From:   David DeGraw <>
Sent time:   Sunday, October 16, 2011 2:56:27 PM
Subject:   Re: [september17discuss] MoveOn Execs Now Official Spokespeople For OWS, According to MSM Execs

Wow, this shows the beauty and agony of decentralized leaderless rebellion ;-)  Justine et al, best of luck trying to come up w/ a final statement, so many vital points being shared on this thread.  imo, as long as there is some mention of both parties being bought off / controlled by Wall Street, and that neither party will co-opt us, i would be happy.  on the run now, hope you can all agree to something soon.

On 10/16/2011 4:47 PM, wrote:
I don't want you to erase everything and just use mine, but using everything is just to much.
On 10/16/11, shaista husain<> wrote:
Yes jem--can we work together please "incorporate" several folks' say ""The two party system is a sham.  Both parties are corrupt"
I say the same thing, "we live under dictatorship of the two party system" BUT as you can see, i am trying to incorporate the suggestions of several lovely comrades including yourself so we make sense together, isn't that the beauty of this thread, now its just too late to erase everything and fit it into your simple version, which i like very much, but is not going to happen, as much as my sentence isn't going to replace the whole paragraph ok.

On Sun, Oct 16, 2011 at 4:00 PM, <> wrote:
First of all the artists, musician thing was not about reading, but about the power of simplicity--a lesson that took me decades to learn.  Second, its not because people don't like to read (although there are alot of those, or even to make a sound bite, which is much more likely to be noticed) but because the more you add into a message like this, the more possibilities you leave out.  Having a tremendous paragraph that says many of the same things over and over, is not clear communication of your main idea, which is we don't support the democrats..
On 10/16/11, shaista husain<> wrote:
jem please don't try to stereotype musicians and artists, we do like to read... i agree sometimes less is more. but this is about including sentences that many people have voiced here on this thread. shall we erase everything because you have a short attention span?

On Sun, Oct 16, 2011 at 2:46 PM, <> wrote:
I really don't know why we need this long statement.  As a musician, writer, martial artist, etc, I can tell you less is more.  Nobody is even going to read this thing.  Something like, "The two party system is a sham.  Both parties are corrupt" gets the message out in a way that people will hear it and understand it.  This is not supposed to be a list of grievances.  We have one of those already.
On 10/16/11, Winter Siroco<> wrote:
Why don't you introduce the suggested change yourself?

On Sun, Oct 16, 2011 at 12:17 PM, shaista husain <> wrote:
Not sure if i can agree with this "Wall Street has subverted our democracy" For example, yes, cancelling the student debt is one thing, restoring democracy to someone's idea when it was good or worked for them is a similar notion-- if one considers this movement as being led by disgruntled unemployed college youth--ie. middle class dudes mostly, as the media would like to condenscendingly portray--i would like to know how about everyone else ---tens of thousands flocking against the austerities of the IMF and WORLD bank--they are worried about their future but there is disconnect. cancel debts, how about cancel the third world debt how about reverse the trillion dollars military budget--so yes --remembering that "your democracy" ie.parliamentary western liberal democracy.... you good ole liberals, well, depending on perspective, they might actually be my fascists---and we are also part of this global movement against wall street...are demands and desires do not stop at college debts... no, i can't argue who came first, the chicken or the egg, or whether the manless drones and video games played by financiers is qualitatively different from US gov'ts logic of hedging war :( the logic Heads you win, Tails, i win") i do clearly understand that this movement is bigger much bigger---and perhaps your college debt will be cancelled, i do hope so, and when you go home, i will still be occupying wall street, until the chickens come to roost. j/k/

back to the point, the problem with restoring democracy is that i don't quite remember when it was good.... FDR??? eleanor roosevelt, then what happened civil rights/ then what reagonomic? now what? fascism?---

i should hope we do not leave out any imaginative possibilities right now--restoring democracy leaves out a lot of other voices


On Sun, Oct 16, 2011 at 11:57 AM, Winter Siroco <> wrote:
Snafu, I think we all agree with that, but the original version was modified for the lengthy reasons of this lengthy thread. So, I propose to modify the more thoroughly discussed version. Try to rearrange or rewrite the text to incorporate your idea if you do not consider that "Both parties are controlled and corrupted by Wall Street. Wall Street has subverted our democracy" does the job. There should be subsequent pronouncements stressing your point. 

