I am going to the Occupy Wall Street protests this weekend, and I hope to circulate a list of demands that a wide variety of groups and individuals can endorse. Here is my list of what many of us want:
1. A federal works program to employ 10 million people in construction, community service, education, and green technology
2. Allow all underwater homeowners to refinance mortgages based on current home values.
3. Prosecute bankers and investors involved in fraudulent loans and related derivatives.
4. Prosecute people who authorized or committed torture.
5. A federal investment in green technologies and research.
6. A community service program so college students can forgive their loans.
7. The end to police intimidation of protesters.
8. A tax system that makes the wealthy pay their fair share and a tax for financial transactions.
9. A commitment to fight climate change.
10. A withdrawal from Afghanistan and Iraq.
11. A freeze of healthcare premiums.
12. Protect Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid.
13. Support the right to unionize.
14. A new campaign finance reform.
While the media complains that the amorphous protests have no single theme, it may be possible to organize around a set of common demands. I will report back on my return.