January 7, 2012

Occupy Congress Plan of Action

So I've written a plan of action combining the techniques of lobbying, theater activism, direct action, and electoral activism, and how we can use each stage to escalate to the next stage, leading ultimately to either successful demands for resignation, or successful electoral challenges. Or both. All with the goal of achieving a narrow policy goal of election reform.

Also Posted at the Occupy Congress Wiki

1) Create a series of demands that will work in the favor of the 99% that the bought congress cannot agree to without systemically and radically altering the way that politics works in the US.

2) To avoid the appearance of being unhinged or radical or fringe, do “what we're supposed to” and arrange for meetings with every member of congress over a period of two or so days, centered on getting binding agreements to those demands a la Grover Norquists pledge to never raise taxes.

Those demands must strike a root problems, and be both short term (commitment to introduce legislation within weeks, such as: mandatory clean elections modeled on Maine's original clean election system, a repeal of the NDAA sections that regard indefinite detention, a constitutional amendment stating clearly that corporations are not people) as well as longer term (pledging to run on clean elections funds in the next election).

Long term beyond the next election is unnecessary. This is where we will differ from groups like Friends of the Earth, who get pledges for things like dropping the keystone pipeline, and then are continually disappointed when their issue gets sold out on one election cycle later. We are interested in systemic change, right now, not next election cycle. If they do not comply by the time they adjourn for the next election season, we will nonviolently remove them from office either through electoral activism or demands for resignation (or both). But they don't know that. We will give them the opportunity to fail. Their arrogance will only make our case for their removal even stronger in the public's eye.

3) those who refuse to make a binding agreement to any part of our demands, or those who do not make good on their promises within the timeline we set, we follow up with them, confronting them directly and openly (and on tape).

4) we take direct action demanding they make good on their promises. This includes, but is not limited to, occupations of their office buildings.

5) when that fails, we shift from filling legislative demands to demanding immediate resignation. Special elections be held in their home districts if they do resign. This part is fun and sexy, and raises a ton of media attention around our issues.

6) from local Occupy Movements in those congressperson's districts, sevb>eral people are chosen to challenge our target congressperson in the primaries, in ALL parties, so that both major party must face challangers from within, as well as from outside (libertarian party, green party, reform party, etc, depending on what third party has ballot access-- OR running as independents.)

During this stage, there must be a real effort on the part of all Occupy candidates to demonstrate solidarity across transpartisan lines, and the focus MUST be exclusively on the narrow demands for electoral reform.

Both primary and general election challengers who abides by the narrowly focused Occupy demands for electoral reform.

The Occupy delegate to congress must also, (obviously) make a binding agreement to:
a) run using clean election money
b) make their first act in office creating legislation that meets whatever other demand there is (amendment to the constitution declaring that corporations are not people and that money is not speech, a law to make clean elections funds [based on Maine's original clean elections law] the ONLY way to run for office, etc)
c) as soon as their narrow policy goal is achieved, resign.

7) local occupations work their asses off electing their delegates in every party, and then in the general election as well.

This is the transpartisan electoral strategy by which our democracy has been slowly stolen from us by the 1%. We must employ a transpartisan stragey as well if we're going to create a real systemic change.