WW photo: John Catalinotto
On May 16, Cynthia McKinney, former congresswoman from Georgia, who is vying for the presidential nomination on the Green Party ticket, spoke at a rally in opposition to the 60th anniversary of the founding of the pro-Zionist state of Israel, deemed Al Nakba (The Disaster) by the Palestinian people. The following are remarks made by McKinney at the rally outside of the United Nations.On my birthday last year, I declared my independence from a national leadership that, through its votes in support of the war machine, is now complicit in war crimes, torture, crimes against humanity and crimes against the peace.
I declared my independence from every bomb dropped, every veteran maimed and every child killed.
I noted that the Democratic leadership in Congress had failed to restore this country to constitutional rule by repealing the Patriot Acts, the Secret Evidence Act and the Military Commissions Act.
That it had aided and abetted illegal spying against the American people. And that it took impeachment off the table.
In addition, the Democratic congressional leadership failed to promote the economic integrity of this country by not repealing the Bush tax cuts. They failed to institute a livable wage, Medicare-for-all health care, and gave even more money to the Pentagon as it misuses our hard-earned dollars.
We can add to that list, too, an abject failure to stand up for human rights and dignity.
If the Democratic and Republican leadership won’t respect the right of return for Hurricanes Katrina and Rita survivors, how can we expect them to champion the right of return for Palestinians?
If this country’s leadership tolerates the wanton murder of unarmed Black and Latino men by law enforcement officials—extra-judicial killings—how can we expect them to stop or even speak out against targeted assassinations in the Middle East?
If the Democratic and Republican leadership accept ethnic cleansing in this country by way of gentrification and predatory lending, why should we expect them to put an end to it in Palestine?
If the leadership of this country impedes self-determination for Native peoples in this country, why should we expect them to support Indigenous rights for anyone abroad?
And sadly, the sensationalist corporate media would rather trick us into thinking that reporting on a pastor, a former vice presidential nominee and a former cable TV magnate constitutes this country’s much-needed discussion of its own apartheid past and present, so why should we expect an honest discussion of apartheid and Zionism?
I hope by now it is clear. Our values will never be reflected in public policy as long as our political parties and our country remain hijacked.
Hijacked by false patriots who usurp the applause of the people and all the while betray our values.
I’ve decided that neither the Democrats nor the Republicans will operate any longer as business as usual—not in my name.
That Democrats and Republicans will use my tax dollars and betray my values, not one day longer—not in my name; that neither the Democrats nor the Republicans have earned my most precious political asset—my vote.
And that now is the time to do some things I’ve never done before in order to have some things I’ve never had before.
And so here today, I declare my independence from weapons transfers, including Apache helicopters; F16s; sidewinder, hellfire and Stinger missiles.
I declare my independence from occupation, demolished homes, political prisoners and babies dying at checkpoints.
I declare my independence from U.N. vetoes, expropriated land, stolen resources and the installation of puppet regimes.
I declare my independence from all forms of dehumanization and I am not afraid to speak truth to power.
And I am happy to join with peace-loving people around the world who know that there can be no peace without justice.
Let us never tire in our work for justice. Thank you.
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