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Occupy DC Declaration Is Nearly Finalized

Occupy Dc

The Huffington Post   First Posted: 11/20/11 01:49 PM ET Updated: 11/21/11 10:13 AM ET

WASHINGTON -- The blog Crooks and Liars on Friday put up a copy of what was supposedly the finalized version of Occupy DC's long-awaited "Declaration of the Occupation," the document laying out the agenda of the protest group that has been camped out in McPherson Square downtown since Oct. 1.

The declaration begins with a statement of what it is that the movement is fighting against: Captivity by "corrupt economic and political systems."

It then moves onto a brief statement of how that harms those the movement sees itself representing, which is to say almost everyone: "The concentration of wealth and the purchase of political power stifle the voices of the increasingly disenfranchised 99%. Corporate dominance subverts democracy, intentionally sows division, destroys the environment, obstructs the just and equitable pursuit of happiness, and violates the rights and dignity of all life."

Next comes a statement of What Occupy DC is: A group with people who "insist that our political and economic systems serve the people's interests," and the ways these people see corporate interests as harming society: By creating a bad labor system, by ruining the economy, by exerting an undue and bad effect on politics, by encouraging prejudice, by ruining the environment and by warping "our perception of humanity."

There is one nod to the occupation taking place in District of Columbia in particular: "Residents of Washington DC continue to lack autonomy and legislative representation." The declaration notes that these grievances are "not inclusive."

The declaration is short on specifics about solutions to these problems. Mainly, it encourages the idea that "[a] better world is possible."

People -- "all people," per the declaration, are encouraged to "assert your power. Exercise your right to peaceably assemble and reclaim the commons. Re-conceive ways to build a democratic, just, and sustainable world. To all who value democracy, we encourage you to collaborate, and share available resources. We stand with you in solidarity."

As it turns out, this is not the final version of the Occupy DC declaration. Matthew Patterson, a member of Occupy DC's media team, wrote The Huffington Post in an email that it is "pretty close":

"The declaration has not been formally adopted yet. Somehow this version floated out into the internet but it is not the final version. It is however our document, and while it is not the completed thing it is pretty close. Then again others in camp may still be pushing for changes they think are important. I personally am proud of the work the declaration committee has done so far and of the document they have produced thus far - can't wait to read the final product."

By Sunday, Crooks and Liars had up an acknowledgment that the declaration formerly declared finalized wasn't quite finalized after all: "This is what happens in a 'leaderless' movement -- hard to verify what is what. It's still worth a read. I'd be curious to know what changes they make."

Flickr photo by Bob Jagendorf, used under a Creative Commons license.

RELATED VIDEO: Occupy DC demonstrators marching to the Key Bridge on Nov. 17.

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