SOURCE: The 99% Working Group, Ltd.

The 99% Working Group, Ltd.

March 05, 2012 17:29 ET

Former Occupiers, The 99% Working Group, Release New Details About Independence Day Convention in Philadelphia

Convention in Philly to Seize the Day -- 878 Delegates From Across the United States to Attend a "New Continental Congress" for the 21st Century Demanding Historic Economic and Political Changes

PHILADELPHIA, PA--(Marketwire - Mar 5, 2012) - Inspired by our founding fathers and mothers, the activities of the Occupy movement and broadcasters like Thom Hartmann and Dylan Ratigan, the 99% Working Group (www.the99declaration.org) announced additional details today about its plan for a nationwide election of delegates to convene a National General Assembly in Philadelphia the week of July 4, 2012. The secure election of delegates will be conducted by Votenet Solutions, Inc. and take place during the weekend of June 1, 2012. To participate, you must register to vote at www.thenationalgeneralassembly.org/voter-registration.

The delegates will now include two people from Puerto Rico and two from Washington, D.C. bringing the total number of expected delegates to 878, one man and one woman from each of the 435 congressional districts and one delegate from each U.S. Territory. 463 people have already registered as delegate candidates. "The American people are demanding effective and dramatic reforms that will empower everyday Americans," said Michael Pollok, an attorney and co-founder of the 99% Working Group which is responsible for the planning and funding of the National General Assembly.

According to organizers, the purpose of the conference in Philadelphia is to write and ratify a "petition for redress of grievances" to be served upon the federal government before the November elections. The group is relying upon small donations raised on its website to pay for the $40,000 election and $35,000 venue where the National General Assembly will meet. Robert Manning, a long time activist and organizer of the convention added, "We need to restore democracy and throw the corporatists out. These politicians have turned all three branches of the U.S. government into a tool of the hyper-rich. The government must recognize that there is a fourth, more powerful branch of government called the American people."

After the petition is ratified and served, the delegates will demand a public pledge from all elected officials to redress the grievances immediately upon taking office. It is expected that the number of final grievances and solutions will be about ten rather than the 21 suggested grievances on the group's website.

"Our goals are no different from our country's founders who met in Philadelphia at the First Continental Congress for this very purpose," offered Karlie Cole, 99% Working Group member and the group's web designer. "Only our demographics and tools are different. Last time around, the drafters were white male landholders or elite professionals who traveled on foot or horseback to Philadelphia. Our movement might better be called 'Declaration of Independence 2.0' because these delegates come from all walks of American life and will be elected online."

David Itkin, a delegate candidate from Virginia remarked that "Occupy has proven our mettle, but defying 'The Man' and taking over public spaces -- while inspirational -- is hardly a method for reforming and governing a continental nation." Itkin's observation highlights the basic split in philosophy that have caused groups like the New York City General Assembly to disavow the National General Assembly, an example of representative democracy. A local direct democracy model is favored by Occupy encampments. "An ethic of leaderless, consensus-oriented decision-making animates many Occupiers but it is inadequate for national direct political action," said Itkin.

Pollok says he is sympathetic, "I understand why the New York City General Assembly distrusts representative democracy and fears 'co-opting' by Occupy spin-off groups like ours. We started in Zuccotti Park and I get it that Occupy does not want to bargain with the politicians who have sold out in exchange for a flow of super-PAC money. But with 150 million people living in poverty or low income households, a shortage of affordable housing and record unemployment, time is short to alleviate this suffering and imminent threat to our national security. In my opinion, occupations and protests will not end the corporate state and a petition for redress of grievances is a first, constitutional, and powerful step towards dismantling corporate control of our country and calculated disenfranchisement of millions of Americans," observed Pollok.

Maureen Mower, a delegate candidate from Pennsylvania's 11th District remarked that, "this document is an exercise of our Constitutional right to put all politicians on notice that the people they represent do not approve of how they are representing us and therefore demand that they must cut through the petty partisan politics and redress the American people's top concerns or they will face the consequences at the ballot box in 2012 and 2014." The draft document includes some of the following suggested grievances and solutions.

Elimination of the Corporate State.
Overturning the "Citizens United" Case.
Elimination of All Private Benefits to Public Servants.
Review and Reform of the Federal Reserve Banking System.
Ending the Electoral College and Enactment of Uniform Federal Election Rules.
Debt Reduction.
Foreclosure Moratorium, Mortgage Refinancing and Principle Write Downs.
Banking and Securities Reform.
Jobs for All Americans.
A Fair Tax Code.
Health Care for All.
Student Loan Debt Refinancing.
Ending Perpetual War for Profit.
End Outsourcing and Currency Manipulation
.
Ending the War in Afghanistan and Care of Veterans.
No Censorship of the Internet.
Reinstitution of Civil Rights Including the Repeal of the NDAA.

For more information about voting, running or to contribute to the venue and election fund please go to www.the99declaration.org or at www.facebook.com/The99PercentDeclaration.

Contact Information

  • Contact:
    Michael Pollok
    East Coast Media Contact
    The 99% Working Group, Ltd.
    Phone: (845) 876-3024
    E-Mail: mspollok@gmail.com

    Robert Manning
    West Coast Media Contact
    The 99% Working Group, Ltd.
    Phone: (925) 787-3354
    E-Mail: robertmanning@the99declaration.org