The text of the speech I gave in DC:
The people are in motion! We’re standing up to join a global movement, what may become a global revolution.
This is beautiful! I’ve been waiting and working all my life to see this. We’re all here because in general we want the same things: a new society based on fairness, sustainability, healthy communities, a living planet. An end to domination and oppression of all forms.
What stands in our way? Is it greedy corporations that have grown to big and gone too far? It’s those, but it goes deeper than that. Profit. Profit is the problem. And a whole social/cultural/economic/political system based on accumulating profit, through the extraction of natural resources and the exploitation of labor.
We have an enemy. I’ll go ahead and name it: global capitalism.
Capitalism is not a thing, but a process: the conversion of life into commodities into toxic waste.
It’s also a social relation, where a small minority owns and controls our means of subsistence and uses this to dominate and exploit the majority of people and the world. Those in power start out by seizing land and destroying traditional land-based and indigenous communities. They push people into labor camps (commonly known as cities), and make them work for food and shelter. Would anyone consent to work in a factory or mine if they had any other way to survive? Would you? I wouldn’t.
Capitalism is based on constant expansion, on ever-increasing rates of private accumulation. This means it’s structurally unreformable. The nicest capitalist in the world might want to change that, but wouldn’t be able to. They must make profit or go out of business.
Global capitalism is in deep crisis. It’s played out. Many expect it to collapse. But the truth is, it won’t. It’s dynamic and adaptable. It could morph into fascism or neo-feudalism. But it will use up everything and keep going until all life on the planet is extinguished.
I don’t know about you, but for me that’s too late.
We must eliminate it. It’s our responsibility. We may be the last generation with the opportunity to do so.
With this action, with this movement, I’m starting to believe it’s possible!
I hope to see this grow into a radical mass movement that can unite all who can be united to fight the system, our common enemy. A diverse, non-sectarian movement, mutually supportive, and above all visionary and fearless.
We don’t know what’s going to happen or what this will become. But we have to keep it going, keep moving hand-in-hand to wherever the demands of our situation may lead us.
Sure, we’re chaotic, flawed, unpredictable. This may not be exactly what each of us wants or thinks we need. But the important thing is that we’re MOVING. We’ve woken up. We’re challenging the system.
Capitalists, we’re coming for you!
Imperialists and war-mongers, we’re coming for you!
Exploiters and oppressors, we’re coming for you!
Ecocidal maniacs and corporate bloodsuckers, we’re coming for you!
We’ll fight you, and we’ll fight you, and we’ll make mistakes along the way, and we’ll falter. But we’ll keep getting up and we’ll fight again, and fight again, and one day we are going to win.