Welcome to the #OWS 99% Movement “We Will NOT Be Co-Opted”

Preface from Washington’s Blog: Both mainstream Democratic and Republican parties are working furiously behind the scenes to co-opt the Wall Street protests. But as the Associated Press notes, the protesters are fed up with both mainstream parties, as are most of the American people.

A P.R. professional says that the mainstream media’s ridicule of the protests for failing to have a specific list of demands is a dishonest tactic.

And Yves Smith notes that the movement is effective even without demands:

I’ve noticed both here and on some news stories I heard in passing on MSNBC on Friday that the OccupyWallStreet movement has already succeeded in expanding the space of what is now being discussed as remedies.

By David DeGraw, AmpedStatus.com [See this for DeGraw’s role in organizing the Wall Street protests.]

This is not an official statement from the #OWS 99% Movement. As a decentralized leaderless movement, in our opinion, there is no one group, organization, website or individual who can speak for the movement as a whole.

We, a working group of people currently occupying Liberty Park and many other locations throughout the US, are growing increasingly concerned about divide and conquer attempts being made to co-opt the movement. In the following message, we are issuing our first proposed statement. If you agree with the statement, please post it to your website and/or spread it throughout your social networks, both online and offline at occupations throughout the country. If you would like to read this statement at your local GA meetings and vote or edit it, feel free. If you disagree with the statement, please air your disagreements – this is what democracy looks like.

We appreciate, respect and encourage endorsements from individuals and organizations. We invite them. However, just because an individual or organization endorses our movement, does not mean that they in any way have a leadership role in deciding the future direction of this movement. We will not be co-opted by hierarchical organizations. No matter how wonderful their cause may be.

There are many people, organizations and media outlets within both the Democratic and Republican parties who are trying to label us as the Democrat’s version of the Tea Party. In this working groups opinion, not only is this incorrect, but in labeling us this way, you are, whether you realize it or not, undermining the very essence of this movement with your obsolete divide and conquer groupthink propaganda. Just as the mainstream media and both political parties aided and abetted the co-option of the Tea Party by the Republican Party, there is an attempt being made to do the same to us within the Democratic Party.

We the People, We the 99%, are not the pawns of either wing of the two-party oligarchy.

We emphatically reject the attempted leadership of any political party, organization or individual. If there are elected officials or organizations who endorse our movement, we welcome them.

However, they must do so knowing this: Your voice will be just as loud as any other voice. We are led by no one. You cannot co-opt We The People.

Respect Us.

Additional recent reports from David DeGraw:

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  • We are all the #OWS 99% Movement … “they” are the 1% target. Who are they?

  • Roger

    “You cannot co-opt We The People”
    NOTHING WILL BE ACCOMPLISHED if you start appealing to tons of bullshit about the Constitution and other patriotic crap since THIS IS NOT AN ISSUE EXCLUSIVELY AFFECTING THE UNITED STATES…due to the ongoing social unrest, government will simply implement Martial Law in the US and all of its territories (paradoxically, most Americans do not have a single clue of what this means)…educate yourselves about National Security Presidential Directive 51 (NSPD 51) if you want to understand what’s coming pretty soon:

  • JayR

    Your next mainstream Media.

  • If you can’t participate in any of the protests, please consider helping these people by donating food, clothes, sleeping bags, tents or any other items that may be useful to them.

  • Anne

    When the occupywallst.org website lists organizational endorsements, it certainly strongly suggests that those organizations have great influence. Otherwise, what is the point of accepting such endorsements?

    The list of endorsers is eerily similar to the list of 2008 Obama election campaign. Accepting such endorsements undermines your credibility as a grassroots movement of individuals. If you truly reject organizational leadership of these organizations, then stop taking their endorsements.

    I fully support a movement for economic fairness, but yeah, I think you already got co-opted.

  • Terry

    When you’re jello, you can’t be nailed to the tree.

    It’s driving the neo-cons and the neo-libs both nuts. Good.

