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!
Declaration of 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.
All other statements reflect the views and opinions of individuals, unless arrived at through the consensus process at our General Assembly meetings.
Occupy Missoula is in Solidarity with Occupy Wall Street:
The Declaration of the Occupation of New York City
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. *
~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 to make your voices heard!
*These grievances are not all inclusive