Occupy Movement: Two Texts in Solidarity

9 Nov

 

I wish to disseminate two texts that I have signed in support of the Occupy Movement. United for #Global Democracy deserves careful study and reflection

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15 October 2011

United for #Global Democracy

 

The following manifesto was produced over four months through consultation among groups, activists and people’s assemblies in countries such as Britain, Egypt, Tunisia, Germany, Spain, the US, Palestine, Israel, Brazil, Mexico, Uruguay, Argentina, India and Australia. We got comments, suggestions, support, and wrote and rewrote it again and again. The text has been supported by Canadian-based Naomi Klein, Indian-based Vandana Shiva, the US-based Michael Hardt and Noam Chomsky, as well as Uruguayan Eduardo Galeano.

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United for #GlobalDemocracy
On 15 October 2011, united in our diversity, united for global change, we demand global democracy: global governance by the people, for the people. Inspired by our sisters and brothers in Tunisia, Egypt, Libya, Syria, Bahrain, New York, Palestine-Israel, Spain and Greece, we too call for a regime change: a global regime change.
In the words of Vandana Shiva, the Indian activist, today we demand replacing the G8 with the whole of humanity – the G7,000,000,000.
Undemocratic international institutions are our global Mubarak, our global Assad, our global Gaddafi. These include: the IMF, the WTO, global markets, multinational banks, the G8/G20, the European Central Bank and the UN security council. Like Mubarak and Assad, these institutions must not be allowed to run people’s lives without their consent. We are all born equal, rich or poor, woman or man. Every African and Asian is equal to every European and American. Our global institutions must reflect this, or be overturned.
Today, more than ever before, global forces shape people’s lives. Our jobs, health, housing, education and pensions are controlled by global banks, markets, tax-havens, corporations and financial crises. Our environment is being destroyed by pollution in other continents. Our safety is determined by international wars and international trade in arms, drugs and natural resources. We are losing control over our lives. This must stop. This will stop. The citizens of the world must get control over the decisions that influence them in all levels – from global to local. That is global democracy. That is what we demand today.
Today, like the Mexican Zapatistas, we say “¡Ya basta! Aquí el pueblo manda y el gobierno obedece“: Enough! Here the people command and global institutions obey! Like the Spanish Tomalaplaza we say “Democracia Real Ya”: True global democracy now!” Today we call the citizens of the world: let us globalise Tahrir Square! Let us globalise Puerta del Sol!

This manifesto is not endorsed by all the people that participate in the worldwide protests on Saturday, of course. With social movements, you can never have everyone writing the text together or endorsing it. But to the extent that we could – we tried to create a process of writing that was truly participatory as possible, worldwide. We feel the text is legitimate as a manifesto coming from the protests, supported by many involved, such as Democracia Real Ya International, the main assembly in Madrid, the main assembly in Boston, in Buenos Aires and Sao Paolo. We hope it is the beginning of a movement.

We decided to call international institutions such as the IMF, the UN Security Council, global markets and international banks our “global Mubarak, our global Assad”. These words were debated vigorously. We decided to keep them. Hard words for hard times. We didn’t define what democratic global institutions are because not everyone completely agrees on a definition.

We prefer to leave it as a principle, and know that there are many suggestions on how to give people control over the global decisions that shape our lives. When French activists demanded national democracy for the first time, no one believed it was possible. Today no one believes global people’s control is possible. Future generations will judge things differently. Today we start building a movement for global democracy.

 

 

 

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November 12, 2011 

 

 

 

OPEN LETTER TO OCCUPY WALL STREET

 

 

We are writers, historians, psychologists, doctors, sociologists, lawyers, theologians, journalists, poets and activists who have gathered at the Wellfleet Conferences convened each year by Robert Jay Lifton to consider fundamental issues facing human society.  The 46th Wellfleet Conference has just concluded.

