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99% Declaration Calls For A “Continental Congress 2.0”

"Perhaps George Orwell was nearly correct in his novel "1984"; simply substitute his vision of English socialism with American corporatism and you have the current conundrum in the United States."

Lawrence Lessig, Catherine Crier to Headline

Independence Day Rally in Philadelphia

Thu Apr 19, 2012 4:03pm EDT
  PHILADELPHIA, PA, Apr 19 (Marketwire) -- 
Today, the 99% Working Group (/press_release_03_12/ and Rootstrikers
( announced that the July 2-4, 2012 Philadelphia
convention, known as Continental Congress 2.0, will conclude in front of
Independence Hall with closing ceremonies featuring Harvard Law Professor
Lawrence Lessig, former judge Catherine Crier and other prominent
speakers. An unveiling of a Petition for Redress of Grievances, crafted
by hundreds of delegates from around the nation will be the focus of the
rally. Lessig and Crier, civic activists and national leaders in the
effort to address the corrupting influence of wealth on U.S. politics and
government, are expected to remind the delegates that drafting a petition
is only the first step and charge them with responsibility for taking
their words and using them as the basis for action. "We're honored and
excited to have them with us," said Dan Franco, an event organizer,
speaking of Lessig and Crier. "They're among the few people of national
stature who have been willing to stand up for ordinary people and
denounce the corruption and tyranny of big money." Continental Congress
2.0 will meet in Philadelphia from July 2nd through 4th, putting the
finishing touches on a proposed Petition that's been drafted, debated,
and discussed for months on the Internet. "After reading Larry Lessig's
book, Republic Lost: How Money Corrupts Congress -- and a Plan to Stop
It, which discusses these issues," said Dawn Hale, who is running for
Delegate, "I feel like I'm not alone. So many people are apathetic. So
many are convinced that change is impossible and that money always wins.
Lessig reminds me that the pessimists are wrong." Working from an
original list of 20 points cobbled together on the Brooklyn Bridge and in
Zucotti Park during the first heady days of Occupy Wall Street, online
activists have honed the document down to its essence, and will hold an
unprecedented Internet election in early June organized by Votenet
Solutions, Inc. ( to choose hundreds of delegates for a
marathon final drafting session and ratification vote on Independence
Day. They'll then march to Independence National Historical Park, present
the final product of their labors, and celebrate the First Amendment.
Crier and Lessig will help them put their work in historical perspective
and urge them to take the necessary next steps. Crier has delivered a
powerful rallying cry in her new book, Patriot Acts -- What Americans
Must Do to Save the Republic. "I've looked up to Catherine Crier since
the very first time I heard her speak," said Kian Barabi, another
Delegate candidate. "After three days of working to put my hopes and
dreams down on paper, in a document the First Amendment says the
government has to pay attention to, hearing her in person will lift me
up. It'll lift us all up." To vote in this historic online election or
run as a delegate to Continental Congress 2.0, visit and sign up to re-boot American democracy.

    There is a Solution!

    Documents and/or Photos available for this release:


Monday, March 22, 2012

Title: 99% Declaration Calls For A “Continental Congress 2.0”

Sub-Heading: “What we have in common is revulsion at how money has perverted 21st-Century American democracy.”

Philadelphia, PA – Inspired by our founding fathers and mothers, the activities of the Occupy movement and broadcasters like Thom Hartmann and Dylan Ratigan, the 99% Working Group ( announced additional details today about its plan for a nationwide election of delegates to convene a National General Assembly in Philadelphia the week of July 4, 2012.  The secure election of delegates will be conducted by Votenet Solutions, Inc. and take place during the weekend of June 1, 2012. To participate, you must register to vote at

The delegates will now include two people from Puerto Rico and two from Washington, D.C. bringing the total number of expected delegates to 878, one man and one woman from each of the 435 congressional districts and one delegate from each U.S. Territory.  463 people have already registered as delegate candidates. "The American people are demanding effective and dramatic reforms that will empower everyday Americans,” said Michael Pollok, an attorney and co-founder of the 99% Working Group which is responsible for the planning and funding of the National General Assembly.  

