Watching events unfold in Oakland, I have a few things to say. To those on the front lines of this Occupation, I applaud you and I've got your back. You're doing important work, vital work, necessary work. Bravo. Brava.

For the rest of us, there are more places to Occupy before we're done. Here's one very important thing I'd like you to do. I want you to Occupy the Ballot Box. I want you to go there each and every election, and vote out your enemies. You have to occupy the place and never leave. You have to do it every single election, and you have to stay focused on the issue that counts, your own economic wellbeing. Everything else is really secondary. Really. Hang in there, refuse to leave.

People are going to tell you all sorts of things about the sanctity of marriage, or abortion, or gun rights, or dogs and cats living together. Ignore it. It's rich people saying, "Look over there! It's a life or death issue that's not about how we steal everything from you! Go look real hard and get angry!" You have to ignore that stuff. Go Occupy the Ballot Box and remember who your real enemies are.

People are going to tell you this is class warfare. They're right. It's a war on you, and it's been on for decades. You need to go win it. Don't kid yourself. You've got to get up and go fight this in the way that'll win it for you. You've got to go to the ballot box and never leave it. It's the place where our enemies really don't want you to go. Once you start doing this, the other side is going to try to make it hard for you to register and vote. They'll try to scare you away or confuse you, they'll try to put up roadblocks to you getting into that ballot box. The Jim Crow laws will multiply, and the anti-voting initiatives will start. Ignore them, don't live in fear. Get in there and stay there, every single election. Be tough, be focused, be merciless. Vote your enemies out.

They're going to try to smear your candidates, distract you, make you give up and stay home by making every politician seem dirty or tainted. They'll try to make you stay home with polls telling you that your candidate cannot win, or that everything you try to do just makes it worse. They'll sit there blocking reforms, hoping you'll give up on your candidates as do-nothing losers. Ignore that, vote out your enemies.

Vote out everyone who votes to keep fat cats from paying their fair share. Everyone who votes for free trade deals, tax breaks for the rich, flat tax nonsense, 9-9-9 economic plans designed to take what little we still have from us and hand it to the rich. Vote out everyone who wants to bust unions, or hand your pension money to Wall Street, or wants to roll back regulations on banks and financial institutions. Vote out everyone who wants to kill your planet to make short term profits. Vote out everyone who tells you that corporations deserve rights like people. Get your country back, your life back, your planet back.

Occupy the Ballot Box. Forever.


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