During a highly disorganized conference call on Tuesday night, leaders from The99Spring.com identified their top priorities for the Occupy movement this spring to be confronting corporate power and taking back “our” democracy.
Representatives from the New Organizing Institute, National Peoples Action, Occupy Wall Street and other Left Wing groups made plans to take on the student loan industry, shareholders meetings, home lenders and the energy sector during their Spring offensive.
When they weren’t talking over each other or battling bad connections, the Occupy leaders highlighted the importance of May Day as an opportunity to coordinate with labor movements to “unite in a general strike against the system that doesn’t work for us.”
An Occupy Wall Street organizer named Ari spoke of “a day without the 99%” claiming that the one percent is only able to make profits by taking them from the 99%. By taking to the streets and creating an alternate system based on sharing resources in a way that is “mutually helpful,” he argued, the country would see that “the one percent needs us to function, but the 99% don’t need the one percent.”
In addition to efforts to organize around May Day, the activists discussed plans to disrupt shareholders’ meetings for Verizon and Wal-Mart, as well as student lender Sallie Mae. With the ultimate goal of being arrested, protesters hope to “create a crisis” for corporations.
Tuesday night’s call, which lasted over an hour, was peppered with the language of class warfare, frequently calling out corporations as tax dodgers and disparaging the wealthy as “one percenters.” The call evidenced the fact that, as the Occupy movement drifts further away from its roots as an effort to occupy public spaces, its organizers continue to struggle with advancing their cause of fighting against corporations and the wealthy.