Nevertheless, the mission of this document is to prevent co-option by mainstream politics at this particular point in time. The need for it has been also extensively explained by David and others. Also, what is happening in ows is not representative of how mobilizations are happening across the country, also explained in previous threads, and perhaps yes, ows should lead with a more transformative message. The Democrats also shape their message along the lines of reducing corporate domination of politics, while at the same time appointing to top government the same corporate CEOs, and of course accepting their bribes/political contributions. We should draw a distinctive line. 
Following, Shaista's suggestion previously, I would suggest a small international twist at the end, because international trade treaties and convenient fiscal paradises (combined with periodic amnesties) keep them unaccountable to all sorts of abuse (including labor, child rights, and environmental degradation) and leave us defenseless to both sides of the borders. 

The problems we face have not been solved by either the Democratic or
the Republican parties. Both parties are responsible for these
problems. Both parties are controlled and corrupted by Wall Street
Wall Street has subverted our democracy with the connivance of both parties.
Both parties rescued the top 1% at the expense of everyone else and do not represent the 99%.
Therefore, the occupation will not endorse their politicians, we will
not allow them to divide us or distort us. 
We don't need them to build a better world, we are stronger. 
We The People, from all different walks of life and with opinions across the
political spectrum, are uniting to find common ground and fight back
against a common enemy - the global financial interests that have
bought off our governments and hold us hostage to their greed.

And please, Shaista and Gail, and anybody else, write down your suggestion directly in the text, so that we do not get lost. 
By the way, we urgently need a new application that will facilitate what we are doing right now, and perhaps scale it up to include hundreds of editors. I know that people in ows-solutions is working on this. 

On Sun, Oct 16, 2011 at 10:56 AM, Snafu <> wrote:
I like the original one better because the focus is on financial capital and the parties are indicated as instruments of this power--i.e. they are subordinated to it.

I'll quote from a text on FINANZISM recently circulated by Berardi and Lovink:

"The real process of predatory power has become automated. The transfer of resources and wealth from those who produce to those who do nothing except oversee the abstract patterns of financial transactions is embedded in the machine, in the software that governs the machine. Forget about governments and party politics. Those puppets who pretend to be leaders are talking nonsense. The paternalistic options they offer around ‘austerity measures’ underscore a rampant cynicism internal to party politics: they all know they lost the power to model finance capitalism years ago."

So the question is how to confront a power that is abstract, automated, and that incorporates the desires of millions of Americans to take risks and make money through a simple click. If we keep anthropomorphizing the enemy (e.g. the Repubblican and Democratic leaders, or corporate CEOs) we completely miss the target--i.e. the shift from an economy driven by the dyad production/consumption to an economy driven by the financialization of everyday life.

We need to politicize the debt (that's why for instance the campaign to forgive student debt is paramount) and understand that it is only by re-empowering public control over the economy we will be able to go somewhere. If we keep attacking the government we play the game of the Tea Party and the libertarians. The dividing line between us and them is whether the people (and whatever institutions the people decide to build from below) take control of the economy or the markets rule like Gods.

That's why I say YES to a text that clearly identifies the primary enemy in financial capital, and NO to a text that identifies the primary enemy in the political class. They are not one and the same thing, because they do not function in the same way.

On 10/16/11 7:16 AM, Winter Siroco wrote:
Snafu, I understand that we are splitting in two versions this one after a lot of discussioin:

Both the Democratic and Republican parties are responsible of our problems. 
Both the Democratic and Republican parties rescued from collapse the
top 1% to the expense of everybody else.   
Both parties are bought and corrupted by Wall Street, and they do not represent the 99%.
Therefore the Occupation will never endorse their politicians.
We must not allow them to divide or distort us.
We are stronger than them, and we don't need them to build a better world.

