Preamble may be the most important to write

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Preamble should be our own

Post by livegreenordie on Fri Oct 21, 2011 11:32 am

I wanted to relay some of my thoughts in my notes. Whether or not you agree is fine. There are differences emerging in the original preamble that I see. What I think happened, is that the current political philosophy went off track somewhere. Value systems somehow gained more value and political power within a certain framework of beliefs.
Insert>
The beliefs of the individual whether religious, sexual preference, nationality, or otherwise shall be held in the highest regard as a unique and important part of the moral fabric of the American Union.

The rights of states does not supersede the right of each citizen, but acts in harmony with its citizens. No entity or individual shall act in a manner that may jeopardize the property, rights, well-being, or livelihood of the citizens of the American Union.

Doing away with the a dysfunctional 2-party system:
Move that process to a local level. Force the Senate and House to work as a body. Legislation would be passed on to states where it would be decided on. States will choose their own system. In other words, states and citizens would be the final interpreters of the law.

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Re: Preamble may be the most important to write

Post by Joe Steel on Fri Oct 21, 2011 12:56 pm

livegreenordie wrote:...The beliefs of the individual whether religious, sexual preference, nationality, or otherwise shall be held in the highest regard as a unique and important part of the moral fabric of the American Union.

I don't think individual interests, individual rights, ever were paramount in the Founders' conception of American government. If we want to add them to our document's Preamble, so be it, but nothing in the Constitution's Preamble suggests they are all that important.

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Re: Preamble may be the most important to write

Post by tomcummins on Fri Oct 21, 2011 1:18 pm

We can't really form a new government, but we can show our current Congress, as our numbers grow, that we can replace them with people who will truly represent us, starting with the 2012 election.

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Re: Preamble may be the most important to write

Post by randallburns on Sat Oct 22, 2011 1:49 am

Here is my stab at a preamble:

Many Americans have come to feel they no longer have a voice in their government-or any real hope for control over their own lives and destiny. We have witnessed our representatives listen more to money than us and follow their own vanity more than show concern for their country.

Even the very integrity of our election process has come into question in recent years. American politics have become horribly divisive. The founding fathers intended congress to represent the republic in miniature-but instead it is a voice of competing interests that have little to do with the American people and a lot to do with empowering and enriching a small minority.

We are here to look for potential points of a broad consensus among Americans. We hope to give the American people a voice that isn't tainted with self-serving lies or greed. Some of us look mainly to roll back the corruption that has steadily increased along money in politics. Others are reconsidering questions dealt at the creation of the constitution.

We simply don't have the option to stop until we find a real solution. This is our home-and we are not going away.

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The Preamble is key to solidarity with OWS

Post by livegreenordie on Sat Oct 22, 2011 10:25 am

We are fooling ourselves if we think we don't need our own well-defined Preamble. Something very basic that all can agree on. As I submitted earlier, the Preamble with be the defining declaration framework of the basic principals of the movement. Again, modification & clarification IS necessary on the basis of how we see our dysfunctional government operating. The main issue is the rights of citizens above all else.
To reaffirm this message, I propose that we frame this accordingly, and submit it immediately to the OWS working group.

If you really read into this, it covers all the issues we are most concerned about.

[The rights of all citizens should be held in the highest regard above all else. The rights of states do not supersede the rights of the individual. The religious, political party, sexual orientation, nationality, or other beliefs of each citizen are unique and important part of the moral character of the American Union.
No entity or individual shall act in a manner that may jeopardize the well-being, livelihood, or property rights of the citizens of the American Union.]

Do you think that OWS could agree with this statement? I do--this is what we desperately need for solidarity, I propose.

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Clarifying the rights of the individual in preamble

Post by livegreenordie on Sat Oct 22, 2011 10:53 am

I beg to differ that the rights of citizens is not addressed in the preamble.
"We the people" >citizens
seek to:
Form a more perfect union, declare our blessings of liberty, justice, domestic tranquility, common defense.
What do we want?
Do we want to form a more perfect union? (or is it necessary)
Do we want to reaffirm our rights to liberty?
(Liberty is a moral and political principle, or Right, that identifies the condition in which human beings are able to govern themselves, to behave according to their own free will, and take responsibility for their actions.-Wiki)
Do we want to reaffirm our rights to justice?(or are they okay the way they are?)
Do we want to reaffirm our rights to domestic tranquility?(are we domestically tranquil-if you feel we are, then there is no need to address this)
Do we want to reaffirm our rights to a common defense?(How are we being defended and are you okay with the way we are being defended?)
These are the reasons I see, that show most definitely the need to address these issues line by line. We will never be able to find solidarity if we cannot come up with our own Preamble that is easy to read, easy to understand, simple and acceptable. This will lead to consolidated efforts to complete the rest of the declaration. That is why I feel this should be #1 priority. We need a consensus that will bring us to the next step in the process.


