We are living in important times. There is great upheaval across the land. The people are rising up against the status quo, more so each day. They are rising up against inequality, against bad environmental practices, against social woes.
The Occupy Movement that is growing across our nation is a manifestation of this discontent. It is a clarion call against the status quo. People have had enough of the system, both financial and governmental. Something must give.
The criticism surrounding its lack of cohesiveness is quickly addressed by a single phrase. The same that was espoused by the revolutionaries of the 1770s: taxation without representation.
No matter your issue, whether it be environmental, economic, or social, the dilemma is the same. We are taxed every day by the current system, economically, socially, and emotionally, yet we are not represented by those we elect.
The invisible thumb of the free market rests squarely upon the scales of justice and equality, and prevents us from seeking the life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness we were promised. Indeed, that promise has been eroded to the point of oblivion.
If we are to be successful today, we must coalesce. We must stand for equality. We must stand for reciprocation. Taxation without representation is not and never has been tenable. We must push forth under the banner of our Founders, for were they here today they would be with us.
We must demand reform, and if we are not granted substantial and meaningful reform - if the current system cannot modify itself to our will - then revolution is the only recourse.
We must commit ourselves to this task. It will not be easy, and people will suffer. The powers that be will undoubtedly go to great lengths to maintain their stranglehold upon their power. We must not be deterred, for we are righteous in our endeavor.
This American experiment is too important to just fall by the wayside. We The People must rise to the challenge of the day and again bend the course of history toward justice. Too long we have been blinded by a false prosperity that has left so many of our American brothers and sisters to rot. Too long have we operated under the auspices of a foreign policy that forsakes the common good for our own personal profit. Too long have we consumed at a rate that is untenable to life on Earth as we know it.
We must rise. Like so many who have come before us, we must rise. Like those freedom fighters in 1776. Like so many who gave their lives in India, in the American South, and in Egypt, Tunisia, and Libya - we must rise.
A day of reckoning must come where our leaders are told that we will not abide their oppressive ways. We do not accept the tyranny of corporate control over our way of life. We do not accept leaders who are bought and sold like goods at the marketplace.
We again find ourselves living under an unsustainable system of taxation without representation, and we must break it. We must break it by organizing with those most affected by it. We must reach out across ideology and find the common ground that we all share. We must band together as freedom loving people and break those ties that seek to exploit us. We must stand and be counted.
We must because our lives, and the lives of generations to come depend on us. We must not go softly, we must stand strong. We must not stop, or compromise, or give way, until we have reached our goals.
This is America. These are the ideals that comprise our essence. We must stand and fight and win because despair is the only alternative. We are better than what we have become, and we are stronger by tenfold than those who would keep us down, slaves to their greed.
I don't come from a land that would allow our citizens to die cold and hungry. I don't come from a land where we treat women like property. I don't come from a land where the poor are forgotten and the middle class is left to rot away.
I come from America, and in America we rise up against injustice and turn the tables on corruption. We throw out those who have sold out to corporate greed. In my America, we respect one another. We embrace our differences and grow together. In my America we take a stand against unjust and unchecked power.
So my message to you today is that you must find a way to support this movement. If you can't take to the streets then take to the ballot box. If you can't give a dollar, then give an hour. Whatever act you can commit will forward this cause and assure that the next generation, and the generation after that will live in a society that knows peace and prosperity and leaves no one behind.