Olmstead v. L.C. and E.W. is the Dred Scott case of our century.
In 1857 the Supreme Court was asked to determine if Dred Scott, a slave,
could be allowed to sue for his freedom just as L.C. and E.W. have sued
for their own.
Scott was in the right and still he lost his case. L.C. and E.W. were
in the right. Still, they could have have lost the Olmstead case and
all of us may yet lose when states do not obey the Court's ruling. A
ruling is only a ruling until states bring it to life in their policies
We have been too reasonable for too long, so reasonable
that we earned not respect but pity. Now states believe we'll sit by
helplessly while they steal our civil rights, our freedom.
We give notice here and now: We are not helpless.
We will no longer be "consumers," recipients of "assessments" and "placements."
We will no longer attempt to impress the powers
that be with the logic of our arguments, to prove how reasonable we
can be. We will go before them, face to face, to fight for our freedom.
We will not be held hostage to what they call administrative
efficiency. We will not keep to our place. We will never again be put
We are freedom fighters now.
And this is war.
photographs on this page are the work of Tom Olin. The photo at top
was taken at during an ADAPT action at a nursing home operators convention
in Orlando, Florida. The photo below it is from a 1991 ADAPT action
in Baltimore at the Health Care Financing Administration. The last photo
is from the Wheels of Justice march in Washington, D.C., 1996. The declaration
appeared in Mouth Magazine in March, 1999.