From:   Micah White <micahmwhite@gmail.com>
Sent time:   Friday, September 23, 2011 4:06:47 PM
To:   september17@googlegroups.com
Subject:   SPAM-MED: Re: [september17discuss] Open Letter to the People of the United States and the World (draft)
 

[a proposed edit of Snafu's draft]

Dear Friend,

For several days, we have held an encampment in the financial district of New York City because we sick of watching America be looted by the financiers and big bankers. We will no longer tolerate massive unemployment, cuts to public services, foreclosures and despair while CEOs award themselves million dollar bonuses.

We are the General Assembly of New York City and we come from every walk of life. We are the 99% of Americans.

Inspired by the people's assemblies that are happening in every corner of the planet, we are learning to use a consensus decision-making process... we are reinventing democracy in the streets. We are going slow, because we are going far.

Our encampment is in Liberty Square (Zuccotti Park) and we invite you to join us and help us lay out a vision for a new America that links the struggle for social and economic justice to the struggle for real democracy. Just a few of the many proposals that we are debating, include:

- Halting foreclosures

- Revoking corporate personhood

- Reinstatement 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.
 
- Ban on corporate funding to political candidates. Allow each citizen to donate a limited amount of money to a candidate or party of their choice.

- Democratic reform of the electoral system that enables new political parties to compete on an equal footing with the two major parties.

Ultimately, many of us in the General Assembly think that what matters most at this stage is to create a shared framework which may enable everyone to speak out, be heard, co-evolve and grow with others. Come experience true people's democracy. It is time to take back our lives.

In solidarity and struggle,

The General Assembly of New York City




On Fri, Sep 23, 2011 at 2:36 PM, <jemcgloin@verizon.net> wrote:
 I like the demands but the wording is to technical.  We need to speak English:
 
Make it ilegal for banks to make high risk investments.  Tax high speed computer trades.  Make investors pay the same tax rate as workers.  Amend the constitution to end corporate personhood.
 
 We need people to understand what we are talking about without having to strain their brains or google all sorts of obscure terms.  (I also have the vague feeling a couple of demands are missing.)
 
 
 
On 09/23/11, Snafu<snafu@thething.it> wrote:

Dear Friend,

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.

These are only some concrete proposals we have begun to discuss in the NYCGA. Many of us think that what truly matters at this stage is to create a shared framework which may enable everyone to speak out, be heard, co-evolve and grow with others. If you look through this framework you may not see one defined picture. If you walk through it you will be amazed at the strange world on the other side. It is time to take back our lives. We ask you to join us now in Liberty Square or start your own General Assembly in your own town.
 

In solidarity and struggle,

The General Assembly of New York City



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