A great battle is coming. The 2012 elections are our chance to turn the tide back toward real democracy, but we must begin immediately. Only by organizing for a democratic revolution now can we break the hold of corporate criminals over our elections and take real power in 2012, legitimately and nonviolently.
Thanks to Occupy Wall Street and the 99 percent movement, millions of Americans are finally shaking off the depression and torpor of the past decade, heeding the mass-consciousness call to reclaim power from corporatist forces that have hijacked our country, our planet, and our future. We may not all have taken to the streets yet, but we will. Or we'll contribute in other creative, personally liberating ways, pitching in with prison-break fervor to unblock the channels of revolutionary energy.
Despite the jeering of the corporate media, the Occupy movement is not going to fade away, burn out or be crushed like the radical movements of the 60s and 70s. The Occupy movement is going to change the world, because the world itself has arrived at a momentous crossroads where change is inevitable. Occupy is part of an unstoppable transformation – the contractions of a new world desperate to be born, based on a renewal of community, tolerance, justice and deep respect for all life. A sane, resilient world capable of withstanding the ecological, climatic and economic upheavals we can no longer avoid.
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Now is the time to prepare, in this newly awakened, prerevolutionary phase, for Occupy Elections 2012. Because the closer we get to democratically taking power – when candidates emerge who support the positions and demands of the 99 percent – the more certain we can be that our elections will be rigged.
Anarchists and many younger activists today reject representative democracy as unviable. They are rightly disgusted with the macabre, corporate-sponsored, electoral charade we endure every two years like a recurring nightmare. The Occupy movement has already birthed a powerful new form of roots-down direct democracy, where learning to communicate and really hearing each other is the first step toward rebuilding our shattered and alienated communities.
So, do elections matter anymore? Is representative democracy for the People even possible?
Wherever you are on the revolutionary road, whoever you are in your mind and soul, we ask you to please listen to the message we're conveying today, and consider how it impacts your activism in the coming year.
American elections are not going away any time soon. They are rigged, and we must end the rigging – for the sake of our planet and its 7 billion people, entwined in complex technological and social systems that do require some form of representative government to function.
Our electoral process is rigged in the following ways:
- Corporate personhood and the legal determination that money equals speech.
- Corporate campaign financing and lobbying; billions to buy our elected representatives.
- Corporate restriction of candidate access to the media and to participation in vital debates.
- Corporate media exit polling, which often alters results to manufacture a false “red shift” of rightward-moving electoral outcomes.
- Manipulation of electoral structures and mechanisms
- Partisan redistricting, which re-draws electoral district maps that favor a particular party.
- Voter ID laws that disenfranchise young, poor and minority voters.
- Fraudulent purging of voter rolls, including “caging” – removing a voter from the rolls or discarding their vote based on the return of direct mail to their listed address, a practice found to be used fraudulently and with racial bias, making it illegal under the Voting Rights Act.
- Disenfranchisement of felons, many poor, black or Hispanic, and convicted on drug offenses.
- The centralized rigging of computerized voting machines.
The battle to topple the corporatocracy must strategically attack all of these points. But for the purpose of this call to action – Occupy Rigged Elections – we're going to focus on the last, least understood bullet point: computerized election fraud.
In the end, how ballots are counted – the central control mechanism of democracy – could prove the easiest piece to reclaim; our first real step toward radically shifting power back toward the people.
Computerized Vote Rigging Is a Democratic Cancer
Undiagnosed, spreading through our nation's bones, centralized election rigging has been undermining the health of our democracy for decades, eating away at it from within, leaving us exhausted and hopeless – though unsure of why we're so sick.
But let's get something clear up front: not every election is rigged, so don't be confused by the few decent people who managed to get into office and stay there. First, ask yourself this question: Have they stopped the corporatist takeover? The answer is no.
Pay attention to the balance of power; watch it tipping ever further toward the corporatist/fascist side of the scale. Meanwhile, the spectacle of democracy maintains a pacified public. In other words, they will let some of “our” people in, or let some of our initiatives pass, while they keep winning more power, overall. Additionally – not all elections are easy to rig, and some have far higher stakes. But there is one constant in the equation:
Every election can be rigged. Undetectably.
If this is news to you, hang on to your hat. Once you understand how the machinery of the American voting system actually works, you're going to feel a little stunned, as if you came home from a three month vacation to discover you left your keys hanging in the front door.
Over the past 40 years – since computers first came online for use in processing and reporting votes – our secretaries of state and election supervisors have literally sold our democratic system to a small criminal cadre of extreme right-wing and religious ideologues who lurk behind shady voting machine companies. The top three are Diebold (purchased by ES&S in 2009), ES&S, and Sequoia Pacific (purchased by Dominion). They manufactured the majority of voting machines and software that secretly count our ballots.
Read it again. Let it sink in.
Yes, it's insane. For this reason alone, we have every reason to have lost faith in electoral democracy, but as you can see, we need to understand why it is failing. We need to know whose big, fat, dirty thumb is on the scale. We need to know how we lost our power before we can hope to reclaim it.
Hand-Counted Paper Ballots NOW!
This is the organic solution. Properly designed, cast in see-through plastic boxes, counted by hand, in public, on election day, with a stringent set of safeguards and a vigilant public – paper ballots can deliver fast results and provide a fully transparent and accountable voting system. Attempted fraud can be detected and prevented. Conversely, computerized election theft is accomplished secretly, within the “proprietary” software owned by the corporations who manufacture the machines.
Did you know that no one – not even an election supervisor – is allowed to view the software?
Did you know that the Vulnerability Assessment Team (VAT) at the US Department of Energy's (DOE) Argonne National Laboratory in Illinois just hacked a Diebold Accuvote touch-screen voting machine by remote control with $26 in computer parts?
We know these things because a small group of American election integrity activists have been working tirelessly, without much recognition or compensation, to compile a mountain of evidence:
- Detailing the criminal histories and the partisan and extremist ties of the voting machine manufacturers
- Demonstrating how the machines can be rigged and hacked
- Exposing Department of Justice (DOJ) coverups of election fraud evidence
- Exposing the roll of the corporate media in aiding and abetting election fraud
See the resource list at the end of this article to learn more. Get informed. Take action, and please help us fight back – WE NEED YOU.
Democracy is our birthright, but it has never been fully realized. We've had to fight and die for the right to fight and die for it. It's a dream, a shared vision, a work in progress that has been derailed. Though some activists idealize earlier times – pre-industrial, communal, tribal – we can't go backwards, only forward. What do we want today? Tomorrow? What do we want for ourselves and our children?
We want our damn democracy back.
We want the chance to make it real for the first time, with our own candidates who truly represent the needs of the people, and with a safe voting system accountable to the people.
Help us organize to secure hand-counted paper ballots before the 2012 elections. This is something we can do, if we start now. The stakes of those elections could not be higher.
Join Occupy Rigged Elections on Facebook, started by activists responsible for the historic occupation of the Statehouse in Madison, Wisconsin. They are organizing now to recall Koch-brother puppet Gov. Scott Walker in 2012.
We only have a small window of opportunity. Let's make 2012 the year we took our country back.
To learn more: