Today, October 27, 2011 the Occupy Missoula General Assembly, by consensus of approximately 45 members approved this draft of the declaration. A reminder that this is yet an alive and evolving document meant to reflect current goals of our community and these well change. We invite further comments, ideas, suggestions and concerns. Amendments can be made. The declaration is included in this post, however for ease of sharing with each other, please leave comments at Occupy Missoula forums. And THANK YOU OCCUPY MISSOULA!
Draft #8, October 23, 2011
We stand just inside the threshold of a new global paradigm. Top-down decision making by the few over the interests of the many has failed us. Many of us are one accident or illness away from bankruptcy, one pink slip away from homelessness. Isolated within our narrow areas of concern, we have been ignored. Now, joined together, we have forced open a door that politicians, the economic elite, and the corporate media had hoped was securely shut, and we find ourselves, along with hundreds of other communities, on the world stage.
We, the members of Occupy Missoula, are outraged by the injustices perpetrated against all life on this planet by private and giant multinational corporate forces which now exert disproportionate influence over the societies of the world. We believe that concentration of wealth and political power in the hands of a small minority at the top has corrupted our processes of civil, democratic governance: permitting imperialism and war through the misuse of the contributions of taxpayers; wasting and degrading our natural resources for private gain; forcing private costs onto the public at large in the form of pollution and threats to public health; and the manipulation of the justice system to benefit corporate interest with constitutional protections originally intended only for natural persons. One need not look outside Montana for examples of these injustices; the Anaconda Copper Company’s reign over the state still echoes in the recent loss of the Montana Corrupt Practices Act, which defended our state against private economic control over its political representatives. Now, the local water supply is in jeopardy with the proposed sale of Missoula’s water utility to the elite multinational investment firm, the Carlyle Group.
Until now we all have been part of developing the system the way it is. We all let this happen. Today, we are united by our realization that we can no longer silently allow ourselves to be the passive subjects of a political and corporate media system that consistently ignores, trivializes, and misrepresents the reality of our concerns, our histories, and diverse cultures. Only by occupation of the streets and public places can our voices be heard.
We believe that a fair society requires a framework for informed and meaningful participation by all people; and that democracy derives its legitimacy from treating all persons, indiscriminately with social, political, and economic fairness. The people of Occupy Missoula have divergent goals and opinions, but are nonetheless discovering a common bond of respect and responsibility for our collective future. We have chosen a horizontal, consensus-driven model to provide that the opportunity and power to effect change will be evenly distributed amongst all.
Many among the economic elite are using their control over politics and the media in the hope that we will dissolve into our constituent parts and melt back into the woodwork. But we will not compromise our futures. We are fortified by our desire and resolve to work together. Unlike owners of huge corporations, we need not be bound by unsustainable greed. A different world is possible. The outcomes we seek will extend to the limits of our compassion, our integrity will determine each step.
People across the world are realizing that they are no longer served by their political systems, and so must occupy the streets and public places. Our political representatives do not represent us; we must represent ourselves. We will be the authors of our own future.
The general assembly of Occupy Missoula, having declared its purpose, stands in solidarity with Occupy movements around the globe.