April 18, 2023 | Reed Singer, Student at Ohio University
This was given as a speech at Cincinnati City Hall the day CROW launched a petition to get a charter amendment on the ballot in the City of Cincinnati.
Hi My name is Reed Singer, and it’s an honor to be in the presence of power, in the presence of solidarity. We stand here today to recognize our power as a community. We stand here with the message that those who claim illegitimate authority- the state, the corporate few- have no power over us. That is, they have no power, ONLY when we stand in solidarity- as working people, as ecosystems, as communities. In this time of great death and destruction, acts of disobedience, moments like these, help us recognize the power we have over those who wish to exploit and control us. We recognize that the power of the entire Ohio River is on our side, that we aren’t alone, that when we stand together and act we so inspire others to act. You all have inspired me and my friends upstream in Athens along the Hocking River to act, and you’ll inspire many more.
Young people today won’t be fooled by those who apologize for the ruling class and say “just one more industrial development- this one is green!” or “just one more war- this one is for democracy!” We know their words are hollow and we know nobody is coming to save us.
What will we do? We’ll get together and build REAL democracy based on our INALIENABLE RIGHT — that means the State of Ohio can’t tell us who we are — to do so. And we’ll recognize, like our friends of the Ohio River Watershed are helping us do, that our democracy wouldn’t mean much at all if we didn’t recognize and act on our sacred responsibilities and rights of nature. Today, right now, we build that democracy.