Archive for the ‘Occupy’ Category
Jan 19th Occupy Harlem Emergency Demonstration – THE 99% MUST HOLD OBAMA ACCOUNTABLE! IF WE DON’T WHO WILL?
OCCUPY HARLEM CALLS FOR EMERGENCY DEMONSTRATION
Oppose Obama’s NDAA Police State & Resource Wars to Pillage the World
Thursday, January 19, 2012 at 6:00 PM
Where: Across the street from the Apollo Theater 253 West 125th Street
(Frederick Douglass Boulevard & Adam Clayton Powell Blvd)
THE 99% MUST HOLD OBAMA ACCOUNTABLE! IF WE DON’T WHO WILL?
On December 31, 2011 President Barack Obama signed into law the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for Fiscal Year 2012 The Act authorizes $662 billion in funding for “the defense of the United States and its interests abroad”. The bill grants power to the military to arrest U.S. citizens on American soil and detain them in military prisons indefinitely without right to legal counsel or even a trial. NDAA, a sweeping expansion of executive powers that goes far beyond the Bush administration. This law poses the greatest threat to “principles” of US democracy. Die heart Obama supporters bully, threaten and berate those who hold the President accountable for ANYTHING most of all his lies to and betrayal of the 99%! The military industrial complex and Wall Street oligarchy owns lock, stock and barrel the US Presidency, Congress and both political parties, Democrat and Republican! It’s not about the “lesser of two evils” but who is the more effective of the two evils! We have to ask ourselves, how do we hold any elected official accountable, most of all a President who has insisted the people hold him accountable! Occupy Movements across the country are hitting the streets every day to confront and end the deadly reign of the 1%. Let’s us do our job on January 19th. History will absolve us!!
We, the 99%, must hold this White House accountable for its numerous crimes against the 99% at home and abroad: an economic depression caused by gangster banks that received a 16 trillion dollar bailout under Obama; endless illegal resource wars; “shock and awe” military aggression; free trade agreements that kill jobs; deportation of one million immigrants; violation of international laws and human rights; global military expansion to dominate the world; depraved indifference to Mother Earth and continuation of a racist drug war that has given rise to the new Jim Crow mass incarceration.
Bring your issues, signs, & fellow 99ers!
Directions: Take the A, B, C or D trains to 125th Street and walk east or take the 2 or 3 trains to 125th Street and walk west.
Endorsers: Occupy Harlem, Harlem FightBack Against War at Home and Abroad, Black is Back Coalition, Occupy Wall Street Trade Justice, TradeJustice New York Metro, Occupy4Jobs, & Global Justice for Animals and the Environment. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com to have your organization added to this list!
Occupy Wall Street: What You Can Demand versus What You Must DO
by BAR executive editor Glen Ford
Occupy Wall Street activists are under some pressures to come up with demands to make of the powerful. However, “in many cases, there is no point in demanding anything from your enemy, except that he drop dead in a hurry.” If Wall Street is an unadulterated evil as many OWS folks claim – and they are right – then what is to be demanded of the banksters and their friends? That they commit suicide, forthwith? And how do you reform a cancer away? “Well before 1999, Wall Street power had passed the point where it could be controlled by conventional regulation.”
“What does a movement of the 99% versus the 1% mean by democracy, when measured against the privileges of money?”
If the signage at the Wall Street occupation site and its thousands of satellites around the country tells the tale, the dominant sentiment in the nascent movement is that finance capital be ejected from the commanding heights of power. True, there are myriad other issues in the churning mix of leaderless people power, but this is the tie that binds, without which centrifugal forces would have hurled the small, founding band of organizers into oblivion. Washington, DC’s Freedom Plaza, the other pole of the occupation force field, was established by significantly older, veteran activists, some of whom have wished Wall Street dead since the days before the bankers murdered and cannibalized (liquidated!) the last Titan of Industry.
