Proposed Declaration of the Santa Cruz General Assembly


We, the General Assembly of Occupation Santa Cruz, constituting all who have joined together in Santa Cruz, whether in person or virtually, to be part of our movement to reclaim, through non-violent means, American democracy from the corporatists, militarists, and theocrats, declare the following to be our operating principles and goals:

I. Government by democratically elected representatives who are wholly independent of the influence of concentrated wealth is essential to a free and prosperous society. Accordingly, we commit ourselves to: A) Abolishing the wholly fictitious concept of “corporate personhood” from American jurisprudence and proscribing the use of any corporate funds in politics. B) Setting and maintaining reasonable limits on the amount of money that any individual may contribute to any candidate in any election cycle. C) Public financing of elections such that all creditable candidates compete on a reasonably level playing field.

II. Labor is superior to capital. Accordingly, all workers must be paid a living wage and guaranteed a safe and humane working environment. Workers must also be free to organize and to bargain collectively without fear of reprisal. To prevent corporate chieftains from evading American laws protecting workers and the environment and from outsourcing work overseas, all so-called free trade agreements must be abrograted and tariffs instituted.

III. The few who have been fortunate enough to amass great wealth in America have done so only by virtue of the contributions of the many. Moreover, both concentrated and hereditary wealth are inimical to a healthy functioning democracy. Accordingly, we commit ourselves to the re-institution of truly progressive income and estate taxes.

IV. We are indeed our brother’s and sister’s keeper. Accordingly, from birth until death, every American must be guaranteed affordable food, housing, clothing, and universal single-payer health coverage.

V. An educated informed electorate is essential to a vibrant democracy and prosperous economy. Accordingly, every person from childhood through young adulthood must be guaranteed a free education at fully funded public schools staffed by highly compensated well-qualified teachers.

VI. All life is dependent on a healthy environment. But our air, waters, lands, and climate are stressed to the breaking point due to our dependence on carbon-based energy. All tax breaks to carbon-based energy companies must immediately be ended. Likewise, destructive practices including: mountain top removal and strip mining for coal, deep water oil drilling, and fracking must be made illegal. Instead, we are committed to moving immediately to clean green energy sources such as: solar, wind, geothermal, etc. In addition, our remaining fresh water supplies must be protected.

VII. We are entitled to a safe and secure supply of tasty and nutritious food. Accordingly, we commit ourselves to organically grown produce and humanely treated livestock produced at local farms. Tax advantages to agribusinesses and the cozy relationship they maintain with federal and state regulators must end.

VIII. War is evil. Accordingly, the wars of aggression launched by the Bush Cheney administration and continued by the Obama administration must be ended. Our troops must be brought home and the “peace dividend” used to reintegrate service people fully into American society.

IX. A tiny number of enormous commercial and investment banks have hijacked our economy. Accordingly, we are committed to re-instituting the “Glass-Steagall” Act and abolishing interstate commercial banking. Trading in derivatives must be strictly regulated and bankers who violate their fiduciary responsibilities must be prosecuted and in serious cases imprisoned. Our laws must protect the integrity of local and regional banks and federal credit unions to ensure viable competition with bigger banks.

X. Due to the concentration of media in very few hands, many Americans only read, see, and hear a wholly dishonest message. To ensure that many more voices are heard, restrictions on media ownership and the “fairness doctrine” must be re-instituted and net neutrality enforced.

XI. Sexual freedom and marriage equality are fundamental to human happiness. Accordingly, all laws proscribing sexual activities between consenting adults shall be deemed unconstitutional and the right of any two single adults to marry each other shall be guaranteed.

The foregoing represent the principles and goals of Occupy Santa Cruz. We are committed to implementing them through direct democratic action, such as ballot measures, and through representative democracy by 1) voting for candidates who adopt this Declaration explicitly or implicitly and 2) putting forth candidates in general elections who are members of the General Assembly.

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18 Responses to Proposed Declaration of the Santa Cruz General Assembly

  1. kit birskovich says:

    I wholeheartedly agree with and endorse this proposed declaration.

  2. pdbird says:

    stop settling for crumbs folks. Free universal healthcare for all.

  3. PlanetJude says:

    Looks good, on quick perusal, Hal…I don’t understand pdbirds’s comment. It’s in article IV. I’ll read it more comprehensively tomorrow. Thank you for doing this!
    We are blessed to have your talents working on our side!

  4. Susan says:

    I agree with, and support this effort/movement. Is there some need to have this legal type declaration, though ? Is so, then I say fantastic job, Hal ! If it’s not particularly necessary, I say we need a simple, single message to rally around. Thanks for your work.

  5. fia says:

    I love this Hal! I am also for free universal health care for all. We need a political party independent of the Democratic party that stands for the 99 percent. A political party that is controlled from the bottom up that creates a society with control from the bottom up. More people are realizing that a new paradigm is possible and not some alien idea. Thanks for all you do, Hal!

  6. dumpthedems says:

    “I would suggest that articulate radicals and revolutionaries (those seeking a complete break with the current political economic system of capitalism) make themselves permanent and prominent fixtures in the General Assemblies that are organizing around the country and at every turn and every attempt by the powers that be to inject themselves into the movement severely and loudly challenge them in the public square to account for their warlike economic policies.”
    Robert Alexander

    The last thing this movement needs is a co-op by the demorat party and the union bureaucracy that is in bed with the demorat party. The rank and file working class need only apply!

  7. peter casey says:

    Some, yes some people would like anarchy…that won’t work…I’m not for overthrowing our gov’t anarchy, or communism, or Marxism…We just need to fix what we have, clean it up and make it work. These “aricles’ make sense to me. Right now I believe we have a Facist/corpratist government. We need to get back to what it was and was meant to be…not co
    mpletely overthrow the idea…anarchy does not work.