According to organizers, the purpose of the conference in Philadelphia is to write and ratify a “petition for redress of grievances” to be served upon the federal government before the November elections. The group is relying upon small donations raised on its website to pay for the $40,000 election and $35,000 venue where the National General Assembly will meet. Robert Manning, a long time activist and organizer of the convention added, “We need to restore democracy and throw the corporatists out.  These politicians have turned all three branches of the U.S. government into a tool of the hyper-rich. The government must recognize that there is a fourth, more powerful, branch of government called the American people.”  

After the petition is ratified and served, the delegates will demand a public pledge from all elected officials to redress the grievances immediately upon taking office. It is expected that the number of final grievances and solutions will be about ten rather than the 21 suggested grievances on the group's website.  

“Our goals are no different from our country’s founders who met in Philadelphia at the First Continental Congress for similar purpose,” offered Karlie Cole, 99% Working Group member and the group’s web designer. “Only our demographics and tools are different. Last time around, the drafters were white male landholders or elite professionals who traveled on foot or horseback to Philadelphia. Our movement might better be called ‘Continental Congress 2.0’ because these delegates come from all walks of American life and will be elected online.”

David Itkin, a delegate candidate from Virginia remarked that “Occupy has proven our mettle but defying “The Man” and taking over public spaces -while inspirational- is hardly a method for reforming and governing a continental nation.” Itkin’s observation highlights the basic split in philosophy that have caused groups like the New York City General Assembly to disavow the National General Assembly, an example of representative democracy. A local direct democracy model is favored by Occupy encampments.  “An ethic of leaderless, consensus-oriented decision-making animates many Occupiers but it is inadequate for national direct political action,” said Itkin.

Pollok says he is sympathetic, “I understand why the New York City General Assembly distrusts representative democracy and fears “co-opting” by Occupy spin-off groups like ours. We started in Zuccotti Park and I get it that Occupy does not want to bargain with the politicians who have sold out in exchange for a flow of super-PAC money. But with 150 million people living in poverty or low income households, a shortage of affordable housing and record unemployment, time is short to alleviate this suffering and imminent threat to our national security. In my opinion, occupations and protests will not end the corporate state and a petition for redress of grievances is a first, constitutional, and powerful step towards dismantling corporate control of our country and calculated disenfranchisement of millions of Americans,” observed Pollok.

Maureen Mower, a delegate candidate from Pennsylvania’s 11th District remarked that, “this document is an exercise of our Constitutional right to put all politicians on notice that the people they represent do not approve of how they are representing us and therefore demand that they must cut through the petty partisan politics and redress the American people's top concerns or they will face the consequences at the ballot box in 2012 and 2014.” The draft document includes some of the following suggested grievances and solutions:

Elimination of the Corporate State

Overturning the “Citizens United” Case. 

Elimination of All Private Benefits to Public Servants.

Review and Reform of the Federal Reserve Banking System. 

Ending the Electoral College and Enactment of Uniform Federal Election Rules

Debt Reduction. 

Foreclosure Moratorium, Mortgage Refinancing and Principal Write Downs. 

Banking and Securities Reform.

Jobs for All Americans.

A Fair Tax Code.

Health Care for All.

Student Loan Debt Refinancing.

Ending Perpetual War for Profit.

End Outsourcing and Currency Manipulation.

Ending the War in Afghanistan and Care of Veterans.

No Censorship of the Internet.

Reinstitution of Civil Rights Including the Repeal of the NDAA.

For more information about voting, running or to contribute to the venue and election fund please go to or at



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Showing 2 reactions

Carol Brouillet commented 2012-06-11 16:33:39 -0700 · Flag
In 2009 there was a Transpartisan Citizens Summit held in Denver, Colorado that brought together people from across the political spectrum to find there strongest areas of agreement. There were some great speeches, workshops to improve people’s capacity to listen, collaborate, get to know one another and build trust. One technoliogical tool that we used was a device with the ability to register strong agreement to strong disagreement on a scale of one to ten, which helped us to see how we felt colectively about the various issues that were brought up. I hope that a similar device can be used to poll delegates at the Continental Congress in Philadelphia, to find common ground and identify the main issues that we need to address. I have my own issues, which I’d like to champion in Philadelphia, but I recognize that we are unlikely to be a truly representative bunch of people reflecting the deeply held values and belief systems of typical Americans these days.
kenneth weston commented 2012-05-16 20:02:32 -0700 · Flag
a very good summery of what I want to join. I am glad there is distinction between the New York General Assembly and the National General Assembly. God Bless America
Continental Congress 2.0
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