Subject: Re: [NYCGA Internet] Re: 'our first demand'? looking to see if this strikes a chord with anyone
From: Chaz Cheadle
Date: Tue, 18 Oct 2011 11:35:11 -0400
To: internet_working_group@googlegroups.com

Hey, E.
I think a workable model for the demonstration and exercise of collective power by Occupies located all around the US is to take direct action ideas like this and affect those changes at the local level, and promote the evolution upwards. (opposite of trickledown). The best place to voice these ideas and start action is the Direct Action Work Group which I think meets at 3pm daily. I don't have a contact number/email to pass on, but they and the Education group are most definitely the places to start.

chaz

On Tue, Oct 18, 2011 at 11:29 AM, E Pluribus Proficius <epluribusproficius@gmail.com> wrote:
Disappointed, indeed! But isn't this sort of miscarriage of justice
exactly why we need to demand that a fair and open trial is held? It's
obviously a large problem that the blame is so widespread, however...

I'm also certainly not the appropriate person to discuss legal matters
either, unfortunately. I chose that demand because I feel like we
really need pick a focus--something that is simultaneously symbolic
but that we can also actually have a concrete victory on. It's going
to start getting cold before too long, and unless we do something soon
that demonstrates that we have the power to actually effect change, I
worry that we may lose our momentum...

While I think supporting whistleblowers is an incredibly important
cause (I've spoken at multiple events supporting wikileaks and the
importance of the freedom of information), I don't think that it has
the qualities that we need in a demand right now. That is to say, a
high-profile cause with an actionable goal...ie, what sort of pivotal
concession could we realistically demand that would help/protect/
further the cause of whistleblowers? And, perhaps more importantly, as
you've noted, we're not at a loss for evidence of wrongdoing...our
system is just greatly malfunctioning (see: corrupt), and until we can
address that issue all of the whistleblowers in the world won't do us
any good.

Thoughts on the Matt Taibi's suggestion that the monopolies get broken
up?  "Break up the monopolies. The so-called "Too Big to Fail"
financial companies – now sometimes called by the more accurate term
"Systemically Dangerous Institutions" – are a direct threat to
national security. They are above the law and above market
consequence, making them more dangerous and unaccountable than a
thousand mafias combined. There are about 20 such firms in America,
and they need to be dismantled; a good start would be to repeal the
Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act and mandate the separation of insurance
companies, investment banks and commercial banks."

Thanks for your response!

