From:   Snafu <snafu@thething.it>
Sent time:   Saturday, September 24, 2011 8:58:01 AM
To:   september17@googlegroups.com
Subject:   SPAM-MED: Re: [september17discuss] Open Letter to the People of the United States and the World (revised)
 

Hi all,

thank you everyone for sending feedback on the letter. I revised it adding Micah's point on halting of all foreclosures by qualifying it--i.e. I do not want to halt the foreclosed penthouses of CEOs, only those who are victims of predatory lending or cannot afford to pay their mortgages because they have lost their job and health insurance (apparently unpaid medical bills are the number 1 reason behind foreclosures). I also  incorporated diane's point on donations by taxpayers rather than citizens.

I personally disagree on dumbing down the language of the letter to make it more intelligible. At the current stage, this text is both informative and evocative, imho. We need to speak a language that can speak to the hearts and minds, not only to the latter.

One idea: why don't we actually design, print and mail out the letter to thousands of people? Perhaps we could use Kickstarter or any other fundraising site to get donations for this project. Alternatively, we could also print out a few thousand posters.

Cheers,
Snafu


---

To: The People of the United States
From: The General Assembly of New York City

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 spontaneous mass 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 our 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 have not formulated a definitive list of demands as we think that these should be elaborated through a conversation should be open to the . 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:

- Halting of all foreclosures due to predatory lending and unpaid medical bills.

- 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.

- Termination of 14th Amendment protection to corporations (end of corporate personhood).
 
- Ban on corporate funding to political candidates. Introduction of a tax bonus that allows each taxpayer to donate the same amount of money to a candidate or party of his or her choice.

- Radical reform of the electoral system 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





On 9/24/11 12:02 AM, diane sare wrote:
sorry to add  a few words, but on campaign contributions, aside from the Corporate insanity which should be revoked, citizens and permanent resident aliens are allowed to donate to political campaigns currently.  Do we wish to say only citizens, or still include permanent residents?  I think they should be included.

On Fri, Sep 23, 2011 at 6:49 PM, Jon Good <therealjongood@gmail.com> wrote:
This letter is taking shape. I really like the "we are going slow because we are going far" bit.  The biggest problem I see is that nobody else knows what a general assembly is, and thus, nobody knows what our General Assembly is. The folks I've talked to about this feel alienated and turned off by jargon that they don't understand. 

I will try to start working on a catchy sentence or two that explains what the GA is and how it is leaderless, open to all, how it comprises all the occupiers and those who wish to participate. 


On Sep 23, 2011, at 5:36 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





--
Diane Sare
cell: 201-220-7731

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