The Washington, D.C. faction of the Occupy movement is slated to issue a response to President Barack Obama's State of the Union address Tuesday.
From their encampment in McPherson Square in D.C., Occupiers are expected to deliver their message via the “people’s microphone,” a system of call-and-response where one person reads part of a statement and the crowd then repeats it.
An organizer for Occupy D.C. tells the Atlantic Wire that their group didn't coordinate with the larger Occupy Wall Street movement.
Choire Sicha at The Awl gives a preview from an embargoed press release sent around to reporters, writing that it's strangely "off-key":
The language of the speech is bombastic yet vague, unspecific and sort of... narcissistic? Lots of rambling about how politics is bought and paid for, yadda yadda. (I mean, yes, that's true! But it's just atmospherics; why not name some names then?) About half of its claims are reminiscent of the Tea Party. (To be fair, Occupy and the Tea Party share about a 50% base common interest! Which is good and fascinating!) What's worse about the planned speech is: it's vaguely poetic without at all being poetry.
Their rebuttal is expected to be streamed live, via Occupy DC's UStream account.
Below, Occupy's entire statement:
This 2012 "State of the 99%" response to the State of the Union will be delivered by a group of Occupiers assembled outside in a well-lit spot at McPherson Square following the conclusion of the President's State of the Union address and/or the Tea Party response. The presentation will unfold this way: one participant will begin in the center/front of the group, in the middle of the camera frame, surrounded by the others. That person will deliver the first line of the speech, and will then be echoed by the People's Mic. That person will then read their second line, and as the People's Mic echoes the second line, that person will move off to the side and rejoin the group, while another person will step into the center spot to read the next two lines, with each line again echoed by the People's Mic. This will continue, cycling through the crowd, with each person reading two lines and being echoed by the People's Mic.
Mic check! [mic check] Mic check! [mic check]
Fellow Americans, good evening! [Fellow Americans, good evening!]
We are men and women of the 99 percent
Many of us have spent many months at Occupy Wall Street
and at other Occupations across the country and around the world
We are here tonight to report on the State of the 99 percent in America
Of course most Americans know the state of the 99 percent very well
But sometimes the one percent, on Wall Street and in Washington, need a reminder
Financially, the state of the 99% is not strong
That is an understatement.
Never in our lifetimes have so many hard-working Americans
Faced so many difficulties, so many uncertainties, so many indignities
In Occupy camps around the country
We find Americans from all walks of life
[3 personal story couplets]
Some of us have had it rougher than others
And it turns out living in camps is no picnic either
But we do not give up easily
And we take inspiration from the brave Americans who came before us
From Dr. King, who gave his life fighting for economic justice
From the Suffragettes, who insisted the voice of women be heard
From all of those brave or foolish enough to believe in America's defining idea
theidea of democracy
That we are all created equal
And we all have an equal voice in shaping the laws we all live by
Let's be honest.
When our courts tell us corporations have more right to speak than we the people do
That's not democracy.
When pepper spray and midnight raids make a joke of the 1st Amendment right to assemble.
That's not democracy.
When defrauding clients, blowing up our economy, forging thousands of documents and seizing people’s homes illegally is not a crime
but protesting all that is a crime
That's not democracy.
Our America is not a democracy, not yet.
We all know why: Wall street owns Washington.
Bribery is legal, and the laws we live by are for sale to the highest bidder
That is why our government serves the very rich and powerful
at the expense of the rest of us
It protects the bonuses of bankers and Wall Street executives,
while failing to keep hard-working families in their homes;
It shields offshore tax havens for the very wealthy,
while letting our bridges, schools, and infrastructure fall apart;
There have been dark periods in our nation's history, when corruption became the norm
when grave injustices stood in the way of America living up to its best ideals.
But time and time again, Americans stepped up to take back their government and correct our course.
Today Occupy Wall Street and the 99% movement step into this proud American tradition.
But fear not, one percent!
We are not here just to help the 99% at your expense.
We are here to help you too.
For when you've begun to think rigging the game is fair game
When you regard hard-working Americans as undeserving of a middle-class life
and unworthy of the profit their own work creates
When you treat the people who build your buildings and serve your food and raise your children and patrol your streets
You have not only lost touch with our humanity
You have lost touch with your own humanity
You need to find it again, for everyone's sake
Real democracy will do you good
We are the 99%
We are here to create the democracy we have all been promised.
We are the 99%.
Our finances are weak, but our spirit is strong.
We are the 99%.
Our spring is coming.
BEFORE YOU GO
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