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A New Declaration and Constitutional Government by Direct Popular Vote

Post by 1againstmachine on Sat Oct 22, 2011 5:36 pm

This was posted in the New Topics section of this form a few days ago. I think we should seriously think of using our own constitution to change the dialogue and balance of power than presenting grievances. The Occupy Movement has made a radical shift in the way politics is viewed and the way power can be created, organized, and developed through out the world. Our unique constitution which cedes power to Us, the People, needs to be our starting point. Of course, it will be challenged, and our course we have much work to do to create a new declaration, but why not have that be our starting point?

Here's draft. Responses can be found in New Topics.

A New Declaration of Independence

When in the course of human events it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of humankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

Consequently, we hold these truths to be self-evident, that all humans are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men and Women, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, — That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their safety and happiness.

However, when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such government, and to provide a new government for their future security.

Such has been the patient sufferance of this populace; and such is now the necessity that constrains them to alter their former system of government.

The recent history of this present government is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of tyranny over 99% of the populace.

To prove this, let facts be submitted to a candid world:

They have refused to honor and adhere to economic laws and principals, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good.

They have stolen, extorted, and embezzled trillions of dollars from our savings and our future earnings, and given such funds to banking institutions, favored corporations, and the moneyed few.

They have given over sixteen trillion dollars of taxpayer money in zero percentage loans to six banks while taking between 6.8% and 7.9% interest on almost one trillion dollars in loans to 70 million students.

They have been bribed, corrupted, and compromised into stealing billions of dollars from the populace in the form of farm subsidies to highly profitable monopolistic corporations who create and manufacture potentially toxic food products.

They have stolen millions of our homes and caused immense suffering and poverty by creating, ignoring, or condoning false profit bubbles, predatory adjustable loans, mortgage security swaps, and suspect foreclosure practices.

They have poisoned our water, our air, our soil, and our food by neglecting to enforce or enact laws of immediate and pressing importance for the public good.

They have neglected to pass or enforce laws to protect the populace from suffering the unhealthy consequences of harmful corporate practices in the name of profit.

They have elected Supreme Court Justices whose ideologies and philosophies favor a select few at the expense of the many and run counter to the democratic principles of our founding fathers.

They have erected a multitude of new offices, new laws, and taken away inherent freedoms under the guise of terrorism that threaten the very nature and substance of a constitutional Democracy.

They have waged wars, occupied nations, and threatened the sovereignty of others without the consent, approval, or will of the people.

They have rendered the Military independent of and superior to the Civil Power, and contracted private, clandestine military, intelligence, and weapons corporations without our knowledge or consent.

They have corrupted, manipulated, and altered the democratic electoral process so that the Executive and Legislative Branches of this government no longer represent the will of the people but instead represent the moneyed few.

They have allowed the Federal Reserve to print money in our name, give out free loans to banking institutions, to operate independent of the will of the people, and to create policies that benefit the rich at the expense of the public good.

In every stage of these Oppressions We have Appealed for Redress in the most humble terms: Our repeated Protests have been answered by mockery, neglect, hypocrisy, false imprisonment, illegal arrests, and all to often with brutality and excessive force.

Their character is thus marked by every act which may define an Oligarchy of the Rich and Powerful, and is unfit to rule a free people.

We have warned them of attempts to extend an unwarrantable jurisdiction over us, to tax us without our representation or consent, to corrupt our political system or alter our system of inherent checks and balances. We have reminded them that we are first and foremost a government of, for, and by the People. We have appealed to their justice and magnanimity to disavow these usurpations, which have and continue to cause great suffering and hardship among us.

Unfortunately, they have been deaf to the voice of justice and of consanguinity by the people.

We, therefore, as the 99% of the populace of the United States of America, Assembled in a multitude of occupations, protests, and congregations throughout this great nation, do, in the Name, and by the Authority and Spirit of the United States Constitution, declare and call for a Popular Amendment to change our constitution by direct popular vote.

We believe and declare, as James Wilson, one of the original framers of our constitution, stated in 1787, that "... the people may change the constitution whenever and however they please. This is a right of which no positive institution can ever deprive them."

We call for an National Assembly to dissolve by Popular Amendment the current Executive and Legislative Branches of government and to create a new government based on the original principals of the United States Constitution, a government Of The People, For The People, and By The People; and that as a Free and Independent People guided by the Principals and Ideals of our Founding Fathers, we have a right to do so.



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Re: Preamble may be the most important to write

Post by Ian Jessup on Sun Oct 23, 2011 3:42 am

Well, I really like the version that Mojo has posted. I think it needs a little more meat, but I feel it is a step in the right direction. I'm going to take a crack at writing a Preamble based on the PDT/Mojo version. I like several points which have been added by livegreenordie. Randallburns has also established valid points in his attempt at a preamble. Finally, the "New Declaration of Independence" is well written, makers numerous extremely important statements, and there is a great deal I like about it, but...

I wish to raise some very serious questions here:


  • First, what exactly ARE we trying to accomplish in writing this declaration?
  • Are we simply trying to establish the philosophy and demands of the 99% movement?
  • Are we generating a rough draft of a declaration that will be presented by the NGA next July, or are we trying to generate a final draft, that the NGA will vote upon, before being presented?


