[From an Occupy Des Moines newsrelease 12/15/11] - Occupy Des Moines will stage the first-in-the-nation "Occupy Iowa Caucus" - otherwise known as the "People's Caucus" - on Tuesday, December 27th from 7:00-10:30 pm, pre-empting the political parties January 3 Iowa Caucus....
"We're holding the first in the nation caucus now, not the political parties," said Olivia Sandbothe, a Des Moines Area Community College student and Occupy Des Moines organizer.
As is the case at Republican and Democratic Party precinct caucuses, Occupy Des Moines' "Peoples Caucus'" attendees first will introduce and discuss resolutions representing the grievances raised by the movement and the 99 percent. They then will break into candidate “preference” groups, but with a twist. Instead of indicating preference for the presidential candidate they support, participants will state their preference for the candidate whose headquarters they intend to occupy over the next three days of non-violent action.
“People are sick and tired of being ignored by the political establishment in both parties, tired of having the common good placed last when it comes to government’s priorities,” said Ed Fallon, one of the organizers. “Holding the Peoples Caucus before the two major parties’ January 3rd precinct caucuses is our way of telling America’s corporate and political elite that we demand that our voices be heard, that the public good must come first.”
Organizers reiterated their commitment not to disrupt the official January 3rd precinct caucuses, and stated that they are expecting hundreds of people from Occupy movements across Iowa, the Midwest, and the country to participate in the week's actions and events.
"We'll occupy the jails too, if that's what it takes to make our voices heard," Sandbothe said. "Enough is enough. It's time to put communities before corporations and people before profits."
Occupy Des Moines is part of the grassroots Occupy Wall Street movement working to make fundamental and systemic changes to our economy and our political system, and end the climate of corruption and corporate greed that has put our democracy in a chokehold.
Twitter: @OccupyCaucus, @OccupyHawkeye, and #occupydsm.