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Occupy Wall Street Protesters Call for National General Assembly, Put Forward Possible Demands

Earlier this week, members of the Occupy Wall Street (OWS) movement in New York put forth a call to convene a non-partisan National General Assembly in early 2012 and released a draft of demands. Now in it’s fifth week, the nature of the movement itself has been the biggest obstacle to the formation of a cohesive list of demands. While Occupy demonstrations have expanded around the globe, many protestors have come out against the idea of presenting demands at all. “Demands are disempowering since they require someone else to respond,” Gabriel Willow, a protester, told the New York Times. “It’s not like we couldn’t come up with any, but I don’t think people would vote for them.”

The push to bring together a National General Assembly sprang from the Demands Working Group (DWG), a committee of protestors designated at one of the regular General Assembly meetings held in Zuccotti Park in Manhattan.

From One Inner-city Park, Voices of the Protest Movement

The protests in Lower Manhattan have been going on for more than a month. Other protests have steadily built in recent weeks, with large numbers of people turning out in cities from Boston to Los Angeles. Though predominantly young, protesters include older and middle-aged people as well. Some have jobs, others are unemployed and they represent just about every race and ethnicity. The messages and wants of the protesters are just as varied.