Occupy Chicago's Official Statement on Guns and Violence in Chicago

Occupy Chicago is a NON-Violent Movement of the 99%. As such, we cannot remain silent on the devastating impact that violence has on our city. We as a movement envision and work toward creating a world without murderous guns, crime, poverty, and other root causes of violence. Occupy Chicago favors the eventual elimination of assault rifles and handguns from our society, with the ultimate vision being a gun-violence free America. 

At the same time, we resist the expansion or creation of laws intended to penalize and criminalize people of color and other marginalized communities. In particular, we stand in opposition to the FAILED, four-decade-long War on Drugs which has only proved effective as a War on Poor People of Color. Not only has this abject failure of prohibition decimated the black community nationwide, it is one of the root causes of much of the gun violence in Chicago. Since its inception in 1971, the U.S.’s war on drugs has cost more than one trillion dollars and millions of lives yet it has failed to rein in the drug epidemic. It has dramatically overcrowded prisons in the U.S., which now has a higher incarceration rate than any other country in the world: a shocking 25% of the world’s prisoners are in the U.S although America makes up less than 5% of the world’s population.
 
Occupy Chicago is committed to changing the corporate media’s conversation of “gun violence” and “gang related” to a legitimate conversation of eradicating the root causes of violence throughout our society, especially in poor and marginalized communities. We want to create a conversation that will effectively shift the blame from Chicago’s victimized communities to the responsible political and corporate institutions that exploit and neglect poor communities through: predatory businesses extracting resources from the community; lack of sufficient investment by our government in these communities; illegal foreclosures and racist land development practices; and an economic system designed to disenfranchise the bottom rung. All of these ills have contributed to the systemic mass incarceration and genocide of massive numbers of young Black males, destroying lives and families in entire segments of Chicago and other cities throughout the United States.
 
As a Movement we are dedicated to encouraging and assisting communities impacted by violence to resist laws, rules, and practices that lead to the further decline of poor communities throughout Chicago. We refuse to be bystanders on this issue and stand united as ONE CITY working together to heal our communities from the bottom up.