Occupy Denver: Read the letters Denver's 99 percent wrote to President Barack Obama
Occupy Denver has launched a call-to-action in advance of Barack Obama's trip to Denver. The plan is for the president, here for a fundraiser and a jobs speech, to receive a bag of letters from the local 99 percent. Although the details of that plan are under wraps, the group posted a request on its site for Denver residents to pen and e-mail their personal statements to the man in charge. Read six examples below.
Although the majority of the letters so far have been e-mailed, writers may also drop off more personal responses at the group's campsite in Civic Center Park, between Colfax and 14th on Broadway. Thanks to Occupy Denver's events committee, the group working on the letter campaign, Westword was given copies of a few messages that will be in the batch given to Obama.
The group is still accepting letters as of now, and writers are encouraged to detail their personal experiences as members of the 99 percent. (If you are a member of the 1 percent, you're also welcome.) As a whole, Occupy Denver is advocating the support of the American Indian Movement's campaign against the Keystone-XL pipeline that the occupation's website says will "bring tar sands oil from Canada to the Gulf of Mexico, crossing many pristine lands including the Ogallala aquifer."
Here's the first sample.
Dear Mr. President,
Kelsey Whipple A crowd gathers for a speech at Saturday's Occupy Denver concert and rally.
My husband and I worked for your election in 2008, going door to door, entering voter registration data, and making meals for your local campaign workers. We donated money to your campaign, as much as we could afford. We were elated when you won the election.
Then you put the foxes in charge of the henhouse. Larry Summers? Timothy Geithner? Really? These were the people who were going to make the economy better? Well they did their jobs. Things got better. For the 1%, that is.
But still we believed in you. We spent hours on the phone, trying to drum up support for the Affordable Health Care Act. Now I feel as if I wasted my time, and my money. No public option. Not even the hint of a discussion about single payer, which would have been the best cost-saving way to provide health care for ALL Americans. Just a big bonus for the Big Insurance companies.
When people were in the streets of Madison, standing up for their jobs, their dignity, against a governor openly in the pay of the Koch brothers, where were you? Didn't hear much from that guy who campaigned saying he would be on the front lines with labor in defense of their livelihoods.
I know you are thinking that you can't do the impossible. You couldn't get this or that through congress. But when you had the democratic majority in both houses, how hard did you really try? You don't come to the negotiating table and start with offering the other side everything it wants, and bargain things downhill from there. You demand the moon and wind up somewhere in the middle. Don't you have a single person in your administration with any union negotiating experience? For a smart person, you make me wonder. And what I wonder is if your heart isn't really in fighting for the 99%.
You're fond of quoting Franklin Roosevelt, when he said that if people wanted him to make sweeping changes, they had to MAKE him do it. What you sweep under the rug was how he wasn't afraid to open his mouth and challenge the monied interests, how, in fact, he stated that he "welcomed their hatred." I think you don't want to antagonize the monied interests, because you want their money in your campaign coffers. And that's too bad, because what it makes you is not a fighter for the 99%.
It makes you the lesser of two evils.
And man, I'm really tired of voting for the lesser of two evils.
No, I will never, ever vote republican. So you will probably get my vote in 2012, unless some truly progressive candidate appears, which is unlikely. But you won't get any of my money, partly since I have less to give, having been laid off from my job. And you will certainly not get my enthusiasm.
The only hope I get now is from the people out there, in the Occupy movement, who have put themselves on the line. They will get my money, such as it is, to help them get through the winter. They will get my enthusiasm -- I have marched with them in Denver several times, and will do so every time they have an action.
People are hurting, really hurting. Young people feel as if they have no future. Why are you so quiescent? It would be nice if you would get some courage and come out on their side, not half-heartedly, not back-handedly, but unequivocally.
That would be change I could believe in.
Name removed for the sake of privacy
Page down to read more Occupy Denver letters to President Barack Obama.