Kucinich In Wisconsin: "Be Strong! We Will Fight Back!"
A great fiery speech by Dennis Kucinich to the assembled masses in Wisconsin. Video and transcript in More.
This is a moment in American history where we're called upon to respond with everything that we are, with all that's in our heart and soul, so that we can reclaim the essence of economic justice before it is somehow lost on the corporate scaffold!"
Strong! Be Strong! Be Strong!
Thank you. Thank you Matt, Tami, Ed, Jim Hightower[et al. --unclear, potatohead]
We've got a lot of great people, who have come to Wisconsin to support you, and I'm very glad to have the opportunity to join them.
This... this is a moment in American history where we're called upon to respond with everything that we are, with all that's in our heart and soul, so that we can reclaim the essence of economic justice before it is somehow it is lost on the corporate scaffold!
We have to fight back!
We fight back for our democracy!
We fight back for our Constitution!
We fight back for freedom of speech, for the right to assemble, for.. for the right to, for the freedom of association!
We fight back for due process!
We fight back, and we fight back HERE IN WISCONSIN!
All over America, people are experiencing this ferment that is coming from the events in Wisconsin, and the events in my own State, where in the past week, a bill has moved along, that would strip the right of collective bargaining for Ohio's public workers that would [boos] ...that would put them in harm's way, should they decide to strike, because if replacement workers would come in and then would set the stage for privatization, and after all isn't what this is all about?
Corporations want to steal what they feel is theirs to begin with. They don't believe in such a thing as Government for the people, what they believe in is Government of the corporations, by the corporations, and for the corporations! THAT MIGHT WORK ON WALL STREET, BUT IT'S NOT GOING TO WORK IN WISCONSIN! AND IT'S NOT GOING TO WORK IN OHIO! AND IT'S NOT GOING TO WORK IN MICHIGAN!
WE WILL DEMONSTRATE TO WALL STREET!
WE WILL DEMONSTRATE TO THE CORPORATIONS, THAT WE HAVE ABILITY TO PUSH BACK, THAT WE WILL STAND UP, AND WE WILL SPEAK OUT, AND WE WILL MARCH, AND WE WILL FIGHT, AND WE WILL PICKET, AND WE WILL SIT DOWN, AND WE WILL FIGHT BACK, WE WILL FIGHT BACK, WE WILL FIGHT BACK!!
[pan to crowd cheering, clapping, very enthusiastic]
[Man in crowd yells, "DENNIS RUN FOR PRESIDENT!"]
We are here... We are here, not for ourselves. We are here on behalf of all those who serve. Whose work is dignity. Who committed themselves to public service. We are here for them, to say that they, and all workers everywhere, have a right to join a Union, have a right to collective bargaining, have a right to strike, have a right to decent wages and benefits, have a right to a secure retirement, a right to a safe workplace, a right to be able to participate in the political process, and A RIGHT TO RECLAIM THEIR GOVERNMENT!
What we have here today in Wisconsin, is the beginning of a new Civil Rights movement. Because historically we have to understand, that historically, the right that workers have came apace of the Civil Rights movement, which resulted in breaking slavery, because working people understood, that unless they fought slavery and joined with the abolitionists, that their ability to be able to make a living was going to be compromised. So what we have now here is the 21st century version of a civil rights movement, where we understand, that a economic democracy is a precondition of a political democracy!
...and so, and so, let this be called the Madison Declaration:
For a economic democracy, and that is everyone has a right to a job, everyone has a right to an education, everyone has a right to health care, everyone has a right to retirement security, everyone has a right to housing, and everyone has a right to peace!
This attack on our workers, this attack in Washington on working people that results in wealth being accelerated to the top, that results in tax cuts going to the rich, that results in energy policy turned over to the oil companies, that results in defense policy turned over to the arms manufacturers, that results in endless war, that results in the National security State, it's all a part of the same thing, and it's up to us to FIGHT BACK, FIGHT BACK, FIGHT BACK, FIGHT BACK, FIGHT BACK, FIGHT BACK, FIGHT BACK!
[pounds podium with hand]
[crowd continues with fight back, fight back! chant and applause]
The objectives of corporations are different than those of Government. They would like us to believe that the corporate ethic is what Government should be about, but we know that corporations are here for one thing, and one thing only, and that is profit.
Government, Government belongs, not to the private sector, but to the public sector, and our responsibility in government is to provide, provide service. The private sector would like to convert the assets of the public sector for their own use. That's why in your own legislation, in the bill, you can see there was an attempt --there's an attempt in the bill to try to privatize your electric services. You can see that.
I know about this, I [stutters] fought and beat a privatization of a municipal electrical plant in Cleveland many years ago. I understand about privatization. I understand that what these corporations want is they want total control over our Government.
[favorable shout from crowd]
Keep the light on!
They want total control of our Government.
In Michagan, we learned the State legislature there is passing legislation that will enable a fiscal manager to come in and literally abolish city governments and school districts! Now why are they doing this?
