Preamble may be the most important to write

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Preamble = Broad Brush / Articles = Specific Charges/Solutions

Post by 43north on Mon Oct 24, 2011 8:44 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 9:39 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 10:24 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 12:31 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 5:01 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 6:13 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 7:57 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 8:21 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 10:45 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 12:10 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

Post by Joe Steel on Tue Oct 25, 2011 7:39 am

metroeco wrote:1. The Declaration of Independence declared why the colonies were angry, then announced revolution.
I've seen the Declaration of Independence described as intended to inspire revolution in a population not much inclined toward it. In any document we produce, we ought to consider declaring the reason for our actions.

metroeco wrote:2. The Preamble of the Constitution declared revolutionary ideals.
The Preamble was written in 1787, well after the Revolution was over and after the result of the Revolution, the Articles of Confederation, had proven to be unworkable. The Preamble was statement of unity and purpose, a document recreating the United States as single entity rather than a federation of entities, the several states.

metroeco wrote:3. The Constitution declared how revolutionary ideals would be enacted.
The Constitution had far more to do with the mundane issues of process than revolutionary ideas.

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Re: Preamble may be the most important to write

Post by Joe Steel on Tue Oct 25, 2011 7:44 am

RAB wrote: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.
This is the best thing I've seen so far. It's seems a very good basis for further work.

I'd concentrate on "redirection" rather than "replacement," though. Consistent with the First Amendment right of redress, we should be ordering our Congress to direct their efforts to the issues we enumerate in the Bill of Grievances.


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Are we getting the cart in front of the horse here?

Post by JustJim on Wed Oct 26, 2011 4:44 pm

Ian Jessup wrote:
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?


I think Ian raises some valid points here. Before we tackle the specific verbiage of any declaration we should enumerate the principles that the declaration seeks to articulate.

Some of these might be

  • A corporation is not a person
  • The rights of the individual are not superseded by any group of individuals
  • Economics are subordinate to the rights of the individual
  • We will no longer tolerate the current corrupt environment
  • We will do whatever is necessary to eliminate the corruption and greed
  • Revolution is a last but maybe necessary resort

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A few comments on language

Post by transformation on Wed Oct 26, 2011 5:43 pm

As an ex-Language Arts teacher, and one who fought long and hard for equal rights in the 70's, I would prefer to see "humankind," "humans" or "peoples" instead of "men" or "mankind." Some seem to want to model this on older documents, but words matter and it's time to get rid of words with strong divisive connotations. As such, I would also agree to remove any references to God. Too big a pit. And RAB & 1againstmachine, though really good points, I would suggest we not use the accusatory "they" -- too easy to make this an "Us vs. Them" scenario. Best to avoid a tone of blame, even if warranted! Let's simply speak from a strong voice for justice. Deety's post on the 18th uses a more moderate third person, which sounds less inflammatory. We need to provide a declaration for as many to identify with as possible. Non-aggressive. Just the truth.

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Re: On Language

Post by PDT on Thu Oct 27, 2011 12:54 am

I agree with these points. In my first draft I was careful not to use some of the words that Mr. Jefferson (with Mr. Franklin's help) used because many a thing has changed since then, for the better. Based on what I've read, Franklin replaced a few of Jefferson's words, such as "sacred" truths, where he inserted "self-evident", Franklin being a man more devoted to science, reason and logic as driving principles (above references to God and religion).

But the reason I chose to use the Declaration of Independence as a model was A) I do believe that much of what is stated in its preamble, though not perfect, has formed the guiding principles of our democracy, and B) it is easier to accept a framework already established, for most Americans, than to digest a totally new one.

That being said, yes, it does need updating, but also reinforcement. I think that the core philosophies, we are all equal, certain rights are unalienable, governments deriving their powers from the consent of the governed, long suffered abuses require them to state their cause and correct them, a duty to change their government for the better, all of these need to be reaffirmed, clarified, perfected and restated with certainty.

I'm not sure I did that well enough, but it was a first attempt. I still think it must remain simple. Simple, but very clear.

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