  • Rainy Bonilla

    Very well said. I could not have said it better myself. I am so glad that many people are seeing the obvious attempts at highjacking the movement and calling it out. Keep up the good work!

    -Rainy Bonilla

  • They will not go quietly into the night, the 1% will not give up their precious power without a fight.


  • Natasha Linley

    I have been watching this movement grow. I am such a fan of the people getting involved and participating in the process of true democracy!! I do agree that the mainstream media is trying to divide & demonize this movement. I have watched them call the movement everything from “voices of radical liberals that hate capitalism” to “uneducated youth that doesn’t understand the tax system” and I am deeply disturbed by everything I keep hearing. I can’t occupy an area so I’ve been trying to think of suggestions for the movement from an outside perspective (just to do my part).

    So, I think that each Occupy group should start releasing local statements and then one big national statement. I know I saw one statement read by Keith Olbermann. Each Occupy group should form a communication group, much like the social networking group (in charge of trying to do blogs, media, & posting video’s). In the communication group, statements should be organized according to their group’s views of the protest. Once the local groups have their statements organized they should meet (online) so that a national statement can be organized. This way the whole “this radical group has no clear message” statement doesn’t work when the mainstream media says it.

    Furthermore, this movement is being demonized by calling it “a socialist and communist movement” that don’t believe in capitalism and free market. I am a fan of the movement and I can’t tell if that is true or not. It seems that the general consensus wants a mixed system, but it should be made clear. Some questions I’ve been faced with by defending this movement:

    –Do they want to redistribute the wealth of America?
    –Do they not want banks at all?
    –If they are against the corporations who will create jobs?
    –Are they against the free market?
    –How will America generate revenue?
    –Are they against all rich people?
    –Do they want to abolish private property?

    Those are just some of the questions I’m dealing with here in the conservative south. I try to explain the difference between social democracy and a socialist country, but they won’t listen. I try to explain that unchecked capitalism is why we are in this situation, but then I’m called a Socialist. So, I understand that either way this movement will be faced with this issue. Hold together strong & show then just how “organized” us “radical liberals” are and why we are mad!!

    Thank you so much for representing the true 99%!!!!

  • I agree 100% with this article. The democratic party is trying to take over this movement in the same way that the republican party took over the Tea Party. Dems, like Obama, are talking nice to the protesters because they want to gain their trust and support. It’s the same trick the repubs used against the Tea Party. Any protesters who fall for this trick are stupid. There is NO difference between the two parties because they are both in the back pocket of the bankers, both are part of the regime, along with the corporate media. To hell with the Democratic and Republican parties!

    The media (FOX, CNN, etc) are trying to discredit the protesters with lies like: It’s against Capitalism, it supports Obama’s re-election, it doesn’t know what it’s protesting about, it’s a left wing hippy protest against the rich, etc. It’s typical regime media propaganda.

    The regime is paying people to infiltrate the protests to either act like fools, or engage in violence, or both, so that the media can then play guilt by association and paint all of the protesters with the same brush, It’s classic divide and conquer. Oppressive regimes have been using this trick for many years. If we the American people don’t learn about their underhanded tricks, we will never again regain our freedom, and our government will remain in the hands of the oligarchs.

    http://www.whatreallyhappened.com is fully behind the OWS protests, and is exposing every attempt by the regime to co-op it.

  • Bev

    When you see and know a Worthy Goal it is less susceptible to who is saying what, and so it is less Co-Optable.

    We Need the NEED Act.
    Support Dennis Kucinich’s NEED Act HR 2990 (formerly HR 6550).


    Part 5: The Exit Strategy

    by Peter on June 1st, 2009

    Joe talks about the need to transition the money system from its present debt-based form to an equity-based system of government-issue, debt-free money -a move that has enormous potential to create true economic democracy. The concept of the Money System Common emerges from our cooperative ownership of this nation’s money system, as guaranteed by the Constitution.

