“The Declaration of the Occupation of NYC” created for the Occupy Wall Street movement (click to enlarge)

If you’ve been following Occupy Wall Street, then you’ve heard the question a million times, and may even be asking it yourself: what are the movement’s demands? What do they hope to accomplish?

It’s a question that seems impossible and also unreasonable to answer when you consider how diverse Occupy Wall Street has become. But protesters themselves are still searching to find some answers. The “Declaration of the Occupation of NYC”  (pictured left) created by Rachel Schragis is a start. Sent out on the OWS Arts and Culture listserv yesterday, the web of grievances and facts was a collaborative effort, made with input from Arts and Culture, other working groups and crowd-editing sessions at Zuccotti Park.

While the web is more informational than artistic, its one of the more nuanced and concrete visuals of the movement that I’ve seen. Its a reminder that at this still young point in the movement, art that deals directly with the issues at hand can have more punch than an abstract or conceptual work. The web also articulates the role of art in Occupy Wall Street — a way to connect people to the movement without diluting all of its wonderful and challenging complexities.

Possibly the one demand the web does call for is simply this: to recognize that our grievances are all connected.

I reached out to Schragis for comments on the piece and she will be posting a statement to the A&C listserv soon. There is chatter on the Google group about possibly turning it into a poster or using it at future gallery shows. For now, you can dive into the many layers of the Declaration by clicking here.

Liza Eliano is Hyperallergic’s editorial assistant by day, and bad TV fanatic by night. She recently graduated from Barnard College with a BA in art history and a newfound love for girl power. She was...

2 replies on “The Tangled Web of #OccupyWallStreet”

  1. Dear Human Being,

    There is something going on. – I am going to be a part of it.

    I have helped organize and promote protests in Bellevue, Olympia and
    Seattle; another big one is coming. I feel it will be a “WTO” sized
    protest in multiple cities. I will be helping to advertise and promote

    I was at the WTO protests in Seattle when a bunch of “anarchists”
    started busting windows with crowbars. We surrounded them, and they got
    in a circle with their crowbars. I tried to get the Seattle police to
    come arrest these people that were thirty feet away and threatening
    violence and breaking windows… The Seattle police would not budge from
    their “police line”, making all of us the enemy. I am not the enemy, but
    I will be in Seattle at 700 Stewart street at the Federal couthouse
    January 20th, 2012!!!

    The Corporate Occupation of the United States

    Our corporate controlled government (through corporate lobbying and
    election funding ) is out of the peoples control. People want government
    control back. Makes sense to me… I feel US corporate capitalism
    (corporatism) is a type of economic fascism: To have a corporate being
    where the chain of command eventually muddles all responsibility to any
    human being. These corporate beings are running your life, and
    controlling your government. (Enough to really make an individual mad
    and protest.) The corporate being does not exist, and when it comes to
    face it’s corporate responsibility, it is a piece of paper. That is
    plain and simply wrong. Restore capitalism to individual responsible
    chains of command, or this struggle will be lost. (This also includes
    corporate lobbying and corporate election funding, being outlawed; and a
    new form closer to individual control is established.)

    Please Sign the petition to amend the Constitution for revoking corporate personhood at:


    (I feel this will be a bigger day in history than WTO in Seattle – The battle continues, rage against the machine is real.)

    January 20, 2012 – Move to Amend Occupies the Courts!

    Move To Amend is planning bold action to mark this date — Occupy the
    Courts — a one day occupation on Friday January 20, 2012, of the Federal
    Courts, including the Supreme Court of the United States and as many of
    the 89 U.S. District Court Buildings as we can. Inspired by Dr. Cornell
    West, who was arrested on the steps of the Supreme Court last month,
    Move to Amend will lead the charge on the judiciary which created — and
    continues to expand — corporate personhood rights.


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