want to push other agendas; you might have to fight them as well. You must stay focused on that one issue: average Americans and their plight. 20,000 people can’t dictate to 300 million without their support; if you get diverted with the agendas of special interest groups you will lose control of your camp and lose the support of the many.

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John August 3, 2011 at 18:33

Demand a constitutional amendment that says that corporations are not people. The 14th amendment has been the excuse for making corporations people even though there is no such language in there.

Corpoartions can’t get drafted, get arrested, go to jury duty, or be loyal to their country (becuase their bylaws say their only duty is to their shareholders). And if they were people they couldn’t be owned because then they would be slaves. Coropate personhood gives corporations to much concentrated power in political discourse and is destroying our demacracy.

Demanding a commission is pathetic. That is what they offer you when they don’t want to meet your demands.

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kimberly August 12, 2011 at 16:37

The judge whom gave these criminals “Person-hood” is also a criminal to America and a traitor! Fire/Remove, arrest and prosecute!

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Lynn Roethler September 25, 2011 at 04:44

A commission is a start but the amendment to declare corporations are not people must be on the table.

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Alan Lund August 6, 2011 at 22:33

I think people should refuse to work a 5 day week anymore and just work 4 days. We are not going to be able to stop them TAXING US to pay for this mess, so the only thing we CAN do is this. Let us, at least, get some recompense. But it’s imperative that EVERYONE pulls together on this. Think about it – let’s adjust our work-life balance to meet the circumstances. Let’s DEMAND it!

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kimberly August 12, 2011 at 16:37

You mean for those FEW whose companies didn’t outsource??

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Lou August 17, 2011 at 00:14

Hey Alan, why 4? Why not 3? Or better yet, 2, 1 … hey best yet … screw it … why work at all. Let’s just take their damn money and shut all those corp’s down. Yea baby. Let’s all run home and eat, drink and be merry, for tomorrow we all go broke, starve and die. Sounds like a winning idea to me. You are all a bunch of “useful idiots” for the real goal, and you walk like sheep to slaughter, all the while thinking you are so damn brilliant.

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Peter August 24, 2011 at 20:43

Lou, you are mistaken, there is no ‘Big Other’ pulling our strings, we’re on our own. Do we expect to fail, or at the most cause little more than a small hiccup for the powerful? Absolutely, but then again history doesn’t move in a straight line, it is a zig-zag dialectic.

I have no doubt that you and the Cato Institute have all the Reasons money can buy, but we are here to destroy the wisdom of the wise, to bring the fight to the world-rulers of this darkness. We are not motivated by envy, but by Love.

“We are dealing, as in the 1840s, with absolutely cynical capitalists… All kinds of phenomena from the nineteenth century are reappearing: extraordinarily widespread zones of poverty, within the rich countries as well as in the zones that are neglected or pillaged, inequalities that constantly grow, a radical divide between working people- or those without work- and the intermediate classes, the complete dissolution of political power into the service of wealth, the disorganization of the revolutionaries, the nihilistic despair of wide sections of young people, the servility of a large majority of intellectuals…” – Alain Badiou

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Daniel September 21, 2011 at 20:34

There was a time when people worked, 60, 70+ hours a week in this country. With improvements in technology and greater efficiency, perhaps the 40 hour work week is outdated. With unemployment much higher than the official figures of 10%, perhaps it’s time to change the work week to 30, 32, or 35 hours and celebrate that we’ll have more time for each other and the important things in life while others that need an income now but don’t have one will likely be hired by many companies now they otherwise wouldn’t have before.

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ck August 10, 2011 at 07:13

reformist bullshit.

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Alan Lund August 12, 2011 at 18:54

Very articulate and cogently argued, ck

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kimberly August 12, 2011 at 16:34

Occupiers in OUR offices and buildings…STEALING OUR money, dismantling our rights and freedoms while having OUR troops away policing for corporate criminals! REMOVE these corporate/bankster criminals from OUR offices now! Write, e-mail, call and make all of the machines we pay for SMOKE! Start recalling and impeaching every single public employee that has ANY ties to corporations, banks and foreign country enslavement! People whom already fought and/or died TRULY fighting for our freedoms are spinning in their graves!

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Anarcist@heart August 12, 2011 at 20:59

Sounds great. Don’t forget to bring some marshmellows and hotdogs! My gut tells me there might be some bondfires!

Ha, ha… “bond-fires”… he, hehe… I crack myself up ;-p

“CRY HAVOCK & LET SLIP THE DOGS OF WAR!”

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Lou August 17, 2011 at 00:29

Hey Anarcist@heart, all fun to you is it? You are (their) biggest “useful idiot” of all. Do all their dirty work for them and you’d be the first to go. Yep, that would be fun, watching all of you go into the trash heaps of history. Becuasee if you ultimately get your way that is where you will be. What would really be fun would be for those you go after to let their property burn (and yes Kimberly, it is their property – sure as hell isn’t yours), while they went to your home, your family’s home and your friends homes and burn every damn one of them to the ground. Then for the hell of it, as they drive out of your neighborhood set every damn one of them on fire. Yipee! Watching you guys get a dose of your own medicine would be worth a truck load of marshmellos. How’s this “bonfire” sound to you my man?

