Minutes of Disability Caucus Meeting 4/17/12

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The regular Tuesday Disability Caucus meeting place was shifted from the Atrium to 8th Ave. and 32nd St. in front of the main post office on the 17th. Members, Karr Massi, Paula Wolfe, Phillip Bennett, Danny Robert, Pat Walls, and Nadina LaSpina joined other occupiers in a protest against the unfair “taxation without representation” system. As the 99%, we wore signs demanding, “tax the rich,” “tax financial transactions,” etc. We talked among ourselves about the systemic tendency to threaten cuts to Medicaid. We engaged in conversations with Occupiers and passersby about how the 1% is portraying us as “useless burdens to society,” and makes disabled people the targets of their greed. “Instead of paying their fair share, they protect their profits by exploiting us and cutting services we need to survive. This is the richest country in the world. There are plenty of resources for all of us. Greed is the obstacle.”

At approximately 6:30, Dusty Grella, a young man in a manual wheelchair, maneuvered himself to the unbarricaded space at the foot of the post office steps, got out of his chair and, amid cries of, “go Dusty!” and “access is a civil right!” climbed the steps on his butt with his tax return and a check in his mouth. This was a dramatic opportunity for OWS – disabled and non-disabled alike – to call for a more accessible better world. Dusty descended the steps several minutes later in the same fashion surrounded by clueless cops amid loud cheers.

Members of the D.C. also joined the Political Action workgroup in dialoguing with people on their way to mail their tax returns about the unfairness of the tax system which penalizes the working people and rewards the 1%.


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