1. It names the source of the crisis. Political insiders have avoided this simple reality: The problems of the 99% are caused in large part by Wall Street greed, perverse financial incentives, and a corporate takeover of the political system. Now that this is understood, the genie is out of the bottle and it can’t be put back in.
2. It provides a clear vision of the world we want. We can create a world that works for everyone, not just the wealthiest 1%. And we, the 99%, are using the spaces opened up by the Occupy movement to conduct a dialogue about the world we want.
3. It sets a new standard for public debate. Those advocating policies and proposals must now demonstrate that their ideas will benefit the 99%. Serving only the 1% will not suffice, nor will claims that the subsidies and policies that benefit the 1% will eventually “trickle down.”
4. It presents a new narrative. The solution is not to starve government or impose harsh austerity measures that further harm middle-class and poor people already reeling from a bad economy. Instead, the solution is to free society and government from corporate dominance. A functioning democracy is our best shot at addressing critical social, environmental, and economic crises.
5. It creates a big tent. We, the 99%, are people of all ages, races, occupations, and political beliefs. We will resist being divided or marginalized. We are learning to work together with respect.
6. It offers everyone a chance to create change. No one is in charge; no organization or political party calls the shots. Anyone can get involved, offer proposals, support the occupations, and build the movement. Because leadership is everywhere and new supporters keep turning up, there is a flowering of creativity and a resilience that makes the movement nearly impossible to shut down.
7. It is a movement, not a list of demands. The call for deep change—not temporary fixes and single-issue reforms—is the movement’s sustaining power. The movement is sometimes criticized for failing to issue a list of demands, but doing so could keep it tied to status quo power relationships and policy options. The occupiers and their supporters will not be boxed in.
8. It combines the local and the global. People in cities and towns around the world are setting their own local agendas, tactics, and aims. What they share in common is a critique of corporate power and an identification with the 99%, creating an extraordinary wave of global solidarity.
9. It offers an ethic and practice of deep democracy and community. Slow, patient decision-making in which every voice is heard translates into wisdom, common commitment, and power. Occupy sites are set up as communities in which anyone can discuss grievances, hopes, and dreams, and where all can experiment with living in a space built around mutual support.
10. We have reclaimed our power. Instead of looking to politicians and leaders to bring about change, we can see now that the power rests with us. Instead of being victims to the forces upending our lives, we are claiming our sovereign right to remake the world.
Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel is urging his City Council to enact strict new restrictions on many forms of protest on Wednesday, January 18. Local advocates say the Council is distracted by a fierce redistricting battle and that the new ordinance is likely to pass unnoticed, unless there’s a huge outcry.
According to the Chicago Tribune and the Wall Street Journal, the proposed ordinance imposes impossible-to-meet requirements, confusing restrictions and sky-high fines on protest organizers and participants, including:
A 2-hour time limit on all protests;
An increase in minimum fines from $50 to $1000 for violations of “parade regulations”;
A curfew in public spaces; and
A requirement to pre-register “attention-getting devices”, including signs and megaphones, at least 1 week before the event.
Pre-registering signs? Protest time-limits? Sounds like an Anti-Occupy bill to us.
Putting limits on protesting at a time like this only exemplifies the reason why Occupy Chicago exists in the first place!
Either allow them to protest and exercise their first amendment rights 24 hours a day, or assist them in establishing a better form of government and resolve their grievances!
Piggy, Piggy, Piggy, can’t you see? More will appear each time you snatch me And I just hate your flashy ways It’s clear the system’s broke, and you’re so paid
p.s. This is still a work in progress. The inspiration came during a discussion with friends about preparing for People’s Summit / NATO protest and protest chants, banner slogans, etc. I consider this song/chant a living document, so if you have suggestions, please share!