OCCUPY AMERICA

By David Van Os / The Rag Blog / October 18, 2011

The young people who started and grew the Occupy Wall Street movement have given their country and the world an incredible gift. We should all thank them a million, billion, trillion times.

I’ve participated in Occupy Austin several times at the Austin City Hall Plaza where the Austin branch of Occupy Wall Street has its nerve center. It is inspiring to experience people of all backgrounds coming together through their natural human rights to speak freely and assemble in public places because they hold common grievances against an unresponsive political-economic system and have decided in common that enough is enough.

It is especially inspiring to experience the horizontal decision-making processes of the movement, showcasing full participatory democracy without ego-tripping leaders or control hierarchies.

The right to revolutionary change is deeply rooted in the American psyche. For example, the Bill of Rights of the Texas Constitution (Article 1, Sec. 2, TEXAS CONSTITUTION) states that “all political power is inherent in the people”, and that the people have “at all times the inalienable right to alter, reform or abolish their government in such manner as they may think expedient.” This inalienable right is subject only to “the preservation of a republican form of government”, i.e., self-government by the people. Various other state constitutions contain similar confirmations of the inherent sovereignty of the people.

Respectfully, I submit that the articulated mission statements, demands, and goals of the movement need to call for change of a more revolutionary nature. The movement should demand not reform of the established order, but its downfall. I submit the demands should deliver a message that the entire oligarchy controlling the unresponsive political-economic system has to be peacefully removed and replaced to give the people a fresh new start. Listed below are some demands that I suggest. (My endnotes are simply commentaries. They are not part of the demands themselves. A mass movement’s demands must be basic and plain. The final details evolve in the people’s ongoing self-government of the movement in response to the fluidity of situations.)

1. That every member of the U.S. Congress resign and new elections be held in every state and district, with open access to the ballot and equal access to free airtime on broadcast media.[1]
2. That every director and officer of every Wall Street bank permanently resign.
3. That every Wall Street bank’s charter to do business be revoked.
4. That the banks be broken up in order to get new charters.
5. That the new charters place strict caps on executive compensation.
6. That every corporate charter be amended to prohibit corporate contributions to political parties and candidates.[2]
7. That the old usury laws be restored: absolutely no interest greater than 10% per annum can ever be charged on any transaction.
8. That the Federal Reserve Board be abolished and no individual private bank or group of private banks ever again be given a monopoly over the issuance and control of the nation’s currency.
9. That the president and vice president resign and the replacement elections take place through a speedy election process that reduces the influence of money. [3]

In other words: Replace the government, Break up Wall Street, Disarm the bankers, End the power of money in politics, End corporate contributions, and End the Fed.

A mass movement’s demands must be continuously repeated and the mass occupation and peaceful street action and guerilla theater must continue, grow, and escalate until the demands are met. The established order will not fall overnight. But if we stay true to ourselves and resolve ourselves to fight till hell freezes over and then on the ice, it will fall.

Power to the people.
Revolution now.
OCCUPY AMERICA.

[David Van Os is a populist Texas democrat and a civil rights attorney in San Antonio. He is a former candidate for Attorney General of Texas and for the Texas Supreme Court. To receive his Notes of a Texas Patriot — circulated whenever he gets the urge (and published on The Rag Blog whenever we get the urge) — contact him at david@texas-patriot.com.Read more articles by David Van Os on The Rag Blog.]

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