My present understanding of this forum and its association with the 99%/OWS movement is that we are trying to generate some concrete philosophy to galvanize and establish legitimacy for our cause. After all, the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution of the United States of America were not written by those who selected the delegates that met in Philadelphia.

I guess, I feel that once we are in possession of these answers, that we will have a more concrete "mission statement" to provide to the 99%/OWS movement to shore up our purpose here on this forum. I, and I'm sure many would agree, want to be absolutely certain of what we are trying to accomplish in writing this declaration. I feel our mandate to organize the election of delegates and in managing the logistics behind the NGA in Philly next July is clear. I feel less clear about our role in the actual writing of the 99% Declaration. Since, I'm really quite new here, I want to receive some clarification (however clear or muddy that clarification might be) from those more senior than I.

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Another New Declaration of Independence

Post by Deety on Sun Oct 23, 2011 4:32 am

I've thought for a long time that we need to redeclare ourselves and our interests, but we need to be very careful to avoid potentially alientating others or leaving holes corporations can drive abuses through. 1againstmachine's revision is a great start to which I've made changes I hope will make it more accessible to modern people while keeping it general enough that it will stand the test of time. Some of the grievances seemed a bit too specific for a declaration, while Jefferson's original languaging mystifies many 20th century readers. I'm also not convinced we should begin by advocating the elimination of two of the three branches of government. We may get there, but I always like leaving the solutions open to brainstorming as long as possible. So here's my idea:

A New Declaration of Independence

As our forebears recognized, when in the course of human events it becomes necessary for one people to reformulate the political system under which they live a decent respect to the opinions of humankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the change.

Consequently, we reaffirm that we hold these truths to be self-evident:
• that all humans are created equal,
• that they are endowed with certain unalienable Rights, among which are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness
• that to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among People, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed
• that whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter it to end the destruction and better meet their needs, or to abolish it if necessary and thereafter to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their safety and happiness.

Like our forebears we hold that when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same object reveals a design to deny these rights and instead impose upon the People an undemocratic despotism, it is the right, it is the duty of the People to reject such government, revising or replacing it to provide a government capable of ensuring their future security.

The recent history of this present government is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of tyranny over 99% of the populace. We have endured these abuses and usurpations with patient sufferance; but now assert that necessity requires us to address them by the only means available to us: altering our system of government to eliminate them.

These abuses and usurpations include:

1) transferring trillions of dollars from our savings and our future earnings to banking institutions, favored corporations, and the moneyed few without the consent of or regard for the consequences to the People. Specifically they have:

2) neglecting to pass or enforce laws to protect the populace from suffering the unhealthy consequences of harmful corporate practices in the name of profit and have given over sixteen trillion dollars of taxpayer money in zero percentage loans to six banks and bailouts of corporations to prevent them incurring the appropriate market response to their poor business choices and recklessness instead of allowing them to fail as millions of small businesses have done.

3) using billions of taxpayer dollars to subsidize farms in such a way that small and family farms cannot compete fairly with corporate farms and food stocks reliant on unsustainable methods of production.

4) allowing millions of our homes to be taken without regard to principles of fairness and truth in lending

5) allowing the poisoning of our water, air, soil and food neglecting to enforce or enact laws necessary to protect human and environmental health

6) appointing and confirming Supreme Court Justices whose ideologies and philosophies favor a select few at the expense of the many and run counter to the democratic principles of our founding fathers.

7) in the name of security, requiring us to sacrifice freedom and erected a multitude of new offices, new laws, resulting in the loss of so many inherent freedoms that the very nature and substance of a constitutional Democracy is threatened

Cool waging wars for corporate profit, occupied nations, and threatened the sovereignty of others without the consent, approval, or will of the people

9) rendering the Military independent of and superior to the Civil Power, and contracted private, clandestine military, intelligence, and weapons corporations without our knowledge or consent.

10) allowing and participated in the manipulation and corruption of the democratic electoral process rendering the Executive and Legislative Branches representative of the moneyed few not the people they swear to serve.

11) allowing the Federal Reserve to operate independent of the will of the people, and to create policies that benefit the rich at the expense of the public good.

In every stage of these oppressions we have appealed for redress through appropriate means (petition, vote and peaceful assembly). We have warned the government of attempts to extend an unwarrantable jurisdiction over us, to tax us without our representation or consent, to corrupt our political system or alter our system of inherent checks and balances. We have reminded them that we are first and foremost a government of, for, and by the People. We have appealed to their justice and magnanimity to disavow these usurpations, which have and continue to cause great suffering and hardship among us.

Unfortunately, they have been deaf to our voices, our pleas for justice and fairness, and the requirements of Constitutional government.

Our repeated protests have been answered by mockery, neglect, hypocrisy, false imprisonment, illegal arrests, all to often with brutality and excessive force, and with the continuation and intensification of the oppressive behaviors.

The character of this government is thus marked by every act which may define an oligarchy of the rich and powerful. They are not only unfit to rule a free people; they are in violation of the fundamental principles of this nation and the oaths of office they have sworn. As a result, they have lost all claims to legitimacy.

