Welcome to Day 9, everyone! Yesterday was both constructive and fun. As you saw below, Critical Mass passed by the Federal Reserve Bank, where we were there to greet them with the block party to end all block parties. After that, we took to the streets to march to Millennium Park, where we occupied the stage at the Jay Pritzker Pavilion for a time before peacefully moving south to continue our work.
There have been concerns raised by both media and onlookers as to the cogency of our demands. Representative democracy can be a slow process, especially for a group growing as quickly as our own, but it’s important to ensure that everyone in the movement is given an opportunity to have a voice in a way that we are not afforded by the current paradigms of society at large. At last night’s GA we passed proposals intended to streamline the voting process while still ensuring fair representation for dissenters. These are, as everything, a work in progress.
Below are the four grievances from New York that we discussed at the Night 8 GA.
1. Campaign Finance Reform
All votes are no longer equal in our Democracy. Money must be put outside of politics, or politicians will continue to pander to those who contribute the most to their campaigns, rather than their own constituencies. Specifically, we abhor the decision by the Supreme Court in Citizens United v. FEC. Corporations are NOT people.
2. True Shared Sacrifice
While corporate profits have been skyrocketing and the wealthy have been getting wealthier, the average worker’s income has dramatically dropped. While the cost of living has exponentially increased, wages have not followed. It has been shown time and time again that tax cuts for the wealthy are NOT effective. Taxes on those who practice greed should be raised.
3. Equality in Justice
This great nation was founded on liberty, but also, on equality. When the balance of justice is swayed in favor of those with wealth, the very fabric of this nation is torn apart. The decision of a judge should not be based upon the race, creed, or wealth of an individual, but rather, the content of the case.
4. The End of the Revolving Door
The Obama administration was supposed to bring change and hope to our country, but instead, brought us into despair and insecurity. Those working in his administration are the very people whom we are fighting against. Those who enter Washington should not be representatives of the elites, but representatives of the people. One cannot simply enter an administration, reap its benefits, and simply exit.
Occupy Chicago has adopted the first grievance with a unanimous vote. The second grievance has been tabled for further discussion by a minority vote exceeding 10% and will be revisited at tonight’s GA. The consensus among the dissenters has been that the issue with the grievance is not the content but the wording, as the tone of the last sentence may be more emotionally charged and less constructive than necessary. The collaboration to reword this grievance can be found here.
Grievances three and four were also tabled for further discussion; dissenters will be given a chance to explain their reasoning at tonight’s GA, at which point the grievances will be put to a nine-tenths supermajority vote. If blocked, efforts to reevaluate and reword them will take place as determined necessary.
This is by no means a comprehensive list of grievances and demands, and others will be proposed and considered as we look to the other Occupy movements, as well as try to determine what Chicago-specific demands we may wish to pursue.
Tonight’s GA is at 7 pm. Join us! We are the 99%, and so are you.