Posted Jan. 30, 2012
Challenging the System: The 99% Declaration
By Mireille Moya
The founders of our nation, having overthrown the tyranny of a monarchy on the shores of America, knew that our new governmental structure had to secure “unalienable rights” which include “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness” for all, as the Declaration of Independence asserted. As such, they had the foresight to design a representative democratic system that could be challenged by the people whose rights it was meant to protect.
The Constitution, through the first amendment, provides for the right to petition our government for redress of grievances – we can voice our dissatisfaction, make complaints, and seek assistance of our government without fear of punishment or reprisals. Or so that is the way it is supposed to go…
This right is currently being thoroughly tested by the Occupy movement. Occupy groups and offshoot organizations around the country are engaging in lawmaking activities by designing their own Bill of Rights and petitions for redress of grievances which seek to empower people and their communities over corporate interests.
One such organization is The 99% Declaration Working Group which, although it attempts to maintain its ties to Occupy Wall Street via the New York City General Assembly (NYCGA), is its own entity with definitive goals. Its purpose is summarized in the 99% Declaration’s first paragraph:
“BE IT RESOLVED THAT WE, THE NINETY-NINE PERCENT OF THE PEOPLE of the UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, in order to form a more perfect Union, by, for and of the People, shall elect and convene a NATIONAL GENERAL ASSEMBLY the week of July 4, 2012 in the City Of Philadelphia to prepare and ratify a PETITION FOR A REDRESS OF GRIEVANCES on behalf of the Ninety-Nine Percent of the People of the United States to be served upon the United States Congress, United States Supreme Court and President of the United States prior to November 6, 2012.”
In simpler terms, the organization will attempt to affect change at the governmental level to address corruption, economic inequalities and challenge the policies and forces that undermine a government by the people and for the people. A transparent democratic election of 876 delegates (2 from each congressional district) will be conducted in the spring of 2012.
The delegates will meet the week of July 4th, 2012 in Philadelphia at a National General Assembly to discuss and finalize the petition to be presented to congress. Among the current 21 grievances, which are just working guidelines, are a call for the elimination of the corporate state, abrogation of “Citizen’s United”, a fair tax code, protection of the planet, bank and securities reform and reinstitution of civil rights.
Anyone can participate in this endeavor by applying to become a delegate for their congressional district, registering to vote for delegates or helping to further the cause by doing voter outreach to register others within one’s community.
For more information on the 99% Declaration Working Group and its goals, as well as learning how you can be part of this historic event and vote for delegates, visit the website:
Mireille Moya is active in Occupy Melbourne Florida, and is a contributor to SCPA website and eNews.