We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men, women, and transgendered—and any other human who is able to elude the tyranny of work for a couple of weeks—are created equal. We gather to be free not of tyranny, but of responsibility and college tuitions. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that a government long established and a nation long prosperous be changed for light and transient causes. So let our demands* be submitted to a candid world.
First, we are imbued with as many inalienable rights as a few thousand college kids and a gaggle of borderline celebrities can concoct, among them a guaranteed living wage income regardless of employment and immediate across-the-board debt forgiveness—even if that debt was acquired taking on a mortgage with a 4.1 percent interest rate and no money down, which, we admit, is a pretty sweet deal in historical context…
…but down with the modern gilded age!
We demand that a Master of Fine Arts in musical theater writing, with a minor in German, become an immutable human right, because education is crucial and rich people can afford to fund unemployment checks until we find jobs or in perpetuity, whichever comes first.
We demand a minimum wage of $10, no … make it $20. We earned it. And we demand the end of “profiteering,” because there is no better way to end joblessness than stopping the growth of capital. We also demand a maximum wage law, because selfish American dreams need a firm ceiling.
We demand the institution of direct democracy, because if a bunch of people say it’s OK, it’s OK. And everyone deserves to have his or her voice heard. Except Mr. Moneybags, who we demand stop contributing his own money to candidates we disagree with, to issue groups we loathe, and to lobbyists who do not work for organizations featuring “Service,” “Employees,” “International” and/or “Union” in their title.
We demand the end to bailouts and corporate subsidies, unless we’re talking about companies that feature sunflowers or sun rays in their logos, because that’s the kind of morally gratifying institution we approve of, and thus, they should totally be fast-tracked and bailed out with your money to bring the fossil fuel economy (“the economy”) to an end.
We demand the end to a corrupt Wall Street (“Apple” “your 401(k)”) because banks hold too much power. We demand that government consolidate authority so that elected officials can make prudent choices for us. All that cash in banks was printed by the war god Mars and has nothing to do with the voluntary deposits by ordinary Americans, so we do not consider this theft.
We demand the end to corporate censorship, because if we can’t force private news organizations to run the types of stories with which we agree, there can’t be a healthy democracy. So actually, we demand the end of all corporate news organizations in the name of free speech.
We demand the end to health profiteering, because everyone knows that all the wondrous and lifesaving advances in modern medicine were invented in the People’s Democratic Republic of Laos. Smart people work for the good of humanity, not because they’re greedy.
We demand these rights because of the mass injustice of being able to freely protest against racism and corporatism without any real fear of imprisonment in the most diverse city on earth. And to the wiseguy who walked by the other day and claimed that I’d be writing this manifesto with a quill pen on parchment paper if it weren’t for capitalism, we have two words for you: Koch brothers. Think about it.
This is the fifth communiqué from the 99.9 percent. We are occupying Wall Street, and we’re not going home until it gets really cold.
*These grievances are not all-inclusive.