Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Who We Are

YOU ARE THE 99%...

You are the overwhelming majority of the people in this country.
-The people working long hours for little pay.
-The people who go with out more and more, year after year.
-The people who cannot afford to compete with the wall of money blockading the entry ways to our democracy.

The top 1% owns 42% of American Wealth. More than the bottom 95% combined.

You have fought all the wars. You have worked for all the bosses. Have you harvested the fruits of your labors, the price of your victories? Does the past comfort you? Does the present smile on you? Does the future promise you anything? Together we can work to reclaim our future, to rebuild our country and live up to our greatest ideals.

 YOU ARE THE 99%. WE ARE THE 99%. OCCUPY. 

We are the 99%, and we have occupied our own cities and towns all across the world! The Occupy the Midwest initiative seeks to take us beyond that. We seek to create new spaces to share information, resources, ideas, and express our solidarity together across the region. We want to give the people a resource to connect with others occupying space in a broader area.

 Join us on March 15th-18th for a Midwest regional conference here in St Louis, MO.

We, the General Assembly of Saint Louis, in the spirit of solidarity call upon our brothers and sisters in occupied spaces across the country to join us in forming the Midwest Regional Summit. We feel that it is time for us to create new spaces to connect in; new ways to share knowledge, experience, resources, and to express our solidarity. St Louis is centrally located and has the space available to host an event of this size. We invite you to bring the spirit and culture of your occupation into a Midwest General Assembly.

We feel that connecting with each other is a vital step in elevating our movement to the next level. No single occupation can take on a task of this size alone. We encourage you to participate in the planning and execution of this event. There is a detailed execution plan attached directly following this invitation. Please join us on March 15th, 2012 at 7pm CST under the Gateway Arch for the first meeting of the Midwest General Assembly! We have chosen this site as our first meeting spot as it symbolizes much of what we are fighting for. The site on which it now stands used to be low income and working family housing. It was taken from these families in order to build this monument. We would like to meet there and propose that we rename this monument as the Gateway to Freedom!

The conference will last from March 15th-18th. During this time we will be commemorating the 6 month anniversary of the Occupy Movement with direct action. Additionally, our objectives for this gathering are to: Establish regional communication avenues to organize action and the sharing of resources Share best practices and learn from each other on how we can be more effective in our individual occupations Establish a Midwest General Assembly that any city in our region can call on moving forward Determine how we communicate and act in solidarity both regionally and nationally.

Please review this proposal and bring this invitation to your General Assembly for consideration and approval. Please state your interest in participating by 12/20/2011.

In a time when our solidarity is being tested on every front, we must stand together to show the world that the people united will NEVER be defeated. For all questions and correspondence (including stating interest in participating!!) please contact us at:: occupythemidwest@gmail.com or find us on facebook at occupy the midwest.

 Solidarity!

 Regional Working Groups 
 In order to execute this initiative, regional working groups will be formed. The work groups will be formed from members of all participating occupations. We want to make sure that everyone is represented and has an opportunity to participate. As cities state their intentions to participate in the summit, we will begin forming these groups. Facilitation: Facilitation of General Assemblies, determining a consensus process that we can all use for this process, keeping the work groups in contact with each other, ensuring that time lines are being met as we prepare for the execution of this event.

Facilitation will serve as a central hub for all work groups during the planning phase and publish a final agenda of activities.

Town Planning: Town planning will identify space in St Louis, identify risks with the space and contingency plans, formatting of the space to accommodate everyone. St Louis is full of parks, but based on the size of this event, town planning will need to identify alternative spaces to ensure everyone is cared for.

 Finance: Finance will manage monies for this event. It is our intent to have the working groups budget for items that they will need outside of what we can reasonably offer. We intend to reach out to Occupy Wall Street to ask for additional funds to help us cover these items. Food: Food Committee will be responsible for the Procurement and distribution of food and services, and find ways to work together to solve the overall food needs of everyone in attendance on a daily basis. They will also coordinate donations of food etc.

Safety: Safety will work closely with town planning to ensure that the space is safe and peaceful during the event. Safe from both internal and external risks. We would like to ensure that we can offer a drug, alcohol, and weapons free environment for this event.

Direct Action: Direct action will meet to determine what actions will happen during the event. St Louis is home to several US Senators office, Regional Bank of America and US Bank Offices, Monsanto and Peabody Coal. Additionally, this work group would remain intact after the event to coordinate days of action and find ways we can work together regionally in our direct actions. Media: Will manage social media, press releases, and communication for the event. Media will also be responsible for documenting with audio and video, including live stream.

Arts & Recreation: Will be responsible for booking entertainment and also booking guest and motivational speakers for the event.

Outreach: engaging the general public at all times during the event and the distribution of literature, flyers etc. during marches and other actions. Engaging folks internally within their specific occupations and smaller local occupations to answer questions and provide information on the event

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