Plattsburgh They gathered to form a local community of people committed to non violent direct action to forge a more just economy.
They shrugged off shame and shared stories to discover what connected them and build solidarity.
They learned about what broke the economy, studied past responses, created a vision for the future and prepared themselves for non violent direct action.
“We came together because our country is in crisis,” said Mona Dubay, a trainer at a local meeting in Plattsburgh of the 99 percent Spring. “But this isn’t the end of anything. It is the beginning.”
The training was part of a nationwide movement with a goal to train at least 100,000 people in non violent direction action.
We are the 99 percent refers to the increased concentration of wealth since the 1970s, though some argue it dates back much further, among the top 1 percent of income earners.
Between 1979 and 2007, incomes of the 1 percent grew 275 percent, while during that same time the income of Americans in the middle of the income scale saw their income rise 40 percent, according to the Congressional Budget Office.
Since 1979, the average pre-tax income for the bottom 90 percent of households decreased by $900, while those in the 1 percent saw their income soar by more than $700,000.
Between 1992 and 2007, the top 400 income earners watched their income increase 392 percent and their average tax rate drop by 37 percent.
As the economy expanded between 2002 and 2007, the 1 percent’s income grew 10 times faster than that of the bottom 90 percent.
During the Great Recession, most households grappled with a 36 percent drop in median household income while the top 1 percent only experienced a decrease of 11 percent.
“We are working on the idea of community today,” said Dubay. “We have been hearing a lot about the 99 percent.”