I want to thank everyone who participated in last Friday's Occupy Appalachia rally at the Elkins Federal Plaza.
With the help of the four Home Land Security officers who attended, we were close to 60 people. I especially want to thank Lindsay Graham for offering such a powerful invocation; to the musicians, Jane Birdsong, Carrie and Michael Kline, who led us in inspiring song; and to our speakers, Michael Davis who gave an overview of the Occupy Movement and emphasized the importance of "being the change you want to see" by always being peaceful; Dr. Mary Boyd, who spoke about the difficulty of providing good health care under the present system and the need for a single payer system to bring costs down; Chuck Collins, who came all the way down from Arthurdale to talk about the many Americans who, if they are fortunate enough to have a job, work long and hard and hardly make enough to get by, while some of the people at the top, especially in the financial sector, get obscenely wealthy; and to Matt Kupstas, who talked about the importance of taking care of the environment and stopping global climate warming (before it stops us).
But most of all, I want to thank the Department of Home Land Security for sending out four officers to ensure that we, the people, were able to express our First Amendment rights to assemble and speak out against injustice. In 2008, when we held a protest against the endless war in Iraq, the government did not send even one officer. It just goes to show how much progress our government has made in just over three years.
And we should all be thankful for the enormous economic stimulus this is providing our area. Just think of all the money they spent on this. Four men, who were probably getting paid over time, drove all the way down from Clarksburg in two SUVs. I'm glad they didn't think of car pooling. Just this one action in this one small community probably added thousands of dollars to the local economy. And with their new-found awareness of the threat to our constitutional rights, I'm sure Homeland Security is doing this all over the country. Nationally, they must be spending millions on this stimulus program. And unlike the billions (trillions?) we spent on the endless wars, this money is being spent right here at home.
You have to admit, Homeland Security is one of the smartest branches of government, getting a real bang for their buck, by both protecting citizen's rights while stimulating the economy. That is good government. And, best of all, I bet that everyone of those teachers and social workers and other government employees who have lost their jobs because of government cut-backs, can now find work with Homeland Security. By taking on this new area of responsibility, I am sure that Homeland Security will be hiring thousands of people for good paying positions. This will be better than any jobs bill Obama can come up with and it doesn't even have to go through the do nothing Congress.
Again, I want to thank everyone who braved the cold and wet to bring the Occupy Movement to Elkins and begin the work of creating a better community, country and world. Let's get big money out of government and policy. I want to let everyone, but especially Homeland Security, know that our next action will be to share more singing and a potluck supper and more on Nov. 17, at the Courthouse Annex. For information, please email firstname.lastname@example.org. Peace.