Posted on September 30, 2011 by NYCGA
This document was accepted by the NYC General Assembly on September 29, 2011
As we gather together in solidarity to express a feeling of mass injustice, we must not lose sight of what brought us together. We write so that all people who feel wronged by the corporate forces of the world can know that we are your allies.
As one people, united, we acknowledge the reality: that the future of the human race requires the cooperation of its members; that our system must protect our rights, and upon corruption of that system, it is up to the individuals to protect their own rights, and those of their neighbors; that a democratic government derives its just power from the people, but corporations do not seek consent to extract wealth from the people and the Earth; and that no true democracy is attainable when the process is determined by economic power.
We come to you at a time when corporations, which place profit over people, self-interest over justice, and oppression over equality, run our governments. We have peaceably assembled here, as is our right, to let these facts be known.
They have taken our houses through an illegal foreclosure process, despite not having the original mortgage.
They have taken bailouts from taxpayers with impunity, and continue to give Executives exorbitant bonuses.
They have perpetuated inequality and discrimination in the workplace based on age, the color of one’s skin, sex, gender identity and sexual orientation.
They have poisoned the food supply through negligence, and undermined the farming system through monopolization.
They have profited off of the torture, confinement, and cruel treatment of countless animals, and actively hide these practices.
They have continuously sought to strip employees of the right to negotiate for better pay and safer working conditions.
They have held students hostage with tens of thousands of dollars of debt on education, which is itself a human right.
They have consistently outsourced labor and used that outsourcing as leverage to cut workers’ healthcare and pay.
They have influenced the courts to achieve the same rights as people, with none of the culpability or responsibility.
They have spent millions of dollars on legal teams that look for ways to get them out of contracts in regards to health insurance.
They have sold our privacy as a commodity.
They have used the military and police force to prevent freedom of the press. They have deliberately declined to recall faulty products endangering lives in pursuit of profit.
They determine economic policy, despite the catastrophic failures their policies have produced and continue to produce.
They have donated large sums of money to politicians, who are responsible for regulating them.
They continue to block alternate forms of energy to keep us dependent on oil.
They continue to block generic forms of medicine that could save people’s lives or provide relief in order to protect investments that have already turned a substantial profit.
They have purposely covered up oil spills, accidents, faulty bookkeeping, and inactive ingredients in pursuit of profit.
They purposefully keep people misinformed and fearful through their control of the media.
They have accepted private contracts to murder prisoners even when presented with serious doubts about their guilt.
They have perpetuated colonialism at home and abroad. They have participated in the torture and murder of innocent civilians overseas.
They continue to create weapons of mass destruction in order to receive government contracts. *
To the people of the world,
We, the New York City General Assembly occupying Wall Street in Liberty Square, urge you to assert your power.
Exercise your right to peaceably assemble; occupy public space; create a process to address the problems we face, and generate solutions accessible to everyone.
To all communities that take action and form groups in the spirit of direct democracy, we offer support, documentation, and all of the resources at our disposal.
Join us and make your voices heard!
*These grievances are not all-inclusive.
Support striking prisoners in California
For more information and to sign the online petition, visit Prisoner Hunger Strike Solidarity
(Healthcare workers are also encouraged to email a signed copy of the letter below to the Prisoner Hunger Strike Support Coalition)
Thousands of prisoners in California have gone on hunger strike since July 1, demanding some basic reforms in conditions in the state’s supermaxes, notably Pelican Bay Security Housing Unit (SHU), the epicenter of this struggle. At Pelican Bay, close to a hundred prisoners affirm that this will be an indefinite strike, and that they are willing to die.
California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation regulations stipulate that prisoners are deemed on hunger strike after refusing meals for 48 hours, at which point they should be weighed and have their vital signs recorded. But according to Carol Strickman of Legal Services for Prisoners with Children,
“We have heard of no one being weighed, having blood pressure taken, or being seen by a doctor. CDCR is saying that their hunger strike protocols were not intended to apply to a mass situation; they have no protocols for this situation.”
What’s even more worrying, according to Strickman,
“Regarding medicines, we have heard conflicting reports – that ALL medications have been discontinued, or that ALL medications which are supposed to be taken with food have been discontinued. In either case, it is unacceptable.”
The medical situation facing prisoners in Pelican Bay’s SHU is not a good one at the best of times. One of the reasons the prisoners are on hunger strike is “denial of medical care”, as detailed in their “Formal complaint”. In this document, which was sent to Governor Schwarzenegger and CDCR Secretary Matthew Cate on February 5, 2011, they list the following in their “Summary of Human Rights Violations”:
“III.D.4. Denied adequate medical care (this became more pronounced when Dr. Michael C. Sayre, became PBSP Chief Medical Officer in 2006, and who, with the complicity of several cronies e.g. M. McLean, Sue Risenhoover and James Flowers, et al, began to systematically discontinue and deny medication, specialist care, assistive aids by telling SHU inmates, “if you want better care get out of the SHU” and now SHU inmates are chained down to the floor of the clinic like animals if they need to see a doctor/nurse.) The Psychiatric Staff are complicit too claiming that “there are no mental health issues precluding continue SHU confinement”, without any personal interaction with those inmates.”
If it is true that CDCR medical staff are refusing prisoners their medications, either as punishment for being in the SHU or else as punishment for being on hunger strike, this would not only be unethical, but also illegal under California Penal Code Section 673. This would be an act of deliberate indifference to a patient’s serious medical needs, and as such would constitute a violation of prisoners’ Eighth Amendment Constitutional rights.
No medical professional can withhold medications to a patient as a form of punishment. It is not for the health professionals to be punishing convicted people, that is what the judicial system is set up to do.
