The economic crisis continues.
While the Obama administration dispenses with trillions of dollars to the finance industry, homeless encampments—reminiscent of the “Hoovervilles” of the Great Depression—have reemerged in a number of American cities: here.
One day after being ousted as head of the Czech government Mirek Topolanek, who currently holds the revolving chair of the European Union, openly criticised the financial policy of the US government, telling European parliamentary deputies that America was on the “road to hell”: here.
Anti-war campaigners help force out Czech PM: here.
In this email [from the USA]:
* Bail Out the People Movement Statement on AIG and the Latest Bailout Plan
* Information about the April 3 March on Wall Street
March on Wall Street & AIG on APRIL 3: Bail Out People, Not Banks!
April 3 March on Wall Street
Main focus of March:
* The need for a real jobs program
* A moratorium on foreclosures and evictions
The April 3 March on Wall Street will begin with an opening rally at 1:00 PM at Wall Street and Broadway, followed by a march to AIG at 70 Pine St. (see details below)
The Bail Out the People Movement Statement on AIG and the Latest Bank Bailout Plan
* The new plan still bails out banks, not people
* AIG outrage must fuel a struggle for a real jobs program
On Friday, April 3, the Bail Out the People Movement, a growing coalition of hundreds of organizations and thousands of activists, will march on Wall Street and AIG. Protesters on April 3 will bring demands for a real jobs program, a moratorium on foreclosures, and other necessary programs for bailing out the people, not banks and Wall Street financial institutions.
The growing anger over the AIG bonus bonanza, outrageous as it is, is really about the fact that trillions of dollars are being deployed to rescue the wealthiest on Wall Street, while the unemployment and foreclosure rates continue to head towards depressionApril 3 March on Wall Street levels.
The mass anger at Wall Street will be wasted unless it is used to focus on the real crisis.
At the April 3 March on Wall Street, the Bail Out The People Movement will open a nationwide petition campaign for an emergency jobs program on the scale of the Work Projects Administration of the 1930s. The stimulus legislation is far too little to make even a dent in the estimated 20 million people who are jobless or underemployed. The unemployed need a real jobs program, and they need it now.
The April 3 Wall Street march will also focus attention on the need for an immediate national moratorium on foreclosures and evictions. Such a moratorium should have been put in place two years ago. It is unacceptable and scandalous, considering the historically unprecedented level of government interventions and control of the mortgage industry and the banks, that the government has failed to order an end to evictions
Taxing multimillion dollar bonuses, putting a cap on corporate pay, and new regulations on the banks may be good ideas, but they are no substitute for a jobs program of sufficient scope and size to stop and reverse the unemployment crisis.
Moreover, the measures being proposed in Washington are no substitute for a vitally necessary single-payer health care program for all or the need for the passage and signing into law of the Employee Free Choice Act, so that working people will be better able to organize and defend themselves against the robber barons of Wall Street.
The new so-called public/private bank bailout plan is a thinly veiled attempt to make it appear as though private investors will share the burden of bailed out banks. With the new plan, 90 percent of bailout funds, or at least one trillion dollars,April 3 March on Wall Street will come from the government.
The new plan is premised on exact same rational as the last bank bail out plan. The government will continue to pump trillions of dollars in to the banks until the banks are declared fixed. In the meantime, the lives of tens of millions more people are going to slide into life-threatening poverty.
The time has come for this rationale to be rejected. The idea that some banks are too big to fail but untold millions of peoples’ lives can be devastated, or that profits must come before the welfare of the people, are not commandments from heaven but rules made down here on earth to protect the interest of the few against that of the many.
Henceforth, the fight must be about reversing the flow of government money away from the banks and into social needs.
Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. dedicated the last year of his life to trying to open up what he considered the second phase of the civil rights movement: the fight for economic justice. King’s main focus in the few months of 1968, before being gunned down on April 4, was to win public support for the right of all to either a job or an income.
As King planned the poor peoples’ march on Washington in those final weeks, nowhere did he ever mention that the need and the right to a job or an income must be based on the solvency of JP Morgan Chase, Citicorp, Bank Of America, Wells Fargo, Goldman Sachs, etc. and their power to turn the economy on and off depending on what makes them richer.
The message that thousands of marchers will bring to Wall St. on Friday April 3, the day before the 41st anniversary of King’s death, is that society can no longer allow for jobs, housing, healthcare and all that people need to be held hostage to the arrogance, greed and power of bankers.
In addition to the need for a real jobs program and a moratorium on evictions, some of the other issues that the April 3 march on Wall St. will be drawing attention to include:
* The need for an immediate moratorium on layoffs and cuts in social programs
* Opposition to tuition hikes and public transportation fare hikes
* Single payer health care for ALL
* Support the Employee Free Choice Act
* Support the rights of immigrant workers
* An end to wars and occupations
*** Building a national march requires printing tens of thousands of leaflets, posters, and stickers, as well as preparing placards and banners and providing sound for the rally and march. Please consider making a contribution to help with organizing expenses at http://bailoutpeople.org/donate.shtml.
Information on the April 3 March on Wall Street:
Gather at 1pm on Wall Street at Broadway (map)
Rally on Broadway from Wall Street south to Exchange and block further South to the ‘Bull’.
MARCH on AIG
We will march through the narrow streets of the New York Financial District – Major financial institutions are all along Broadway and within one block of Rally – Chase, Fidelity, American Express, the New York Stock Exchange, the Federal Reserve, and more.
We will march east on Pine to the AIG Buildings at 70 Pine and 80 Pine and then to the AIG Building at 125 Water St.
Then, we will march north on Water Street to Foley Square, for an ending rally at 5:15 at Foley Square
Public Transportation: (map)
2, 4, or 5 to Wall Street
R or W to Rector Street
J, M or Z to Broad Street
M1, M6 or M15 to Broadway-Nassau/Fulton Street
NJ PATH trains to World Trade Center and 5 minute walk.
Bus Drop Off: on Broadway at Wall Street
Bus Pick up: at Foley Square
Bail Out the People Movement
55 W. 17th St. #5C
New York, NY 10011