    » A Solution to the Financial Crisis: Debt-Free Money
    « Part 4: Debt-Free Money

    • Bev



      Representative Vows to OccupyCONGRESS

By: Gamma Globalist Saturday October 8, 2011

      The Occupy movement coincides fortuitously with bold financial legislation introduced earlier this year. HR 2990, the National Emergency Employment Defense (NEED) Act, proposes nationalizing the US central bank, the Federal Reserve. What this means for the dollar is that it will be un-privatized, changing from a debt-based currency to a debt-free one overnight. The monetary system is then geared to produce public wealth rather than bankster wealth.

      To anyone concerned about the national debt, austerity cuts, unemployment, or the extreme concentration of wealth and power among the elite, the NEED Act is what you have been waiting (and protesting) for.

      Don’t confuse this proposal with the specious calls to replace “fiat” money with gold (commodity) currency. The problem is not fiat but rather debt-based currency, controlled by and for banksters. The NEED Act does “end the Fed” as we know it, but achieves this the right way: with sovereign, debt-free Treasury notes. Gold currency, on the other hand, is an elitist scheme which would devastate the already reeling middle class.

      Under HR 2990, the dollar is to be issued by US Treasury as a public asset and spent into circulation for the public good. This will allow government to invest in large-scale projects without borrowing or adding to the national debt. Millions of unemployed can be put back to work rebuilding and expanding America’s infrastructure. Debt-free money could also clear the way for single payer health care – a reform which would save lives and money while boosting the economy.

The author of HR 2990, Dennis Kucinich, has pledged his support for the Occupy movement and vows to OccupyCONGRESS:


      • Bev


        Email this Webpage to all of your Contacts and Print the Following:

        (1) A half page Flyer announcing the HR 2990
        which should be handed to everyone at a demonstration.

        (2) A full page flyer describing HR 2990,
        a hard-hitting piece that should be handed to the same people at a demonstration.

        (3) The Need for Monetary Reform,
        a one page (double-sided) sheet for those who want to know more. It’s exactly 800 words and you can reprint it easily, even get it into newspapers.

        (4) A fact sheet on HR 2990
        describing what the bill does to stabilize America’s financial situation, including the creation of 7 million of jobs.

        (5) Our 32 page booklet,
        which includes some history, our answers to the 20 most frequently asked questions, the American Monetary Act, and much more. Copy and photocopy the one attached, or get preprinted ones from us at 10 copies for $30.

        (6) HR 2990
        Follow The Dick Distelhorst Plan to Advocate for Monetary Reform!

        Dear Friends of the American Monetary Institute,

        We now face a major opportunity its important to respond to. Across the country thousands of Americans, young and old, are demonstrating around the Federal Reserve Banks of Chicago, and Boston; Wall Street in NY and ever more places, linked to below.

        Among them are some with a pretty good idea of what we need and others who are there because they realize that some expression of peaceful protest against the rape of America is absolutely necessary.

        What do the Occupiers want? Mainly Economic Justice!

        To get economic justice, you must have monetary justice and the AMI has been working at gaining monetary justice since 1996. We have made progress. Our research results, The Lost Science of Money by Stephen Zarlenga demonstrate that decades of research and centuries of experience shows that three things are absolutely needed:

        The present form of the Federal Reserve System must be ended – it must become a part of our government – what people mistakenly think it is now! In the Treasury Department is best.
        The accounting privilege that banks now have to create what we use for money out of debt, must stop once and for all. What’s called fractional reserve banking must be decisively ended.
        The Congress must understand and be empowered to create new money and spend it into circulation as money, not debt. For example the $2.2 trillion dollars the Engineers tell us is needed for infrastructure over the next 5 years. As the system progresses, health care and education, and grants to the states are made.

        Now some good news: Congressman Dennis Kucinich (D Ohio. 10th Dist) on September 21st, introduced HR2990 which does those very things!!!! Congressman Conyers of Detroit co-sponsored it.

        We need to see that people realize there is a bill which achieves these goals, already in the Congress. That they can help by asking their representatives and Senators to support it. Also their school Boards, State reps and Senators, City Councils, newspaper editors, etc, etc, etc.

        We have materials which can help them do all that, available for the asking, but first they have to become aware of HR 2990, and there are five attachments, at the top of the page, which will help you make it clear to them.