We, therefore, as the 99% of the populace of the United States of America, do, in the name, and by the authority and spirit of the United States Constitution reject these abuses of government and rescind our consent to be governed by it until it shall be restored to its legitimate purpose: a government of the People, by the People and for the People.

To achieve this end we call for the democratic election of a National Assembly to address these abuses and identify appropriate remedies subject to the will of the People.


Last edited by Deety on Sun Oct 23, 2011 4:34 am; edited 2 times in total (Reason for editing : trying to remove emoticon replacing one of the numbers on the list)

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Direct popular vote

Post by Mojo on Sun Oct 23, 2011 12:50 pm

While I think this one is eloquently stated, and I agree it is the people's right to overthrow or abolish the government, I don't think, tactically, this is smart. And how would that work, anyway, with our current dysfunctional voting system? You're asking people for an up or down vote on whether to dissolve Congress and have a new constitutional convention? What about the Supreme Court? I don't know, I just don't see this one winning us a lot of support, notwithstanding the fact that everything you state in it is true.

The sad thing is that Americans are not, by and large, revolutionaries. I don't know why, because it seems to me we're about 40 years overdue for a revolution, but I suppose they've just been propagandized into inertia and complacency.

1againstmachine wrote:This was posted in the New Topics section of this form a few days ago. I think we should seriously think of using our own constitution to change the dialogue and balance of power than presenting grievances. The Occupy Movement has made a radical shift in the way politics is viewed and the way power can be created, organized, and developed through out the world. Our unique constitution which cedes power to Us, the People, needs to be our starting point. Of course, it will be challenged, and our course we have much work to do to create a new declaration, but why not have that be our starting point?

Here's draft. Responses can be found in New Topics.

A New Declaration of Independence

When in the course of human events it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of humankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

Consequently, we hold these truths to be self-evident, that all humans are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men and Women, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, — That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their safety and happiness.

However, when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such government, and to provide a new government for their future security.

Such has been the patient sufferance of this populace; and such is now the necessity that constrains them to alter their former system of government.

The recent history of this present government is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of tyranny over 99% of the populace.

To prove this, let facts be submitted to a candid world:

They have refused to honor and adhere to economic laws and principals, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good.

They have stolen, extorted, and embezzled trillions of dollars from our savings and our future earnings, and given such funds to banking institutions, favored corporations, and the moneyed few.

They have given over sixteen trillion dollars of taxpayer money in zero percentage loans to six banks while taking between 6.8% and 7.9% interest on almost one trillion dollars in loans to 70 million students.

They have been bribed, corrupted, and compromised into stealing billions of dollars from the populace in the form of farm subsidies to highly profitable monopolistic corporations who create and manufacture potentially toxic food products.

They have stolen millions of our homes and caused immense suffering and poverty by creating, ignoring, or condoning false profit bubbles, predatory adjustable loans, mortgage security swaps, and suspect foreclosure practices.

They have poisoned our water, our air, our soil, and our food by neglecting to enforce or enact laws of immediate and pressing importance for the public good.

They have neglected to pass or enforce laws to protect the populace from suffering the unhealthy consequences of harmful corporate practices in the name of profit.

They have elected Supreme Court Justices whose ideologies and philosophies favor a select few at the expense of the many and run counter to the democratic principles of our founding fathers.

They have erected a multitude of new offices, new laws, and taken away inherent freedoms under the guise of terrorism that threaten the very nature and substance of a constitutional Democracy.

They have waged wars, occupied nations, and threatened the sovereignty of others without the consent, approval, or will of the people.

They have rendered the Military independent of and superior to the Civil Power, and contracted private, clandestine military, intelligence, and weapons corporations without our knowledge or consent.

They have corrupted, manipulated, and altered the democratic electoral process so that the Executive and Legislative Branches of this government no longer represent the will of the people but instead represent the moneyed few.

They have allowed the Federal Reserve to print money in our name, give out free loans to banking institutions, to operate independent of the will of the people, and to create policies that benefit the rich at the expense of the public good.

In every stage of these Oppressions We have Appealed for Redress in the most humble terms: Our repeated Protests have been answered by mockery, neglect, hypocrisy, false imprisonment, illegal arrests, and all to often with brutality and excessive force.

Their character is thus marked by every act which may define an Oligarchy of the Rich and Powerful, and is unfit to rule a free people.

We have warned them of attempts to extend an unwarrantable jurisdiction over us, to tax us without our representation or consent, to corrupt our political system or alter our system of inherent checks and balances. We have reminded them that we are first and foremost a government of, for, and by the People. We have appealed to their justice and magnanimity to disavow these usurpations, which have and continue to cause great suffering and hardship among us.

Unfortunately, they have been deaf to the voice of justice and of consanguinity by the people.

We, therefore, as the 99% of the populace of the United States of America, Assembled in a multitude of occupations, protests, and congregations throughout this great nation, do, in the Name, and by the Authority and Spirit of the United States Constitution, declare and call for a Popular Amendment to change our constitution by direct popular vote.

