Child in polka dot participates in Occupy Lexington. Photo by Stephen Shephard.
One percent of Americans currently control nearly 40% of our country’s wealth. We are the 99%. We occupy Lexington, KY in solidarity with the Occupy Wall Street movement and hundreds of others across the globe. We are the majority whom the system has failed. We are each, if not already there, one disaster away from financial ruin. We are individuals who demand transformation of the American political and economic system, which breeds corruption and injustice. We have gathered here to dissolve the bonds between corporations and government, both of which were brought into existence by the people—the former to employ Americans, and the latter to fairly represent them and foster conditions for the economic prosperity of all. These entities have instead colluded to create policies used to facilitate short-term financial gain among the few at the expense of the well being of the many.Our pursuit of happiness, in terms of housing, healthcare, and job stability, is not secure in a system that entraps its people in economic slavery. Our political representatives have funneled wealth to the top 1%, promising that it would ‘trickle down’ to the rest of us. This financial experiment has failed repeatedly. For decades, our national prosperity has enriched the top 1% while the vast majority have languished. The rich have instituted credit as a facade of wealth, placing our economic future in toxic assets. We are in a financial drought while the 1% are soaked in profit as a result of their ability to manipulate the political process.
We are here to represent, support, and elevate the majority, who have been excluded from the benefits of this system. We stand up for the unemployed, for the underemployed, and for those who are fully employed but continue to struggle. We occupy Lexington for current and future generations who have inherited injustices that stem from short-sighted policy making. We have endured poverty, prejudice, discrimination, and the pollution of our planet. These grievous conditions exist alongside an expensive education system that fails to prepare young people for productive work; the stifling of imagination and creativity that comes with the demise of arts and humanities programs in schools; the demonization and criminalization of large portions of our communities; and the dismantling of our healthcare system for the purpose of feeding the pharmaceutical industry, while we as citizens enjoy little to no political representation.
Our movement is a call to all individuals to become actively involved in the financial, political, environmental, and social decisions that impact our lives and the well being of those around us. We are working to create a world in which everyone can live by providing an example of a decentralized, cooperative, egalitarian community that functions on a national and international level. It is through organizations such as these that we will build foundations upon which communities can meaningfully address the myriad issues threatening our very survival.
We, the people of the occupation of Lexington, KY, seeking to shift the path of our community and the nation; reestablish justice and ensure economic, social, and democratic equality; and to promote the general welfare of the 99%, hereby establish this document as a proposal for the United States of America. This is a living document, an can be amended at any time by consensus of the Lexington General Assembly.