        I’m suggesting you print these out, photocopy several hundred of them and head to the nearest demonstration! Stay at least a few hours. Let me know what happens. To find the nearest demonstration to your location, Google: “Occupy(insert your city here)” and check it out.

        Warm regards to you and good luck! Remember this is a non-partisan activity!

        Stephen Zarlenga

        “We Are the Many” – Makana



        Read The American Monetary “NEED” Act!

        Learn How the American Monetary “NEED” Act Works!

  • happensdance

    Are you willing to state some of the immediate goals of the movement? It seems the banksters are now supporting the demonstrators and supporting the police against them because they want all the publicity. Where is this gonna take us all?

  • David

    Rex 84.

  • Josie

    I came across these demands: http://coupmedia.org/occupywallstreet/occupy-wall-street-official-demands-2009


    1.CONGRESS PASS HR 1489 (“RETURN TO PRUDENT BANKING ACT” http://www.govtrack.us/congress/bill.xpd?bill=h112-1489 ). THIS REINSTATES MANY PROVISIONS OF THE GLASS-STEAGALL ACT. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Glass–Steagall_Act — Wiki entry summary: The repeal of provisions of the Glass–Steagall Act of 1933 by the Gramm–Leach–Bliley Act in 1999 effectively removed the separation that previously existed between investment banking which issued securities and commercial banks which accepted deposits. The deregulation also removed conflict of interest prohibitions between investment bankers serving as officers of commercial banks. Most economists believe this repeal directly contributed to the severity of the Financial crisis of 2007–2011 by allowing Wall Street investment banking firms to gamble with their depositors’ money that was held in commercial banks owned or created by the investment firms. Here’s detail on repeal in 1999 and how it happened: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Glass–Steagall_Act#Repeal .
    ■Vote Here #1
    2.USE CONGRESSIONAL AUTHORITY AND OVERSIGHT TO ENSURE APPROPRIATE FEDERAL AGENCIES FULLY INVESTIGATE AND PROSECUTE THE WALL STREET CRIMINALS who clearly broke the law and helped cause the 2008 financial crisis in the following notable cases: (insert list of the most clear cut criminal actions). There is a pretty broad consensus that there is a clear group of people who got away with millions / billions illegally and haven’t been brought to justice. Boy would this be long overdue and cathartic for millions of Americans. It would also be a shot across the bow for the financial industry. If you watch the solidly researched and awared winning documentary film “Inside Job” that was narrated by Matt Damon (pretty brave Matt!) and do other research, it wouldn’t take long to develop the list.

    ■Vote Here #23.CONGRESS ENACT LEGISLATION TO PROTECT OUR DEMOCRACY BY REVERSING THE EFFECTS OF THE CITIZENS UNITED SUPREME COURT DECISION which essentially said corporations can spend as much as they want on elections. The result is that corporations can pretty much buy elections. Corporations should be highly limited in ability to contribute to political campaigns no matter what the election and no matter what the form of media. This legislation should also RE-ESTABLISH THE PUBLIC AIRWAVES IN THE U.S. SO THAT POLITICAL CANDIDATES ARE GIVEN EQUAL TIME FOR FREE AT REASONABLE INTERVALS IN DAILY PROGRAMMING DURING CAMPAIGN SEASON. The same should extend to other media.

    ■ Vote Here #34.CONGRESS PASS THE BUFFETT RULE ON FAIR TAXATION SO THE RICH AND CORPORATIONS PAY THEIR FAIR SHARE & CLOSE CORPORATE TAX LOOP HOLES AND ENACT A PROHIBITION ON HIDING FUNDS OFF SHORE. No more GE paying zero or negative taxes. Pass the Buffet Rule on fair taxation so the rich pay their fair share. (If we have a really had a good negotiating position and have the place surrounded, we could actually dial up taxes on millionaires, billionaires and corporations even higher…back to what they once were in the 50’s and 60’s.