We believe and declare, as James Wilson, one of the original framers of our constitution, stated in 1787, that "... the people may change the constitution whenever and however they please. This is a right of which no positive institution can ever deprive them."

We call for an National Assembly to dissolve by Popular Amendment the current Executive and Legislative Branches of government and to create a new government based on the original principals of the United States Constitution, a government Of The People, For The People, and By The People; and that as a Free and Independent People guided by the Principals and Ideals of our Founding Fathers, we have a right to do so.



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Purpose of Preamble

Post by Mojo on Sun Oct 23, 2011 1:05 pm

Ian, I would say we are trying to do both of your bulleted points, although I must admit I'm unclear on the "NGA" and its relation to NYCGA, and how the logistics of decision making for this movement all shakes out. And it is difficult to draft a document in an online forum like this. It seems we have a stark division, already, between those who want the Declaration to be a revolutionary call to dissolve Congress and form a new government by popular vote, and those who want to list grievances to be presented at a delegate convention in Philly, which after being ignored by DC will lead to the formation of a new political party. I favor the latter approach, because I don't think enough Americans are ready to dissolve Congress, regardless of the justice of that.

As for revolutions, as an aside, it makes little sense to propose a revolution when there is no party that can embody the ideals and demands of the masses. We need to develop a political party, even if ultimately our aims are revolutionary, because otherwise any "revolution" would only lead to chaos.


Ian Jessup wrote:Well, I really like the version that Mojo has posted. I think it needs a little more meat, but I feel it is a step in the right direction. I'm going to take a crack at writing a Preamble based on the PDT/Mojo version. I like several points which have been added by livegreenordie. Randallburns has also established valid points in his attempt at a preamble. Finally, the "New Declaration of Independence" is well written, makers numerous extremely important statements, and there is a great deal I like about it, but...

I wish to raise some very serious questions here:


  • First, what exactly ARE we trying to accomplish in writing this declaration?
  • Are we simply trying to establish the philosophy and demands of the 99% movement?
  • Are we generating a rough draft of a declaration that will be presented by the NGA next July, or are we trying to generate a final draft, that the NGA will vote upon, before being presented?


My present understanding of this forum and its association with the 99%/OWS movement is that we are trying to generate some concrete philosophy to galvanize and establish legitimacy for our cause. After all, the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution of the United States of America were not written by those who selected the delegates that met in Philadelphia.

I guess, I feel that once we are in possession of these answers, that we will have a more concrete "mission statement" to provide to the 99%/OWS movement to shore up our purpose here on this forum. I, and I'm sure many would agree, want to be absolutely certain of what we are trying to accomplish in writing this declaration. I feel our mandate to organize the election of delegates and in managing the logistics behind the NGA in Philly next July is clear. I feel less clear about our role in the actual writing of the 99% Declaration. Since, I'm really quite new here, I want to receive some clarification (however clear or muddy that clarification might be) from those more senior than I.

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Suggested Preamble language

Post by metroeco on Sun Oct 23, 2011 11:18 pm

To restore this American republic to control by its full electorate; to free its markets for the employment and enjoyment of all workers; to transfer control of money to its public and to establish responsible banking; to secure homes from seizure; to assure education and medical care for all; to refresh America's soil, water and air for the health of endless generations; and to rebuild its cities toward balance with nature, Occupy America offers the following proposals to our fellow citizens.

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Preamble, as a declaration of rights, and broad Constitutional charges:

Post by 43north on Mon Oct 24, 2011 12:15 am

When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all of mankind is created equal, that they are endowed with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and Justice.
That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Mankind, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.
That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Equal Protection under the Law.

Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience has shown, that mankind is more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to correct themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed.
However, when a long train of abuses and usurpations, evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.

Whereas, the First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States declares:

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

and Whereas the Fourth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States declares:

The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

and Whereas the Fourteenth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States declares (in part):

1. All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.


We hereby Petition Congress for redress of grievances pursuant to the First Amendment to the Constitution of these United States.
We furthermore charge violations of the First, Fourth, and Fourteenth Amendment have been both malicious and systematic, usurping the Rights of the People to peaceably assemble, petition the government for redress of grievances, and enjoy equal protection and fair representation under the Law.

To this end, we attach the following Articles:

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Re: broad constitutional charges

Post by Mojo on Mon Oct 24, 2011 1:09 am

I like your version a lot, 43north, particularly your spelling out the parts of the constitution that are systematically violated...You could attach a document that would include the now-routine warrantless wiretapping and systematic spying on our email, cell phone records, etc. The PATRIOT Act, the countless illegal wars and interventions. Yes, I like this approach. It is important to SPELL OUT the many and systematic crimes against the Constitution. Because ultimately, I believe our goals are or should be revolutionary goals, no matter how we write this Declaration; and as such, we need to inform the many people who are not yet informed, about the many violations of our constitution by leaders of both major parties.

43north wrote:When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all of mankind is created equal, that they are endowed with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and Justice.
That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Mankind, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.
That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Equal Protection under the Law.

Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience has shown, that mankind is more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to correct themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed.
However, when a long train of abuses and usurpations, evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.

Whereas, the First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States declares:

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

and Whereas the Fourth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States declares:

The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

and Whereas the Fourteenth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States declares (in part):

1. All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.


We hereby Petition Congress for redress of grievances pursuant to the First Amendment to the Constitution of these United States.
We furthermore charge violations of the First, Fourth, and Fourteenth Amendment have been both malicious and systematic, usurping the Rights of the People to peaceably assemble, petition the government for redress of grievances, and enjoy equal protection and fair representation under the Law.

To this end, we attach the following Articles:

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Re: multiple versions of a new declaration

Post by Deety on Mon Oct 24, 2011 3:42 am

I agree we need a strong statement. One based on previous founding documents is ideal. However, the languaging of them can be difficult or lead to issues for modern people.

In my version I removed reference to Nature and Nature's God to avoid encouraging co-optation by any religious movement. Keep in mind some are trying to assert the US was founded as a Christian country which documents of the time show it was not. Leaving reference to any God in might encourage them to try to co-opt what we're doing.

In similar way, I changed references to Man or mankind to humans. To many it may seem a superficial change but there are people who find those terms symbolic of patriarchal society and could potentially doubt the inclusion of all people (male, female and X). Or, future groups might sieze on that language and again try to show some group wasn't included to support their own discriminatory purpose

I do like the change to citing the specific parts of the Constitutions which have been violated. Perhaps we can find a way to merge the various forms and wordings into one and then see what else might need some work?

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Preamble = Broad Brush / Articles = Specific Charges/Solutions

Post by 43north on Mon Oct 24, 2011 9:44 am

Mojo, precisely that.
The Preamble is merely the "we're mad as hell about this as you've wronged us plenty" statement and should provide (as did the original) a framework of the broad principles.
While the Articles should spell out (as they do currently) our individual grievances; and if we so choose, offer a course of action for remedy.


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Deety, Mojo"

Post by 43north on Mon Oct 24, 2011 10:39 am

Mojo wrote:<snip> It seems we have a stark division, already, between those who want the Declaration to be a revolutionary call to dissolve Congress and form a new government by popular vote, and those who want to list grievances to be presented at a delegate convention in Philly, which after being ignored by DC will lead to the formation of a new political party. I favor the latter approach, because I don't think enough Americans are ready to dissolve Congress, regardless of the justice of that.

As for revolutions, as an aside, it makes little sense to propose a revolution when there is no party that can embody the ideals and demands of the masses. We need to develop a political party, even if ultimately our aims are revolutionary, because otherwise any "revolution" would only lead to chaos.

Deety, I agree with the overt misogyny and deification found in the original document runs foul of (some) in today's society. I thinned-out all but one, and the term mankind is used broadly verses the archaic mankind/womankind. I wouldn't oppose "humanity" or "humankind" but the more we deviate from the original, the more we give credence to those who'll claim: "This is an assault on God, and the Constitution."

For that reason, I agree with Mojos' quoted statement.
THIS document, and the NGA, must be an attempt to follow the "redress of grievances" path given in the First Amendment. A radical document will banish us to the lunatic fringe. jocolor
This has to sell in Middle America, not just on the college campuses, and in the urban-radical environment. lol!

It's been the divisive issue between me and certain members of the NYCGA, who called for a total halt on this document - "as it gives-into the existing power structure and is not going to create a world-wide direct democracy".
That's an overly ambitious first-step, and will be seen as a call to overthrow the government.
No call to change, just outright "get out, or we'll throw you out".
Then what? Mojo forecasted "chaos", look to post-revolution France as an example.

Do we trust the electronic media will still be in-place after we throw the bastards out?
Are we to naively believe that all of our government and private (corporate) institutions will be left undisturbed, if we depose the government and those who support it? A nationwide "human microphone" will not suffice.

We need not settle for less than a strict adherence to the principles contained within the Constitution.
That, in these days, is more radical than electing a Catholic President in 1960, or a African-American President in 2008. Both of whom were known in regards to their political persuasion prior to election.

The fear in America will be: "Then what?"
Simple.
We adhere to the Constitution, we insist that people do their job, and we establish an America that is right and just.
We didn't need the TSA and DHS, nor domestic spying and a gulag system.
We needed someone to listen to a lowly FBI employee when he took a phone call from a flight school:
"Hey, some arab guys only want to learn how to take-off, fly and navigate... but not land. You FBI guys want to look into this?"


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Brief and Powerful gets my vote!