  8. Hal, thank you so much for contributing your skills, knowledge, legal sensibilities, political acumen, and last, but certainly, not least, your persistent passion for equality and justice for all. Also, I am deeply appreciative that you have shared your expertise with Santa Cruz area. KRXA serves mostly the Monterey Bay community because this is where the station is, so when you do participate in this area, I know it is a sacrifice. Thank you, Hal.

  9. Shade for Hal says:

    You want to make illegal “destructive practices including: mountain top removal and strip mining for coal, deep water oil drilling, and fracking… …Instead… …moving immediately to clean green energy sources such as: solar, wind, geothermal, etc.”

    Nice sentiment Hal. I notice you didn’t mention anything about nuclear! Do you now recognize that even if you enacted your infamous Draconian carbon tax, the only “shovel ready” technology we currently have available that could possibly replace even 10% of the energy sources you mentioned within the next 15 years is nuclear? We have nuclear sites all over the U.S. that were designed for multiple power plants but on which only the first of a series of power plants was built. No, I didn’t really think that was what you had in mind but nuclear was an interesting omission on your part and it is the one replacement energy source that makes your stated goal even remotely possible anytime soon.

    While I agree with your goals and even would like to eventually see fission nuclear plants phased out, reality is that we are so far from being able to accomplish this that your policies would only push our nation further down the road of NIMBY and add to the 400 billion dollars the U.S. already exports yearly to buy energy. Our economy, already reeling from our trade deficit, would collapse further. Your hoped for new (but currently unknown) green energy sources cannot possibly come on line quickly enough replace the energy sources you would ban. Worse, your actions would waste the political capital the current political movement has garnered and turn the populace against you. A population struggling day to day just to survive in a bad economy isn’t much inclined to dedicate many resources towards protecting the environment for future generations. You must develop some sanity on this issue Hal before it destroys the very goals that we Progressives share regarding the future of the planet.

  10. Shade for Hal says:

    Do you hope to replace the energy sources you plan to ban with solar? Keep in mind that it takes at least three years for solar panels to generate enough energy to replace the energy required to manufacture them. The result is that you use more net energy initially if you attempt to convert the grid to solar. The faster you attempt the conversion, the more serious the increase in net energy use is.

  11. Denica says:

    🙂 Fist pump/ Duck wing

  12. Dave says:

    In response to shade 10/11/11
    Shade states it takes 3 years of produced energy from a solar panel to produce a solar panel.. So what?
    If you produce a pane, l that panels energy can produce another panel and so on. Once your producing panels made from energy created by panels you are not losing energy.

    • Shade for Dave/Hal says:

      Those who promote the use of solar panels as the answer to our CO2 problem are promoting a fraud akin to politicians who tell us they are cutting spending by enacting a slight decrease in our increasing rate of deficit spending. The world is increasing its energy use faster than we can possibly make or utilize solar panels. This means that rather than reducing the generation of CO2, the energy used to manufacture the panels will (at best) only slightly slow our increase in the production of CO2.

      There is also a theoretical limit to solar panel utilization at about 20% of grid capacity due to the unstable nature of solar energy production. No sun, no electricity and the electric grid becomes unstable causing it to burn out equipment (which then cascades into state-wide blackouts unless another electricity source is immediately brought online). This means that redundant conventional carbon-based generating equipment must be available in standby mode at all times (doubling infrastructure costs) as there is currently no way to store electricity on the massive scale needed to power the electric grid. We need a reliable Green energy solution capable of putting a dent in the current production of CO2.

      Think energy production on the scale of nuclear fission, even if you can’t stand the thought due to safety concerns. New safer nuclear fission reactors are on the horizon such as the traveling-wave “candlestick” design that Microsoft’s Bill Gates is currently heavily involved with. This design burns a broad range of fuels (including our current nuclear waste, Thorium from coal fly-ash, and even depleted uranium). Moreover, it burns its fuel rods down in their entirety without leaving much radioactive waste (somewhat like a drip-less candle).

      Within the next 20 years or so, it is anticipated that radioactive-free nuclear fusion may become commercially available. Fusion will safely extract heat energy from converting hydrogen into helium (like our sun). Fusion would allow us to replace the fossil or radioactive fuels we now use to make the steam that drives our electric generators.

  13. Some Suggested Demands for the Occupy Wall Street Protest Based on the American School of Economics

    by Jack Quirk: 05 Oct 2011

    1. The enactment of tariffs specifically for the purpose of protecting American industry and jobs.

    2. A national banking system that fosters productive enterprise and commerce in goods rather than speculation.

    3. Liberal federal spending on the national infrastructure with an eye to enhancing commerce.
    Enact Senator Bernie Sanders’ of Vermont legislation that would cap credit card interest rates at 15%.
    Eliminate money as the criteria for any political concern to get a fair hearing.
    A Modest Proposal for Campaign Finance Reform

  14. patrick says:

    the antidote for complicity

  15. fia says:

    FDR Second Bill of Rights Speech Footage

  16. Dave says:

    Healthcare is one of the most ambiguous term of the language.. It can mean almost anything. I wonder if a 60 year old cronic alcoholic needing a liver transplant would qualify under the terms of universal?

  17. Shade says:

    American Indian & Alaska Native
    Heritage Month November 2011

    The Ten Indian Commandments

    1. Remain close to the Great Spirit.
    2. Show great respect for your fellow
    3. Give assistance and kindness wherever
    4. Be truthful and honest at all times.
    5. Do what you know to be right.
    6. Look after the well being of mind and
    7. Treat the earth and all that dwell there
    on with respect.
    8. Take full responsibility for your actions.
    9. Dedicate a share of your efforts to the
    greater good.
    10. Work together for the benefit of all
    man kind.

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