Hello, it’s great to finally be able to be here with you today—I have been out of the state, but I have been watching you on the local news and you have been doing a great job!
The other day, on my Facebook wall, one of my “friends” asked me when I was going to, “Join the 99%.”
“Join the 99%?” I didn’t know that was an option! I “joined” the 99% 54 years ago when I was born down in L.A. I am just excited the other 99.9999% is beginning to wake up to the fact the plutocracy here in the U.S,. and globally, declared class war against us generations ago and WE are starting to fight back—finally!
Well, I live not too far down the road in that liberal mecca of free thinking, communists: Vacaville. I am just, unfortunately kidding, of course, because just being a Democrat is considered subversive there and I am telling you this to tell you about something that happened to me this morning.
I went to exercise class at my gym and one of my fellow exercisers came up to me and whispered: “Have you been to that ‘nonsense’ in Sacramento.”
I told her, “As a matter of fact I am going there to speak and march today—and it’s not ‘nonsense,’ people have legitimate gripes with the government.”
So she said, “Oh, I was just kidding because I think it’s great because it’s the only thing that will put Obama back in the White House.”
So, that comment started an entire new conversation.
This movement should not allow itself to be co-opted by partisan political hackery. If Obama or Democrats were the answer, then, guess what? We wouldn’t be here today. The wars would be over; the 99% would have single-payer health care, housing, education, a sustainable energy policy, and meaningful jobs with a livable wage as RIGHTS not PRIVILEGES for the 1%. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t want Republicans in power either—I want US in power. Just like we are today, but I want we the people calling the shots in a meaningful way that changes corrupt and harmful policies, and that will take not only going out of the parks and into the streets like we are today, but staying there and taking breaks to strategize about the society we want to build: One where the resources of our country are used to guarantee basic human rights to EVERYONE, not just the one-percenters.
Speaking of the wars, the Obama (president to the one-percent) regime has continued the Bush crime cabals’ wars and has added at least five more military miss-excursions on top of those: in Libya, Pakistan, Yemen, Somalia and now Uganda—make no mistake about it, the US is waging World War Three in its global war OF terror around the world and the economic and social justice we seek cannot be achieved without complete and unconditional peace.
Just here in our state of California, our “wonderful” Democrat Governor, Jerry Brown, has forced cuts in essential services and exorbitant and unfair increases to university fees, while California has sent 148 billion dollars to the US government for its war OF terror—that’s almost 15 billion a year for the past insane 10 years.
According to the Cost of War website, here in Sacramento County, you all have contributed over five billion to the illegal and immoral wars. Can any of you think what Sacramento could have done with five billion dollars, or the state with 148 billion?
And young people—I am so glad to see you all here—like I said, I have been watching you on the local news and I have been impressed—for every dollar your college fees get raised, the state is able to give it to the federal government for its war OF terror against the world and its economic terrorism here at home. Even though this nation has always been by and for the so-called elite; since we’ve embarked on these wars, it has become far worse and things are getting dire here in our class.
After the bi-partisan bailout of the banks and Wall Street in 2008, I wrote a book called Myth America: 20 Greatest Myths of the Robber Class and the Case for Revolution where I outlined the problem and called for a grassroots revolution to fix it.
We not only need a movement in the streets, but we need to realize that our local problems are magnified globally and the only answer to this greedy globalism is localism. We need to work to take very doable and effective local actions to create a healthy economy and sustainable ecology for us, our children and our grandchildren, if we have them.
One of the myths I dispel in my book, is the one that everyone here in the USA has an equal opportunity for wealth and to be in the one-percent. Not only is that bullshit, but it’s criminal. Our parents and grandparents had money, their labor and their lands stolen from them as our ancesters farther back stole the land from our indigenous peoples. The one-percent are wealthy because of murder and exploitation and if that’s the price we have to pay to be in the one-percent, I, for one, don’t want to pay it.
John Steinbeck (another Californian), famously said: ““Socialism never took root in America because the poor see themselves not as an exploited proletariat but as temporarily embarrassed millionaires.” I don’t want to be like the one-percent, I want them to be like us. Justice demands income equality and the Robber Class has been getting away with this unearned privilege for far too long.
I am happy that this movement is “leaderless,” but I think it’s dangerous for it to be directionless, because I know that there will be forces swooping in to claim it as a movement for Democrats—Democrats are not friends of peace, or the working class, and they are just one-half of the political problem in a Capitalist paradigm that doesn’t care about you—it only cares about power and profit.
We care about ourselves and we care about each other, the Robber Class doesn’t. Take care of yourselves and take care of each other and the way to make true change that works for everyone is by keeping power in our hands; whether it’s in our schools, workplaces, or communities.
Reform is code for “loopholes for the one-percent,” so let’s make this a revolution.
About the author: Cindy Sheehan
Cindy Sheehan is an American anti-war activist whose son, Specialist Casey Sheehan, was killed during his service in the Iraq War by the Mehdi Army on April 4, 2004. She attracted national and international media attention in August 2005 for her extended anti-war protest at a makeshift camp outside President George W. Bush's Texas ranch — a stand which drew both passionate support and angry criticism. More of her writings can be found at Cindy Sheehan's Soapbox: Writing from the Emprire.