And the original one with minor modifications from David recently brought back to the table:
The problems we face cannot be solved by either the Democratic or the Republican parties. Both parties are controlled and corrupted by Wall Street and we must never allow them to divide us. This is because *we are the 99%*, not just the 25% that votes republican, not just the 25% that votes democrat—we're much bigger than that.  We The People, from all different walks of life and with opinions across the political spectrum, are uniting to find common ground and fight back against a common enemy - the global financial interests that have bought off our government and hold our economy hostage. 
There has been a Lot of discussion of this second version that would need to be given proper consideration.

On Sat, Oct 15, 2011 at 5:00 PM, Snafu <> wrote:
I like this version because it clarifies that the real enemy is financial capital, not the politician, who still has a face and can be contested and thrown out of office. A derivative or a hedge fund are faceless and not accountable to anyone.

On 10/15/11 2:24 PM, David DeGraw wrote:
EXCELLENT Justine.  our edit suggestions:

The problems we face cannot be solved by either the Democratic or the Republican parties. Both parties are controlled and corrupted by Wall Street and we must never allow them to divide us. This is because *we are the 99%*, not just the 25% that votes republican, not just the 25% that votes democrat—we're much bigger than that.  We The People, from all different walks of life and with opinions across the political spectrum, are uniting to find common ground and fight back against a common enemy - the global financial interests that have bought off our government and hold our economy hostage.

On 10/15/2011 10:29 AM, Justine wrote:
Winter, I can assure you can the group running is as far left as left goes, or post-left, or whatever the heck you want to call it :P  And to be honest, I don't like the "American Dream" nonsense either.  This is part of Patrick's PR strategy.  He thinks he can make it work to our ends so for the time being we've been warily deferential to this particular judgement.

Anyway we've listened to what you've all had to say in this thread and we're thinking of putting this statement, (or something similar) on the website:

The problems we face cannot be solved by either the Democratic or the
Republican parties. Both parties are controlled and corrupted by Wall
Street and we must never allow them to divide us. This is because *we
are the 99%*, not just the 25% that votes republican, not just the 25%
that votes democrat—we're much bigger than that. Therefore the Occupy
Movement will never endorse any politician. They are the 1% and we
don't need them to build a better world.


On Sat, Oct 15, 2011 at 9:54 AM, Winter Siroco <> wrote:
I am more concerned about the limited ability of raising our voices than the fear of co-option and I do not mean on the street, where it is a pleasure to be rounded by that many spirited people breaking their voices everyday.    

I have not heard any reason against having an online voice directly responding to the people at Liberty Plaza either and I am not  not holding my breath because NYCGA  and particularly are independent groups that may or obviously will not answer your question, Jem. Jon Good, do not hold your breath for your questions either. These groups may be very small and/or lazy,  which has an advantage, it would keep them from being co-opted.  But then again, the reduced functionality of articulating, or better said, amplifying very much needed revolutionary voices above those of watered down reformists. 

With 300.000 visitors a day is in a great position to help to raise marginalized discourse, but these voices can not even get to through the backdoor, or perhaps the apparently small group is less "radical" than I wish. I have read the infamous "American Dream" sentence in instead of the  "American Delusion". Even common sense sounds radical during these days of conformism and resignation, and we were so thirsty that we are prone to see mirages. So, those who just turned off their TV sets today will  most likely end up being exposed to a lukewarm version of radical changes some of us would like them to hear, instead to the truly transformative discourse that we mostly talk to each other, converts.

Mainstream press, is in crisis. It is a content a content and credibility crisis of their own making, and we should provide the alternative too. 

So what is the solution. It would help to create a blog that would redirect the readers to the enormous amount of great articles and discourse that is being generated out there by people recently awaken and those who have been loosing their sleep for many years now, not necessarily celebrities. The blog should have some bone and ambition, and  it should be linked to and NYCGA.
Of course, substantiation will redefine the economically-bound 99% into real subgroups that will explore alternative strategies and confront problems beyond the economic realm. The alternative seems transient mobilization without long-lasting and deep political transformation. 

