One of the main complaints about Occupy Wall Street is that, despite their initial billing, they do not have “one demand.” Adbusters, who helped started this movement does have one demand planned, they want to add a 1% tax on all financial transactions and currency trades in the world.
Thinking about how Adbusters intends to transform the wide variety of voices participating in the Occupy Wall Street protests into a singular voice on a singular issue, I thought I would offer a few other options.
1. Tough enforcement of Dodd-Frank—There is a fair bit of worry from people who think Dodd-Frank didn’t go far enough to make sure “too big to fail” doesn’t happen again. Even worse, the implementation of Dodd-Frank might be softer than intended because businesses will flex their muscle and their money in order to be regulated as little as possible. If OWS-folk started to wave signs saying, “Enforce Dodd-Frank or the people will”—or less inflammatory—“The 99% are behind tough enforcement of Dodd-Frank” this issue would come to the forefront.
2. Target Citizens United—We have seen a little of this, signs saying things like, “I won’t believe corporations are people until they execute one in Texas” but we could see a lot more of this. For more on this idea check out Dahlia Lithwick’s article on slate.
3. Advocate for a Jobs Bill—Obama is now trying to pass his Jobs Bill in pieces. NPR is in fact constantly comparing this piecemeal set of Job bills to putting less meat in a sandwich. Most people see this as a defeat for those who want to lessen unemployment… but OWS could see this as an opportunity. They could hold breakout sessions in which they write their own Job Bills, effectively adding meat to the President’s sandwich. After these bills were written they would then have to go through the hard work of rallying the troops to email and call their representatives, exerting people powered pressure in order to grease the wheels of our great representative democracy and show the world that the dream of ancient Athens, and the dream penned in that Philadelphia state house nearly two hundred and twenty five years ago—of people shaping their own destiny through compromise, persuasion, and rightly representing the voice, the vision, and the needs, of the 99%--is still alive and well.