Before the General Assembly of Occupy Dallas,
Whereas the General Assembly of Occupy Dallas stands in support of Occupy Wall Street which started September 17, 2011 at Liberty Square in Manhattan’s Financial District. The movement has now spread across the country and is influencing the world. Occupy Dallas is a horizontally organized resistance movement to counteract the unprecedented consolidation of wealth and power in the world today. The Occupy movement does not have a hierarchy or a formalized structure. The Occupy movement represents those that feel disenfranchised from the current socioeconomic system because of policy passed by our political institutions and the actions of those in control of the unprecedented consolidation of wealth;
Whereas by consensus we view that for the first time in American history, current generations will not be as prosperous as preceding generations. This denial of the American Dream is at the heart of Occupy Movement.
Whereas by consensus we view that the social system has become tilted against us by:
1. Unfair treatment and discrimination against individuals based on Gender, Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity, Race, National Origin, Physical Ability or any other factor that minimizes any person’s individual worth
2. The commoditization of individual privacy
3. Profit driven news sources with individual agendas
4. Narrow definitions of what constitutes a family;
Whereas by consensus we view that the Political system has become tilted against us by:
1. Widespread deregulation that has eliminated common sense regulations that have insured long term prosperity and protection from predatory business practices
2. A Tax code that is cumbersome and rife with loopholes and language that favors an economic minority at the expense of the majority of wage earners
3. A Supreme Court decision that has put into place the unprecedented concept of extending first amendment protections to political donations
4. Jeopardizing the future of social security through investiture and privatization schemes
5. By reducing funding to our education system our future generations are provided a lesser education that previous generations received because of increased class size and reduced resources
6. Because of decreasing funding individuals are saddled with higher student loan debt
7. A political system where even the most perfunctory tasks of government are partisan battles;
Whereas by consensus we view that the Economic system has become tilted against us by:
1. A general degradation of the employer and employee relationship namely
a. the practice referred to as “dead peasants” insurance policies where by companies profit from the death of individuals.
b. the elimination of traditional pension and retirement arrangements in favor of 401 (k) investment vehicles.
c. outsourcing of jobs
d. failing or eliminating paid sick leave
e. failing or eliminating paid maternity leave
f. relying on part-time workers rather than investing in full time employees
g. scheduling work hours to insure that employees cannot obtain offered benefits
h. failing to provide a livable wage
i. reducing and eliminating employer based health care coverage
2. Incredible income disparity between management and employees.
3. Active discouragement and intimidation of unionization of the workforce
4. Instituting illogical accounting practices
5. Engaging in unethical business practices that jeopardize the long term financial stability of the country
6. Viewing financial profit as more important than the individual worth of a people.
Then let it them be resolved by the General Assembly of Occupy Dallas through consensus on Date (___________________) that we call upon all people to engage in a General Strike on November 30th, 2011. We implore all people to:
1. Refrain from Buying or Selling any goods or services including but not limited to, any petroleum products, consumer goods or bank transactions; starting at 12:01 am to 11:59pm on November 30th, 2011.
2. Refrain from working for a wage starting at 12:01 am to 11:59pm on November 30th, 2011 excluding those individuals that provide emergency and necessary functions including but not limited to Police, Fire and Medical personnel.
3. Join or form local groups to peacefully protest against the above stated elements.
Please join us in solidarity to make known our grievances and demand substantive change to insure our future.
Category Archives: Demonstration Announcements
taken from the Raleigh F.I.S.T. website
SUNDAY, AUGUST 14
3PM: Rocky Mount, NC — Booker T. Washington Theatre, 170 E Thomas St
7PM: Durham, NC — St. Joseph’s AME Church, 2521 Fayetteville St
McKinney recently led a fact-finding delegation to Libya during US/NATO bombings of that country. She has traveled and written extensively exposing the truth about the US role in broadening attacks on Libya and other African nations, and will report on the realities on the ground in Libya, relate her experiences there during the delegation, and break through the many myths and lies that are propagated in the US corporate media about Libya and the people there. This will be an evening and a perspective that you won’t want to miss, that will help provide clarity for the role the movement here can play to come to the aid and defense of the people of Libya.
