|Sent time:||Friday, September 23, 2011 3:21:41 PM|
|Subject:||SPAM-MED: [september17discuss] Open Letter to the People of the United States and the World (draft)|
We are the citizens and non-citizens of the General Assembly of New York City. We come from every walk of life, a variety of cultural, political, and religious backgrounds. Yet we share the same indignation for the common wealth that has been pillaged by the global institutions of finance with the complacency of the world’s governments—a looting that has led to massive unemployment, generalized cuts to public services, despair and resignation. It is the same indignation that has prompted the people of Greece and Spain to occupy streets and squares on a permanent basis, the people of Egypt and Tunisia to overthrow their governments, the people of Iceland to nationalize their bank system and rewrite the constitution.
Over the past few weeks we have begun to share this indignation and listen to each other in a series of public meetings open to everyone. Freely inspired by the general assemblies that are mushrooming in every corner of the planet we have begun to bring our differences together through a consensual decision-making process. Such process does not aim at erasing differences. On the contrary it wants to multiply them so that we may begin to rebuild this nation and this world anew.
One of the first concrete steps we have decided to take is to initiate on September 17 a peaceful occupation of the streets and squares surrounding Wall Street. We have set our headquarters in Liberty Square (Zuccotti Park) and we ask you to join and support us in order to extend and continue this occupation. At the moment we do not have not formulated a definitive list of demands. However, the Assembly initiated a conversation through which a number of proposals and perspectives unfolded. The main points that are currently under discussion try to link the struggle for social and economic justice to the struggle for real democracy:
- Reinstitution of the 1933 Glass-Steagall Act that separates investment banking from commercial banking.
- Introduction of a Robin Hood Tax (or Tobin Tax) on all financial transactions.
- Abolition of the Tax Reconciliation Act and immediate pairing of taxes long-term capital gains with income tax.
- Abrogation of the extension of the 14th Amendment protection to corporations (end of corporate personhood).
- Ban on corporate funding to political candidates. Introduction of a tax bonus that allows each citizen to donate the same amount of money to a candidate or party of his or her choice.
- Radical reform of the electoral system, with the introduction of proportional correctives that will enable new political formations to compete on an equal foot with the two major parties.
In solidarity and struggle,
The General Assembly of New York City
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