We represent a variety of callings, faiths, generations, political persuasions, nationalities and disciplines, but we share a continued commitment to a humane society.  At a time when democratic ideals are violated with impunity, we have been hoping to see a revival of initiative and of civic conscience.  We applaud your demonstrations in New York City and throughout the country and abroad.  We are deeply impressed with what you have already accomplished to begin a popular movement on behalf of essential democratic values of fairness, justice, human dignity and hope.  We all belong to the 99%!

We join in your quest for social and economic justice. We stand in protest with you and urge others to raise their voices as friends, supporters, and brothers and sisters of Occupy Wall Street.

 

 

SIGNATORIES: 

Name Affiliation1

Peter Balakian                                    Colgate University

Shareen Brysac                                   Writer

Colin Campbell                                   Journalist

Todd Gitlin                                         Columbia University

Robert Jay Lifton                                Harvard Medical School

Edwin Matthews                                 Baker & McKenzie LLP

Patricia Barnes Matthews                   Filmmaker

Helen McNeil                                     Writer

Karl Meyer                                         Writer

 

Name Affiliation

Deborah Scroggins                             Writer

Danny Schechter                                 Journalist and Filmmaker

Larry Shainberg                                  Writer

Cathy Caruth Cornell University

Aaron Roland, M.D.  University of California, San Francisco

Nicholas Humphrey  London School of Economics

Ayla Humphrey University of Cambridge

Charles B. Strozier  John Jay College, City University of NY

James W. Jones  Rutgers University 
Kathleen G. Bishop Rutgers University

Lawrence J. Friedman  Harvard University

Walter Gilbert       Harvard University

Celia Gilbert         Poet and Artist

Christopher Busa   Provincetown Arts Magazine

Donald Fanger Writer

Norman Birnbaum Georgetown University Law Center

Catherine Shainberg   School of Images

Harvey Cox Harvard University

Peter Brooks Princeton University

Wendy Doniger University of Chicago

Marshall J. Smith Bookstore Owner

Robert R. Holt Psychologist

David Lotto Psychoanalyst

Norah Walsh Psychotherapist

Ruth Rosen                                    Historian and Journalist

Peter Kuznick American University

Inge S Hoffmann    Harvard Medical School

Harris Yulin   Actor/Director

David Rush, MD      Tufts University

J. Michael Lennon Wilkes University

Carolyn Mugar  FarmAid

Daniel Itzkovitz Stonehill College

Cindy Ness Psychologist

Michael Flynn City University of NY

James T. Kloppenberg Harvard University

Richard Falk   University of California, Santa Barbara

Irene Gendzier Boston University

Martin J. Sherwin George Mason University

Greg Mitchell The Nation

Saul Mendlovitz   Rutgers Law School

James M. Skelly University of Ulster

Rebecca Okrent Poet

Mary Catherine Bateson Cultural anthropologist

James Gilligan New York University

Daniel Ellsberg Nuclear Age Peace Foundation

Stanley Hoffman Harvard University

Judith Lewis Herman Harvard Medical School

Stanley Hoffman Harvard University

Jonathan Schell The Nation

 

1 Affiliations are noted for identification only and not to represent the views of persons or institutions other than the signatories.

 

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3 Responses to “Occupy Movement: Two Texts in Solidarity”

  1. Mark E. Smith November 9, 2011 at 4:28 pm #

    So all these educated, intelligent activists don’t want to see some iron-fisted Gaddafi imposing free health care, free housing, free higher education, pure drinking water, and social equality on unwilling people? Horrors! And yet they want me to believe that they are upset with the 1% about the lack of many of these things in the USA and elsewhere? A good thing most Occupiers aren’t looking to disinformed dupes for inspiration.

  2. Hiyam Noir November 9, 2011 at 4:52 pm #

    Richard Falk: “The United for #Global Democracy deserves careful study and reflection”.
    ___________________________________
    In deed it is wise to take a good look at the endorsers before signing any document. Here are many statements to be explained and questions to be answered:

    “We decided to call international institutions such as the IMF, the UN Security Council, global markets and international banks our “global Mubarak, our global Assad”. These words were debated vigorously. We decided to keep them. Hard words for hard times. We didn’t define what democratic global institutions are because not everyone completely agrees on a definition.”

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