CODEPINK at Occupy Oakland

Posted by CODEPINK Staff


by Janet Weil

On Saturday, October 15, I gave this speech at Occupy Oakland, California:

CODEPINK hella loves Occupy Oakland!

Go Oaktown!

Today we stand here in Frank Ogawa Plaza, also known as Oscar Grant Plaza, in solidarity with people around the world in more than 700 cities, against the 1% who control far too much power and money, and WITH the peaceful uprisings of the 99%!

As a member of CODEPINK, I was asked to speak about the so-called “Super” Committee, aka the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction in Congress. They seem pretty irrelevant today, but they do have power to make huge cuts to our federal budget which could greatly hurt the 99%.

We’re here in Congresswoman Barbara Lee’s district, and she organized 41 members of Congress to send a letter to this committee, asking this:

“One of the main drivers of our deficit is military spending and it must be on the table for the Super Committee …Taking serious steps to resolve our fiscal imbalance must include the Pentagon’s budget, which should be subject to the same scrutiny as the rest of the discretionary budget.”

Congresswoman Lee and her colleagues gave the following facts: “In the ten years since the 9/11 attacks, spending on defense and security has increased 96% and totaled almost $8 trillion.  The wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have cost $1.36 trillion, and taken the lives of over six thousand [American] men and women while leaving over thirty thousand wounded.” Among the facts left out are that possibly as many as 1.5 million Iraqis, and over 60,000 Afghans – men, women and children – have had their lives taken, with millions more wounded, and made refugees. The flow of money and human lives continues and accelerates every day.

The so-called “Super” Committee is a bullshit device, rushed through a vote in Congress under the duress of solving the “debt ceiling” so-called crisis.

The members of the Joint Select Committee to Screw Us Over are: House Republicans Hensarling, Texas; Upton, Michigan and Camp, Michigan;

House Democrats Becerra, California, Clyburn, South Carolina and Van Hollen, Maryland;

Senate Republicans Kyl, Arizona, Portman, Ohio and Toomey, Pennsylvania;

Senate Democrats Murray, Washington, Baucus, Montana, and Kerry, Massachusetts.

By what right can these 12 people in an unelected committee deplete the social services that we the people need, including Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid, while continuing to fund wars, global military bases, prisons and a financial system for the enormous profit of the few?!!

They have no such right. They just think they will get away with it.

But we the people are speaking up. We are occupying the financial districts in virtually every major city in this country, starting with Wall Street in New York City and spreading to K Street in DC, to Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Los Angeles, Portland, Seattle, San Francisco and HELL YEAH: Oakland!

We are no longer asking the so-called “Super” Committee, or the Congress, or Obama. With our bodies, and our People’s Mic, and our music, and our drumming, and our undeniable public presence: we are telling them, and the world:

Enough is enough! Invest in us! How do we solve the deficit? End the wars and tax the rich!

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