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Ten 2019 speeches to echo into 2020


Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez first House floor speech

"The truth of this shutdown is that it's actually not about a wall; it is not about the border; and it is certainly not about the well-being of everyday Americans. The truth is, this shut down is about the erosion of American democracy and the subversion of our most basic governmental norms.


"It is not normal to hold 800,000 workers' paychecks hostage.

"It is not normal to shut down the government when we don't get what we want.

"It is not normal for a public servants to run away and hide from the public that they serve."


Greta Thunberg's speech to UN leaders

"This is all wrong. I shouldn't be up here. I should be back in school on the other side of the ocean. Yet you all come to us young people for hope. How dare you!


"You have stolen my dreams and my childhood with your empty words. And yet I'm one of the lucky ones. People are suffering. People are dying. Entire ecosystems are collapsing. We are in the beginning of a mass extinction, and all you can talk about is money and fairy tales of eternal economic growth. How dare you!


"For more than 30 years, the science has been crystal clear. How dare you continue to look away and come here saying that you're doing enough, when the politics and solutions needed are still nowhere in sight.


"You say you hear us and that you understand the urgency. But no matter how sad and angry I am, I do not want to believe that. Because if you really understood the situation and still kept on failing to act, then you would be evil. And that I refuse to believe."


Putin delivers annual address to Russia‘s Federal Assembly

"I am saying this directly and openly now, so that no one can blame us later, so that it will be clear to everyone in advance what is being said here. Russia will be forced to create and deploy weapons that can be used not only in the areas we are directly threatened from, but also in areas that contain decision-making centres for the missile systems threatening us.


"What is important in this regard? There is some new information. These weapons will fully correspond to the threats directed against Russia in their technical specifications, including flight times to these decision-making centres.


"We know how to do this and will implement these plans immediately, as soon as the threats to us become real. I do not think we need any further, irresponsible exacerbation of the current international situation. We do not want this.


"What would I like to add? Our American colleagues have already tried to gain absolute military superiority with their global missile defence project. They need to stop deluding themselves. Our response will always be efficient and effective."


Barack Obama's remembrance at Rep. Elijah Cummings' funeral

"More than once during my presidency, when the economy still looked like it might plunge into depression, when the health-care bill was pronounced dead in Congress, I would watch Elijah rally his colleagues. “The cost of doing nothing isn’t nothing,” he would say, and folks would remember why they entered into public service. “Our children are the living messengers we send to a future we will never see,” he would say, and he would remind all of us that our time is too short not to fight for what’s good and what is true and what is best in America.


"Two hundred years to 300 years from now, he would say, people will look back at this moment and they will ask the question “What did you do?” And hearing him, we would be reminded that it falls upon each of us to give voice to the voiceless, and comfort to the sick, and opportunity to those not born to it, and to preserve and nurture our democracy.


"Elijah Cummings was a man of noble and good heart. His parents and his faith planted the seeds of hope, and love, and compassion, and righteousness in that good soil of his. He has harvested all the crops that he could, for the Lord has now called Elijah home, to give his humble, faithful servant rest. And it now falls on us to continue his work, so that other young boys and girls from Baltimore, across Maryland, across the United States, and around the world might too have a chance to grow and to flourish. That’s how we will honor him. That’s how we will remember him. That’s what he would hope for. May God bless the memory of the very honorable Elijah Cummings. And may God bless this city, and this state, and this nation that he loved. God bless you."


Bernie Sanders calls for "21st Century Bill of Rights"

"My friends, we are in the midst of a defining and pivotal moment for our country and our planet. And, with so many crises converging upon us simultaneously, it is easy for us to become overwhelmed or depressed – or to even throw up our hands in resignation.


"But my message to you today is that if there was ever a moment in the history of our country where despair was not an option, this is that time.


"If there was ever a moment where we had to effectively analyze the competing political and social forces which define this historical period, this is that time.


"If there was ever a moment when we needed to stand up and fight against the forces of oligarchy and authoritarianism, this is that time.


"And, if there was ever a moment when we needed a new vision to bring our people together in the fight for justice, decency and human dignity, this is that time.


"In the year 2019 the United States and the rest of the world face two very different political paths. On one hand, there is a growing movement towards oligarchy and authoritarianism in which a small number of incredibly wealthy and powerful billionaires own and control a significant part of the economy and exert enormous influence over the political life of our country.


"On the other hand, in opposition to oligarchy, there is a movement of working people and young people who, in ever increasing numbers, are fighting for justice.


"They are the teachers taking to the streets to make certain that schools are adequately funded and that their students get a quality education.


"They are workers at Disney, Amazon, Walmart and the fast food industry standing up and fighting for a living wage of at least $15 an hour and the right to have a union.


"They are young people taking on the fossil fuel industry and demanding policies that transform our energy system and protect our planet from the ravages of climate change.