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CT October 18, 2011 at 12:50

Learn some history Lou. The Paris Commune ran the city for 8 months in 1870-1; the Spanish anarchists ran Barcelona for 9 months in 1936-7. Your “useful idiots” line is cheap and pointless, for the people when organised can achieve far more than they can when they are being run for someone else’s benefit.

Both of these revolutions ended in defeat, with blood in the streets. To hear you gloating about the possibility of thousands of your fellow human beings being beaten and killed is beyond disgusting. Why don’t you kill yourself to save yourself from your cynicism?

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Gail Lakritz August 18, 2011 at 12:31

The message is simple, corruption. It eats away at every level of government in the US, local, state and federal. It is corruption that bought the Citizens United ruling, and it is corruption that continues to dismantle democracy.

The first step in regaining the trust of the people and our country is to end the corruption which most manifests itself in the courts, both state and federal. Dismantling and disbarring those who are corrupters of the law, removing omnipotent power from those remaining and returning the courts to the people must be a priority of this country, for without it, any gains now will be nullified by courts later.

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Helen Bloore August 19, 2011 at 16:56

Will bee with The Twenty Thousand In Spirit…! Keep it Peace Full….! H x :)

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Boyd August 27, 2011 at 19:25

I fully endorse the call for this demonstration, but the demand is too vague and easily corrupted. Calling for Mubarak to step down was a highly visible and achievable demand. Calling for a commission to eliminate the influence of money on our representatives, even if by some miracle Obama were to concede it, would simply lead to another Congressional committee, controlled by the same corporate interests, resulting in exactly no change. We have to be more creative and ambitious than this.

The demand has to be symbolic and achievable. The idea of a commission to “eliminate the influence of money on our representatives” has many ideas embedded in it that cause the entire project to be questionable. First, the assumption behind this call is that the American system of political representation could work if only we eliminated the influence of greedy corporations. This assumption is false. Our system is based on capitalism. In the capitalist system, the fact that money influences political decisions is not an evil to be eliminated, but a good to be cultivated. This is not an aberration due to “greed”, but an inherent part of well-functioning capitalist value-structure that is constantly reinforced by the corporate media machine.

If we don’t engage the capitalist system, then we are not fully understanding the nature of our enemy. What’s admirable about this demand is that it does go to the heart of the problem, but it fails to penetrate deeply enough into the systemic nature of the problem. That said, as a symbolic first step, as in the case of Mubarak’s resignation, it could open a can of interesting worms that could lead to other openings in this developing war.

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Francois Perez September 18, 2011 at 10:49

Boyd I totally agree with you. The move and intention are good but needs t go deeper to the source and root cause of the problem.

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Dan Melb September 25, 2011 at 15:22

This demand for democracy not plutocracy has one inevitable conclusion: that more people see the system of capitalism exactly for what it is. A system that is reliant upon the concept of greed. A system where all decisions are based on profit. A system where money is considered more important than life itself. A system where everything becomes a commodity. Where old growth forests are turned into wood chips and sold back to us at inflated prices.

It is only now in the advanced stages of capitalism that we are seeing corporations becoming so greedy and powerful that they are not even bothering to be subtle in their endeavors. Instead bankers are moving freely from corporate jobs to congress just as easily as capital and investment move across borders and nations. We don’t just need a separation of corporate and state. We need an end to capitalism itself. And it seems that the biggest threat to capitalism today is exactly that… capitalism itself. Give em’ enough rope and well…the rest is history.

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Jester September 27, 2011 at 00:41

I love the swarm concept, this way they can’t pick off the leaders, because there are no leaders…

My only concern is the One Demand concept?

What is it?

Once articulated, how does one get a Swarm to Consent?

Once the Swarm Consents… if it ever does… How does the Demand get executed without the new “Leaders” becoming corrupt?

Democracy over Corporatism sounds good, and I agree, in spirit, but it is to abstract to actually be implemented in a meaningful way.

If we shoot too small, then we lose the forest for the trees…

Humans submitting to live in a Hive Mind, with the discipline of Bees, navigating like a Gaggle of Geese, to a Promised Land that none of them has ever seen?

It is an interesting experiment in Faith… to say the least.

~jj

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alkoga October 15, 2011 at 08:34

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Capitalist Hippie October 17, 2011 at 01:22

“Corporate greed”…

People have no idea about who owns most of the public corporations in the US: the people. In the form of pension and investment funds.

When a blue-collar worker decides to invest his life-savings into a company that grows 7% a year instead of one that grows 6% a year without looking into “details” such as ethics, he is sending a clear message to corporations: I want the one who gives higher returns, no mater what.

When the people stop being greedy, corporate greed will die. Until then, you´re all just stupid masses, cattle being moved around by controlling ideologies.

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