Speech About Growing Your Own Food at OccupyLA

Posted on Nov 2 2011 - 2:55am by Mike Lieberman

I was asked to speak at Occupy LA about growing your own food. The speech touches on how the food industry is similar to the financial world and what we can do to bring about the change that we want to see.

Excerpts from the speech:

This Occupy movement that started out on Wall Street was started because of the outrage at the outsized power of the banks and financial industry.

As the movement has grown to other cities, it’s become apparent that this doesn’t only apply to the financial world, but to a lot of other aspects of our lives as well.

The power is in the hands of an elite few that have an interest in keeping us clueless and left out in the cold to maintain the status quo that benefits them.

When you look at the financial world, it’s pretty apparent. That’s why we are all here today.

When it comes to our food and food policy, the same thing can be said. Just like in the financial world, the food industry has lots of money and lobbyists pulling strings.

What does all of this mean though? One of the complaints that I hear about these Occupy movements is that there is no plan of action. It’s just protesting and complaining.

So let’s talk about some action. Any action that can be done.

Let’s talk about growing your own food. I’m not talking about completely living off the land and being completely self-sufficient, I’m talking about growing some of your own food.

How will that make a difference?

We live in a country that’s run on capitalism. Though dead for many years, George Washington is still a pretty powerful guy. He can help to change people’s minds pretty quickly.

When you grow some of your own food, you are voting. You are voting against the current food system and the monopoly that it is. You are taking a dollar away from those large corporations. You are becoming more self-sufficient and lest reliant on the system and corporations.

I’m not saying that just one person growing something, will make a difference. No doubt about that. But if I grow something, and you grow something and you grow something and you grow something and you all inspire someone else to grow something. That one + one + one + one effect becomes huge and on a larger scale makes a big difference. All of us taking that action, will help to shift some power and bring about change.

People, we live in LA where we can pretty much grow year round. Let’s take advantage of this and do something about this situation that we aren’t happy with. Let’s take action today and make some change that we all want to see.

Here is the speech in its entirety, including some dude heckling me for a quick moment. Hope you enjoy and chime in with some other ways that we can help bring about the change that we want to see.

  • Elizabeth

    I read the excerpts…you made some important points and I hope the people were listening and hearing and are moved to action.  I have no sound here at work so will listen to the actual speech later at home.  Good going.

  • http://www.UrbanOrganicGardener.com Mike Lieberman

    Thanks. I was hoping to inspire action and not just more complaints wanting others to “bail” us out.

  • Baerbel Roemer

    Very nice speech!  Whoever says that it is not doable has not really tried it yet!

  • Guest

    I mainly grow food for fun. It doesn’t turn out to be much food.

    But I enjoy it so that is an extra reward and incentive.

    I also see the value of what I grow considering my own effort I put in. The value of the food is not distorted by the economy, or subsidies,or the price of oil, or anything else.

    I enjoy that what I produce is not fully dependent on others. Other people have no control over what I produce, what goes in to it, what I can get out of it. They don’t put a price tag on it and they don’t tax it.

  • http://marysgardeningendeavors.blogspot.com Mary C.

    That was great! Very good summary of how food is related to the big problems out there.

    I bet the heckler was just some guy there to put the whole movement down.

  • http://www.UrbanOrganicGardener.com Mike Lieberman

    For reals.

  • http://www.UrbanOrganicGardener.com Mike Lieberman

    Very well said.

  • http://www.UrbanOrganicGardener.com Mike Lieberman

    Thanks. It was a homeless guy that was pretty much doing that to everyone. Pretty much what he wanted was to be bailed out just like the banks. He didn’t want to have to do anything.

  • http://www.thecrimsonpirate.com The Crimson Pirate

    Scared me there for a minute dude ;)  Glad you got on message and gave them something to think about.  If even one of them goes out and tries it that’s progress.  Good job going down there and giving them something concrete and productive to do. 
     
    Don’t forget it is government that makes the rules and regulations, government that the lobbyist lobby to, government that big corporations get in bed with.  Monopoly cannot exist without government.  Big banks, big agro, big anything is never a problem by itself because it cannot exist by itself.  Only government can facilitate them becoming that big and powerful and becoming a problem.
     
    That’s what bothers me about the occupiers.  They are yelling about the banks, and corporations, but they are yelling TO the government.  The very government that facilitated and encouraged what they are protesting.  We’ve seen this all before:  the French Revolution, the Bolsheviks, and of course those snazzy dressing German guys we aren’t supposed to mention on the internet.
     
    Your comment about the homeless guy heckling you made me laugh, since I thought that was what all the occupiers wanted for themselves anyway, to be bailed out and get something for nothing  ;)
     
    Oh, and the U.S. hasn’t been capitalist in over 150 years.  Mercantilist is what you are looking for.  In capitalism government is minimal or absent.  The market rules, and the market is nothing than the sum of all of our personal choices.  In mercantilism companies lobby the government and bribe politicians to give them priveledges, and crush their competitors.

  • Nancyluisi

    I couldn’t have said it better! I’ll keep you on my short-list. Follow me on Twitter @certiOrganic4U and on Facebook. I’m soon be openning an online store for oganic veggie seeds! Keep up the good work and I keep you all in my prayers!

  • http://www.UrbanOrganicGardener.com Mike Lieberman

    Thanks for the wonderful insight as always.

  • http://www.UrbanOrganicGardener.com Mike Lieberman

    Phew glad to make it onto your list. Appreciate it ;-)

  • http://davidcsonka.com David Csonka

    Great job Mike, good speech. You might have a career in politics one day – err, oops! Heheh

  • http://www.UrbanOrganicGardener.com Mike Lieberman

    hahahaha. bite your tongue!

  • http://twitter.com/fagitabowdit jennifer florio

    Growing in Las Vegas!! I give away some of it and it has inspired many of my friends to give it a grow, I mean go! Going on my 2nd year and I can hardly wait til spring!

  • http://www.UrbanOrganicGardener.com Mike Lieberman

    That’s what’s up!. Good stuff.