Thursday, July 28, 2011

Grabbing the Bull by the Horns


From "Day of Rage" on Wall Street, March 2011


The same folks who marched on the New York Stock Exchange last spring, and then camped out in protest for three weeks in front of City Hall earlier this summer, will be back on The Street on Aug. 2.  That's the same day the United States is due to default if the radical right wing of Congress succeeds in pulling off its internal coup d'etat.  No better way to celebrate Debt Ceiling Armageddon and let your voices be heard than to join New Yorkers Against Budget Cuts once again.

These people actually have a little money now.  A baker's dozen of them ("The Bloombergville 13") were arrested last month for disorderly conduct during their marathon street fest/sleepover.  They have $700 left over from their defense fund, and are funneling it back into their movement:  signs, bullhorns, all the paraphernalia for another peaceful but loud protest.  (The first big event was in March.  Called "Day of Rage", it attracted thousands of marchers and no corporate media coverage.  I first learned about it from  Al Jazeera.)


New York's Finest Rousts the Happy Campers from Bloombergville

Here's the official announcement for the Big Event, courtesy of New Yorkers Against Budget Cuts:

Oppose Cutbacks And Austerity Of Any Kind
Gather at 4:30: Meet At The Bull, Just South Of Broadway And Morris Street, At The North End Of Bowling Green Park
As the two U.S. political parties unite to dismantle Medicaid, Medicare and Social Security, it’s clear:
The bankers are looting decades-old peoples’ programs and the Democrats can’t help us. Obama can’t help us. Elected officials can’t help us.
It’s time for the people to meet and take the bull by the horns!
The students, union activists, and others who organized "Bloombergville" -- the three-week anti-austerity occupation on Wall Street’s doorstep -- have called for an August 2 General Assembly/Speakout on Wall Street, at the bull, from 4:30 to 7, to protest the ongoing pro-bank, anti-people cutbacks and gather into working groups to plan for the September 17 occupation of Wall Street.
This is a call for every teacher, home health aid, parent, student, tenant, librarian, city/state employee, childcare provider, nurse, patient, employed or unemployed worker or recipient of Social Security or any type of public assistance: on August 2 come to Wall Street – the scene of the crimes now being perpetrated on the people – and make your voice heard!
The current depression-level crisis is not due to lack of revenue. It’s due to theft. The trillions that the banks are sitting on right now? That’s our money. Whether through taxes; the looting of pension and social security contributions; or the wealth we created from our labor – all of that belongs to us. Come to Wall Street August 2 and strategize -- on how to get that back!

13 comments:

Denis Neville said...

Grabbing the Bull by the Horns, Recalling the Big Bull Market that was Only Yesterday

In Only Yesterday, Frederick Lewis Allen wrote about the era between the end of World War I and the 1929 stock market panic, which led to the destruction of what had been known as Coolidge and Hoover prosperity…

"Big-navy men, believers in compulsory military service, drys, anti-cigarette campaigners, anti-evolution Fundamentalists, defenders of the moral order, book censors, Jew-haters, Negro-haters, landlords, manufacturers, utility executives, upholders of every sort of cause, good, bad, and indifferent, all wrapped themselves in Old Glory and the mantle of the Founding Fathers and allied their opponents with Lenin. The open shop, for example, became the 'American plan.' For years a pestilence of speakers and writers continued to afflict the country with tales of 'sinister and subversive agitators.' Elderly ladies in gilt chairs in ornate drawing-rooms heard from executive secretaries that the agents of the government had unearthed new radical conspiracies too fiendish to be divulged before the proper time. Their husbands were told at luncheon clubs that the colleges were honeycombed with Bolshevism. A cloud of suspicion hung in the air, and intolerance became an American virtue."

"A time of revolution . . . is an uneasy time to live in. It is easier to tear down a code than to put a new one in its place, and meanwhile there is bound to be more or less wear and tear and general unpleasantness. People … cannot all at once forget the admonitions of their childhood. It takes longer to hard-boil a man or a woman than an egg."

As Mark Twain once wrote, “"History doesn't repeat itself, but it does rhyme."

Allen wrote Only Yesterday right after the crash of the Big Bull Market. At that time, he later said, he had not foreseen how deep and demoralizing the Great Depression would be, nor how greatly the New Deal would transform America.

And now we are about to experience the end of the New Deal and another transformation of America. Like Only Yesterday, a Lesser Depression instead of the Great Depression.

Napoleon said...

Also,FYI

On Aug. 3, at 3 bank branches in New York City (Manhattan, Bronx and Brooklyn) and one bank branch in Long Island, NY, a protest is being held called "SAVE MEDICARE-Make Big Banks Pay Their Share", with a subtitle "'Save Medicare' Knitting Circles". Information can be obtained at www.UnitedNY.org or email at Info@UnitedNY.org or telephone at (212) 471-1383.

The brochure states "We'll be visiting bank branches at lunch time with 'Save Medicare' knitting circles! If you're a knitter, bring your needles and yarn, and if not just come out to support us and make your voice heard!"

This is an interesting form of protest. I wish them well. I assume their protest will occur no matter what happens with the debt ceiling since the threat to Medicare will remain.

Anonymous said...

Sorry for being off topic but here is a link to a good explanation of why a balanced budget amendment is a very bad idea. With any luck this idea won't go anywhere. But just in case, maybe it's a good idea to have a better understanding of just what it would mean.


http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/ezra-klein/post/like-activist-judges-then-youll-love-the-balanced-budget-amendment/2011/07/28/gIQAhFOweI_blog.html

Thanks for posting, Karen.

