By Mark Taylor Canfield, Occupy the Media Seattle
When, in the course of human events, it becomes necessary for people to dissolve the economic and political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume the separate and equal station to which the laws of nature entitle them, a decent respect for the opinions of the world community requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all people are created equal, that they are endowed with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. That to secure these rights, institutions are established among the people, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed. That whenever any form of economic policy becomes destructive to these ends, it is the right of the people to alter or to abolish these policies, and to create new systems, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their safety and happiness.
Prudence, indeed, will dictate that economic systems long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly experience has shown that people are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute corporate despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such institutions, and to provide new guards for their future security.
–Such has been the patient sufferance of the people of the world; and such is now the necessity which inspires them to alter their former financial systems and economic policies. The history of the present corporate global empire is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute tyranny over the people and their governments.
Falsely claimed to have the same rights as individual human beings
Accepted public bailouts and subsequently refused to establish necessary reforms
Invested trillions of dollars in high risk derivatives and speculative finance and trading schemes, putting the US and entire world economy at risk
Protected the interests of the wealthiest members of our society while enforcing austerity measures on the poor and middle class, including cuts to funding for vital social services, public healthcare, education and transportation
Supported and promoted destructive international trade agreements which undermine democracy and violate the sovereignty of the people
Taken away our homes
Devalued our pension funds
Contributed to the writing of federal and local government regulations in a manner which favors corporate profit and endangers the health, safety and welfare of the people
Controlled our electoral system through unlimited funding of political campaigns
Dominated our financial system and economic policies, resulting in the outsourcing of jobs, high unemployment, lower wages, cuts to health, dental and pension benefits for workers and widespread suffering and impoverishment for the people
Conspired with the Federal Reserve to print and distribute currency without public oversight
Conducted secret meetings with government officials to draft legislation and regulatory statutes
Attacked the rights of labor to organize and form unions
Benefited financially from one trillion dollars in government-backed student loans, while contributing to the privatization of our schools and lobbying for cuts in funding for public education, resulting in increased tuition
Ruined locally owned businesses by monopolizing the marketplace
Produced and marketed unhealthy food and forced genetically modified organisms upon an unsuspecting public
Used their influence on local and federal governments to avoid paying their fair share of the national tax burden and debt relief
Falsified records and committed securities fraud
Attempted to privatize and monopolize our public healthcare systems and our public airwaves
Allowed the degradation of the national industrial and transportation infrastructure
Polluted, degraded and devastated the natural environment motivated solely by irresponsible greed
Condoned and facilitated violations of the US Constitution by cooperating with government agencies who were seeking access to private communications and personal information
Profited financially from the establishment of police state policies and violations of the Bill of Rights’ protections on freedom of speech, privacy, and due process of law including extra-judicial drone assassinations of US citizens under the provisions of the “War on Terror” regime, mass covert surveillance of the population, mandatory airport body searches, suppression of alternative media sources, and militarization of local law enforcement agencies resulting in mass arrests, the use of so-called “less-lethal” weaponry by police during protests, and the systematic harassment and intimidation of activists
Weakened the Fourth Estate through mass commercialization and corporate consolidation of the media, resulting in a loss of press freedom
Encouraged and financed the military/industrial/prison complex by by financing, promoting and profiting from foreign military interventions which have resulted in massive death and destruction, and by lobbying for increased jail sentences for drug offenders while financing, constructing and managing private prisons
We, therefore, the people, do solemnly publish and declare, that we are, and of right ought to be free and independent from corporate domination and control of our economy, our government and our electoral system; that we are absolved from all allegiance to the corrupt bankers on Wall Street, and that all political connection between them and the government of the United States of America, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that we as free and independent states, have full power to protect the rights of the people, conclude peace, contract alliances, establish trade, and to do all other acts and things which independent states may of right do without influence, intervention or interference from corporate interests.
And for the support of this declaration, with a firm reliance on our solidarity with people all around the world who are struggling against tyranny to establish peace and freedom, we pledge to each other our mutual aid, assistance and support.