On Fri, Oct 14, 2011 at 4:53 PM, <> wrote:
There are some good points here.  I am against official spokespeople, but I am very for an official web page that posts the official consensus of the GA on all important issues (and unimportant ones wouldn't be bad either.)  If the GA decides that we will not have demands, or puts out a list of demands, that decision and the fat that it is the official position of the NYC General Assembly should be easy to find for the lazy and/or understaffed media.  I have still not heard a good reason why we can't have an official web page, or even why a website with the name NYCGA is not the official site of the NYCGA.
On 10/14/11, Charles Lenchner<> wrote:
1. One of the reasons Chris Bowers' post on DailyKos was so helpful is that OWS and OccupyTogether had done a poor job of making it easy to find and join occupations around the country. That post, which has been liked/shared/tweeted more than 40k times and has appeared on countless other media, was a tremendous service at a time when OWS didn't have it's own 'official' web presence. While I've heard that is such a thing, I've also heard that the official site lies in the future, and that 'there is no can there be an official site' because of how OWS is organized.
2. Such an approach to the website is mirrored by the general attitude towards binding decisions and hierarchy. No one has the authority to say 'this is official, this is inside, that is outside.' Only GA decisions can do that, and if the past is a guide, the GA is openly resisting efforts to be explicitly for or against any other entity, candidate or political effort.
3. On those ground, as long as these people are identified as MoveOn, then the MSM is just doing what it should do: locate credible, reputable spokespeople who can give insight on current events. It's likely that these MoveOn people are known personally to the producers, and with the recent support (with bodies!) given by MoveOn to the OWS, MoveOn is defacto in the same position as any other group whose members are involved in OWS. Which is to say: present, accounted for, and not entitled to represent themselves AS the movement, but only as part of the movement. 
4. If there is a quote showing that a MoveOn spokesperson claimed to represent the GA, I'd like to see it.
5. The MSM need not do anything special to help the 99% look like it belongs on the Dem side of the aisle. It is enough that we live in a two party political system. I can only sympathize with the Paulites who have shown real dedication in supporting OWS. Their presence might not last, but it must be incredibly frustrating to be seen as supporting something that is de-facto on the left, liberal side of the political divide, where you might find elected Democrats like Barbara Lee, Raul Grijalva, but not any Tea Party loving Republicans. Democracy For America, the DCCC, Progressive Democrats of America aren't joining the OWS bandwagon because of some political error; it's because this movement includes many Democrats and overlaps with many of the forces on the left side of the Democratic Party (*cough* LABOR).
6. Want the MSM to give more deference to a clear OWS voice? No problem. Create a diverse cadre of spokespeople trained to appear on television, stick to carefully thought out talking points while conforming to cable tv culture. Let them represent ONLY positions approved by the GA, and have the ability to say, explicitly, that they are speaking on behalf of OWS. This would take about two days of hard work. Ah, but who has the right to embark on such a project? Until then, expect the press to look for folks they know how to handle, be they MoveOn, Democrats, Naomi Klein, Van Jones or Michael Moore.


On Fri, Oct 14, 2011 at 2:31 PM, David DeGraw <> wrote:
top MoveOn leaders / executives are all over national television speaking for the movement.  Saying We, We, We, We and directing people to, which redirects to the DailyKos.

again, fully appreciate the help and support of MoveOn, but the MSM is clearly using them as the spokespeople for OWS.  I just had an off-record discussion w/ NBC executives who say that other news execs there plan to use them to divide the movement. This is an blatant attempt to fracture the 99% into a Democratic Party organization. The leadership of MoveON and the Daily Kos are Democratic Party operatives.  They do a lot of great work, but they are divide and conquer pawns.   For years they ignored Wall Street protests to keep complete focus on the Republicans, in favor of Goldman's Obama and Wall Street's Democratic leadership.

if anyone at Move On or Daily Kos would like to have a public debate about these comments, we invite it.

if MoveOn leaders / executives are going to keep going on National TV to speak for OWS, we need them to make a clear statement.

please urgently propose that statement or a plan to call them out in an effective way.

know there are some people who think any attempts at co-option will be unsuccessful, and there is some truth to that, but we can't let blatant co-option attempts continue w/out a response.  the longer we remain silent as people get on national tv claiming to speak for and lead the movement, the more damage will be done.