The Official Declaration of Occupy Jackson Hole, Wyoming
Adopted by the General Assembly on January 18, 2012
We are captives of a corrupt economic and political system. 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.
Occupy Jackson Hole is an open community of diverse individuals, founded on equality for the common good. We are peaceably assembled, practicing direct democracy, and we insist that our political and economic systems serve the interests of the people of Wyoming and the United States.
We are assembled because…
The 1% has taken 40% of the nation’s wealth by exploiting labor, outsourcing jobs, and manipulating the tax code to their benefit through special capital tax rates and loopholes. The system is rigged in favor of the ultra wealthy and their corporate interests, yet they cry foul when anyone dares to question their relentless class warfare.
Candidates in our electoral system require huge sums of money to be competitive. These contributions from multi-national corporations and wealthy individuals destroy responsive representative governance. A system of backroom deals, kickbacks, bribes, insider trading, and dirty politics overrides the will of the people. The rotation of decision-makers between the public and private sectors cultivates a network of public officials, lobbyists, and executives whose aligned interests do not serve the American people. For these reasons, we oppose the concept that political contributions by corporations equal free speech. Thus, we do not believe that corporations are entitled to the same free speech rights as individual human beings.
The entrenched political system overlooks public interests by pursuing narrow political goals. This climate encourages candidates to polarize voters for individual power and personal gain. Citizens’ meaningful input has been compromised by gerrymandering, voter disenfranchisement, and unresponsive politicians.
Those with power have divided us from working in solidarity by perpetuating historical prejudices and discrimination based on color of skin, perceived race, religion, immigrant or indigenous status, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, economic status, and disability, among others.
Big banks and major corporations broke the financial system by gambling with our savings, property, and the economy. They needed the public to bail them out of their failures, yet deny any responsibility and continue to fight oversight. They loot from those whose labor creates society’s prosperity, while the government allows them to privatize profits and socialize risk.
Corporate interests threaten life by resisting the necessary transition to renewable energy, and exploiting our natural resources. Their methods of drilling, shale fracking, mining, clear-cutting, overfishing, and corporate manipulation of the food supply destroy the land, jeopardize our food and water, and poison the soil and air with near impunity. Our government privileges polluters over people by subsidizing fossil fuels, blocking investments in clean energy and efficient transportation, and hiding environmental destruction from public oversight.
Multi-national corporations buy government support to use common resources and infrastructure for short-term personal profit. Their reckless pursuit of financial gain devalues the workers who built this country and creates a predatory environment that harms small businesses. This further damages local economies.
The U.S. government engages in drawn-out, costly conflicts abroad. These operations needlessly overthrow foreign governments and install friendly regimes in order to control natural resources. These wars destroy the lives of American soldiers and innocent civilians, and are a blank check to divert money from domestic priorities.
Government authorities cultivate a culture of fear to invade our privacy, limit assembly, restrict speech, engage in torture, and deny due process. They have failed in their duty to protect our Constitutional rights. Exacerbated by profiteering interests, the criminal justice system has unfairly targeted underprivileged communities and outspoken groups for prosecution rather than protection.
Multi-national corporate influence warps our cultural perception of reality. It cheapens and mocks the beauty of human thought and experience, while promoting excessive materialism as the path to happiness. The corporate news media furthers the interests of the very wealthy, distorts and disregards the truth,
and confines our imagination of what is possible for ourselves and society.
Political leaders grant corporate welfare to benefit the ultra-wealthy. Our basic rights to food, water, education, housing, healthcare, safe workplaces, and secure employment are sacrificed to profit-driven market forces. They attack unemployment insurance, Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security, creating an uncertain future for us all. Their actions undermine the Constitutional mandate to promote the general welfare of the American people.
A better world is possible.
To all people, in Wyoming, the United States, and abroad,
We, the People of Occupy Jackson Hole, urge you to assert your power.
Exercise your Constitutional rights 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.