“It’s a new dawn, it’s a new day…”
“What is Occupy Dallas?”
#OccupyDallas is a movement in the city of Dallas, Texas that began when over a thousand individuals marched from Pike Park to the Federal Reserve Bank on Oct. 6, 2011. We continue to stand in solidarity with Occupy Wall Street— a.k.a #OWS — and wish to draw public attention to the social inequality, economic injustice and political corruption affecting the 99%. The saying “99%” refers to citizens of the United States who make less than the top 1% of wealth controllers. #OccupyDallas is only one of over 2,600 cities across the world participating in demonstrations.
OccupyDallas attends state, national and international conferences regularly. On a state level, conference calls are used to coordinate efforts and create a cohesive message throughout the state of Texas. Information is passed from state to state usually through the use of e-mail lists, social media and by phone. International Assemblies are held throughout the week which are hosted by the Indignados/M15 movement in Spain through the use of a communications program called Mumble.
On November 16 at 11:46 p.m. an e-mail was sent by a representative of Mary Suhm, the City Manager of Dallas, indicating that she had given the order for police to clear out the encampment behind City Hall. Over 150 police officers, 20 horse-mounted officers, a police helicopter, an LRAD weapon and 70 Police SUVs were involved in the removal of the OccupyDallas camp. At the heart of the encampment, riot police found 5 women and 12 men holding American flags and reciting the pledge of allegiance.
Police Chief Brown of the Dallas Police Department has defended the action claiming that no extra tax dollars were spent during the raid and that these precautions were necessary to protect the officers.
Despite what appears to be a common media gaffe, Occupy Dallas has clearly outlined the reason for their presence several times. OccupyDallas demonstrates for the following reasons:
- Unfair treatment and discrimination against individuals based on Gender, Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity, Race, National Origin, Physical Ability or any other factor that minimizes any person’s individual worth
- The commoditization of individual privacy
- Profit driven news sources with individual agendas
- Narrow definitions of what constitutes a family;
- Widespread deregulation that has eliminated common sense regulations that have insured long term prosperity and protection from predatory business practices
- A Tax code that is cumbersome and rife with loopholes and language that favors an economic minority at the expense of the majority of wage earners
- A Supreme Court decision that has put into place the unprecedented concept of extending first amendment protections to political donations
- Jeopardizing the future of social security through privatization investment schemes.
- By reducing funding to our education system our future generations are provided a lesser education that previous generations received because of increased class size and reduced resources
- Because of decreasing funding individuals are saddled with higher student loan debt
- A political system where even the most perfunctory tasks of government are partisan battles;
- A general degradation of the employer and employee relationship namely
a. the practice referred to as “dead peasants” insurance policies where by companies profit from the death of individuals.
b. the elimination of traditional pension and retirement arrangements in favor of 401 (k) investment vehicles.
c. outsourcing of jobs
d. eliminating paid sick leave
e. eliminating paid maternity leave
f. relying on part-time workers rather than investing in full time employees
g. scheduling work hours to insure that employees cannot obtain offered benefits
h. failing to provide a livable wage
i. reducing and eliminating employer based health care coverage
- Incredible income disparity between management and employees.
- Active discouragement and intimidation of unionization of the workforce
- Instituting illogical accounting practices
- Engaging in unethical business practices that jeopardize the long term financial stability of the country
- Viewing financial profit as more important than the individual worth of a people.
In addition, OccupyDallas has strategically targeted a variety of financial institutions throughout the city. OccupyDallas has outlined in various actions, blogs and news articles the following:
Due to the irresponsible and criminal actions of a few giant multinational financial institutions, the late 2000’s will forever be remembered as the age of the Great Global Recession. The United States government gave billions and billions of dollars to these crooked financial institutions claiming they were “too big to fail” and that their demise would crash our economy for sure. A portion of the tax dollars that had been given to these banks landed back in the pockets of the same politicians in the form of campaign contributions. In a similar fashion, the executives of these banks gave themselves exuberant bonuses and used taxpayer dollars to buy private jets, fund luxurious retreats and even to pay for country club memberships.
Where do we go from here?
By consensus of the General Assembly of Dallas, OccupyDallas has decided to continue protesting. We feel the forced removal of our camp violated the agreement with City Hall. The raid did however give our organizers enough time to contemplate a better alternative to staying put out of sight. The following is a description of how our occupation will continue:
There will no longer be a distinction between an occupier and a supporter. All supporters that join us on a daily basis will be occupiers. Utilizing crosswalks and sidewalks our occupiers will not be subject to selective enforcement of sidewalk codes by the Dallas Police Department. This more visible public display will help highlight Mayor Rawlings and City Manager Mary Suhm’s wasteful use of DPD resources.
Occupiers will come and go as they are able; some will rotate in designated shifts. All protesters will carry signage relevant to our cause. We will hold teach-ins at parks located in the heart of downtown to educate the people about corporate greed and political corruption. We will continue to collect donations for our cause from citizens of the city to feed our occupiers and winterize our movement.
Where our occupation behind city hall was concealed and motionless, our occupation in the heart of Dallas will be jubilant and animated. Before, where we were unknown, we will now be outstanding and recognizable. Our message will be clear and concise. Our ranks will swell and our voices will be heard.
To those that wish to hide the atrocities committed by our government and our global financial institutions, let it be known: We will out you. We will expose you as the enemy of JUSTICE and EQUALITY.
We are the 99% and you should have expected us.
If you would like to donate towards food or winter gear, you can do so online here: OccupyDallas WePay!
If you would like more information regarding the Occupation of Downtown Dallas, e-mail us here: OccupyOps@gmail.com