From:   Gabriel Johnson <>
Sent time:   Thursday, September 29, 2011 3:10:42 PM
Subject:   Re: Re: [september17discuss] A Call for Emancipation from the "One Line Demand" Meme - OccupyEverywhere

Sorry for the ambiguity; I would be fully behind these, despite the fact that I may not see them as completely perfect. That is my point; the slightly imperfect is better than nothing.


On Thu, Sep 29, 2011 at 5:08 PM, L. W. Wind <> wrote:
I would have a preference on agreeing on everything, rather then continuing to disagree.. remember we will not get all ourt demands met..but we may very well get some of them!

On Thu, Sep 29, 2011 at 4:58 PM, Gabriel Johnson <> wrote:
E is a bit of a paper tiger, and I'm not entirely sure about C and F, but i would be SO PUMPED if the GA passed this. Superawesomes.


On Thu, Sep 29, 2011 at 4:49 PM, Jon Good <> wrote:
JEM said: "I can't remember who I stole this idea from, but we should have our "demands" broken out into levels so that people can access them at the level of detail they are comfortable with.  For some people one overarching "demand" is too simple.  For others along list of demands withexplanantions is way to complicated. Some people would like a few broad principles. We should have all three:"

This was from me, I think.

OUR GOAL: End Corporate Control

1.      Stop special treatment for banks, corporations, and the super-rich; 
2.      Create a real democracy of the people, by the people, and for the people; 
3.      Build a society free from oppression, with opportunities, jobs, and economic justice for all

a. Stop the housing crisis. Halt all foreclosures due to predatory lending and huge medical bills.
b.Reinstate the 1933 Glass-Steagall Act.  Separate investment banking from commercial banking and stop gambling peoples’ savings on Wall Street.
c.Introduce a Robin Hood tax on all securities transfers now. Tax all financial transactions like tangible goods, using a sales tax.
d. Repeal the Tax Reconciliation Act (the Bush tax cuts) now. Tax capital gains at the same rate as income tax.
e. End corporate personhood. Corporations are not and will never be people.
f. Radically reform the electoral system. Ban all corporate funding to political candidates and allow new political groups compete on an equal footing with the two major parties. 
g. Create a national jobs program.  Focus the economy on providing honest livelihoods for as many people as possible, rather than returning maximum profit to shareholders.

On Thu, Sep 29, 2011 at 4:29 PM, Gabriel Johnson <> wrote:
This, this, ten thousand times this.

It's going to be a fun exercise (and by "fun", I here mean "difficult") trying to balance different people's ideological viewpoints putting this together, but it's necessary, in my opinion.


On Thu, Sep 29, 2011 at 4:17 PM, <> wrote:
I can't remember who I stole this idea from, but we should have our "demands" broken out into levels so that people can access them at the level of detail they are comfortable with.  For some people one overarching "demand" is too simple.  For others along list of demands withexplanantions is way to complicated. Some people would like a few broad principles. We should have all three:
             Our One Big Demand
                  Principle 1 ...
                  Principle 2 ...
                  Principle 3 ...
      Detailed Demand 1 ...
      Detailed Demand 2 ...
      Detailed Demand 3 ...
This way people that want a soundbite can get a soundbite
People that want to know what we believe in can see our principles
And People that want to know exactly what we plan to do can read all of the demands
Thank you for your patience, and your impatience, John
On 09/29/11, Cesar<> wrote:
I agee with you in many ways, particularly in reducing our thougts to sound bites. Labor and other organizations are joining, so, the reach out pressure has declined...and mainstream media credibility bubble is about to burst once more, so, who cares.
 Nevertheless, we should strive for a mechanism that will allow for the participatory and cooperative ellaboration of our collective thougts. 
I very much think that we should initiate a calmed discussion about all this at the GA. Those of us who have not been talking past each other have learned a lot.
Sent from phone


On Sep 29, 2011, at 3:24 AM, "Alexandre Machado De Sant'Anna Carvalho" <> wrote:

