As veterans of the Civil Rights, Women’s, Peace, Environmental, LGBTQ, Immigrant Justice, labor rights and other movements of the last 60 years we are convinced that Occupy Wall Street is a continuation, a deepening and expansion of the determination of the diverse peoples of our nation to transform our country into a more democratic, just and compassionate society—a more perfect union. We believe that the rapidly expanding and racialized impoverishment of our population, the rise of mass incarceration, the celebration of the culture of war and violence all create the bitter divisions among the peoples of our nation and throughout the world. Indeed, we believe such developments among us ultimately diminish the quality of life for all humanity, beginning with our own children who watch as we lower the priority for their care and education.
We applaud the miraculous extent to which the Occupy initiative has been non-violent and democratic, especially in light of the weight of violence under which the great majority of people are forced to live, including joblessness, foreclosures, unemployment, poverty, inadequate health care, etc. Among the Council of Elders, we place the highest value on the role of compassion and non-violent action in our personal and organizational lives. From that hard-won grounding in the humanizing movements of the 20th century we seek to support and join with Occupy Wall Street in contributing to the dreams and visions of many in this nation for a beloved community, a multi-generational, multi-racial, compassionate, democratic society with equality, liberty and justice for all—always searching for partners in the creation of a more peaceful, sustainable world, a world with living, loving and growing space for all of our children.