Occupy Albany's demand

Occupy Albany Makes Demands

After a two month encampment, Occupy Albany made its first official demand today.

After two months camped out in Albany's Academy Park -- and two days before they face potential eviction by the city -- Occupy Albany protestors made their first public demand today.

At a press conference amid the tents they announced they've decided to focus on separating politics from money. In a prepared statement occupiers argued "the voice of the people is drowned out by the corrupting influence that concentrated economic power exerts on the government."

How would they go about separating the two? And what would it look like? Well, they're still working that part out, but they've mentioned campaign finance reform, overturning corporate personhood, and changing the incentive structures of government representatives.

Several occupiers from different backgrounds spoke out about how they say money and corporate interest influences government to act against the interest of the people, citing examples from fracking to medical costs to war.

The occupiers' permit for Academy Park expires on Thursday. They say they are working to meet the city's demands in order to stay in the park, but today several said that if need be, they'll stand their ground and risk arrest on Thursday. Later some qualified that statement, saying they'd risk arrest depending on how things progress in the next couple of days, but that their plan was to stay in the park "until the voice of the people is heard."

Even if they're forced to leave the park, the people we spoke with today say the movement will go on. Occupy Albany has leased office space at 306 Hudson Ave in Albany and plans to continue its work no matter what happens this week.

Why did they wait until two days before the permit expired to make an official statement of demands? Occupiers we spoke with said it wasn't a media driven or political move. They say they've been working for months on narrowing down the specific issue, polling people and discussing in depth.

A few more photos and the full Occupy Albany statement:

Press at Occupy Albany  Demand conference.jpg
There were almost as many members of the media at the event as there were occupiers

Occupy Albany demands 3.jpg

OA Demands - Adriana.jpg
Adriana Lima came up from Brooklyn to speak out about how money in politics affects community development.

Occupy Albany Demands 5.jpg
Matthew Edge has been actively advocating for campaign finance reform for about seven years.

Occupy Albany Morrissey.jpg

Albany's Daniel Morrissey is with the group Water Equality. He's been with the Occupy Albany Movement from day on and announced today that he's organizing an Occupy DEC day on January 10th at the DEC building on Broadway, a march to the Capitol and a call for DEC employees to take a furlough day to engage in discussion with activists.


We have joined together to Occupy as an affirmation of the virtue of democracy, where each person has an equal voice in shaping our common future. While we come from diverse backgrounds and worldviews, we stand united in the recognition that our current system of governance is failing us- the voice of the People is drowned out by the corrupting influence that concentrated economic power exerts on the government. The interests of those who purchase influence are rewarded at the expense of the People, from whom the government's just power is derived. We believe that this failure in our system is at the core of many interconnected issues we face as a society, and its resolution is key to a just future. We therefore demand true democracy, unshackled from the corrosive influence of concentrated economic power, and call all who share in this common goal to stand with us and take action toward this end.

Earlier on AOA:
+ Arrests at Occupy Albany
+ Why they're occupying Albany


in other words, "Abolish the first amendment"

good luck with that one, gang. Go home guys, the party's been over for months now

I was worried from the start that the Occupy movement- whose concerns I sympathise with- would devolve into a punchline much like the tea party, and it would undermine their otherwise valid concerns. *sigh* I hate being right all the time. It's exhausting.

I'm confused.

"We therefore demand true democracy, unshackled from the corrosive influence of concentrated economic power, and call all who share in this common goal to stand with us and take action toward this end."

The statement implies that they are demanding that in order to unshackle politics from money, they want the nation to adopt true democracy, a synonym for the direct democracy that they practice at their meetings.

Was infliction lost in the transcription making it seem to state something other than it was intended?


It must be exhausting. While you were wearing yourself out being right, reality was happening. http://blog.timesunion.com/opinion/albany-occupy-keep-the-peace/16643/

"Look no further than the tax and jobs bill that passed at the state Capitol last week for evidence that a governor who has been publicly hostile to Occupy Albany was nonetheless getting the message, and quite possibly feeling the heat."

Or perhaps you missed Fred Lebrun's column. You were probably busy having an impact on important issues facing the state.

"With the millionaires' tax finally extended in one form or another, give the win to Occupy Albany and the loss to Gov. Andrew Cuomo."

Read more: http://www.timesunion.com/local/article/Taking-credit-but-for-what-2394818.php#ixzz1hBO7eW00

Now go get some rest. We'd hate for you to not be full of energy doing all that great stuff you do to make the world a better place.

We demand tax cuts for the 99% ONLY and not for the 1%.

Every time the government distributes stimulus money, social security, medicare, medicare, and now the NYS tax cuts the 1% is included.

HOWEVER, tax shelters and the Bush tax cuts were only for the 1%. There are no tax shelters for the 99%. Under Bush my income tax was INCREASED and the 1% went down.


And while you may think the tea party is a "punchline" you might want to read about what is happening in DC as a result of "tea party" republicans in the house.


“House Republicans are losing the public opinion battle,” Corker said -- a view shared by the Wall Street Journal’s editorial board, which typically supports Republican positions.

“Republicans have thoroughly botched the politics,” the board said in an editorial published today. “At this stage, Republicans would do best to cut their losses and find a way to extend the payroll holiday quickly.”

OWS inspired Lego sets for the children of the 99%!


This is probably a stupid question - but how do you get "abolish the first amendment" from that statement?

Code Monkey, relax, I'm on your side dude. Like I said, I support their cause(s). I'm just talking about public opinion, which seems to be wavering fast. Several times in the past week I've heard people in public talk about the movement & essentially say the same thing: that corporate millionaires/bankers etc don't care if a bunch of people they don't know sleep in a tent all winter. And then they chuckle with disgust and suggest that the occupiers take a shower.

Arielle: Consider that the anti-war movement in the '60s took years to build and activists and protestors were routinely disparaged by "people in public" for being dirty hippies, anti-American ("America: Love it or Leave It"), and misguided anti-establishment types. And there were heated arguments about the war and the direction of the country at kitchen tables across the country. Politics movements can be messy, especially when they challenge the status quo.

I'm all for exercising free speech and protesting as it warrants. However, where does "sleeping out" and sitting in a tent spread a message? How much protesting is acutally happening after 11PM?

Start charging for lodging. In New York State, camping in parks cost a minimum of $15 a day. At 30 tents, that's $450 a day. Backcharge for the last two months and Occupy has wrung up a bill of $27,000 already. At least the revenue would pay for some of the additional public services, police, and clean-up.

Occupy - you started as a movement, now you're old news and a public nuisance.

In New York State, camping in parks cost a minimum of $15 a day.

Patently untrue unless you do not consider the Adirondack and Catskill Parks "parks".

Granted, Academy Park isn't quite "backcountry" and they'd still be violating regulations, but this is really about the right to assemble peaceably.

"I'm just talking about public opinion"

Great. The people you hang out with don't think the Occupy movement is worthwhile and are under the impression that is a bunch of kids who need to take showers. And this makes them chuckle. I'm glad they are amused.

Have they met the people? Do you see anyone in those photos above that looks like they need a shower? What about the guy in the blazer holding a macbook?

I live within walking distance of the Occupy Albany site. It isn't a public nuisance to anyone who lives here. You know what is a public nuisance? Lark Fest. The St Patrick's day parade. Tulip Fest. People from suburbia who have state jobs and park in our neighborhoods and think nothing of throwing their McDonald's bags on the sidewalk. I know quite a bit about what is a public nuisance in this area. Occupy Albany ain't that.

^^ Nominee for Quote Of The Moment ^^

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