Proposal – Occupy National Gathering 2013, Kalamazoo, Michigan
Occupy Kalamazoo has received an endorsement from Occupy Raleigh on the following proposal, and seeks general ratification from Occupy assemblies, working groups and affinity groups worldwide. We also welcome an endorsement of Solidarity from Peoples’ assemblies in communities local, national and global.
We, the National Gathering Working Group 2013 (NGWG2013), propose a National Gathering of the Occupy Movement, and peoples’ movements worldwide, in Kalamazoo Michigan, to collectively assemble and embrace our different ideologies and perspectives; to find our common visions; to share our strategies and actions; and to leave this gathering with steps we can all take in both agreement and diversity; for ourselves, our communities, our nations, and for all of us all over the world.
We further propose that our convergence begin on Aug. 21 and continue for five days of Community and Movement building exercises including speakers, teach-ins, and
free-flowing open discussion at a location to be determined by the Occupy Kalamazoo General Assembly. We believe it’s time the people of the world spoke to each other about how to make a better world. We ask you to converge with us, to bring your ideas, your struggles, and your voice and come to Kalamazoo!
We already have networks on board with these broad areas of interest and welcome and need your suggestions, participation and contributions:.
We also encourage the creation of local, national and global processes to communicate, organize and converge. We are meeting more and more on the internet, on mumble, on conference calls. Global infrastructures are appearing, to bring more people together and able to participate worldwide. We are able as a people to organize worldwide protests and actions. We envision a day of concerted worldwide actions focused on very local issues that expose those local issues as part of the worldwide fight against systemic injustice. We will gather and share this worldwide action through all the media tools and networks we continue to build through voluntary people power.
We embrace the value derived from face-to-face contact, and understand that no single gathering can be representative of our entire movement. We recognize that attending in person will be challenging, or impossible for many, so we also commit to pursuing an online component through which anyone can participate via the Internet. We encourage the creation of local, national and global processes by which movement resources could be directed towards funding travel for active movement participants that otherwise would not be able to attend.
In keeping with principles of the Occupy Movement, the NGWG2013 will continue planning this gathering only if this proposal is ratified by a preponderance of General Assemblies from across the Movement.
We are committed to operating in an open, inclusive, and transparent way. Therefore, most planning will be done via direct democratic conference calls, hubs and collaborative tools through the InterOccupy.net platform. All are welcome to participate. We endeavor to convene an historic gathering that will require a great deal of organization, so we invite participants from all Occupys and friends to join us in the planning and facilitation of this effort.
We invite you come to Kalamazoo Aug. 21 – 25. We ask for your endorsement, and would be honored if you would join us, live, online or in solidarity actions, and become part of this beautiful expression of our collective will!
The National Gathering Working Group 2013
The NGWG2013 is comprised of Occupy Kalamazoo on the ground, and other
Occupiers from across the Globe online, hopefully to soon include you!
Join our Launch Call March 20 @ 8PM ET !
NGWG Website: http://www.occupynationalgathering.net
Twitter: @Ng2Kzoo #NatGat2 #natgat2 #NatGat2013 #natgat2013 #Natgat2@thezoo
National Gathering Hub on InterOccupy: http://interoccupy.net/natgat2/
Join our Planning Call! Register here. We convene every Wednesday at 8 PM ET!
There are many pressing issues we face as citizens of this planet, which has been so abused by our species. We are committed to coming together to resist the continued harms that would be foisted upon us by a corporate-military-governmental collusion that usurps our rights to live free from poisons, industrial invasions, job losses, illegal home foreclosures, and other corporate crimes, and to govern our sovereign selves in keeping with our shared principles of justice, equality, peace, respect, inclusion, the rights of Nature and other species, and the rights of future generations of our own species.
We not only resist what is wrong, we work together to build what is good. All of our work revolves around creating more equitable, more inclusive, more participatory, more sensible (from an individual as well as a species- and planet-protection standpoint) governing systems.
At this time the threats to these principles are converging in several areas. We will broadly define five areas in which we will concentrate our collective efforts during this National Gathering; they will be defined more specifically by the participants as we go along in our living Convergence Doc .
We recognize that climate change is the greatest threat we face as a species, and that it is happening Now. Here. Everywhere. At the same time, corporate-state-regulatory- judicial forces are bulldozing broad swaths of private and public lands in the USA and around the globe to frack for methane gas; extract oil from sands and other formations; blast beloved mountains for coal; erect hideous, loud, and dangerous compressor stations; store and transport liquid gases; force upon communities thousands of miles of dangerous pipelines. They are simultaneously drilling in Arctic and subtropical waters, where entire ecosystems are at risk.
We see a better way. People and groups and communities across the USA are finding ways to conserve energy and switch to renewable forms of energy. As a society, as a species, we could transform the country into 100% renewables within a couple of decades. All it takes is the political will. This group will share methods and firsthand knowledge of small-scale and large-scale transformational success stories from the USA and abroad, and strategize on how to effect rapid policy changes on the local, state, national, and international levels to get us off fossil fuels before they burn us alive. This might sound hyperbolic, but we are witnessing such ever-increasing and ever-intensifying climatic catastrophes as floods, droughts, superstorms, and out-of-control fires, all of which can be linked to human contributions to the greenhouse effect that is largely responsible for climate warming.
This is a vast area in which many of us have focused energies on one or more aspects — e.g., stopping foreclosures, protecting labor, forgiveness of student debt, moving our money from corporate banks to local credit unions, getting out from under crippling interest-gouging credit debt, and, as in #1 above, halting the gargantuan fossil fuel industry before it makes the planet entirely unfit for human and other species to inhabit. And, as in #3 below, stopping corporate media from completely brainwashing the U.S. public by starting independent media entrepreneurships and projects.