Having challenged the plutocrats and all their minions – and gaining majority support of the American people in the process – the “movement” is called upon, from inside and out, to make specific demands. Of course, Old Fred taught us that power concedes nothing without a demand. But the wrong demands can undo a popular project, so this is not something to rush into. And, in many cases, there is no point in demanding anything from your enemy, except that he drop dead in a hurry.
It is by no means clear to me that all of the folks who claim to be bankster-slayers really want to kill the beast, or merely attempt to shrink or tame it. The logic of political economy, historical experience and common sense dictates that, if the vast wealth and power that flows from concentrated private capital is what allowed Wall Street to achieve hegemony over every important aspect of U.S. society, then concentrated capital must be vanquished; that it be given no space or opportunity to regroup to make further war on democracy.
“The wrong demands can undo a popular project, so this is not something to rush into.”
Ah, democracy, the other dominant current in the occupation conversation. What does a movement of the 99% versus the 1% mean by democracy, when measured against the privileges of money? Is it acceptable that any human being wield a million times as much influence on society as the average Josephine, by virtue of his wealth or connections to money? What about the only somewhat rich, with a few thousand times as much societal clout? Would they be prevented, like parolees, from fraternizing with their peers, lest they combine to exercise mega-clout? And, what about when these rich guys put on their masks and call themselves “The Markets.” Will we allow them to run around freely, buying and selling stuff to make millions (and then billions and derivative trillions) for themselves while, as a byproduct, affecting the terms of life for all the rest of us, wholly outside the democratic process or any civilized notion of development?
Does anyone seriously believe that today’s Masters of the Universe will allow themselves to be shut out – as a class – of the electoral pathways to state power, without wreaking havoc on an impudent society through their current control of every lever of power and the sheer crush of their money? One cannot simply leave the hegemon intact, allowing him to retain all the powers of concentrated capital that made him Master, and expect him to accept the new limitations.
The idea that the plutocrats can be quarantined from power, while remaining plutocrats, is absurd. And no, there is no difference between Warren Buffet, the Koch brothers, Bill Gates, Michael Bloomberg, the Walton (Mal-Mart) family and the late Steven Jobs. Their very existence is an insult to any legitimate concept of democracy. Every one of them would kill a million people to preserve his billions. They already do.
“The idea that the plutocrats can be quarantined from power, while remaining plutocrats, is absurd.”
A movement must be prepared to break the plutocrats’ power – confiscate his fortune or make it impossible to spend – or find themselves like Lilliputians trying to tie down a huge and vicious unchained Gulliver while he stomps on you like roaches.
There is a nostalgia and romanticism in some neighborhoods of the movement – understanding that anyone is welcome to wander in and claim membership – that has echoes in the Tea Party. A Washington Postcolumn by Barry Ritholtz, an author and head of a quantitative research firm, offers advice to the OWS movement. He wants to “bring back real capitalism,” with no bank bailouts. His closely related position is to end “too big to fail” banks in order to “restore competition.” None of this works, however, if the “real” finance capitalism at this stage in its development is exactly what we have experienced: an inherently unstable system that inexorably moves toward further consolidation, suborning every social institution along the way as a consequence of its very nature. If capitalism is in deep crisis – which is the case – and if the nature of that crisis compels finance capitalist institutions to search for ever-increasing returns through rigged markets, derivatives, systematic looting of vulnerable communities, overseas plunder under U.S. military protection and wholesale privatization of public assets in the developed capitalist countries, all of which requires massive corruption of the political and moral life of the home society, then we have simply experienced late-stage finance capitalism as it actually exists. Ritholtz would have us send the banks back to some previous era, where they will regain the vigor and moral uplift of youth.
Ritholtz clearly loves banks, or the idea of banks, and would never transfer their societal functions – which they no longer fulfill – to public entities under democratic direction. He thinks “competition” will solve the problem. However, Ritholtz does support a constitutional amendment to keep corporate money out of congressional elections, which I suppose gets his nose under the broad OWS tent, so to speak.
“Finance capital preys on the real economy and is most responsible for devouring and privatizing the public sector.”
