“What started on Wall Street in New York has spread across the nation, and today we hear the cry for justice here in Cleveland Ohio. To you men and women, young and old, who are convening today at Cleveland’s Free stamp sculpture, you are the beginnings of a new America.
There are those who have been saying that this movement lacks a cohesive message, that it doesn’t have a leader, that it doesn’t have an agenda…. and that is because of the fear of the truth in your message. The hard truth is that today, far too many Americans are living paycheck to paycheck, struggling to weather the economic storm, wrought by the excess of greed in our financial system. The truth is that record numbers of American children are in poverty. The truth is that workers of the middle class scrape on by wages that are the lowest they have been in fifty years. While enduring worker protections that are weaker than in any other western Democracy. Today 1 in 3 American families would be unable to make their mortgage or rent payment, if they lost their job tomorrow. At the same time, those in the top 1% are payed millions, taking home the top 24% of our nations income. 14 million are currently out of work, and another 11 million can’t find work that pays enough for them to get by. This is the hard truth today, and in large part because our financial system is structured in a way that wreaks havoc on most Americans, concentrating the wealth of many into the hands of the few.
Here in Cleveland, whole communities have been hollowed out because of that uncontrolled greed, but we still endure. And dreams that were crushed by a system, will be dreams rescued by your efforts, your commitment, and your dedication of a new America. Your voices and your presence here today in Cleveland, and in unison with millions of others across this nation is the start of that change. We are going to change the world. We will build a world we want to see. Keep occupying Wall Street, keep occupying Cleveland, keep up the struggle for economic justice.” – Dennis Kucinich