This year's remarks for our London Thanksgiving celebration:
I want to welcome all of you to the London encampment of Occupy Thanksgiving. – a movement dedicated to changing the public’s discourse about holiday inequality.
So I ask you, should 1% of the world’s population keep this holiday to themselves with their pilgrims and Indians and pumpkin pie and sweet potatoes. Hell no! For twenty years we have been out fighting the undue influence of America, and the banks, on Thanksgiving. We just didn’t know then that a small turkey dinner in Frankfurt would become what it is today. – an encampment and the center of a movement that will change the world. And I have a message for Boris Johnson and the Bishop of London. This house is private property and we’re not going anywhere.
Many of you, especially our friends from Germany, were present when we set out our manifesto– Thanksgiving is not just for Americans. Thanksgiving inequality will no longer be tolerated. It is a basic human right that should be available to all. And since the politicians refuse to take on this task, my friends, the job has been left to us.
Now over the years, we have worked hard to grow our movement, as you can see, but despite our best and honest efforts, we can not keep up with those greedy, corrupt, fat cat Americans back in America racing ahead with their football games and parades and day off. Now I ask you, who couldn’t produce a lousy turkey dinner if the whole country was given the day off to do it. We are the 99% who had to go to school today. We are the 99% who had to go to work today. And, honest, hardworking holiday makers that we are - we must go to school and work tomorrow. Yes, it is true. We are the Thanksgiving 99%.
And our efforts have not gone unnoticed. I have here emails from leaders around the world: Gorbachev has compared us to perestroika, the Peoples Republic of China’s State News Agency said the thanksgiving protests exposed fundamental problems with the US economic and political systems. The Canadian Prime Minister expressed solidarity noting that Canada has its own Thanksgiving that is fair, progressive and favors the vulnerable.
Speaking of which, we know it took courage to come here tonight. From all over the world, you had to endure Heathrow, the M25 and the District Line. You had to schlep oysters and chairs and pies. You have to converse and eat in battle like conditions. Health and Safety laws have already been breached and more will be breached before the night is over.
But someday, when the history books have been wriiten and people from every corner of the globe and walk of life take time to share their bountiful tables with others, when children ask their parents, “Is it true? In the olden days that only 1% of the world’s population celebrated Thanksgiving?” and those children will be told stories of you – the original occupiers - who understood that to make everyone’s life better, we need a global day of thanks where the virtues of togetherness, cooperation and community are embraced by all. And so now I ask everyone to raise a glass and drink to us, Occupy Thanksgiving, and the movement that changed the world.