    ■Vote Here #45.CONGRESS COMPLETELY REVAMP THE SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION and staff it at all levels with proven professionals who get the job done protecting the integrity of the marketplace so citizens and investors are both protected. This agency needs a large staff and needs to be well-funded. It’s currently has a joke of a budget and is run by Wall St. insiders who often leave for high ticket cushy jobs with the corporations they were just regulating. Hmmm.


    ■Vote Here #67.CONGRESS PASSING “Revolving Door Legislation” LEGISLATION ELIMINATING THE ABILITY OF FORMER GOVERNMENT REGULATORS GOING TO WORK FOR CORPORATIONS THAT THEY ONCE REGULATED. So, you don’t get to work at the FDA for five years playing softball with Pfizer and then go to work for Pfizer making $195,000 a year. While they’re at it, Congress should pass specific and effective laws to enforce strict judicial standards of conduct in matters concerning conflicts of interest. So long as judges are culled from the ranks of corporate attorneys the 1% will retain control.

    ■Vote Here #78.ELIMINATE “PERSONHOOD” LEGAL STATUS FOR CORPORATIONS. The film “The Corporation” has a great section on how corporations won “personhood status”. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8SuUzmqBewg . Fast-forward to 2:20. It’ll blow your mind. The 14th amendment was supposed to give equal rights to African Americans. It said you “can’t deprive a person of life, liberty or property without due process of law”. Corporation lawyers wanted corporations to have more power so they basically said “corporations are people.” Amazingly, between 1890 and 1910 there were 307 cases brought before the court under the 14th amendment. 288 of these brought by corporations and only 19 by African Americans. 600,000 people were killed to get rights for people and then judges applied those rights to capital and property while stripping them from people. It’s time to set this straight.

  • Michael Recker

    Too late.

    You are all 3rd Gen. Moral Relativists who are products of diseased thought and logic of Harvard, Princeton, and Yale, who has been working at corrupting all thought from their beginnings, and supported Totalitarianists all along.

    You cannot know THE TRUTH, for you have only been taught your unbridled desires and lusts, knowing nothing of any actual knowledge of reality.

    All you know has been marketed to you, and that which is real has been discounted when acknowleged by your programming.

    You cry for change as you discared “UNALIENABLE” from the Declaration of Independence. Rights have been redefined as vice, and irresponsibility as virtue. You are all puppets of the forces whom you should be attacking. You therefore are weapons against the foundations of your own existence and happiness which Jefferson challenged you to pursue.

    Proof! Is Wall Street the cause? Or is it the Lawyer Aristocracy which has legalized their theft of your future, our industrial capital (the factories you should be working at a supporting), your currency, your reality?

    March on the ABA Chapters and the Supreme Courts, and then see what happens.


    I don’t think this movement is going to be as easily shanghaied by the existing system as the tea party was. It will be more difficult to get recognition and unbiased coverage of the movement as it is not backed and promoted by the existing powers as the tea party has been.
    But this is the real 99 percent of not only America but the world that has had enough.
    The people are waking up, they see through the selective, biased, coverage,or non coverage, of the media, they see through the paid off politicians in both parties, They see through the largest money heist in history pulled off by wall street and the bankers. The illegal wars, the thievery of pension funds. People say they are disorganized because they don’t have a set list of demands. Our country has been careening out of control for so long it isn’t as simple as 1,2,3. We the people have been ignored for so long there is a lot of damage that needs to be undone. Personally I think it needs to start with getting business out of government, they can not serve 2 masters and of course they are going to give those who pay their way more consideration. Lobbyist need to be outlawed, it is nothing but legalized bribery, and sets the stage for the selling out of real democracy.
    Maximum profit for the few can no longer be the bottom line to everything.
    The existing supreme court needs to be relived of duty and replaced with
    real justices that will base decisions on what is fair and just for the people, not passing power to the elites.

