For  more than four decades, leading academics, writers, professionals, activists and others have met every fall at the famed Wellfleet Conference,  held at the Cape Cod home of well-known psychiatrist and author Robert Jay Lifton.   At their recent gathering, they discussed Occupy Wall Street and, in a rare move, they decided to compose a letter of support for the new movement, which will be read at the Zuccotti Park encampment this Saturday around noon.

Here is the Open Letter and list of those who have signed it.  That list includes a  Daniel Ellsberg, Mary Catherine Bateson, Harris Yulin, Norman Birnbaum, Jonathan Schell and Harvey Cox, among others.


We are writers, historians, psychologists, doctors, sociologists, lawyers, theologians, journalists, poets and activists who have gathered at the Wellfleet Conferences convened each year by Robert Jay Lifton to consider fundamental issues facing human society. The 46th Wellfleet Conference has just concluded.

We represent a variety of callings, faiths, generations, political persuasions, nationalities and disciplines, but we share a continued commitment to a humane society. At a time when democratic ideals are violated with impunity, we have been hoping to see a revival of initiative and of civic conscience. We applaud your demonstrations in New York City and throughout the country and abroad. We are deeply impressed with what you have already accomplished to begin a popular movement on behalf of essential democratic values of fairness, justice, human dignity and hope. We all belong to the 99%!

We join in your quest for social and economic justice. We stand in protest with you and urge others to raise their voices as friends, supporters, and brothers and sisters of Occupy Wall Street.


Peter Balakian. Colgate University
Shareen Brysac, Writer
Colin Campbell, Journalist
Todd Gitlin, Columbia University
Robert Jay Lifton, Harvard Medical School
Edwin Matthews, Baker & McKenzie LLP
Patricia Barnes, Matthews Filmmaker
Helen McNeil,Writer
Karl Meyer, Writer
Deborah Scroggins, Writer
Danny Schechter, Journalist and Filmmaker
Larry Shainberg, Writer
Cathy Caruth, Cornell University
Aaron Roland, M.D. University of California, San Francisco
Nicholas Humphrey, London School of Economics
Ayla Humphrey ,University of Cambridge
Charles B. Strozier, John Jay College, City University of NY
James W. Jones, Rutgers University
Kathleen G. Bishop, Rutgers University
Lawrence J. Friedman, Harvard University
Walter Gilbert, Harvard University
Celia Gilbert , Poet and Artist
Christopher Busa , Provincetown Arts Magazine
Donald Fanger, Writer
Norman Birnbaum ,Georgetown University Law Center
Catherine Shainberg, School of Images
Harvey Cox, Harvard University
Peter Brooks, Princeton University
Wendy Doniger, University of Chicago
Marshall J. Smith, Bookstore Owner
Robert R. Holt, Psychologist
David Lotto, Psychoanalyst
Norah Walsh ,Psychotherapist
Ruth Rosen, Historian and Journalist
Peter Kuznick, American University
Inge S Hoffmann, Harvard Medical School
Harris Yulin, Actor/Director
David Rush, MD Tufts University
J. Michael Lennon, Wilkes University
Carolyn Mugar, Farm Aid
Daniel Itzkovitz, Stonehill College
Cindy Ness, Psychologist
Michael Flynn, City University of NY
James T. Kloppenberg, Harvard University
Richard Falk, University of California, Santa Barbara
Irene Gendzier, Boston University
Martin J. Sherwin, George Mason University
Greg Mitchell , writer
Saul Mendlovitz. Rutgers Law School
James M. Skelly. University of Ulster
Rebecca Okrent. Poet
Mary Catherine Bateson. Cultural anthropologist
James Gilligan. New York University
Daniel Ellsberg. Nuclear Age Peace Foundation
Stanley Hoffmann. Harvard University
Judith Lewis Herman. Harvard Medical School
Jonathan Schell. The Nation
Laura Frader. Historian