Monday, December 8, 2008

Jan 17: Bail Out the People, NOT Wall Street



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Dear activists and organizers,
The Bail Out the People Movement invites you to come together on Jan. 17, 2009 to talk, share and plan to fight back. If there was ever a time for us to recommit ourselves to Dr. King’s struggle for economic and social justice, there can hardly be any doubt that now, 80 years after his birth, is that time.
The people made history by electing Barack Obama president. Certainly that accomplishment realizes a measure of King’s dream. Yet poverty, racism and war remain a growing part of our reality--especially now, as people’s lives are being devastated by the biggest worldwide economic crisis since the Great Depression of the 1930s.
In addition to the almost $1 trillion dollars that the U.S. government has wasted on the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, it plans to spend almost $8 trillion dollars to save the crisis-ridden economic system. Most of this fortune has been given to the big banks. An undetermined yet small percentage of that money is pledged towards an infrastructure renewal project that promises to create jobs. Yet unemployment is rising so fast that the infrastructure renewal proposal is far too little and too distant to have any impact on the depression-level joblessness that we face.
Given the remarkable scope of the government’s intervention into the financial sector of the economy to shore up the banks, it is shockingly criminal that the government hasn’t declared a moratorium on the evictions and home foreclosures that throw thousands of families onto the streets everyday.
It is no less shocking that the government has done nothing to stop the waves of cruel budget cuts that are forcing students to quit school, raising public transportation fares, making healthcare even more inaccessible for millions, and pushing more workers onto the unemployment line.
King devoted the last year of his life planning the beginning of what he considered to be the second phase of the civil rights struggle--for the right of all to a decent paying job, or an income for those unable to work. King realized that this phase of the struggle would be harder, and that because Wall Street holds the real power, no election or president--however historical and inspiring--could be a substitute for organization and mass action in the struggle for economic rights.
Whether you are an antiwar activist; a union organizer; someone who first became excited about politics because of Obama’s campaign; or someone who is losing a job, a home, the ability to go to school, healthcare, a pension and are ready unite and fight back, let’s come together and determine what we can do during the first 100 days of the new administration and beyond to help give birth to a desperately needed mass struggle to fight for all that people need to survive and thrive.

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