Think about it. The'll do this so that the city governments and school districts can be run for banks and for Wall Street. They're gonna make sure Wall Street will get it's pound of flesh. That Wall Street will be able to handle, through their --these managers, they can break union contracts, they can reduce the city government to mush, city councils and mayors don't mean anything, school boards don't mean anything, WE ARE FIGHTING FOR OUR DEMOCRACY HERE! WE ARE FIGHTING FOR IT, AND WE WILL NOT FAIL TO RECOVER IT!
And we will recover it by establishing a program of economic reform which will wrap it's arms around all the movements in our States to try and regain control of State Government, because you cannot succeed, unless from the national level there is the movement that some of the younger people talked about earlier, that puts into place programs that can create jobs for all, that can create education for all, that can create health care for all, that can protect retirement security, not -and that can create peace.
Right now, we are told in Washington that when we want various social programs, we're being told that well, we can't afford it. But when they ask, when they ask, when they ask for trillions of dollars for war, no one said, "Oh! We can't afford it." What they say is, "just pay, borrow money from China and Japan, and just keep the war going."
PART OF OUR PROGRAM FOR ECONOMIC REFORM IS THAT WE END THE WARS IN IRAQ. WE END THE WARS IN AFGHANISTAN. WE STOP THIS NATIONAL SECURITY STATE. WE BRING OUR TROOPS HOME FROM AROUND THE WORLD. WE STOP THE PENTAGON CONTROL OF OUR GOVERNMENT. WE BREAK THE HOLD BY BREAKING THEIR BUDGET!!
NO MORE WARS! NO MORE WARS!
[points to crowd, who continues chant and clapping, "no more wars"]
NO MORE WARS!
There are those that believe that war is inevitable, because they make money from those wars, so that profit becomes inevitable, but we have to establish a new standard, which is what a department of peace is all about. That we have the capacity to create peace. That we are not just victims of the world we see.
We become victims of the world we see, when we buy into the psychology of war, which a false psychology, which is not something we should accept as the way the world should be.
WE HAVE A RIGHT TO ACCEPT A WORLD FREE OF WAR! WE HAVE A RIGHT TO ACCEPT A WORLD WHERE THERE IS PLENTY!
We have a right to create a world that has plenty.
I want to...
[pauses for thought, favorable cries from crowd]
I also want to say that when we talk about, if we are going to create a context where state governments can survive for the people, then there has to be accountability. And now you're showing in Wisconsin, your determined there's going to be accountability for these State officials for not responding and or doing the bidding of corporations, I want to add this:
There is another thing our country needs to do. We need to add accountability, and insist on accountability for those that took us into war based on lies.
I wanna, I wanna say this in Wisconsin, because it needs to be said somewhere, but it's time that those that took us into war, based on lies, they outta be prosecuted once and for all!
LET'S RECLAIM OUR NATION!
LET'S RECLAIM OUR DIGNITY!
LET'S RECLAIM OUR MORALITY!
We are constantly told we don't have any money. Joseph Stiglitz pointed out that, that the war in Iraq would cost at least three trillion, we're at the half trillion dollar mark, with Afghanistan, but we will have a vote this week, and the vote will be to end the war in Afghanistan, it will be Thursday, House Concurrent Resolution 28, I'm proud to sponsor that, we're going to get another vote on Afghanistan.
But let me tell you this: One of the great myths, one of the great myths of our time is that we are told, "well you know we just don't have the money for these programs, we have money for war, we established that", but I want to offer this for your consideration, because it's actually the path out, not just for Wisconsin, but for all the States, who are struggling, with some legitimate budget problems, and we have to look at it this way:
We have to start to examine this debt based economic system, which puts us into believing the only way we can have money is to have debt. How did we come to believe this? We came to believe this, because you have the Federal Reserve that was established in 1913, they privatized the money system ok?
We have the fractional reserve system where banks create money out of nothing and then they pyramid the debts and stick the tax payers when they go bust!
We have, we have a government that says, "gee, we don't have the money to fix our roads, our bridges, our water systems, and sewer system", I want you to think about this now.
This is a time, in this debate, when transformation is in the air, when evolution is in the air, this is time for us in this debate, to start to look at the monetary system itself, and ask ourselves whether it isn't time to put the Fed back under the control of the Government, to end the fractional reserve of banking, and to say, "let government spend money and invest in to circulation to rebuild America! To put millions of people back to work to rebuild our roads, our water systems, our sewer system!"
MONEY FOR JOBS! MONEY FOR EDUCATION! MONEY FOR HEALTH CARE FOR ALL! WE DON'T HAVE TO BE BEGGING! WE DON'T HAVE TO BE IMPOVERISHED! WE DON'T HAVE TO BE STUCK WITH WAR FOREVER! WE CAN RECLAIM OUR GOVERNMENT! WE WILL RECLAIM IT HERE IN WISCONSIN! AND WE WILL RECLAIM IT NATIONALLY, BECAUSE OF WISCONSIN.