People of the Movement:
As someone who is deeply involved in this movement, who was arrested two times because of it, slept on the park repeatedly, and gave all hours of every single day to this grand effort, as well as witnessed many fellow brothers and sisters being harrassed, falling sick, pepper sprayed, and other abuses, i can't be silent anymore regarding the discussion of a "One Line Demand". I deeply respect Adbusters for sparking this with a great idea to occupy wall street. Nonetheless, i believe no one is the proprietor of this movement and in absolute should speak as the spokesperson for the masses. The recent publication at of a list of demands, even though a plurality of demands, was a violation of solidarity. Simply because it was done for the people instead of with the people. I know that the intention wasn't to speak on behalf of all, but the newspapers quickly grasped it as the voice of the movement, which pardon my insistence, it is NOT.
Myself and many others who are living it on the ground and across the virtual sphere feel that a "One Line Demand" is jeopardizing the amazing work we have done so far and is stopping us from imagining better alternatives - or rather, this one line plague is blinding people to the possibility of a better world that is happening right before their eyes at Liberty Square.
Let me explain. A social movement is different than a protest, in the same way that a demand is different than a purpose. A demand/protest is by its very nature willing to work within the framework of the given, while a social movement is more: it is an agitation, a flux forward in response to dire oppression whose roots in society run much deeper. Protests are tangible and specific, usually built around a specific legislation on the table; when the vote is cast, for better or worse it dissipates in thin air, with business as usual returning. This is a reformist approach. The question that must be asked is if the crisis of our times will ever be solved with a specific and tangible "one line demand". Even if the one line "demand" is as bold as "Overthrow Capitalism" or "End Corporate Personhood". Not only that, demands pressupose that someone else has power and you have none, which is not the case in Liberty Square. And yes, the wording matters here, because we seem to be in pursuit of a language of rupture and not of conformism.  
A movement is characterized by stubborn people that won't stop until society transforms. Usually it rallies around principles of solidarity and people embody their vision of a better society. Movements keep pressure over time, and in order to be successful at recycling the dominant pathological memes and changing social practices, they must grow and have a broad base of support. Liberty Square is slowly reaching that beautiful moment, with labor unions finally joining in and demonstrating solidarity; we are doing the same supporting their struggles. At this moment, insisting on a misguided "one line demand" discussion is dangerous: every successful movement must have a broad base of support, not a narrow one, and one line demands or even a short list of demands is narrowing. It is close-ended instead of open-ended. It restricts instead of liberating.
At liberty Square, we have queer groups, labor unions, environmentalists, human rights activists, artists, homeless people, animals (yes, we love them), undocumented immigrants, foodies, mentally ill patients, and a bunch of other groups that are lending their voice and support to our common struggle, which is a human struggle against oppression in all its forms. Somehow, through the participatory democratic process that is being exercised at the General Assembly, these voices feel that they can be heard and their strength thus amplified, and that is why they are showing up. By all means, not because of a list of demands or worse, a "one line demand". I invite people to experience the thrill of the square and see it for themselves.
A movement requires patience and diligence, not the absurdity of rushing demands just to please the anxiety of mainstream media. Because we have their pathological attention span for now are we settling for this? Please don't trust that thought. Let's aim for something better for ourselves. I guarantee that they will come back to cover our work as we continue to grow stronger. If not, well, then i invite people to remember the poet's words: "the revolution will not be televised" (Thanks Gil Scott-Heron). Let's listen to the poet. 
Speaking of revolution, these happen when a movement breaks off the cozy order of the status quo due to strength of numbers. A revolution, such as the first American revolution, was the realization that true emancipation can never happen through the present dominant institutions, because they are the very ones that generate or replicate the hierarchies of injustice. Same applies for us: in the end, if we really want to change the world for our grandchildren, revolution is what we have to push for, not reformist games. Specially in days where capital flows beyond borders...
OccupyEverywhere. The General Assemblies that are popping up all over America and the world are a clear sign of a beautiful new possibility: local participatory democracy that can self-legislate and operate; cooperate; and ultimately thrive. When and if coordinated, we can push for the stars. At Liberty Square, we already won. We liberated a space, a territoriality, and are building alternatives together. All of this done without fancy documents or tailored "one line demands". Our actions speak louder than our words, and the whole world is watching precisely because it feels that what we are doing is different than politics or business as usual.
The general assembly is channeling a plurality of voices and uniting struggles in solidarity. We need much more a set of values and principles of solidarity (which we already have a draft of this living document at where these oppressed voices can rally around in the audacious task of dreaming a better society. And as they join us and we join them, we fight together for the goals that appear on the square and reivent political agency as a way of life. The General Assemblies are the convergence channel of anti-oppression voices, can't we realize that?
Humanization, Emancipation, Solidarity.

Alexandre M.S. Carvalho, M.D., MPH
2009 Reynolds Fellow   
mobile +1 914 563 4209
home +1 914 633 0415

-Ms. Wind