Post by Guest on Mon Oct 24, 2011 11:24 am

I've been combing through this thread and think that it has a lot of great ideas (and no shortage of eloquent phrases!), but I feel pretty strongly about a preamble that is short (like two sentences, consisting of a minimum of clauses) and straight to the heart of the matter. Anything else can be elaborated in the remainder of the document.
One of the reasons people voted for Bush is that he was plain-spoken. This is also part of the Tea Party appeal. People who haven't spent a lot of time (or any time, for that matter) in university classrooms have an inherent distrust of indirect language. It reminds them of lawyer-speak and fine print. They want something that makes sense immediately. I'm not saying we need to sacrifice our message for this, but just to keep in mind that these people are also 99%ers (even if they don't admit it) and our declaration represents them as well, by default.
Here's my stab at it:

The people of the United States of America recognize and condemn the widening gap between the wealthy 1% and the struggling 99% of its citizens. Although we, the 99%, have been complacent or even supportive of policies that have furthered this division, our current situation is no longer acceptable or sustainable. We therefore propose this Declaration of the 99% to restore our representation, protect our families and communities and to rekindle our spirit of cooperation.

Okay, that was three sentences. Anyway, you get my drift...

Peace,
Johanna

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Our Model

Post by Joe Steel on Mon Oct 24, 2011 1:31 pm

I think the Preamble to our Declaration of Grievances should mimic the US Constitution to some extent.

The document we call the US Constitution, technically, is two documents, a compact and a constitution. The Preamble is a compact, an agreement of individuals to bind themselves together. Everything after the Preamble "constitutes", or forms, the government of the country created in the Preamble. I think we should use that as the model for our document. Our preamble would create the national assembly and establish its purpose. Then we would declare our grievances.


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Why mimic Constitution?

Post by Guest on Mon Oct 24, 2011 6:01 pm

Hey Joe!
Forgive me if the reasoning for this is somewhere else on this site. If so, please direct me to it.
I haven't quite clued into why we need to model our declaration on the Constitution, other than the fact that that's what Michael P did originally and that, of course, it's a mighty well-written document!
I don't know, but there's something about mimicking the Constitution that feels a bit, well, like play-acting to me. Don't get me wrong - my ancestors have been here since 1619 and before (Native Americans) and several fought in the Revolution. I have a strong attachment to the document and it's power.
Nevertheless, it is from a different time, stylistically speaking. Furthermore, it was my impression that we are drafting a declaration of grievances, not a constitution, nor even a party platform.
I just don't want us looking like we can't be original. I think it undermines our message to an extent.
I'm sure we all have different opinions on this, but just wanted to share mine.
Thanks again!
Peace,
Johanna

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I'm with Johanna, for the most part on this one,not that you should care...

Post by uncommonfilth on Mon Oct 24, 2011 7:13 pm

Johanna wrote:Hey Joe!
Forgive me if the reasoning for this is somewhere else on this site. If so, please direct me to it.
I haven't quite clued into why we need to model our declaration on the Constitution, other than the fact that that's what Michael P did originally and that, of course, it's a mighty well-written document!
I don't know, but there's something about mimicking the Constitution that feels a bit, well, like play-acting to me. Don't get me wrong - my ancestors have been here since 1619 and before (Native Americans) and several fought in the Revolution. I have a strong attachment to the document and it's power.
Nevertheless, it is from a different time, stylistically speaking. Furthermore, it was my impression that we are drafting a declaration of grievances, not a constitution, nor even a party platform.
I just don't want us looking like we can't be original. I think it undermines our message to an extent.
I'm sure we all have different opinions on this, but just wanted to share mine.
Thanks again!
Peace,
Johanna
But I did enjoy delivering this to my US Senator(David Vitter) this morning at his town hall in Harahan,LA., and it was pretty well received:

"WE, THE PEOPLE, LET THE POWER, AND WEALTH OF FEW, CORRUPT THE PRESENT, AND FUTURE FOR MANY, WE, THE PEOPLE, IN OUR COMPLACENCY ARE TO BLAME, WE, THE PEOPLE ARE OBLIGED BY OUR CIVIC DUTY TO REMEDY OUR FAILURES, AND WE, THE PEOPLE SHALL, WITH GREAT HASTE!!!"

Yeah, I'm obviously biased...But I'm givin myself, a few goosebumps, with this..hehe..really..say it out loud and tell me you don't feel Empowered...alright there might be too many/few commas....it's been a while since I had to worry bout grammar...

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Re: Preamble may be the most important to write

Post by Joe Steel on Mon Oct 24, 2011 8:57 pm

Johanna wrote:I haven't quite clued into why we need to model our declaration on the Constitution, other than the fact that that's what Michael P did originally and that, of course, it's a mighty well-written document!
I don't know, but there's something about mimicking the Constitution that feels a bit, well, like play-acting to me.
We should adopt the form of the Constitution because it does what we need it to do. It establishes our legitimacy and delivers our message.

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Declaration and Constitution: two distinct functions

Post by metroeco on Mon Oct 24, 2011 9:21 pm

1. The Declaration of Independence declared why the colonies were angry, then announced revolution.

2. The Preamble of the Constitution declared revolutionary ideals.

3. The Constitution declared how revolutionary ideals would be enacted.

We need all three, again.

