Danny Glover at Occupy Oakland: Re-imagining democracy and humanity

Danny Glover made the speech of a lifetime — the speech of our lifetime — at Occupy Oakland on October 15th. Listening to the speech has sent Duchess Susanna into a fit of hopeful tears, such as one experiences during the happy ending of a momentous film.

The entire video, and all of Danny Glover’s words, are worth experiencing and absorbing. Please watch it! Below, The Duchess has inscribed in text some of the quotes that she was able to capture and type out this morning.


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Some quotations from Danny Glover’s speech at Occupy Oakland:

…It has to be a re-imagining and a rethinking of what we mean by democracy…And, what it means to be a human being…What does it mean to be a human being?…That is what we mean by “It’s not simply a revolution”. It has to be a revolution, an evolution, and transformation. We have to be the change that we have to see. Are we willing to stand up for that?

It’s not only taking back our democracy — we have to remake it. We have to transform it. We have to build something better than that. It’s failed us.

We have to be here tomorrow, the next day, the day after tomorrow, and the tomorrows after tomorrow.

* * *

And, not only to change it, but to ensure that its transformation is institutionalized…

We have to take it back and transform it into [a country] that is for the people, by the people, that works on behalf of the people, and works on behalf of the planet…

We’re here to do that today. We’re not here to do anything short of that…

* * *

Let America be America again. The dream it used to be. Let it be the place where every man is free. Let it be the dream it used to be.Let’s transform it into the new dream. Let’s transform it into what our dear, beloved, brother Dr. King called the Beloved Community.

Let’s transform it, where people matter more than things…People have to matter…People are what matters…what happens to our children and the future of our children…We have to care about that…

We have to recalibrate in our minds what are needs and what are wants…

That’s the embodiment of our own transformation. That’s the embodiment of our own evolution. This is what this is about. All these are right now. What it’s going to look like, we don’t know. I don’t have a crystal ball, none of us out here have a crystal ball.

But, we’re working on something. We know, given our strength, and based in our faith in humanity — in our faith in humanity — that something else is going to happen.

Power to the people.

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Additional pull quotes:

Re: This will take hard work, and not just be a weekend party:

“We have to take back the world. We have to take back this precious planet that is ours…We have to be on the job 24/7 working and organizing…” – Danny Glover

Re: Labor, unemployment, work, education:

“Many men and women are here who come from various organizations, who come from labor. We know what has happened in labor…88% of the workforce is unrepresented…that’s unconscionable…88% don’t have a way that they can collective bargain…We’re talking about 45% of the men and women who are unemployed or underemployed have been unemployed or underemployed for more than 4 years…We have to find something. So, it has to be more than just simply jobs…It has to be a re-imagining and a rethinking about what we mean by democracy. It has to be a re-imagining and a rethinking of what we mean by work. It has to be a re-imagining and a rethinking of what we mean by education. And, what it means…to be a human being. What does it mean to be a human being in the 21st century? That’s what we are talking about.” – Danny Glover

Re: Our children’s future, wants and needs, and the environment

“Let’s transform it into the new dream…where people matter more than things…People have to matter. In this whole process of 65,000 years of human evolution, people have to matter. We lost the bond that people are what matters, what happens to our children and the future of our children, their relationships. The Native American community says, not only do they care about the way the planet looks right now, but what does it look like seven generations from now. We have to care about that. We are going to have to maybe even think about “What do I want?” as opposed to “What do I need?. We have to recalibrate in our mind what are needs and what are wants. Those are things that we have to do. That’s the emobodiment of our own transformation. That’s the embodiment of our own evolution…” – Danny Glover

Re: Our democracy has failed us by valuing money and growth over our fragile planet

“We have to be the change that we want to see…

It’s not only taking back our democracy, we have to remake it. We have to transform it. We have to build something better than that. That’s we have to do. It’s let us down. It’s failed us. It’s failed us in our homes. It’s failed us in our communities. It’s failed us state by state.
But, it’s also failed this fragile planet we live on, this fragile mother earth which nourishes us. It’s failed us, too. We are right on the precipice of ecological collapse. And, yet, it goes on and talks about growth and development, and growth and growth, and making more money. Transforming the commons place into private property and private wealth. It keeps doing that. But, we have to change that.” – Danny Glover

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