Colored drawing by Anthony Jensen

Monday, October 17, 2011

Nine Steps to Occupy America

Occupy Austin website, calendar, forums: here.

My friend and mentor (and former employer during his 2006 campaign for Texas Atty. General), David Van Os, has developed some hard-hitting proposals that should definitely be considered by the Occupy Movement. While some of these are admittedly not easily attainable, if we don't call for radical change, we'll be left with a few nominal legislative band-aids that won't serve to mend the very cultural fabric that has been ripped to shreds in our country.

While we have such language in the Declaration of Independence, in Texas, the expression of our right to "alter, reform or abolish" our government is folded right into our Constitution. But this right is inherent. It's just been lost on us in the propaganda machine.

Many have expressed the lack of coherent solutions being offered in the Occupy movement - which has taken hold across the world. It's time for us to bravely assert that We, The People, expect much more than power brokers listening to our grievances. To that end, I offer the following piece by David.

And as David is famous for saying, "fight them until hell freezes over and then fight them on the ice!"


By: David Van Os

(Note: every person who reads this is hereby granted permission to forward, quote from, re-publish, or re-post this article by any means and in any forum desired. I would appreciate your citing my authorship if you repost or quote directly.)

The young people who started and grew the Occupy Wall Street movement have given their country and the world an incredible gift. We should all thank them a million, billion, trillion times. I’ve participated in Occupy Austin several times at the Austin City Hall Plaza where the Austin branch of Occupy Wall Street has its nerve center. It is inspiring to experience people of all backgrounds coming together through their natural human rights to speak freely and assemble in public places because they hold common grievances against an unresponsive political-economic system and have decided in common that enough is enough. It is especially inspiring to experience the horizontal decision-making processes of the movement, showcasing full participatory democracy without ego-tripping leaders or control hierarchies.

The right to revolutionary change is deeply rooted in the American psyche. For example, the Bill of Rights of the Texas Constitution (Article 1, Sec. 2, TEXAS CONSTITUTION) states that “all political power is inherent in the people”, and that the people have “at all times the inalienable right to alter, reform or abolish their government in such manner as they may think expedient.” This inalienable right is subject only to “the preservation of a republican form of government”, i.e., self-government by the people. Various other state constitutions contain similar confirmations of the inherent sovereignty of the people.

Respectfully, I submit that the articulated mission statements, demands, and goals of the movement need to call for change of a more revolutionary nature. The movement should demand not reform of the established order, but its downfall. I submit the demands should deliver a message that the entire oligarchy controlling the unresponsive political-economic system has to be peacefully removed and replaced to give the people a fresh new start. Listed below are some demands that I suggest. (My endnotes are simply commentaries. They are not part of the demands themselves. A mass movement’s demands must be basic and plain. The final details evolve in the people’s ongoing self-government of the movement in response to the fluidity of situations.)

1. That every member of the U.S. Congress resign and new elections be held in every state and district, with open access to the ballot and equal access to free airtime on broadcast media.[1]
2. That every director and officer of every Wall Street bank permanently resign.
3. That every Wall Street bank’s charter to do business be revoked.
4. That the banks be broken up in order to get new charters.
5. That the new charters place strict caps on executive compensation.
6. That every corporate charter be amended to prohibit corporate contributions to political parties and candidates.[2]
7. That the old usury laws be restored: absolutely no interest greater than 10% per annum can ever be charged on any transaction.
8. That the Federal Reserve Board be abolished and no individual private bank or group of private banks ever again be given a monopoly over the issuance and control of the nation’s currency.
9. That the president and vice president resign and the replacement elections take place through a speedy election process that reduces the influence of money. [3]

In other words: Replace the government, Break up Wall Street, Disarm the bankers, End the power of money in politics, End corporate contributions, and End the Fed.

A mass movement’s demands must be continuously repeated and the mass occupation and peaceful street action and guerrilla theater must continue, grow, and escalate until the demands are met. The established order will not fall overnight. But if we stay true to ourselves and resolve ourselves to fight till hell freezes over and then on the ice, it will fall.

Power to the people.
Revolution now.


David Van Os
Texas Patriot

[1] Here is an example of how the election process could be opened up. Candidates run in open primaries so that the political parties would not control ballot access. No monetary filing fees. Each candidate who can present 250 signatures of support to run for a House district or 1,000 signatures to run statewide for a Senate seat gets on the ballot. Each candidate on the ballot gets an equal amount of free airtime on every FCC-licensed broadcast carrier that broadcasts in the election district. No single change would diminish the influence of money more than free equal access to free airtime. Current members of Congress would be able to run for the new Congress so that the voters would have the opportunity to elect them again if the voters choose to do so.

[2]This is a simpler way to overturn Citizens United than amending the U.S. Constitution. Every state has laws governing how corporations get chartered and what the requirements are for getting chartered. It is a matter of state law that the Supreme Court can’t touch. This change is simple, but would require legislation in every state. But amending the Constitution would also require demanding it in at least ¾ of the states, and passing simple-majority legislation is procedurally easier in every state than passing a resolution to amend the U.S. Constitution. Nationwide state-focused action would focus and grow the Occupy movement even more. From the occupation of Wall Street, to the occupation of America.

[3]For example, with each political party selecting its nominee either through all primaries being held on the same day in the states where the party has ballot status, or through a national convention; with each candidate in the nominations races given an equal amount of free broadcast media airtime on FCC-licensed carriers in each state; and with each general election nominee of each party given an equal amount of free broadcast media airtime on FCC-licensed carriers in each state where the party has ballot standing.

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