This is a transcript of Jill Stein's speech at the Women's March on the Pentagon on October 21, 2018.
MC: A little controversial - for some - and the reason she's here and we invited her and she accepted our invitation is because she's been an anti-war activist since before most of you were born. So anyway, this is what her role is today. As an anti-war activist who is probably one of the few women in the public eye who actually has the balls to stand up against the military machine and tell it like it is. I'd like to introduce a friend of mine and a powerful person: Jill Stein. [cheering]
JILL STEIN: Thank you so much Bonnie and thank you, Cindy, you two are just wonderful. Can we just give them a big huge thank you! This is what democracy looks like! You know, there's not a lot of democracy out there right now, because they’ve got this new McCarthyism thing going. We’ve got another name for it: we call it "Maddow-ism" after its latest cheerleader because this era of political opposition - or I should say, political censorship and warmongering and the suppression of political opposition is back big time, so to look around you would think that there's nothing going on out there but you know what? Just because there's radio silence does not mean that there's not a rebellion in full swing - there is! You just gotta go to the communities to see it.
And if you go to Flint, Michigan or if you go to Baltimore, if you go to the housing projects, if you go to the public schools that are being shut down, if you go to the food pantries where people don't have enough to eat, you know why they don't have enough to eat? You know why our communities are crumbling? Because our tax dollars are going over there [points to the Pentagon].
In the last tax day, the average American devoted something like $3,400 to keep that thing doing what it’s doing, and that's the Pentagon if you can't see what I'm pointing to. So while we were digging deep for the Pentagon, nearly $3,500, do you know how much we were appropriating to our communities? It was eighty dollars of the average tax base that went to support social programs and forty dollars that went to support the EPA.
So when Walter talks about speaking truth to power, and speaking truth about power, let's add to that, and let's say: let's take power back and throw the bums out. Because we all know so well, they are representing the one percent. They're not representing us, and I want to give a big thank you right now especially to three candidates who are running right now for Congress - two for Congress and one for Senate. Pat Elder, right over here running in Maryland against Steny Hoyer, one of the foundations of the war machine. Diane Moxley, who's running in New Jersey, against an incumbent Republican, but you can't really tell much difference between the Democrat and the Republican these days, because you know, the Democrats are leading the charge for more war these days.
They're attacking Trump, but they're attacking him from the right. They don't want peace to be made. They don't want peace on the Korean peninsula. You know, Trump may be doing the right thing for the wrong reasons, but once in a while he has stumbled into the right thing, accidentally - we'll see how long that lasts, but we should not be trying to discourage North and South Korea from making peace, which they are finally doing because they have told the US to get out of the way. They said it nicely, of course, but you know, thank goodness they are not waiting for the United States to give them permission to make peace after 60 years of endless war. It's time for peace on the Korean Peninsula.
And we need to take a lesson from the people of South Korea, who were led by the labor movement and by women in particular, to get out into the street weekend after weekend. They were out with their candles in the candlelight revolution and they basically gave the courage of their convictions to their courts who impeached their warmongering, corporate-sponsored President. We need to follow in the footsteps of South Korea - we need to have a strong movement in the streets, take it into the voting booth and we need to begin to make peace for our planet, for our people, not just for the profiteers and the warmongers who are represented by both political parties.
And I also wanted to mention Madelyn Hoffman, who's also here running for Senate. Another peace candidate from the state of New Jersey also. So just real quickly, while the Pentagon is listening - and I trust that they are - we have a few things, a few suggestions to make, okay? Go back to the drawing board. We need a whole new foreign policy based on international law, human rights and diplomacy, not economic and military domination. We need to pull out of Yemen. The war will collapse. The Saudis can't do it without our support. Let's stop this horrific criminal war.
We need to create a Department of Defense, not a Department of Offense. We can close those 800 bases. You know how much the whole world has? You add up the whole world, they have 30. We have 800. Okay? Something's wrong with this picture. It's called empire, and it's collapsing.
We need not only to stop the sale of weapons to Saudi Arabia, we need a permanent war embargo of all weapons to the Middle East - in fact, a permanent embargo of weapon sales to the world. Let's stop the profiteering over all the dead bodies of the women and children who are being destroyed in these horrible wars.
And then finally, we need a global Green New Deal: put the military money into fighting the true war that is threatening us all, and that is the war against climate, which we must all get behind. So we can stop this lethal climate change which is coming down on us if we put even a portion of the money that we're putting into the war machine, put that into the green energy transition. You know what? It actually pays for itself, because we get so much healthier when we move to green energy, that we save so much in health savings that it actually pays for the green energy transition. We also need green agriculture and a green transportation system. It makes the wars for oil obsolete, it revives our economy and it can turn the tide on climate change.
We need to do it globally, sign the Iran treaty, the Paris treaty, sign the nuclear weapons treaty and, above all, don't let them silence you! Don't let them blame and shame you. We are the antidote to Donald Trump - we're not the cause. The only people that third parties take votes from are the non-voting bloc that is the largest bloc of voters out there. We need more choices, not less. If you're worried about a split vote, get behind ranked choice voting. You don't solve our democracy problem by creating less democracy. We need more democracy.
Thank you - keep up the fight!