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October 12, 2011

LA City Council in Solidarity with OccupyLA and OccupyTogether...

Today, the second largest city in the country went on record in support of the OccupyTogether movement. The city council didn't just vote in support of OccupyLA, they also called into question corporate personhood and the banking industry. They connected to people's movement with their own inability to act on city-wide banking regulation. This caused the banksters to rise in opposition to the resolution. Ironically, no one mentioned corporate personhood - neither the people opposing the resolution nor those who spoke in support. Item 33 was their 3-page resolution in support of OccupyLA and Occupy Together. (pdf) They made minor modifications on the banking "whereas" clauses and passed the resolution with 11 ayes. Below is the text of my two minute speech.

My name is C.J. Minster. I am a native Angeleno and a peace activist with CODEPINK: Women for Peace. While I applaud the City Council of Los Angeles for writing a resolution in solidarity with Occupy LA and the Occupy Together movement, I am here to remind you that responsible banking is only one part of the way to fund change. In July of this year, the City went on record calling on Congress to Redirect Military Spending to Domestic Priorities (pdf) by withdrawing all troops and contractors from Iraq and Afghanistan and cutting the Pentagon budget. You must act on the resolutions you've already passed and direct the DC legislative office of the City of Los Angeles to connect the needs of our city to the wasteful spending on war and the Pentagon.

As well crafted as your resolution in support of the Occupy LA movement is, we the 99% will not be silenced by pretty words. We care as much about your actions as your votes. And we are deeply troubled by recent reporting that the staff of Mayor Villaraigosa and Councilmember Perry helped secure a $1 million community redevelopment block grant to lure architecture firm Gensler from Santa Monica to downtown LA. Our regional economy doesn't benefit from shell games across city lines, nor do we need tax payer money wasted lining the pockets of rich corporations. To pay for the needs of the 99%, the U.S. must tax the rich and corporations, not give them handouts. And the U.S. must immediately withdraw from Iraq and Afghanistan and implement the more than $1 trillion in Pentagon budget cuts outlined by the Sustainable Defense Task Force.

Thank you for using your voice, as the representatives of the second largest city in the country to amplify the voices of the 99%. I urge you to pass this solidarity resolution and work to ensure it is used in tandem with your anti-war resolution to end wars, stop economic injustice, and fund jobs. Together, we can prioritize human needs over unfettered, militarized capitalism.

Posted by cj at October 12, 2011 1:10 PM


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