Sunday, October 30, 2011
This is the transcript of my remarks at Occupy Eureka Saturday 29 October.
I came down to the courthouse on the 8th of October and have come back every day since because something is wrong with our system. The question I encounter the most out here on the curb is why are we down here? What do we want? The disparate signs give out a confused message. The short answer is we want something different. We want a system that gives the average citizen a say in government equal to the giant corporation. The essence of democracy one person one vote has never been embraced by America and we feel it is past time to do so.
We spend more money on defense than the rest of the world combined. We still spend billions to prepare for war with the Soviet Union that hasn’t existed for over a decade.
Now more than ever the 1% own the Government, the media and the Robert’s court. We allow war criminals to go on book tours and have criminalized sleeping. We allow corporations to openly bribe a justice of the supreme court, we have lobbyists writing our laws.
Let me share a few numbers with you. 46 million, the number of people living in poverty today. The most in our nation’s history. 50 the percentage of people with zero or less net worth.
The wages of the middle class have been under attack for over 30 years and when the latest bubble burst the 1% got bailed out while the rest of us got swamped. We preference idle speculation over honest labor in the tax code. We bailed out the financial institutions and they paid their executives bonuses rather then lend money to small businesses.
We give tax breaks to big box retailers that drive the local merchants that make up the back bone of our community out of business, corporations line up at the discount window at the fed to borrow trillions at effective interest rates of zero while students get buried under a mountain of debt preparing for non existent jobs.
Corporations dump toxic waste in our air and water and call it an externality. Corporate persons that don’t breath or drink or eat control the regulators with bribes or remove the regulations all together.
We have handed these so called “Job Creators” trillions in tax breaks and gotten no jobs in return, only factory closures, off shoring and downsizing. We have set our workers in competition with slave labor abroad and prison labor here at home.
There is a long history in America of taking to the streets stretching back to our founding. The labor movement got us the 40 hour week and the end of child labor. Marching in the streets led to the vote for women, civil rights and improvement for the LGBT community. The Bonus Army led to the New Deal and the most successful anti poverty program for the elderly in the history of humanity.
We require an Immediate moratorium on foreclosures of owner occupied dwellings.
End the Wars and stop the militarization of local police departments.
A financial transaction Tax should be instituted to reduce the effects of speculators in the market place. We require that the Glass Steagall act regulations of 1933 be reinstituted to separate speculators from the banking industry. Above all we demand an end to corporate personhood.