The Declaration of the Occupation of New York City
Help us fundraise to print & distribute 100,000 copies of the Declaration of the Occupation at THIS LINK.
by the NYC general assembly
8.5″ x 4.25″
#80 recycled paper
I lost my job & found an occupation
Injustice and oppression have haunted humanity for
as long as history records. A privileged few have
always been inclined to defy nature and exploit and
commodify life, in all its varied forms. Conversely,
there has always been resistance to these malignant
forces, manifest in many different forms. Among
these, occupation has proven an effective tactic to
anchor the people’s steadfast zeal for righteousness
amidst the turbulent waters of a social struggle.
From The Diggers in England during the tumultuous 1640s, to the Paris Commune in 1871, to the workers militias in Barcelona in 1936, to the contemporary occupation movements rewriting the current political landscapes of North Africa, Europe, and Asia, everyday people have shown that the illusory power structure can be defied and defeated. Occupy Wall Street is the latest in this proud thread of human dignity; this generation’s selfless contribution to the struggle for liberty and justice. We are honored and humbled to do our part in publishing and disseminating the declaration of this noble people’s movement.
The Sparrow Project
How to use this document
The Declaration of the Occupation of New York City
is a living document that will grow and change with
time. As democratic, consensus-based decision-making assemblies continue to shape the declaration we will publish new editions accordingly.
The red pages in this document (pages 1-3 & 26-28)
were composed by the Sparrow Project and may not
reflect the collective voice of the General Assembly of the Occupation of New York City. Pages 4-7 in this document contain Occupy Wall Street’s founding
Principles of Solidarity as accepted by the fledgling
General Assembly at Liberty Square during the
week of September 17, 2011. Pages 8-15 contain
The Declaration of the Occupation of New York City, in its entirety as transcribed and edited by Lex Rendon, Ryan Hoffman, and the Call to Action Working Group, and accepted by the NYC General Assembly,
on September 29, 2011. The light-blue pages in this
document (pages 18-23) contain an open letter
from the occupiers of Egypt’s Tahrir Square to
the occupiers of Occupy Wall Street.
You own this document. Everyone owns it.
The declaration, within, is a reflection of every voice
amplified by the people’s mic at the NYC General
Assembly at Liberty Square, from September 17, 2011 to October 18, 2011. We encourage you to copy, reproduce, and distribute its contents. An interactive and downloadable .pdf of this declaration, along with additional resources, can be found below.
If you would like to receive a box of declarations please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Declaration of the Occupation of New York City—As accepted by the New York City General Assembly
As we gather together in solidarity to express a feeling of mass injustice, we must not lose sight of what brought us together. We write so that all people who feel wronged by the corporate forces of the world can know that we are your allies.
As one people, united, we acknowledge the reality: that the future of the human race requires the cooperation of its members; that our system must protect our rights, and upon corruption of that system, it is up to the individuals to protect their own rights, and those of their neighbors; that a democratic government derives its just power from the people, but corporations do not seek consent to extract wealth from the people and the Earth; and that no true democracy is attainable when the process is determined by economic power. We come to you at a time when corporations, which place profit over people, self-interest over justice, and oppression over equality, run our governments. We have peaceably assembled here, as is our right, to let these facts be known.
They have taken our houses through an illegal foreclosure process, despite not having the original mortgage. They have taken bailouts from taxpayers with impunity, and continue to give Executives exorbitant bonuses. They have perpetuated inequality and discrimination in the workplace based on age, the color of one’s skin, sex, gender identity and sexual orientation. They have poisoned the food supply through negligence, and undermined the farming system through monopolization. They have profited off of the torture, confinement, and cruel treatment of countless animals, and actively hide these practices. They have continuously sought to strip employees of the right to negotiate for better pay and safer working conditions. They have held students hostage with tens of thousands of dollars of debt on education, which is itself a human right. They have consistently outsourced labor and used that outsourcing as leverage to cut workers’ healthcare and pay. They have influenced the courts to achieve the same rights as people, with none of the culpability or responsibility. They have spent millions of dollars on legal teams that look for ways to get them out of contracts in regards to health insurance. They have sold our privacy as a commodity. They have used the military and police force to prevent freedom of the press. They have deliberately declined to recall faulty products endangering lives in pursuit of profit. They determine economic policy, despite the catastrophic failures their policies have produced and continue to produce. They have donated large sums of money to politicians, who are responsible for regulating them. They continue to block alternate forms of energy to keep us dependent on oil. They continue to block generic forms of medicine that could save people’s lives or provide relief in order to protect investments that have already turned a substantial profit. They have purposely covered up oil spills, accidents, faulty bookkeeping, and inactive ingredients in pursuit of profit. They purposefully keep people misinformed and fearful through their control of the media. They have accepted private contracts to murder prisoners even when presented with serious doubts about their guilt. They have perpetuated colonialism at home and abroad. They have participated in the torture and murder of innocent civilians overseas. They continue to create weapons of mass destruction in order to receive government contracts.* These grievances are not all-inclusive
To the people of the world,
We, the New York City General Assembly occupying Wall Street in Liberty Square, urge you to assert your power.
Exercise your right to peaceably assemble; occupy public space; create a process to address the problems we face, and generate solutions accessible to everyone.
To all communities that take action and form groups in the spirit of direct democracy, we offer support, documentation, and all of the resources at our disposal.
Join us and make your voices heard!
Crowd-Funded Boutique Publishing for the 99%
Those who are tasked with collecting and transcribing the Occupy narrative have a difficult job on their hands. The radically inclusive nature of Occupy’s directly-democratic, horizontal, organizing model champions each individual voice accumulated into the collective. This process allows any individual to block a manifesto, a text, a proposal or a call to action if they take exception to the language of the document. Hence, the process is slow, deliberate, and at times, very frustrating. Lex Rendon, Ryan Hoffman, and the “Call to Action Working Group” of Occupy Wall Street were tasked with the responsibility of penning the Declaration of The Occupation of New York City. This small group of writers began an exchange with each of the working groups within the New York City General Assembly to draft a list of particulars that would assure that each working group’s grievances would find their way into the declaration. The result of this exchange was a letter to the world exclaiming who the occupiers were and why they were reclaiming public space in the name of the 99%. After a week-long volley of clarifying questions and friendly amendments the final draft of The Declaration of the Occupation of New York City was ratified by the New York City General Assembly.
In early October, the right-leaning media had developed a narrative targeting Occupy’s diffuse process, their talking point was “Occupy is a movement without a message.” Anyone who had been to an encampment would know that this was untrue, but a PR war had begun and Occupy’s opposition was trying to marginalize this fledgling movement as message-less. Seeing this unfold in press releases and on our TVs we reached out the Call to Action Working Group with a proposal to print 10,000 copies of the Declaration as a pocket-sized booklet. By October 30th, 2011 we delivered 10,000 free copies of a design-savvy 16 page booklet, accompanied by a curated resources list, to the occupiers at Zuccotti Park but in three days time all 10,000 copies were gone and we realized that in order to meet the massive demand for this document we needed a far larger print run. Our goal would be to expand the document to include newly ratified texts by the NYCGA, further expand the resource list, and to print 100,000 copies, all while assuring that the booklet would be free to everyone and we would not take any GA funding.