Tim DeChristopher: “Yes, we are talking about a Revolution”

This under-viewed video is in two parts, and I’ve deliberately highlighted part 2 first because it starts right at one of the favorite things I’ve heard Tim say. This speech was at one of 40 solidarity rallies on June 23, 2011, on the original date of his sentencing (which was delayed to July 26). I’ve also transcribed some selected quotes below.

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We’ve been running with this message of, “Oh, we’re going to make things a little cleaner and greener, but keep the rest of the system the same” and most people aren’t willing to fight for a cleaner, greener version of the world we have now. Cause they know it would still be a world of injustice, based on exploitation, filled with people afraid of their own government, and nobody really wants to fight for that. And if we embrace a more radical vision and if we’re honest about the fact that we actually are talking about threatening our economy, we can get a lot more support from that. When our opponents attack us and say, “Oh they’re trying to ruin the economy!” We should be turning around and say, “Ruin the economy? Hell Yes! We’re gonna flip the whole goddamn thing on it’s head!”

And the threats of what we’re talking about, run deeper than that. Because even for the people that our current economy has worked for, that have achieved what everyone’s supposed to achieve in this society and in this economy, gotten their wealth and all the stuff they can buy with it… that didn’t really fulfill them either. Even the people who’ve benefited from our economic model have turned out to not be happy. Because that model we’ve been working with, of trying to meet our human and emotional needs with the ever increasing consumption of material goods — turns out to not be true! That doesn’t work.

We actually can’t continue on this path of paying down our 14 trillion dollars of debt, if our economy is not growing. Our growth rate has to be at least as big as the interest we’re paying on that debt, otherwise things start to fall apart. And so we are talking about ruining that economy. We are talking about knocking down that house of cards. And [those is power] probably should be scared of that, you know, because that is going to mean a radical change. Because if they don’t keep people addicted to this current system, then they can’t control people as well, and people start creating the kind of communities they want to see.

And in the absence of that corporate control, people start building a different model. We’re seeing it in Detroit, where a lot of the corporations packed up and left. And people were saying for a long time, “if we don’t have these industries, Detroit’s just gonna fall apart.” And, it kinda did; I mean, things got kinda ugly there, a lot of people packed up and moved out. But the people that stayed started building a new model. They started looking around and said, “boy, we’ve got a lot of empty lots in Detroit. Let’s start growing some food on ‘em!”

And now, people from around the world are actually going to Detroit as a model of urban agriculture, as a model of how people can build something new in the void where corporations have walked out. And it’s certainly been a hardship on those people. But now they’re building a different kind of power structure — a different kind of community — that’s not as easily controlled by people from the outside, because they’re not dependent on those corporations anymore. They’re becoming self-sufficient, and self-sufficiency is a threat to power.

Maybe it’s time that we actually start embracing what we’re talking about. Maybe it’s time that our movement gets honest about the fact that, yes, we’re talking about ruining the economy — and creating one that works for more than 1% of our population.* Yes, we’re talking about… actually establishing a democracy in this country. And when we do that, I think we’ll find that we actually have a lot more people on our side than we realized. I think that people are ready for that.

*(Did ya notice Tim used the 1% meme before Occupy Wall Street even started?)

Now, here’s Part 1:

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