Occupy Wall Street NYC’s First Official Document For Release / Collection of Pertinent Links, Video

Hey, all! This is just a quick scrapbook post to gather together some information about the activism building in NYC (and elsewhere in the US) since September 17th, with an emphasis on bits and pieces that a) touch on the evolution of open source counterculture, b) examine indie media/social network coverage versus MSM, c) convey the increasingly surreal (and sometimes funny), stranger-than-speculative-fiction nature of much of what’s happening, or d) relate directly to longtime members of the Coilhouse community. It will be updated over the next few days/weeks, with all additions and edits clearly marked.*

Are you currently organizing/protesting in NYC, or elsewhere in the States? We’d love to hear from you in comments. The more dialog that gets going about all of this, the better. Interesting times, indeed. Certainly galvanizing. And, potentially (hopefully), healing? Fingers crossed. Best of luck, everyone.

Hundreds of protesters were arrested on the Brooklyn Bridge yesterday. (Photo via)

Occupy Wall Street’s First Official Statement (via the Daily Kos):

This was unanimously voted on by all members of Occupy Wall Street last night, around 8pm, Sept 29. It is our first official document for release. We have three more underway, that will likely be released in the upcoming days: 1) A declaration of demands. 2) Principles of Solidarity 3) Documentation on how to form your own Direct Democracy Occupation Group. This is a living document. you can receive an official press copy of the latest version by emailing [email protected].

Declaration of the Occupation of New York City

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.

  • The Radiohead Hoax
  • BLACK PHOENIX ALCHEMY LAB: “Rock the protester cliche! This is a filthy friggin’ patchouli, dark, deep, rooty, and strangely sexy, with cocoa absolute, tobacco absolute, and bourbon vanilla.” You send us money, you get a bottle of perfume and the protesters get some chow. All the money after manufacturing costs that we generate from sales of #OCCUPYWALLSTREET will go to purchasing pizzas for the protesters.
  • Free Vampire Squid sketches by Molly Crabapple from 5-7 today in Liberty Park.
  •  Running Twitter feed hashtag #needsoftheoccupiers details what protestors are requesting (food, water, reportage, blankets, fresh socks, etc.)
(PS: By all means, toss and and all pertinent links our way. This current collection of links is hardly a comprehensive list– just a launching pad.)
UPDATE (Sun 1:33PST):
  •  Hippies and Hipsters Exhale / Is It America’s Arab Spring?   “… it feels like a festival of frustrations, a collective venting session with little edge or urgency, highlighting just how far away downtown Manhattan is from Damascus — the hyper-aggressiveness of the police not withstanding.”
UPDATE (Mon 12:30am):
UPDATE (Mon, 10:35am):
UPDATE (Mon, 4:55 am):
UPDATE (Wed, 6:09pm)
  • Douglas Rushkoff writes: “In fact, we are witnessing America’s first true Internet-era movement, which — unlike civil rights protests, labor marches, or even the Obama campaign — does not take its cue from a charismatic leader, express itself in bumper-sticker-length goals and understand itself as having a particular endpoint. .. As the product of the decentralized networked-era culture, it is less about victory than sustainability. It is not about one-pointedness, but inclusion and groping toward consensus. It is not like a book; it is like the Internet.”
UPDATE (Fri, Oct 7th, 9:40pm)
UPDATE (Sunday, 12:37pm)

UPDATE (Monday, 12:25pm)

UPDATE (Monday, Oct 10, 6:40pm)

UPDATE (Monday, Oct 10, 8:08pm)

  • It is not the job of the protesters to draft legislation. That’s the job of the nation’s leaders, and if they had been doing it all along there might not be a need for these marches and rallies. Because they have not, the public airing of grievances is a legitimate and important end in itself. It is also the first line of defense against a return to the Wall Street ways that plunged the nation into an economic crisis from which it has yet to emerge.” ~New York Times
UPDATE (Friday, Oct 14, 7pm)

UPDATE (Saturday, Oct 15th, 4:40pm)

  • VIDEO: A large group of NYC Citibank customers enter a branch of the bank, wanting to close their accounts. They are all locked inside the bank to await arrest. Woman outside of the locked doors attempts to convey lawyer info to them. Video shows another woman saying “I’m a customer” being forcibly dragged into the bank to join the others: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TH3kiaJ1-c8&feature=youtube_gdata_player
UPDATE (Saturday, Oct. 15th, 9pm)
UPDATE (Thursday, Oct. 28th, 4am)

UPDATE (October 28th, 2011)

*Opening paragraph edited for clarity on Mon, Oct. 3

10 Responses to “Occupy Wall Street NYC’s First Official Document For Release / Collection of Pertinent Links, Video”

  1. Martin Says:

    Asheville NC’s Occupy protest documented here: http://imageasheville.com/2011/10/occupy-wall-street-asheville-day-one/

  2. Butts Says:

    What is this shit about wmds and poisoned food? Who has done this, when, and where?

