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ActivismPolicies & Politics

Occupy Congress: What Is It? (+ Videos)

 

occupy congress activists

Occupy Wall Street may have slowed down a bit this Winter, but I think everyone knows it has been hybernating, not dying. Or, perhaps, it’s just been migrating to Washington, D.C. “Occupy Congress” was (and still is) today. Event details:

  • 9am – Converge at West Front Lawn at Capitol Hill (Meetings with Representatives concurrent)
  • 10 am – Training for volunteers on De-escalation, Legal Observing, Medical, Direct Action
  • 11 am – Teach-ins and Open Mic start and go all day
  • 12 noon – Multi-Occupation General Assembly
  • 2 pm – Open Activities and Idea Sharing Sessions
  • *6pm* – Occupy Congress Rally and Protest and DC Voting Rights Vigil
  • 8pm – 11pm – OCCUParty

occupy congress about

More info from a press release sent out by Occupy Wall Street yesterday, January 16:

On January 17 Americans from across the nation and the world will assemble in the shadows of a broken system to participate in real democracy.

At 9 am on the opening day of Congress, Occupy Congress will convene for a day of action against a corrupt political institution. Actions include a multi-occupational General Assembly, teach-ins, an OCCUParty, a pink slip for every congressional “representative” and a march on all three branches of a puppet government that sold our rights and our futures to the 1%.

This is an illegitimate system. Around half of the nation’s population doesn’t participate in electoral politics. More than 6 million Americans who want to vote are disenfranchised, including the entire populace of the District of Columbia. There is consensus that we are on the wrong track and that our “leaders” do not have our interests at heart.

All “elected” officials bought their way into gerrymandered seats with Wall Street money. These bankers’ henchmen have shown themselves both unwilling and unable to take on the tremendous, systemic issues in our country, our place in this world.

In the face of this endemic corruption, the Occupy movement is about organizing locally to discuss and change these problems from the ground up. We came to show the 1%’s Congress what democracy looks like.

Our nation, and our world, is in crisis and our “elected” officials have failed us. They refused to hold their bankrollers—Wall Street—responsible for the financial crimes that bankrupted our nation and destroyed the global economy. This last legislative cycle was the least productive in recorded U.S. history; 90% of the country disapproves of these “elected” officials.

We refuse to accept the grim future that Wall Street’s cronies have designed. We refuse to be the 1%’s captive citizenry. We stand together to show that the 99% are creating a better world.

The 99% will no longer be complacent. Our many voices will be amplified on the steps of Capitol Hill. We shall have a nation by, for, and powered by the people once again. We are building it.

Got the picture?

It’s not just people on the fringe fed up with Congress, either. As reported by the Chicago Tribune, “a record 84 percent of Americans say they disapprove of the way Washington lawmakers are doing their job, according to a Washington Post/ABC News poll published on Monday.”

occupy congress what is it

“Our systems are flawed by a for-profit mentality, and therefore the needs of the masses are being ignored for the profits of the few,” said Rosetta Star, a social entrepreneur from Asheville, N.C. who owns Rosetta’s Kitchen (a great restaurant!).

“We came to inspire others; we came to inspire our children. We came because we can’t sit still and pretend like nothing is going wrong, when we feel like the collective bus of the country is getting driven off a cliff.”

For those unable to attend, Occupy Wall Street / Occupy Congress has supplied information on how to call Congress. And there’s a live stream of the event, embedded here:

 

The Washington Post also has video coverage:

More coverage and quotes from activists at Occupy Congress on the Huffington Post. And good coverage of how underwhelmed activists who met with Congresspeople is on MSNBC.

Occupy Congress activist photos via vpickering;
Occupy Congress image via pfarnac1




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