Occupy Berkeley's Declaration of Purpose

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Something to keep in mind: The major criticism that has been levied against OWS is that there was no major call to action until white, straight, cis-men started having to deal with the same kinds of economic injustice that everyone else has been having to deal with since forever. Everyone is getting screwed by the current system but we are NOT all getting screwed in the same way. That said, as activists we need to be cognizant of the ways that different forms of oppression and marginalization intersect and bring that into our Declaration of Purpose. The general focus must be about anti-corruption in general, as that is the overall theme of the Occupy Together movement, but we can’t come at this from a privileged perspective. If we do, our Declaration won’t actually represent the 99% but will instead reinforce some of the same social structures that keep the current 99% vs 1% system in place. We need to make sure that we are working to make sure Occupy Berkeley is a space that is safe for everyone. The following is the UNFINISHED DRAFT that was read at the General Assembly on Friday, October 14th: <i>When in the course of human events it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political and economic bonds that have colluded to strip national and global citizens of their human rights, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind require that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation. We the people of Berkeley and the United States have hereby gathered, as is our right under the First Amendment, to demand a redress of grievances that have arisen through the continual betrayal of the People by their government. We work solely in solidarity with the national and international Occupy movement that began with Occupy Wall Street on September 17th,, 2011. Grievances 1. The elected government has betrayed the trust of the people by allowing itself to be corrupted by corporations and special interest groups at the expense of the common good. 2. The elected government has allowed itself to be purchased by corporations and has allowed economic power to dictate its policies. 3. The elected government has been complacent in the destruction of the global economy and has colluded with corporations in the perpetuation of colonialism and imperialism at home and abroad. 4. The elected government has misled those who have chosen to dedicate their lives to the defense of US citizens in order to protect private and corporate interests, and have done so at the expense of citizens of the world. 5. The elected government has made “profits over people" de facto policy by allowing industry to self-regulate while denying its citizens basic human rights a. They have denied the public access to adequate healthcare and nutrition; b. They have denied the public affordable, quality education; c. And they have denied the public the ability to unite and advocate for better pay, living wages, safer working conditions, reasonable hours, and job security. 6. The government has violated international and domestic policy, including but not limited to the Geneva Convention and the US Bill of Rights. 7. The government has allowed corporate monopolies to thrive when it is their responsibility to prevent them from forming in the first place, thus allowing private interests to hijack the political process. 8. The elected government has allowed itself to be covertly replaced by a “shadow government” comprised entirely of the wealthiest individuals These grievances, which make apparent a disrespect for those who lack the economic and political power of wealth, have brought us together as the 99%.</i> We drew from the following sources which you may also find inspiring. First OFFICIAL Release from Occupy Wall Street http://occupywallst.org/forum/first-official-release-from-occupy-wall-street/ Declaration of Common Sense http://occupywallst.org/forum/declaration-of-common-sense-with-returns/ US Declaration of Independence http://www.ushistory.org/declaration/document/

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