On December 15 the governor and legislators will announce additional “trigger cuts” to education, child care, health care, senior and disability programs – all of which have already been severely cut. They need to know we are watching and that we are fighting back!
“Arrest the homeless,” they do cry. Complete the economic genocide. From sea to shining sea, there is no place for him to pea. / Arrest him for vagrancy, arrest him for loitering, but just insure there is no tolerance. No shelter from rain, no shower to wash away the pain.
Virtually everything about capitalism says that only the top one percent of upper-income people really count, while the 99% who struggle for everything don’t deserve to even survive. The Occupy movement is trying to point out this flaw in a very concrete way by camping out and protesting.
I have experienced endless abuses in board and care homes, including substandard housing, lack of food and rigid rules that treat adults like children. Even the name “board and care” is a misnomer. All too often, the people who ran these homes couldn’t care less about their residents.
The belief that disabled people are incapable of surviving in real-life situations is belittling and harmful. Many persons who are mentally disabled can meet the challenges of surviving in society. Treating adults like children only prepares them for a lifetime of dependence and being institutionalized.
Congress already fell for this scam with a tax holiday passed in 2004. But companies didn’t create the jobs or investment they promised — layoffs actually increased. Instead, they boosted CEO pay, stock buybacks and shareholder dividends, and stockpiled even more money offshore to avoid taxes.
At the same moment when thousands of families in public housing across the nation are living in substandard conditions or are at risk of becoming homeless, the Berkeley Housing Authority has entered into an agreement to sell the city’s occupied public housing units to a billionaire.
The cruelty and medical neglect suffered by poor and homeless people who are incarcerated for being mentally ill is a national disgrace. It is unacceptable that the prison system has displaced the mental health system as the main institution for dealing with poor people with psychiatric disabilities.
It is a victory that the occupations have led the media to even briefly question America’s economic divisions. Now we need to find creative ways to take the issues of the Occupy movement to every neighborhood, workplace and campus, even those that don’t seem natural hotbeds of change.
A powerful spirit was in the air at the Oakland rally, for we came together to speak out for the voiceless, for the children too young to attend, for the seniors who are housebound, for those incapacitated by illness who cannot leave their beds, for disabled people who need in-home attendants
We, like 99% of the people marching in Oakland, were unified by the desperate condition of our world, our families and our future. We were the cry of the lost oak trees that once lived here, as well as the moans of the Ohlone people who once thrived here.