This is a blog about the occupation of Harrisonburg, Virginia, inspired by the Occupy Wall Street movement and begun on October 17th, 2011.
GENERAL ASSEMBLY meets at Court Square Zeebo EVERY TUESDAY AT 6PM.
MEMBER ACTION: The first Saturday of each month is member action. Check out our Occupy Harrisonburg Facebook page and our blog at occupyhburg.wordpress.com for more information.
You can contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
We are pro-people, pro-local, and pro-peace.
Our approach: Celebrate what works. Acknowledge what is broken. Take responsibility. Create Action. Repeat.
Click here for a PDF of our Declaration.
Connect here for our Vision Statement.
Ustream: The Occupy Harrisonburg Channel
OCCUPY HARRISONBURG, VIRGINIA’S DECLARATION
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, 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. – Declaration of Independence
We believe that government can secure our rights only if it derives its just powers from the consent of the people. But no true democracy is possible when the exercise of that power is determined by money.
We believe that when money systematically nullifies the will of the people ours is no longer a government for the people. It is therefore our duty to alter it. Just as our ancestors threw off the tyranny of government by monarchy in order to establish a democracy, we today must throw off the tyranny of government by money in order to reclaim our democracy.
We will continue to peaceably assemble in the public square, as is our right, to let these facts be known:
+ The Citizens United decision of the United States Supreme Court enshrines the rights of corporations as political equals with human persons who have the rights and responsibilities of citizens. This is an aberration which the constitutional framers could not have imagined, intended, or approved. Corporations are not created equal with humans or endowed with unalienable rights. We call for a constitutional amendment to reverse that decision.
+ The flood of money to political campaigns distorts our democracy and vital decisions about our physical health, the safety of our food, our tax structure, our right to privacy, protection from fraudulent financial practices, the quality of our air and water, etc. We call for public financing of all political campaigns.
+ Financial deregulation is destroying our economy. The erosion during recent decades of the regulatory framework which guided the behavior of our banks and corporations has devastated homeowners, investors, and employees. Corporations, originally chartered by the government and given special status so they could serve the economic needs of people, have been allowed to become predators. Rogue corporations have destroyed the employment and savings of millions and they continue to do so with impunity. We call for immediate and vigorous enforcement of existing anti-trust and criminal fraud laws in the banking, home mortgage, and financial services industries and for bold and robust new legislation to insure that our financial and monetary systems function as regulated public utilities that are transparent and accountable and serve the common good. We must replace the self-destructive system constructed by Wall Street with a sustainable and self-reliant Main Street economy.
+ To accomplish the above we must have nothing less than a true rebirth of our democratic culture. Democracy flourishes when we recognize our interdependence in building a just society. The citizens of Occupy Harrisonburg VA are now engaged in the practice of community democracy. We meet regularly at our town square where we practice techniques of respectful discussion. We have committed to begin now to move our money to local credit unions and community banks. We actively urge our neighbors and all Americans to consider moving their money and to patronize banks and businesses which invest in local communities and do not engage in risky and destructive practices.
+ This is the beginning of a process by which we, the people, pledge to regain control of our economy and our democracy.
December 13, 2011