  • Mary-Alice Strom

    I am glad that there is a determination within OWS NOT to allow the Movement to be co-opted by ANYONE. Before I understood OWS, (not that I claim to really understand all that is happening, but I think I AM beginning to recognize this Movement as creating a CHANCE to take a step forward in a new way), I had come to understand that the Democratic Party I supported all my life was the other side of a two-headed monster. The Democratic Party is OWNED by the same people who OWN the Republicans. Almost everybody is able to see that the time has come when we MUST change in order to survive . The changes that are called for will be such a departure from the tortured system we are now trying to inhabit that they will not come easily. No one person, book, group, party, will be able to come up with all of the answers. The people of this Movement are the leaders, and the Movement is a process. Anyone who wants to be part of the Movement is WELCOME. This is something different. Something we have never seen before, even though aspects of it ARE familiar. I believe that IF we allow this Movement to go through its process, eventually, methods and other movements and alliances and strategies will emerge from what is REALLY the beginning of the next step forward. We are being confronted with a CHANCE to evolve. We must be careful.

  • Michael Keenan

    I have been participating with Claremont MoveOn in actions that supported the Retail Clerks Union in southern california in their efforts to get a contract agreement. It was a good effort of both sides working together and I know their are those from both groups whom are now behind the OWS movement. So please avoid generalisations that paint us all as co-opters. We are not.

  • Zach Freier

    MoveOn et al threaten to co-opt the movement when they and their members approach the media with a tacit assumption that this is a liberal movement. I’ve even heard Democrats on the media talking about how the party needs to seize upon the uprising of ITS BASE. The Democratic establishment is trying just as hard as the Republicans to paint this as the left’s response to the tea party. It’s becoming more and more clear to more and more people that neither of these parties represent the public interest. They have us attacking each other over the things that divide us, instead of coming together to figure out what we agree on. I am a progressive, and I am prepared to defend my philosophy in discussions with the other elements in the movement, including libertarians; but many groups are realizing that until fundamental reform in the political system occurs, our voices are meaningless. THIS is something that I really believe a broad-based coalition can be built around. Let’s all get together in public places and talk to each other, figure out what we as a people can generally agree upon, and work on building a coalition to implement those things and compromise on other things. You know, democracy.

  • Just want to say your article is as amazing. The clarity in your submit is just great and that I could assume you’re knowledgeable in this subject. Well along with your permission allow me to snatch your feed to stay updated with coming near near post. Thanks 1,000,000 and please continue the enjoyable work.

  • Misty

    Are you in support of this call for global democracy and global government? This resolution came out of Occupy Boston. It’s disturbing because that’s exactly what the global elite want.

    On 15th 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 G 7,000,000,000.

    I also read this http://www.infowars.com/ows-call-for-global-governance/ that has a youtube video calling for Global Democracy.

    That’s centralization of power not decentralization. That would strip us of our Constitution, not restore it, like most Americans want.

    This needs to be clarified or this movement will lose a lot of support and credibility.

  • Diane Williams

    Please contact me about any protests in Oregon or Northern California. I want to be part of this movement and want to find a way to participate.

  • “American Epitaph” by Damien Darby. an #OWS ebook, our message in a far reaching medium. Large portion of proceeds going to #o-Seattle. Cheers

  • Sarah M

    The difference between the 99% and the 1% is when the economy, jobs, and policy all tank..

    They don’t have to pawn things..

    They don’t lose their only phone..

    They don’t have student loan payments..

    They don’t get wiped out during a medical emergency..

    They wouldn’t notice if $100 went missing..

    • Weldon Gebhard

      34% of Student loans are owed by people Over 60 yrs. of age, owing a wopping $85 B.

  • Thanks for all the good work so many of your are doing.
    For my part, I wanted to write a political song that satisfied my urge to say something about the state of the economy and what I perceive to be the disappearance of morals, ethics and righteousness within our governmental system. I feel that what I have come up with is a timeless call of protest against greed and power. Please take a look, and if you like repost.
    Greg Goad

  • please check out murdersolved.net our sociology class has made a corney but simple video on youtube, the more views the higher our goal of reaching the tipping point of 4% that is the amount needed in our population to create movement/a change! It just shows how there has not been a real Democracy, how the BIG FISH are eating us LITTLE FISH!