Occupy Atlanta, the Atlanta branch of the Occupy Together movement, occupied downtown’s Woodruff Park Friday, October 07, 2011 following a protestors’ General Assembly — about seven hundred people attended.
A group of several hundred activists decided to stay in the park past the 11pm closing time and risked arrest.
Day two began Saturday morning as chilly and groggy members of the protest group Occupy Atlanta emerged from their tents in Woodruff Park and then set about planning the day’s activities.
Occupy Together is a new, young, and vital movement that is emerging in major US cities around the nation. They call themselves the ninety-nine percent that has been left behind and left out, while the one percent control vast amounts of wealth and took even more during the great transfer of wealth in 2008.
Prior to the current economic crisis, Wall Street ran amuck, without regulations, and the banks gambled away their resources in a frenzy of blind greed never before seen. Everyone lost except the CEO’s and upper echelon of the corporate world… and the politicians beholden to these interests.
The “We Are The 99%” movement members are aware that most of our elected representatives primarily represent the interests of the rich and powerful and… not the people. During the General Assembly, a crowd of about seven hundred people encircled the facilitators.
WE ARE THE PEOPLE – AND WE HAVE FOUND OUR VOICE
The General Assembly passed out their draft of demands and read their preamble.
The drafted demands and preamble:
We hold this truth to be self-evident that the 99% deserve equal rights, equal protections, equal access and equal opportunity as the 1% who benefit disproportionately from the current system. We therefore freely assemble to assert our rights and demands:
1. We demand greater democratic control in all spheres of life, from the home to the government, from the economy to the workplace. It is a moral, logical and political imperative that people should be in control of their own lives to the greatest extent possible.
2. We deserve an economic system that meets human needs, reduces economic inequality, shrinks the income gap, and doesn’t reward decisions that have a negative impact on society.
3. We recognize that the market will not regulate itself. What is good for profit is not always good for people or the environment.
4. We assert the right of every human being to adequate shelter, food, clothing, hygiene and other basic necessities.
5. We assert the right of every individual to adequate protection from the economic uncertainties of old age, accident, unemployment and other hardship.
6. We denounce all predatory lending and fraudulent banking practices and demand accountability.
7. We recognize that no society should allocate more resources to warfare than to the public good.
8. We demand a more democratic, publicly representative and accountable media.
9. We insist that the internet is a basic human right and as such should remain absolutely free and neutral.
10. We assert our right to public spaces and our right to freely inhabit them because they are essential to democracy and our right to assemble.
11. We denounce a criminal justice and for-profit prison system that relies on mass incarceration, especially when it reinforces the marginalization and disenfranchisement of people.
Who could… who would… why would anyone deny these demands and assertions?
… I guess the republican likes of Herman Cain who stated that if these protestors were not successful, if these protestors were losing their homes, if these protestors lost and couldn’t find new jobs… that it is their own fault, and they are just jealous of those superior persons who have succeeded.
The Occupy groups’ liberal causes have drawn criticism from a variety of sources, particularly conservative politicians. U.S. House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-Va., for example, called the gatherings “mobs.”
But liberal and well respected Democrat U.S. Rep. John Lewis, R-Ga., attended Friday night’s rally in a show of support and asked to speak to the group. The assembly voted against it, however, and Lewis left without addressing the group.
The movement protestors stated that they did not want politicians co-opting their grass-roots efforts. They announced: “We are not Republicans, Democrats or any other party. We are the people, and we have found our voice.”