To deny medical care in such circumstances would be a very dangerous line for a health professional to cross, one that would collectively put ALL health professionals working in prisons at risk because we would then be considered to be part of the punishment apparatus. Health professionals who treat prisoners must be neutral and uphold ethical standards. We are there for one reason only, to treat the patient as we would treat any patient, with the highest standard of care.
We the undersigned are gravely concerned by these allegations, and as such we strongly urge Receiver J. Clark Kelso and the California Medical Board to investigate these claims. We urge CDCR to ensure that no prisoner on hunger strike be disciplined or threatened with the denial of medical care. We demand all medical professionals uphold their code of ethics and maintain the highest standards of care for all their patients – be they incarcerated or not.
 For more information on this strike
 Todd Ashker & Danny Troxell “Formal Complaint,” California Prison Focus #37 Summer 2011, p. 1. Available online
 “It shall be unlawful to use in the reformatories, institutions, jails, state hospitals or any other state, county, or city institution any cruel, corporal or unusual punishment or to inflict any treatment or allow any lack of care whatever which would injure or impair the health of the prisoner, inmate, or person confined; and punishment by the use of the strait jacket, gag, thumbscrew, shower bath or the tricing up of a prisoner, inmate or person confined is hereby prohibited. Any person who violates the provisions of this section or who aids, abets, or attempts in any way to contribute to the violation of this section shall be guilty of a misdemeanor.” Accessed online
We must all fight like Greeks!
The world financial system is cracking at its weakest links, which are currently Spain and Greece. The failure of either economy will trigger a global chain reaction.
The only way the capitalist classes can restore profitability is to make the working class pay. That is why workers of all nations are under attack.
We give our full support to the Greek working class, which is refusing to pay for a crisis they did not create.
And we will fight like Greeks in our own nations, for the same reasons.
Barcelona Manifesto – May 14, 2011
Barcelona, April 15, 2011
Since 2007, the economic and social crisis has progressively deepened. Today, all governments talk of budget cuts, welfare cuts and providing bailout funds to countries with financial problems.
Everyone knows that the blame for this crisis lies within the financial system. However, public authorities and neoliberal international agencies have worked together to ensure that all policies promoted by the European Union protect and support the financial sector. In doing so, these governments are scrapping the European social model.
Against all common sense, European politicians have caved into the demands of the international financial system at the expense of the needs of their citizens.
In Catalonia, the new government announces more cuts every day, using the excuse that this is necessary because of the previous government’s mismanagement and lack of support from the Spanish State.
These cuts are more than measures to combat the current crisis: we are facing a social paradigm shift, where social services are being transferred from the public sector to the private sector.
If our social support model is destroyed, the consequences will be very serious. We will lose many of the rights and essential services we have won – healthcare, education and social assistance.
Therefore, we, the representatives from the undersigned social institutions of Catalonia, believe it is time to raise our objections to these policies.
- We oppose tax cuts that benefit only the rich and empty the public treasuries.
- We stand for a redistributive social model that includes, among other things, progressive taxation and reduced social inequality.
- We cannot solve the current crisis at the expense of public services. Our public services ensure dignity, increase equity and promote social fairness.
- We do not accept cuts to public education and the elimination of an efficient national health system, nor will we tolerate a growing social divide that hurts the most vulnerable.
- We demand the preservation of a public, universal and quality health system. Hence we reject all measures that undermine the public system, including: co-payments, spending cuts, job insecurity, benefit and service cuts, contracts with private providers, etc.
- We oppose blaming workers in public services, who suffer unjustly from salary cuts and the loss of high-quality jobs. We support their just demands and protests.
- We believe that a socially responsible solution for this crisis is possible. A democratic society should be able to find just and fair solutions to social problems in the medium and long term. We do not believe in, nor do we support any solution that will weaken the current social model.
For all the above reasons, we urge the people of Catalonia to rebel against the social cuts and, more specifically, to actively participate in the demonstration being organized in the city of Barcelona on May 14.
No more cuts!
Defend our public services!
AICEC-ADICAE, CAPS, Centros juveniles, CCOO de Catalunya, CNJC, CONFAVC, Coordinadora Nacional de Jubilados y Pensionistas de Cataluña, Dempeus, FAPAES, FAVB, HECHOS, La OCUC, MLP, UCC y UGT de Cataluña.
From the cultural sector: Asociación de Actores y Directores Profesionales de Cataluña (AADPC), Asociación de Artistas Visuales de Cataluña (AAVC), Asociación Colegial de Escritores de Cataluña (ACEC), Asociación de Escenógrafos de Cataluña (Ad ‘EC), Asociación de Escritores en Lengua Catalana (AELC), Asociación de Fotógrafos Profesionales (AFP), Asociación de Músicos Animadores de Espectáculos Infantiles (AMAPEI), Asociación de Músicos de Jazz y de Música Moderna de Cataluña (AMJM), Asociación de Profesionales del Circo de Cataluña (APCC), Asociación de Profesionales de la Danza de Cataluña (APDC), Associació Professional d’Il • ilustradores de Cataluña (APIC), Guionistas Asociados de Cataluña – Sindicato de Guionistas de Cataluña (GAC-SIGC) , SindicART (Organización sindical del espectáculo de Cataluña).
Solidarity Page is open to all who share our goals for better social services, better working conditions, and a healthier world for all.
We invite you to submit stories, news, appeals, etc. to firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject heading “Solidarity Page.”
Please limit the length of each submission to 1-page, and include links and photos when possible. (All submissions are moderated and may be edited for length and clarity).