Disability News

Unity And Solidarity Speech

  • Justin Dart's remarks on June 14, 2002, defending the psychiatric survivors' movement and decrying forced treatment for people with psychiatric disabilities:

    "Colleagues, I love you.
    Americans, I love you.
    I appeal to you for solidarity in the American Dream.
    Let us keep our eyes on the prize; liberty and justice for all. Choices for all. No denial of treatment ever.

    I congratulate David Oaks, Judi Chamberlin, Sally Zinman, and others who have cooperated to organize this meeting and each one of you here today to do the business of democracy.

    I am honored to be here today with true patriots like Andy Imparato, Tom Olin, Laura Van Tosh, Jim Ward, Larry Plumlee and so many others.

    Colleagues, our movement, democracy itself stands at an historic crossroads.

    We have the knowledge, money, productivity and technology to create a life of profound quality for all 21st century Americans. At the same time we are challenged by powerful political and psychological forces that threaten the dream of democracy with retreat and defeat. They support forced treatment.

    President Bush proposes a budget that includes total 100 percent termination of all mental health consumer psychiatric survivor technical assistance centers in one year. The Bush Administration intends to appoint psychiatrist Sally Satel to a key federal mental health advisory role.

    This American Enterprise Institute psychiatrist opposes, mocks and demeans the very idea of consumer/survivor organizing for self-determination and freedom. She entitles Chapter Two of her recent book, "Inmates Take Over the Asylums."

    Disability information is as important as joining together in solidarity for the advancement of those who do not have the tools to advocate for themselves. Speak for them as you would want them to speak for you if the situations were reversed.

Speech Continued...

  1. How can we defeat these overwhelming forces with their billion dollar lobbies and ad agency campaigns? We can beat the odds the same way our founding mothers and fathers did.

    1. We can give up life as usual and become passionate, single-minded, 365-day advocates for the American dream.
    2. We can give up politics as usual and devote every possible minute to a passionate politics that will elect friends of democracy in the elections of 2002, 2004 and beyond. We must politic as if our lives depended on it. Because, believe me, they do.

    I propose that we of the disability communities unite with all who love justice to lead a revolution of empowerment.
    A revolution, to create a culture that will empower every single individual including all people with psychiatric disabilities, to live his or her God given potential for self determination, productivity and quality of life.

    Empowerment means choices -- individual choices about where we live, how we live, where we work, choices about health care. We have a right to complete quality health care of our own choosing.

    We choose our own doctors and medication. We choose the places of care. No denial of treatment ever.

    Colleagues, I love you so much.
    United in love and passion for the dream, we shall overcome.


    From Privileges to Rights, by the National Council on Disability


disabled man in wheelchair
Crowds of activists


  • ###
  • ###
  • ###
  • ###
Justin Dart Quotes
"Colleagues, I am the luckiest man in the world, because I am a member of the best movement in the world, with the best people in the world, you. Working with you keeps me alive. I love you so much. I am with you, always. Lead on! Together, we shall overcome."
~Justin Dart, April 17, 2001

"Empowerment is when we say no to the primitive illusion that society, government, the free market, the public media are some sort of paternalistic super gods that can give us truth, equality and prosperity." ~Justin Dart

"Colleagues, we gather tonight to rededicate ourselves to united advocacy." ~Justin Dart