  3. Viktor Walters Says:

    Is it just me or is the whole Occupy ____ thing increasingly becoming the biggest, most literal example of Us vs. Them mentality in recent memory? I would say it’s terrifying, but that’s just a facet of how interesting it is.

    @Butts Clearly the “they” is “the corporations”, a delectably ambiguous term. And the Us? Not-corporations. I guess. Only fair since corporations have personhood here.

    Also, Butts, If you’re unaware, it’s generally assumed someone has to actually build the weapons of mass destruction for them to exist, and corporations tend to be the things to manufacture stuff nowadays. As for poisoned food, it all depends on what you’d call a poison. Would you call alcohol a poison? How about high-fructose corn syrup? As for the rest, it’s a well known fact that the majority of the farming system pretty much anywhere is incredibly strange now and definitely out of whack from what you might actually be familiar with in terms of agriculture.

  4. Viktor Walters Says:

    It should also be noted that if you erase the beginning preamble and replace every instance of “they” in the list of grievances with “we” (with minor grammatical corrections) it sounds a lot less vindictive and yet depressingly so much more true. Even though it’s sadder it makes the ending note more hopeful- instead of just getting together to heap blame onto the nefarious “They”, it sounds like the “We” is getting together to make it all right and find direct solutions.

    Let’s all hope that that’s what this turns into. An acceptance of a wider “We”, and more importantly direct action to take responsibility and (even though is waxes so saccharine) make our future brighter.

  5. Filipe Says:

    I wish people in Sao Paulo were doing the same.

  6. R. Says:

    It’s nice they’re doing this, but at the same time it’s highly divisive. As Viktor Walters said it just seems like a They and We kind of thing. The Self and the Other. The very construct that all injustice is based on. I’ve learned that even if things get better who are they getting better for?

  7. KT Says:

    It’s important to examine this from the perspective of other social identities (race/class/etc.) and note whether or not this is REALLY representing the 99%.


  8. david Says:

    @butts: they most likely mean that the fda allows unlisted/poorly described/non-food additives in mass produced food. for instance, cellulose wood pulp:
    or “acceptable” levels of arsenic in drinking water.

    i agree with some of the sentiment that i hear from these protesters. i imagine that anyones who reads coilhouse does as well. however, i don’t have much faith in their execution. remember the anti-war protests about iraq? those had a single clear goal, passion unto rage and a common enemy in w bush. what ultimately happened? they blocked some traffic and then the “movement” fell apart.

    this has a thousand vague notions of injustice, some of which i think are highly valid and some which boil down to “i’m mad because some people are rich and i am unemployed”. without a clear goal, how do you know when you’ve won? the tv crews will grow bored and stop filming, even michael moore will quit trying to take credit and go away and then people will leave in ones and twos until the tipping point is reached and it is over. in the end, like with every g8 protest, it might make some people start questioning their assumptions about how the world works and why and that might be a victory of sorts. i’d hardly call it “revolution” though.

    the arab spring was an armed reaction to armed oppression. i think it’s a little silly to compare that with the bourgeois disaffection of america’s youth.

  9. Ceridwen Says:

    This protest is huge news, yet I don’t understand why it’s not getting more front page coverage in the UK. As far as I’m aware, the protests are still going on. When I’ve told people around me here about it, most of them didn’t they were happening!! Look at the BBC’s World News online today for example. If you have a look at some of the UK’s major newspapers – Guardian and Independent online, there’s hardly a whisper of it anywhere. The Guardian are doing a live coverage of it, yet by going to their website you wouldn’t know it, unless you spot the small ‘most popular’ section on the right where it’s 2nd place at the moment. Then you realize how popular this subject is among the readers!!

  10. Io Says:

    If pesticides in food and the thousands upon thousands of unregulated chemicals that work their way into the supply each year aren’t poison, I don’t know what it. These chemicals are endocrine disruptors, carcinogens, and synthetic hormones. They wreck our health and have lasting effects that are passed on to your children. Want to be scared? Just take a look at some of the studies showing how many chemicals and plastics the average person stores in their body and then look at how many are known carcinogens.