Occupy Wall Street Updates: National Convention In the Works? More Occupy Songs and Clashes Overseas

Occupy Wall Street and its sister occupations around the world continue to gain steam. At home, the protesters have directed the national dialogue away from "deficit" and towards distribution of wealth, a major win.

Here are some updates from around the web.

A new working group has formed to try to convene a national General Assembly to meet in Philadelphia just like the original  Founding Fathers did--on July 4th, no less. The goal would be to petition congress with a list of grievances. It's quite a fascinating idea, and worth reading the proposal at length. UPDATE: However it should be noted that this is in no way an official plan nor is necessarily endorsed by the collective currently occupying Zuccotti Park.

The People, consisting of all United States citizens who have reached the age of 18, regardless of party affiliation and voter registration status, shall elect Two Delegates, one male and one female, by direct vote, from each of the existing 435 Congressional Districts to represent the People at the NATIONAL GENERAL ASSEMBLY in Philadelphia. Said Assembly shall convene on July 4, 2012 in the city of Philadelphia.  "

Meanwhile, within the occupations, efforts at incorporating voices of people of color and other marginalized communities continue to grow. A great new blog called "In Front and Center" has arived to combine solidarity with the 99% and criticism of the movement at the same time. Well worth bookmarking as the occupations spread and face inevitable stresses:

We are a group that has been participating in the Occupy Wall Street movement. We are part of the 99% and are united in solidarity with all those who are fighting to change the direction in this country.  As participants of this occupation, we also believe that solidarity and criticism go together. We are people of color and allies who want to ensure that the voices, experiences and issues of the most oppressed and marginalized communities are in the front and center of this movement.

The literary community has embraced Occupy Wall Street. In fact, so many people have been visiting occupywriters.com to see whether their favorite authors are standing with the 99% that the servers are crashing. But htat didn't stop Commentary magazine from running a diatribe against the site and declaring the writers (many of the nation's best, the writer said begrudgingly) who have signed on to be idiots who are betraying their calling. Or something. Signatory Salman Rushdie tweeted: "Hurray! I'm an Idiot Who Hates Freedom!  says so, so it's true! "

You know what they say about bad publicity from Commentary...

Meanwhile, away from potshots thrown by literary and journalistic elites, the movement continues worldwide. Here is the Guardian on the protests in London which are proceeding peacefully and in Greece, where a general strike has been calledand clashes with police are occurring. Pictures of the action in Greece are here.

 Back home again, here's another hip-hope anthem for the protests, filmed on site and with very specific rhymes that address the protests quite eloquently. Have a listen!

AlterNet / By Sarah Seltzer

Posted at October 19, 2011, 7:43am

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