"They are women who refuse to give control of their bodies to local, state and federal politicians. 


"They are people of color and their allies demanding an end to systemic racism and massive racial inequities that exist throughout our society." 


"They are immigrants and their allies fighting to end the demonization of undocumented people and for comprehensive immigration reform.

Jacinda Ardern's 'Let us be the nation we believe ourselves to be'


"What words adequately express the pain and suffering of 50 men, women and children lost, and so many injured? What words capture the anguish of our Muslim community being the target of hatred and violence? What words express the grief of a city that has already known so much pain?


"I thought there were none. And then I came here and was met with this simple greeting. As-salaam Alaikum. Peace be upon you.


"They were simple words, repeated by community leaders who witnessed the loss of their friends and loved ones. Simple words, whispered by the injured from their hospital beds. Simple words, spoken by the bereaved and everyone I met who has been affected by this attack.


"As-salaam Alaikum. Peace be upon you.


"They were words spoken by a community who, in the face of hate and violence, had every right to express anger but instead opened their doors for all of us to grieve with them. And so we say to those who have lost the most, we may not have always had the words.


"We may have left flowers, performed the haka, sung songs or simply embraced. But even when we had no words, we still heard yours, and they have left us humbled and they have left us united."


President Bolsonaro's full speech to the UN General Assembly

“We all know that all countries have problems. Yet, the sensationalist attacks that we have suffered coming from a large part of the international media due to the fire outbreaks in the Amazonian region have aroused our patriotic sentiment.


“It is a fallacy to say that the Amazon is the heritage of humankind, and a misconception, as confirmed by scientists, to say that our Amazonian forests are the lungs of world. Using these fallacies, certain countries instead of helping, embarked on the media lies and behaved in a disrespectful manner and with a colonialist spirit. They even called into question that which we hold as the most sacred value: our own sovereignty.”


Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman Opening Statement

"Next month will mark 40 years since my family arrived in the United States as refugees. When my father was 47 years old he left behind his entire life and the only home he had ever known to start over in the United States so that his three sons could have better, safer lives. His courageous decision inspired a deep sense of gratitude in my brothers and myself and instilled in us a sense of duty and service. All three of us have served or are currently serving in the military. Our collective military service is a special part of our family’s story in America.


"I also recognize that my simple act of appearing here today, just like the courage of my colleagues who have also truthfully testified before this Committee, would not be tolerated in many places around the world. In Russia, my act of expressing my concerns to the chain of command in an official and private channel would have severe personal and professional repercussions and offering public testimony involving the President would surely cost me my life. I am grateful for my father’s brave act of hope 40 years ago and for the privilege of being an American citizen and public servant, where I can live free of fear for mine and my family’s safety.


"Dad, my sitting here today, in the US Capitol talking to our elected officials is proof that you made the right decision forty years ago to leave the Soviet Union and come here to United States of America in search of a better life for our family. Do not worry, I will be fine for telling the truth."


Speaker John Bercow's resignation speech

"Throughout my time as speaker, I have sought to increase the relative authority of this legislature for which I will make absolutely no apology to anyone, anywhere, at any time. To deploy a perhaps dangerous phrase: I have also sought to be the backbenchers’ backstop.


"I could not do so without the support of a small but superb team in Speakers’ House. The wider House staff, my Buckingham constituents and above all, my wife Sally and our three children, Oliver, Freddie and Jemima.


"From the bottom of my heart, I thank them all profusely. I could also not have served without the repeated support of this House and its members past and present.


"This is a wonderful place filled overwhelmingly by people who are motivated by their notion of the national interest, by their perception of the public good and by their duty not as democrats, but as representatives to do what they believe is right for our country. We degrade this parliament at our peril."


Boris Johnson delivers victory speech as Tories secure election win

"I have a message to all those who voted for us yesterday, especially those who voted for us Conservatives, one-nation Conservatives for the first time.


"You may only have lent us your vote and you may not think of yourself as a natural Tory.


"And as I think I said 11 years ago to the people of London when I was elected in what was thought of as a Labour city, your hand may have quivered over the ballot paper before you put your cross in the Conservative box and you may intend to return to Labour next time round.


"And if that is the case, I am humbled that you have put your trust in me, and that you have put your trust in us. And I, and we, will never take your support for granted.


"And I will make it my mission to work night and day, flat out, to prove you right in voting for me this time, and to earn your support in the future. And I say to you that in this election your voice has been heard and about time too.


"Because we politicians have squandered the last three years, three and a half years, in squabbles about Brexit - we've even been arguing about arguing, and about the tone of our arguments.


"And I will put an end to all that nonsense, and we will get Brexit done on time by the 31st of January, no ifs, no buts, no maybes.


"Leaving the European Union as one United Kingdom, taking back control of our laws, borders, money, our trade, immigration system, delivering on the democratic mandate of the people."

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