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A DECLARATION FROM OCCUPY SANTA ROSA

The following message was approved by the general assembly of the Occupy Santa Rosa movement on Nov. 16:

We, the people of Occupy Santa Rosa, supporters of the 99 percent are a diverse group of community members committed to addressing the appalling injustices that run through our society, economy and politics.

On the grounds of Santa Rosa City Hall, as well as in our personal and community relationships, we are creating a space for dialogue, democracy and nonviolent activism to re-enter and re-energize the American political landscape. We know that the current distribution of wealth and power in the United States is damaging to everyone and that we must be part of the solution if we want this to change.

* Resist -- We resist the corporate control of our financial system, our political system and our lives. We are ruled by a Congress and dominated by an economic system that neither represent nor recognize our true interests and dreams. We will engage in nonviolent direct action and civil disobedience when necessary to reveal and transform these ills and injustices, and the tragedy of our nation's economic story. We stand on the shoulders of Henry David Thoreau, Mohandas K. Gandhi, Rosa Parks, Martin Luther King, Jr. and countless others who have resisted injustice before us, and from that vantage point we will find our way.

* Relate -- We insist that it is in personal, face-to-face relationships with one another that democracy must be restored. Our process is as important as our protest. We make decisions as a community using consensus, and in our General Assembly and in our Working Groups, we work creatively and respectfully to include everyone's perspectives. We know that it is only by reaching out, looking one another in the eye, and telling our own stories that we can truly understand the economic damage that has been done in our country and that we can begin to rebuild our dreams.

* Reclaim -- We reclaim public space as a space of open dialogue and democracy, community and compassion. We reclaim our political voices and our political process. We reclaim our vulnerable, courageous bodies and our very lives. We reclaim personhood from the corporations that have hijacked both humanity and the earth to serve their inhumane ends. We will not be spoken for or to anymore. We will speak for ourselves and take an active part in the processes that shape our lives.

* Regenerate -- We seek not only to restore the political and economic landscape but to make it better -- more just, more representative, more beautiful.

We invite all community members to join us in this movement, from wherever you are, as we work to create a world where everyone's voice is truly heard.

Amy Robinson, a Santa Rosa resident, is part of the Occupy Santa Rosa Media and Messaging Working Group.

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