Perhaps the most fundamental aspect to focus on in this whole arena would be the elimination of corporate “personhood” and the accompanying control of our governmental functions (executive, legislative, and judicial) that have been ceded to corporations over more than a century of legislative and judicial “sponsorship.”
Although all these things are intertwined, corporate “personhood” is such a big bite to chew on its own that we’ve given it its own section.
As corporations have expanded their capital, holdings, reach, and influence on governments from local to multinational spheres, they have been empowered by lax or corrupt government in the USA’s “law of the land” more than by actual people. They have eliminated jobs nationwide and shipped jobs abroad, where they can more easily exploit workers. We feel siblinghood with these workers and do not wish to cause them job loss. They have been permitted to operate criminally, even rewarded for their malfeasance in the cases of, for example, the massive bank failures that sent the entire global economy into a tailspin five years ago (most countries and most regular people, farmers, and small businesses in the USA have not recovered from this depression, despite “positive economic indicators” we are constantly fed in the media — more on the media below).
Banks operate with impunity, illegally foreclosing on people’s homes–1,478,622 homes were foreclosed in December 2012 alone, according to RealtyTrac, which also points out that “1 in every 810 housing units received a foreclosure filing in December 2012” Banks and corporations are throwing renters out of their homes and seizing their possessions, while bank executives and board members are paid millions per year.
Economic injustice includes systematic subjugation of or discrimination against people because of their race, color, sex, gender, sexual orientation, creed/faith or lack thereof, age, marital status, socioeconomic situation (“class”), neighborhood or locale (urban, suburban, rural, high-rent, low-rent), family makeup or lack thereof, and political beliefs.
Economic justice includes equal access for all to nutritious food, uncontaminated water, clean air, decent housing; high-quality education, healthcare, and fulfilling job opportunities. It also includes trade justice, to assure that trading and trade agreements between nations respect the rights of organized labor and all workers, protect the environment and ecosystems, and prevent abuses by mega corporations that put profits over people. All international trade agreements need to be transparent, accountable, and subject to independent oversight and monitoring. The Trans Pacific Partnership currently being developed is a case in point of negotiating in secret behind closed doors with no meaningful citizen participation or even democratically elected congressional oversight. The agreement is being prepared in the dark by corporate officials and their lobbyists and lawyers, with unelected government bureaucrats. The draft texts have not been released for public scrutiny. We do not want to see our hard fought rights in the USA compromised by trade agreements that drive to the lowest common denominator and allow global labor exploitation, indiscriminate outsourcing of jobs, destruction of the environment, and degradation of global food and water supplies.
Ending Corporate “Personhood.” A number of bills have been introduced in U.S. Congress and in various states to remove corporations’ protection under law as “persons” and to remove money’s “equality” in the law to speech in electoral politics. Those who know about each of the bills can help us all understand what’s supportable in each. And other things along these lines. At present it seems that building legislative and public support to end corporate abuse of power and collusion with government is the best route, but maybe there are other good ideas out there. Let’s get together and figure out where we want to put our efforts.
3. Making and Supporting Free, Unfettered Media. Without independent, non-corporate-fettered journalists and journalistic enterprises speaking, writing, and drawing truth to power, identifying corporate and governmental corruption, collusion, and usurpation of people’s and other species’ and Nature itself’s rights on the local, state, regional, national, and international levels, we cannot win a single battle in the many-faceted “war” we are waging (please forgive the war analogies) to save our present and our future.
It’s an exciting time for media, perhaps the most exciting time in history (the governmental assault of journalists being the exception). But how do we keep the airwaves free? How do we keep the Internet from being taken over by corporate interests? There are many policy questions and practical questions.
4. Ending War and Our Police State, Building Peace and Cooperation. Let’s come together to discuss getting the U.S. military AND all mercenary forces out of Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan, Yemen, and other regions of the world where they are operating, often without Congressional authorization or public knowledge. And how do we stop attacks by drones that have been taking place around the world in our name. And how do we get NDAA reversed and stop permitting the wanton, capricious, illegal targeting of US citizens and others for surveillance, kidnapping, torture, and murder?
How do we stop the “new slavery” — the outrageously racist incarceration of primarily Black men as a result of the “war on drugs”? As Michelle Alexander, Ohio State University law professor and author of a 2010 book called “The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness,” says, “We have not ended racial caste in America; we have merely redesigned it” by targeting African American men and boys, and even women and girls, in the “war on drugs,” demolishing communities and perpetuating a culture of mass incarceration and racial injustice.
The police state has been very much on the minds of Occupy and other peaceful grassroots protesters. Journalists, professors, whistleblowers, public figures, and ordinary people alike have experienced the cruel hand of state.
Project ReNew Kalamazoo is a plan to address some of our gravest community concerns by utilizing alternative energy concepts and methods to address the local social economic, and environmental issues. We can address our social issues in poverty, homelessness, and education, by embracing and empowering alternative energy. Creating horizontal Cooperative business to empower and sustain Community focused goals, programs, and actions.
Places the endorsement can be found online:
2013 Proposal of Endorsement
OCCUPY NATIONAL GATHERING 2013, KALAMAZOO, MICHIGAN PROPOSAL OF ENDORSEMENT
OCCUPY NATIONAL GATHERING 2013, KALAMAZOO, MICHIGAN PROPOSAL OF ENDORSEMENT