Our country is no longer controlled by, and for, We the People, but instead by, and on behalf of, international banking and multinational corporate interests. While the gradual, almost imperceptible takeover of our government by this corporate fascism has been evolving by design for many decades, it is a coup d'etat nonetheless and has been disastrous for the vast majority of Americans. This blog is an exploration and discussion of how this occurred, and the damage it has done to our democratic processes.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Wall Street Occupies Our Government

Jefferson's Guardian at Freedom Plaza, October 8th
"If in the opinion of the People, the distribution or modification of the Constitutional powers be in any particular wrong, let it be corrected by an amendment in the way which the Constitution designates. But let there be no change by usurpation; for though this, in one instance, may be the instrument of good, it is the customary weapon by which free governments are destroyed." .......GEORGE WASHINGTON, farewell address, Sept. 19, 1796
Attending and being a part of the Occupy DC movement the first four days, and also last weekend, it has become obvious to me that a true grassroots movement is taking hold and sprouting. Despite the mainstream media's (ABC) interviewing and airing of some fool's claim that "it's fabricated; it's not an authentic movement" during last weekend's Occupy Wall Street's (OWS) Times Square rally, it's obvious this is the real deal. The whole world is watching, and joining in against the corporatism that has invaded and infiltrated governments globally.
But protesting needs to be backed up with more than statements. Moving beyond why we're occupying, the next step is defining and redefining the demands that normally evolve from mass social movements. OWS recently published a list of user-suggested demands, that was not an official demand list, nor discussed or agreed upon by a collective NYC General Assembly, but reflects many of the concerns that are on the minds of Americans, and people of all western societies, right now. But the primary grievance, that's all-encompassing and in its totality, sums up what's happened to our country over the last few decades: Wall Street occupies our government. 
Matt Taibbi has contributed his own list of demands; items he'd like to see formally proposed and implemented. Right now, he sees the "movement's basic strategy – to build numbers and stay in the fight, rather than tying itself to any particular set of principles", to be in its best interest right now. But he also agrees, before too long, it'll be necessary to document its demands and offer sound solutions to the problems it has already listed.
Jim Hightower, in his October "Lowdown", although not specifically citing OWS, calls for grassroots action beginning with a National Week of Action starting today, October 23rd, to stem the flow of corporate money in politics, and to reel in and abolish corporate personhood. 
Others have proposed various demands, again none agreed upon by OWS, but certainly under a true democratic structure, welcomed and tabled and will be given due consideration. But all the thoughtfulness and careful deliberations will probably not go to the extent as proposed by Richard Grossman, "the father of the 'no to corporate personhood' movement", who has called for an across-the-board criminalization of the entity we call a corporation. Read what Mr. Grossman proposes from the Corporate Crime Reporter.
Richard Grossman on Usurpation and the Corporation as Crime
25 Corporate Crime Reporter 39, October 6, 2011

Richard Grossman says that Occupy Wall Street activists need to go beyond greed and corruption and focus on usurpation.

As in – illegal seizure of power.

As in – the corporation has usurped – illegally seized – power from the people.

He quotes Thomas Hobbes as saying that a corporation is merely a “chip off the old block of sovereignty.”

Grossman, the father of the “no to corporate personhood” movement, says the first step in taking back the power is to criminalize the corporation.

To that end, he has drafted a four page law – “An Act to Criminalize Chartered Incorporated Business Enterprises.”

“As of 12:01 a.m. on July 4, 2012, no incorporated business shall exist or operate within the United States and its territories, or with any State or municipality,” the draft law reads.

“As of 12:01 a.m. on July 4, 2012, all existing business corporation charters granted by the United States, and by all States, shall be null and void.”

“If people want to go into business, fine,” Grossman said. “But this law would strip away 500 years of Constitutional protections and privileges. No more limited liability for shareholders. No more perpetual life. No more Constitutional protections.”

Those local, state or federal officials “who fail to implement and sustain the prohibition – and criminalization – of chartered, incorporated business entities after 12:01 a.m. July 4, 2012, shall promptly be indicted and speedily tried for the crime of villainous usurpation – perfidious, felonious, illegitimate rule exceeding their proper authority – as well as for the crime of dereliction of duty.”

In a footnote to the draft law, Grossman writes that “in a corporate state, law, culture, contrived celebration and tradition illegitimately clothe directors and executive officers of chartered incorporated businesses in governing authority.”

“This is usurpation,” he writes. “A corporate state nurtures, enables and expedites such illegitimate governing authority by violence enforced by courts, jails, police and military force and by historians. Less-overtly ferocious institutions – for profit and non profit – routinely reinforce that reality.”

Thursday, October 6, 2011

A Statement of Democratic Values

The Wall Street occupation is entering its third week. What began as a loosely organized, scattered, and lowly attended protest, has swelled into a movement decrying the corporate hijacking of this country's democratic traditions and underpinnings. Days ago, organized labor was represented by airline pilots from United Airlines, but Thursday's addition of major unions in and around New York City, added breadth and solidarity to a growing and unyielding cause. Also yesterday, student groups also showed their support of Occupy Wall Street by joining the occupiers and current residents of southern Manhattan's Liberty Square and Zuccotti Park with a march on City Hall.  As the field grows larger, and as the corporate media are forced to stop ignoring its growing strength, many new and previously unaware observers question the group's motives.

Late last week, an ad hoc people's congress formed a General Assembly and released their first official statement of who they are, why they're there, and exactly what their concerns are. Here's their statement in its entirety.
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 c2anycgaATgmailDOTcom  
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.

(End of Statement)

Today, Thursday, these same grievances will be the reason thousands of us will begin occupying Washington D.C. to help plant the grassroots of a new democracy; one that allows all Americans -- the remaining 99% -- to participate. If you're in the area, please come join us at Freedom Plaza. Go to Stop the Machine! to find out more.