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The Essence Of The Occupy Movement, "redress Of Grievances"

By       Message Dave Lefcourt     Permalink
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As all those following the occupy movement know, the common criticism of it seen and heard from day one from the main stream media, the writers, pundits and other critics has been, "What do they want?, Where are their list of demands?, They're leaderless", ad infinitum.

It's one of the beauties of this movement that's been so confounding to these "know it all" talking heads, radio blowhards and clueless writers.

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And it would be presumptuous for this writer to now say he knows exactly where the movements' heading and where it all will end.

But the sense from here is things are beginning to coalesce with this movement and when I read the Constitution of the United States and particularly the 1st Amendment where it states "the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances", it seems this is the essence of what's been started by the occupy movement and where it eventually, will, must, may go.

For hasn't that been happening from the very first day of Occupy Wall Street with its signs, chants, demonstrations and decision to stay until things change?

All that's been articulated by those in the movement, first in OWS and now in solidarity all over the country and the world are problems and issues, "grievances" that are essentially "the right of the people peacefully to assemble and to petition for a redress of grievances".

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That's essentially what was done by the American colonists who sent King George III a petition for redress of grievances, in the years prior to the revolution, only to be ignored. Of course when the king summarily dismissed their grievances it occurred to the colonists, in the form of what we now refer as the founders, to sign a Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776 outlining those grievances and the necessity of declaring their intent for independence from Great Britain and the king. And the rest as they say is history.    

But the Constitution, written after the revolution in 1787 and ratified by all 13 colonies in 1789, included a 1st Amendment clause which grants "the people the right to peaceably assemble and petition the government for redress of grievances".

The founders knew, or at least had the foresight to realize, the future of the country and the Republic they established could be threatened and only the people would be capable of confronting those threats and restoring the country to be of, by and for the people.

So the "rebellion" currently in the streets of the U.S. is the right of the people to "peaceably assemble". As yet the "petition to the government for redress of grievances" hasn't been formulated into a concrete list of demands (although an OWS working group has prepared what they call is "The 99 Percent Declaration", a petition in working process and not yet finalized) but surely this seems a formality which is evolving as we speak on the issues and the problems that are being expressed and discussed in all the occupy movements and particularly in the aforementioned OWS working group.

As I have stated before in these pages, this movement is unlike the "Arab Spring" in Tunisia, Egypt and now Libya where the intent was the overthrow of the dictator and his regime.

President Obama, the Congress and the Supreme Court are not dictators in the formal sense but the branches of government they represent have been usurped and corrupted by corporatist, big moneyed and special interests that have caused the country to become a plutocracy and an empire and no longer a republic representative of, by and for the people.

What began in 1776 and formalized in 1789 has been usurped, stolen and corrupted by those who have trampled and besmirched that Constitution so it no longer is a document of, by and for the people.

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The time has come for the people to follow the Constitution's 1st Amendment clause to "peaceably assemble and petition the government for a redress of grievances."


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