1. List of Grievances. Why we're mad.

2. Declaration of idealistic mission. Quick, short.

3. Declaration of process. How we will solve injustice.

I've offered the following short Preamble:

To restore this American republic to control by its full electorate; to free its markets for the employment and enjoyment of all workers; to transfer control of money to its public and to establish responsible banking; to secure homes from seizure; to assure quality education and medical care for all; to refresh America's soil, water and air for the health of endless generations; and to rebuild its cities toward balance with nature, Occupy America offers the following proposals to our fellow citizens.

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That's what I'm Talking About!

Post by Guest on Mon Oct 24, 2011 11:45 pm

Hey, Metroeco! I think that's a fine short preamble! I apologize if you've already posted it and I missed it. Please understand I only get to look at this site when the baby is sleeping, and sometimes only in short bursts. Even if I read something once, I don't always retain it.
Thanks!
Johanna

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Sample preamble

Post by RAB on Tue Oct 25, 2011 1:10 am

Here's something we cooked up about a year ago. The entire document can be view at www.DeclarationOfAccountability.com

When governments cease to serve the will of the people and instead serve the interests of powerful elites unaccountable to the rule of law, it is incumbent upon citizens of the world to withdraw support from these institutions and replace them with legitimate governments of, by, and for the people.

Presented in this Declaration of Accountability is a Bill of Grievances detailing the unlawful acts of some of the most powerful governments in the world. This is a call to the people of these countries and citizens of the world to hold accountable those responsible for their criminal acts. It is also a call for the restoration of the rule of law through all legal means and, if necessary, for an independent internationally comprised tribunal. As so eloquently expressed by U.S. Supreme Court Justice Robert Jackson, the chief prosecutor of the Nuremberg War Crimes Trials following World War II:

"If certain acts and violations of treaties are crimes, they are crimes whether the United States does them or whether Germany does them. We are not prepared to lay down a rule of criminal conduct against others which we would not be willing to have invoked against us."

In short, all nations, vanquished or victors, and all persons, powerful or humble, are subject to the rule of law without exception.

Bill of Grievances

Governments have perpetrated the following willful and unconscionable acts on behalf of the special interests of the few at the expense of the people they are beholden to represent:

• They have turned over control of sovereign monetary systems to private banks that critically imperil the people’s welfare and the world economy;

• They have used the International Monetary Fund, the World Trade Organization, the World Bank, and the Bank for International Settlements to impose their economic and political agendas on nations worldwide, effectively subjecting them to economic warfare and relegating them to the status of modern-day colonies;

• They have engaged in resource wars in Iraq, Afghanistan, and elsewhere under false pretenses (“weapons of mass destruction,” etc.), resulting in massive loss of life and the wholesale destruction of lands and local economies;

• They have caused the displacement of millions of individuals and families from their native lands due to imperial wars, exploitation, and trade agreements (such as NAFTA), which has resulted in the continuation of victimization of these political, economic, and environmental refugees in the countries to which they fled;

• They have eliminated job opportunities, social services, and labor protections for the people while enhancing the fortunes of banks and corporations;

• They have purposefully undermined free and fair elections through voter registration irregularities, rigged voting machines, and in the U.S., high-court decisions that overrule the electorate and endorse unlimited corporate campaign financing and electoral control;

• They have passed laws inimical to the health and welfare of the planet, subjecting all living beings to oil spills, chemical poisoning and pollution, deadly radiation, genetic manipulation and other threats, as well as promoting wars for profit, the single greatest cause of environmental degradation and human illness;

• They have put the planet and its people at further risk by permitting strip-mining of the land, gouging of the ocean floor, emission of greenhouse gases, privatization of drinking water resources for profit, and the destruction of indigenous lands;

• They have perpetrated “false flag events”—acts of violence and criminal negligence (including many connected with 9/11), which are then blamed on targeted groups or countries—to mobilize support for wars (e.g., Iraq, Afghanistan) and restrict liberties (e.g., the U.S. Patriot Act);

• They have routinely used torture—a criminal act under the Geneva Convention, UN Convention against Torture, and the U.S. War Crimes Act—to extract false confessions from prisoners for the purpose of linking them to alleged terrorist plans and to create further pretexts for war;

• They have engaged in extraordinary renditions (kidnapping) of citizens from various sovereign countries and delivered them to CIA “black sites” for torture—all in the name of the so-called “War on Terror”;

• They have enacted laws in secrecy that later have been revealed to concentrate power in the hands of a few, abridging constitutional checks and balances;

• They have engaged in secret, illegal spying on innocent people, domestic and foreign, using private telecommunication companies later shielded from complicity in warrantless wiretapping and electronic eavesdropping; and

• They have collaborated with corporate media to mislead and misinform the people and to suppress informed debate, thereby crippling democracy.

To redress the grievances in this Bill, we the undersigned world citizens affirm the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, adopted unanimously in 1948 by the United Nations General Assembly, which declares that “it is essential, if man is not to be compelled to have recourse as a last resort to rebellion against tyranny and oppression, that human rights should be protected by the rule of law.”

Therefore, we call upon organizations and peoples of all nations to join us in signing this declaration and in taking all possible legal actions to resolve the crimes described herein, including an international tribunal and initiatives suitable to each country.

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Re: Preamble may be the most important to write

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