Ned

VLT said...

Napoleon,

I wish I was in NY to participate. I don't know how to knit but I would buy some needles and yarn and learn - just to be part of it. I also would love to be part of the protest on Wallstreet. Hopefully, they will get the press coverage they deserve.

I am forwarding the link to a friend who is very interested in taking part.


Valerie

Kat said...

I wish I was in New York and I wish I knew how to knit!

VLT said...

It must be my age, but I would love to be part of the protest movements going on right now. To be part of something collective that is bigger than myself - to work for something good and to do it alongside others with my same values and ideals. I think it would be a wonderful experience – and valuable to the cause.

Thanks Karen and Napoleon, for bringing these stories – that the MSM is ignoring – to our attention.

Napoleon said...

@VLT

I expect to be at the "'Save Medicare' Knitting Circles" protest, not however to knit in support but to voice and stand in support. I also admit to having an interest in seeing how this protest will come across. Not many years ago, I joined in a number of protests by the group The Ladies in Pink. I was surprised at how innovative and effective the members were in organizing, getting their message across, getting publicity, and garnering support from many young people. I hope I will see a glimmer of some of this on August 3.

When you say you "would love to be part of the protest movements going on", I know you are referring to physical protests such as those above organized for Aug. 2, and 3 in which one joins many others in collective action. Yet, circulating flyers, telephoning, posting messages, participating in protest blogs such as this one where all kinds of ideas fly forth with the hope that some good ideas will be produced and found for use and circulation, etc., are all key means for growing protest movements.

Even in the founding of this nation, circulation of pamphlets and writing responses to others,not to mention riding a horse to let people know who was coming, were crucial means of aiding protests. And so, your contributions here, like those of others, play an important role in assisting others, as well as yourself, in trying to figure out how murky the situation is in which the country find itself and what can be done to escape the enveloping muck.

In the final analysis, progressives are people who want to aid not only themselves but also those in less fortunate positions. It helps in this regard to have sounding boards. The blog is a very useful device.

Anonymous said...

This might be a little off topic, but since it talks about jobs lost to China, and GE not paying income taxes, its still pretty relevant to the debt issue. And I’d like to protest this too.

Jeffrey Immelt, head of Obama's Jobs Council, is moving GE’s X-ray business to China. CNN's Jack Cafferty wrote "Here is more evidence of the suicide mission this country is on: General Electric announced it's moving its 115-year-old X-ray business from Waukesha, Wisconsin to Beijing, China." This is a link to the story

http://caffertyfile.blogs.cnn.com/2011/07/27/ge-moving-x-ray-business-to-china-what-message-is-sent-to-u-s/

The article also said Immelt is a Republican, so why would Obama hire him to help unemployed Americans? The article also said

"Two months after Immelt was named to the council, The New York Times reported that General Electric paid no income taxes last year... thanks to some fancy accounting footwork, even though the company earned $14.2 billion in profits last year - more than $5 billion in the U.S. alone."

Was this reported in the NYT? Due to the new paywall I don’t read it past the 20 freebies anymore

Karen Garcia said...

Anonymous,
The GE tax dodge story broke in The Times, but not sure if they covered the outsourcing of the xray manufacturing to China. There are plenty of news sources besides the Times... try AlterNet, ProPublica, Truthout, Al Jazeera, Democracy Now, Common Dreams... from these, you can find links to many other sources of news. For up to the minute Washington DC stuff, "The Hill" is a good source. All are free!

James F Traynor said...

I got an email from Firedoglake claiming that Standard and Poors had threatened to downgrade the US from AAA if social security wasn't cut. I tried to find it myself, but I've been busy trying to get my boat lift to work. I sent Firedog an email requesting the source. Do any of you know of it?

Karen Garcia said...

James,
All I heard is that S&P wants 4 trillion in cuts -- or else! They are apparently now the fourth branch of govt.

VLT said...

Napoleon,

Very much in agreement with you that blogs are an important way to participate in our Democracy. Especially in that they help get the word out on issues that the Main Stream Media is silent about due to its ties to big corporate money. I heard an interview on TruthDig about rendition in Somalia under the Obama administration. It was on "Morning Joe" and someone on the show queried, if the story were true, why hadn't the MSM picked it up? All I could think was the Free Press in our country, doesn't work as it should anymore or it WOULD have picked up such a shocking story and run with it. I find that most of the really good journalists have gone to blogging to get their stories out. So, the truth is out there but we need to go to the blogosphere to find it.

I also believe there is a community of sorts on some of these sites – where like-minded people can make each other aware of good articles to read and of the positive work being done amongst Progressives that gets little media attention - the protests that you and Karen mentioned being a good example of this. I got into blogging through the NY Times. I found there were a handful of people whose comments I would consistently be looking for – Karen, Marie, Fred, Kate, a guy named Jumper – because I not only agreed with what they wrote but I learned so much from them. It also felt good to find a group of people with my same paradigm and values. Most of these people are now blogging in addition to commenting on articles in the Times.

Just a little FYI - I live in Australia so my ability to help fight the good fight is limited to calling my Legislators (I don't bother with Obama anymore) and phone banking using a phone card. I DO travel to the States from time to time but it is usually during the Christmas holidays and there isn't much protesting action going on during that time of year.

Valerie

Napoleon said...

@VLT

That was a nice bit of history, and story, about how you got into blogging. Probably, others have done so like you. It's an interesting development.

By the way, over the course of 3 decades, a number of Australian friends, or friends of Australian friends, have visited me. It's quite remarkable how widely the spread of progressive opinion seems to have occurred there.