I love the #occupywallstreet protests. You’re on the right side of a historic moment.
But because it’s early in the movement, the protest’s messaging is a mess right now. As a group, your dedication and resolve are so great, I realize it’s a challenge to produce focused communications to match.
I can’t be there with you to participate in a General Assembly. So I tried to help refine, sharpen and prioritize protest appeals from here in Chicago.
The following is my draft declaration for #occupywallstreet. It was built to be short, sharp, focused, repeatable, and of most importance, unassailable. I submit it in solidarity for consideration by the group. Use any of it, or none of it, whatever.
No matter the outcome, I urge that we work on refining the protest’s messaging, because last week’s media blackout is coming to an end. Even Megyn Kelly, Fox News’s perkiest cheerleader for poverty, couldn’t pass up running the NYPD-macing-protesters video this afternoon.
WHY ARE WE HERE?
WE WANT OUR ECONOMY BACK
The bloated and reckless financial sector harms the real economy. 40 years ago, the financial sector commanded 2% of all the economy’s profits. Today, it commands over 40%. We, in the real economy, demand a 1% tax on all securities transactions. We call for the nationalization and breakup of all “too big to fail” financial institutions. We call for the nationalization and de-privatization of the Federal Reserve Bank. WE WANT OUR ECONOMY BACK.
WE WANT OUR DEMOCRACY BACK
We will no longer pretend we are well-represented by a government corrupted by runaway financial and commercial interests. We demand public service. We demand an end to the normalized corruption of our democracy by 1) instituting public financing of elections, 2) ending all lobbying for changes to the tax code, 3) the end of audit-less electronic balloting systems. WE WANT OUR DEMOCRACY BACK.
WE WANT OUR JOBS BACK
Wall Street’s political power has far exceeded Washington’s. The economy’s biggest players have the biggest say in its outcomes. Now, we want our say. Corporate profits and cash reserves are near all-time highs. Yet, unemployment is effectively well over 15% while “job creators” create only excuses. WE WANT OUR JOBS BACK.
WE WANT OUR HOMES BACK We signed on the dotted line. But Wall Street banks didn’t. We didn’t want a housing bubble. Wall Street’s banks and derivatives traders created one. We are not in default, we are victims of massive financial fraud. We demand an immediate cessation of foreclosures. WE WANT OUR HOMES BACK.
WE WANT ARRESTS AND PROSECUTION OF FINANCIAL TERRORISTS
Too big to fail is too big to jail. We demand immediate indictments on charges of securities fraud for Lloyd Blankfein (Goldman Sachs), Vikram Pandit (Citi), John Stumpf (Wells Fargo). Jamie Dimon (JPM/Chase), Ken Lewis (BoA), Martin J. Sullivan (AIG). WE WANT ARRESTS AND PROSECUTIONS OF FINANCIAL TERRORISTS.
WE WILL NOT LEAVE UNTIL WE REGAIN OUR ECONOMIC CIVIL RIGHTS.