Pat Walls, who attended the event with her husband Phillip Walls, said Occupy Wall Street reminds her of her college days as she spoke out against government service cuts.
“Specifically, I am really afraid of the cuts to homecare services because I am really dependent on my home attendant,” said Walls. She also criticized a new limit for physical and occupational therapy to twenty visits a year, which restricts her ability to receive care for her leg problems.
(David Dopico and Phillip Walls pictured)
Phillip Walls said he attended to call simply for more housing and jobs. “We need jobs, so we have to find ways to make jobs. I like Obama but whoever is in there, we need both sides to help us,” he said.
DIA member David Dopico held a sign that read, “No more cutbacks. Tax GE,” for General Electric. He said he thinks the movement is good for America and is particularly concerned about cuts to Medicaid and Medicare. “Social service groups are going to be affected by the cuts,” Dopico said.
Julie Maury said she was there to protest “the wrong allocation of money” for people with disabilities. “All the money goes into nursing homes and not enough goes into our homes,” she said.
“I think I was waiting for this forever, just the rising up against the status quo,” said Maury. She also came for “the feeling of community that everyone who is marginalized, we’re all in the same boat, we’re all in the same family.”
Attorney and activist T.K. Small has written about the protest movement on his blog, www.tksmall.com, where he called on President Obama to fulfill his campaign promise to support of the Community Living Assistance Services and Supports (CLASS) Act and the Community Choice Act.
“In the now famous Martin Luther King, Jr. ‘I Have a Dream’ speech, Dr. King speaks about the national obligation to fulfill a ‘promissory note’ to the African American community. In a direct parallel, President Obama has given a ‘promissory note’ to the disability community to advance our civil rights to live in the mainstream community and has so far defaulted,” Small wrote.
Matt Weber, a high school math teacher said, “I think the most important thing is the realization that neither political party in the last four decades has had the political will necessary to address underlying problems in American society and the world.”
“I support restoring the highest marginal income tax rate to the level that it was in the greatest expansion of our nation’s history – the late 40s through the early 70s,” Weber said.
Henry Funez, a high school special education teacher, criticized the recent layoff of city school aides, some of whom assisted students with disabilities to board buses, use the bathroom and perform other tasks. “If they truly knew what these aides did on a daily basis, they wouldn’t have fired them,” he said.
Occupy Wall Street began in lower Manhattan on September 17th. It has since spread to hundreds of cities around the country and the globe.
This article was published in the November 2011 issue of Able News.