On Oct 17, 3:28 pm, evy brown <eb4just...@gmail.com> wrote:
> I like the Justice theme but I think you are going to be disappointed when
> you find out how many of the people responsible for the economic meltdown
> have settled cases with the SEC and DOJ.  It is up to the regulators to
> prosecute cases, see Angelo Mozillo, Countrywide.  Here is the wiki link.http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Angelo_Mozilo
>
> I really think this group is not the appropriate forum to discuss legal
> matters.  However, supporting advocacy groups that put pressure on
> government officials and educate the public is a good way this group can be
> active.  The advocacy groups are overwhelmed with requests to help
> whistleblowers who brought the wrongdoing to light to protect the public and
> were fired.  These cases take years to wind through the courts and are very
> expensive.  How about helping whistleblowers as a cause?
>
> You all might want to take advantage of the fact that this is National
> Character Week.  Just published this article on  whistlewatch.orghttp://whistlewatch.org/2011/10/national-character-week-passed-by-sen...
>
> On Mon, Oct 17, 2011 at 9:25 AM, E Pluribus Proficius <
>
> epluribusprofic...@gmail.com> wrote:
> >http://goo.gl/Z3sdk
>
> > Open to any sort of constructive criticism, just trying to do my best
> > to help out in the way that I feel most able...
>
> > I keep going back and forth feeling like this is the perfect demand
> > for us to gain focus and father momentum to feeling like it's too
> > simultaneously too vague and too limited. Thoughts?
>
> > text copied here:
>
> > "Our First Demand: Justice
>
> > A Special Counsel and a Special Grand Jury must be appointed to
> > investigate, indict, and prosecute the individuals and corporations
> > responsible for the Sub-prime Mortgage Crisis of 2008 .
>
> > The trial must commence before the end of this year and a verdict must
> > be reached by the end June, 2012.
>
> >    There are those who say that our movement is scattered, unfocused,
> > and incoherent. Until now, they have been right.
> >    We have always known that the people united are a force
> > unstoppable. But we have, I believe, been intimidated by our
> > misconceptions of unity. Unity is not conformity, it is not unanimous
> > agreement, it is not the elimination of dissension. It is rather,
> > quite simply, the recognition of commonality, the acknowledgment that
> > we are all in this together, and the determination to work together
> > for the greater good. It was not too long ago, amidst the long, dark
> > days of lies and misdirection, that the spirit of resistance in
> > America seemed dead and beaten; but now, we can gather courage from
> > our actions, for we have already accomplished perhaps the most
> > difficult step: we are here together. We are not leaving, and the
> > World is watching. So let us be brave and let us raise a rallying cry,
> > for the cause of America is the cause of liberty and equal
> > opportunity, and it is truly the cause of the World. Let us show the
> > world the unshakable strength of our convictions, the unbreakable bond
> > of our solidarity, the unbridled might of our will united. To do that,
> > we must find our shared center and begin to direct our efforts as one.
> >    Why are we here, now? We are here right now because of unbounded
> > greed and ruthless selfishness, because of those who participated in
> > the reckless business of sub-prime mortgage trading, predatory lending
> > practices, and woefully unmonitored speculative securities and
> > derivatives gambles.  We are here because we have seen our hopes for
> > good governance dashed—again and again and again. We are here because
> > we can longer accept the status quo.
> >    We are not here because we want to burn capitalism to the ground.
> > We are here because we can no longer abide the things that have
> > already broken our way of life: overwhelming inequality, unchecked
> > corruption, and rules rigged against the underdog. We are here because
> > the soul of capitalism-- fair play, social mobility, and equal
> > opportunity-- have been eviscerated in pursuit of multinational bottom
> > lines. We are here because we are fed up with supporting a system
> > built on the malevolent exploitation of the many at the hands of the
> > few. We are here to stand up for those who cannot stand up for
> > themselves, the struggling mothers and fathers, the hungry children,
> > the un-insured and the un-employed. We are here seeking justice for
> > the crimes committed against us and the crimes committed in our names.
> >    But we are also here because we have not yet lost hope that things
> > do not need to be this way.  We are here because it has become too
> > much, and we must at last stand up for what is right: for decency, for
> > compassion, for common sense. We are here to begin the process of
> > healing our wounded nation, to restore our place. We are here because
> > we are the ones who will do the things that must be done. We are
> > standing here today because if we do not, no one will stand in our
> > place. We are here for many different reasons, and have widely varied
> > opinions, but ultimately we are all here because we want to make our
> > country, and our world, a better place.
> >    The potential that lies ahead of us is unrivaled in human history.
> > Potential for nearly unimaginable greatness, and potential for
> > unfathomable carnage. We must acknowledge that we live in times of
> > incredibly rapid change, as we are riding the ever-steepening curves
> > of the ongoing population boom, of skyrocketing energy and food
> > consumption, of the exploding, world-rattling developments in
> > genomics, biotechnology, and the continuously mind-boggling advances
> > in computational power. We live in exponential times, and so the
> > efforts we make today will be magnified unimaginable through a hundred
> > thousand tomorrows- but so too will our failures, and none will
> > reverberate with more chilling effect than a failure to try. In the
> > days to come, we will stand at the crossroads of the infinite, a
> > tipping point, one of those precious few moments in the vast stretches
> > of humanity's history where the actions of a dedicated few can guide
> > the course of all mankind.
> >    So we must take a moment to ask ourselves an important question:
> > what is the future we want to live in?
> >    What is the future we want for the children of the world?
> >    Is it a future divided and bloodied by endless strife, fueled by
> > willful ignorance and petty disagreement? Is it a future dominated by
> > dizzying new heights of thoughtless greed and unthinking self-
> > absorption, a future of zero-sum, where the gain of one man must be
> > taken as the loss of another? Is it a future where the unrestrained
> > freedom of the few is bought at the cost of the liberty of the many
> > and where the happenstances of birth-- the chaotic lottery of genetics
> > and lineage and class and geography-- shall determine the course and
> > the worth of a child's life?
> >    Or is a future where the grand possibilities of cooperation have
> > been recognized and the untold bounties of our combined efforts
> > realized? Is it a future where those in need are given the help they
> > need, the endless varieties of help we all sometimes need in order to
> > be able to help ourselves? Is it a future full of compassion and
> > community, where the first thought is not “whose fault is this?”, but
> > rather, “how can we make it better”? Is it a future where we strive to
> > be our best and to see humanity's impossible dreams made manifest, or
> > where we merely grasp in vain at what seems best for ourselves?
> >    I know what future I want, and I know that I, am prepared to shed
> > my sweat as well as my blood to bring it about.
> >    We must take action now  to prove to ourselves-- and to the
> > world-- that the dark days are ending. We will no longer abide the old
> > norms of ruthlessness and fear, we will no longer accept the status
> > quo that “greed is good” and “more is better”, and we will not stand
> > idly by as our country, our livelihoods, and our values are parceled
> > off for crass profit. We will take a stand— here, now --and we will
> > not back down until we are acknowledged. For we are brave, we are
> > determined, and we are many. We are many and they are few, and those
> > responsible must be held accountable.
> >    It is of the utmost importance that this does nor devolve into a
> > witch hunt or some crass parade of scapegoats. This must be an open
> > and fair pursuit of justice, because more than anything else it must
> > serve to prove that justice still exists. We have lost faith in our
> > system, and we can make no progress until our trust is restored.
> > Justice must be our first step towards a better tomorrow.
> >    Now is our moment. Now is our moment to prove that not only is it
> > possible for us to make a better world, but it is in fact necessary
> > that we do so.  Now is our moment to begin to retake control of the
> > national narrative, to rebuild our confidence that we are a nation of
> > good people, and to regain our rightful place in the world as a beacon
> > of truth, justice, and light.
> >    And so, in service of that goal, let the waiting world hear these
> > words, the first of our demands, and let the high and mighty tremble
> > at the sound of their coming reckoning.
>
> > e pluribus proficius
>
> >http://goo.gl/Z3sdk
>
> >    coming up soon: you war profiteers, you purveyors of corruption,
> > you sowers of fear and lies...watch out—you're next.
>
> --
> Evelynn Brown, J.D., LL.M
> Chief Executive Officer
> The Brown Center for Public Policy
>      Ethics in Business Institute
>      Whistlewatch.org
>
> What would you attempt to do if you knew you could not fail?
>
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