What about bringing back Glass-Steagall, the 1932 law that separated investment banking from commercial banking, but was repealed in 1999 under President Bill Clinton? Would reinstatement of Glass-Steagall fit the bill for meaningful reform worthy of OWS? I don’t think so. If the power of Wall Street was such in 1999 that a Democratic administration would collaborate in repeal of a foundational New Deal economic pillar, then finance capital was already hegemonic. Well before 1999, Wall Street power had passed the point where it could be controlled by conventional regulation. Rather, the struggle is to free society from its fatal embrace. There is no reforming Wall Street, only its dismantling and simultaneous replacement by public institutions for allocating capital for human needs and development.
The crisis of capitalism is the hegemony of finance capital, which is beyond repair. $16 trillion dollars in infusions from the public sector under President Obama – more than the gross domestic product of the United States – have failed to cause Wall Street to function as a social asset of the nation or the global economy. Quite the opposite; finance capital preys on the real economy and is most responsible for devouring and privatizing the public sector, leaving the people naked to the predations of a dying and parasitic system.
People can choose to be ruled by rich men who call themselves “markets” or they can trust themselves to erect public institutions that are responsive to human needs. For four weeks now, the swelling OWS movement has claimed to be contemplating how to harness democracy and end plutocracy. Since it is patently clear that plutocrats and democracy cannot coexist, the project is to rid us of the plutocrats, while there’s still time to save our world. Once that’s understood, the rest is in the details.
BAR executive editor Glen Ford can be contacted at Glen.Ford@BlackAgendaReport.com.
OCCUPY HARLEM MOBILIZATION!!!
We stand in solidarity with Occupiers of Wall Street
Friday, October 28, 2011
6:30 – 9:30 PM
St. Philip’s Church
204 West 134th Street
(Adam Clayton Powell Blvd)
A call to Blacks, Latinos, and immigrants to occupy their communities against predatory investors, displacement, privatization and state repression. Let us assert our Dignity! WE MUST DEFEND OUR COMMUNITIES! THIS IS OUR STRUGGLE, THIS IS OUR MOMENT IN HISTORY. THIS IS PEOPLE’S POWER!
We stand in solidarity with all of our brothers and sisters occupying cities, towns and neighborhoods in the United States. We stand in solidarity with poor and working class people across the globe rising up against criminal predatory finance capital that has no regard for humanity, that has no regard for Mother Earth.
Wall Street, the epicenter of international finance capital, began its financial prosperity with slave profiteering firms, JP Morgan, Lehman Brothers, Wachovia Bank and Bank of America. In fact, Wall Street and most of the city’s financial district were built on the burial ground of captured Africans forced into genocidal free labor for centuries, a crime against humanity. The legacy of that crime against humanity manifested today in Jim Crow mass incarceration, a crisis of massive Black unemployment and the greatest loss of wealth for people of color from subprime lending frauds estimated between $164 billion and $213 billion.
Finance capital plutocrats have always controlled the US political system. They threaten and received a $16 trillion bank bailout, the greatest thief of taxpayers’ money in modern US history. And it’s only the tip of the iceberg because the banks have an estimated $700 trillion of worthless derivatives, the BULL in the china shop that might very well bring down Wall Street.
Let us, the 99 percent, build a united people’s movement of the poor, the working class and the middle class to reign in the one percent. ANOTHER WORLD IS POSSIBLE!
Join us for this Occupy Harlem mobilization with guest speakers and the occupy site to be announced.
NO MORE BANK BAILOUTS! NO MORE WARS! WE WANT MONEY FOR JOBS, HOUSING, EDUCATION AND MEDICAL CARE.
Endorsements: Harlem Fightback Against War at Home & Abroad, People Organization for Progress, International Action Center, United National Anti-war Coalition, All African People’s Revolutionary Party (GC), Kwame Ture Institute, Jersey City Peace Movement, Pakistan Solidarity Network, Pakistan USA Freedom Forum, BAYAN USA, DRUM (Desis Rising Up and Moving) and more to be announced.