Arundhati Roy spoke at the People's University in Washington Square Park, New York on 16th November.
What you have achieved since 17 September, when the Occupy movement began in the United States, is to introduce a new imagination, a new political language into the heart of empire. You have reintroduced the right to dream into a system that tried to turn everybody into zombies mesmerised into equating mindless consumerism with happiness and fulfilment.
She went on to outline some possible demands for the Occupy movement:
We want to put a lid on this system that manufactures inequality. We want to put a cap on the unfettered accumulation of wealth and property by individuals as well as corporations. As "cap-ists" and "lid-ites", we demand:
• An end to cross-ownership in businesses. For example, weapons manufacturers cannot own TV stations; mining corporations cannot run newspapers; business houses cannot fund universities; drug companies cannot control public health funds.
• Natural resources and essential infrastructure - water supply, electricity, health, and education - cannot be privatised.
• Everybody must have the right to shelter, education and healthcare.
• The children of the rich cannot inherit their parents' wealth.
This struggle has re-awakened our imagination. Somewhere along the way, capitalism reduced the idea of justice to mean just "human rights", and the idea of dreaming of equality became blasphemous. We are not fighting to tinker with reforming a system that needs to be replaced.
Visit the Guardian for a full transcript.
Arundhati Roy is a contributor to Kashmir: The Case for Freedom (out now).