In order to be able to bring us this unique analysis, Cynthia McKinney incurred many travel and other costs during the delegation to Libya, and this event is a fundraiser to help defray those costs and insure that McKinney can continue to do the work that she does. A minimum $10 donation will be asked at the door (though no one will be turned away for lack of funds). We invite any organizations or individuals who are interested in co-sponsoring and supporting this reportback to please contact us to submit a donation prior to the event, and to please help solicit donations from your members, neighbors and friends.
Co-sponsored by: Black Workers for Justice; Raleigh Fight Imperialism-Stand Together; In the Name of Humanity; Workers World Party Durham; Faith, Hope, and Justice Ministries; International Action Center
For more information, please contact us at Raleigh@FISTyouth.org or call 919-539-2051
Demonstrations and occupations against the capitalist crisis, austerity, mass unemployment and attacks against unions continue to escalate across the world. From Wisconsin, where the workers were able to defeat anti-union bill, to North Carolina where massive state budget cuts will gut over 10,000 state jobs and slash vital services, people are rising up and getting organized. The resistance in Spain, now in its third week of mass demonstrations, is sending ripples across the rest of the continent as other young people and workers organize protests. Similar struggle continues in North Africa with the people of Yemen recently kicking out their Prime Minister. As the capitalist crisis fails to recover, and permanent mass employment becomes a reality, the struggle for workers power will continue at home and abroad.
Come to a public forum with the Durham branch of Workers World Party as we discuss some of the lessons and history of these recent peoples’ movements.
Gilbert Johnson, president AFSCME Local 82 at University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee – speaking about the struggle in Wisconsin against attacks by Governor Walker to dismantle basic union rights.
Ben Carroll, member of Workers World Party, is an organizer with NC Defend Education coalition and has been closely following the developments in Spain and written about it for Workers World newspaper, will report on the growing struggle and occupations of Madrid.
Ashaki Binta, member of Black Workers for Justice and organizer with UE local 150, NC Public Service Workers Union, reports on the struggles of public workers in North Carolina fighting up against draconian budget cuts that only benefit the rich, corporations and banks.
Light refreshments and drinks will be served.
Durham Branch of Workers World Party
Build a Workers World! http://www.workers.org/
For more information see the facebook event: http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=225297530833493
Richmond, VA – http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=111284678950426&ref=mf
Tallahassee, FL -http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=219026511447588
If you have an event you’d like to add here, please comment and we’ll be sure to add it!
On March 25th, cities across Florida will be holding rallies and marches to demonstrate that Florida workers are going to fight back against the recent anti-worker measures introduced by the state legislature.
Rallies will be held in various cities around the state. Check the website for more details http://www.fightbackflorida.com
The Coalition of Immokalee Workers will be holding demonstrations the first weekend of March in Tampa, Florida to put pressure on the grocery store chain Publix in calling for higher wages for the farmworkers of Immokalee, Florida. Friday will see day long pickets at various major Publix stores in Tampa, while Saturday will see multiple marches that will converge to a single mass demonstration.
For further details, check out the CIW’s page on the upcoming actions http://www.ciw-online.org/dotherightthing/tampa.html or email them at firstname.lastname@example.org
Today is the anniversary of the declaration of Secession by South Carolina from the United States in 1860. This lead to the founding of the Confederacy and lead the nation on a path to a long bloody conflict that cost the lives of countless people on both sides. What does this anniversary mean for 2010 though? For the Sons of Confederate Veterans and the Confederate Heritage Trust: it means it’s time to throw a party.
The Secession Ball
Tonight, the two groups mentioned above will be throwing what they are calling “The Secession Ball” what is according to the website is “Commemorating the 150th Anniversary of South Carolina’s Secession.” They claim to even have the President Pro-Tempore of the SC Senate planning on attending the ball. The Sons of Confederate Veterans officials condemns slavery and their spokesperson for the event claims that they are not celebrating the war, but instead just the courage of those who decided to sign the secession statement, while the NAACP has planed a march to protest the event tonight.
So if they are not celebrating the war or slavery, why the event? Many organizations and individuals who attempt to defend things like the foundation of the Confederate States tend to appeal to notions of States’ Rights and of “Heritage” (“not hate”). But it doesn’t take much to demonstrate how secession and the creation of the Confederacy were explicitly about preserving slavery and that the specific rights sought out in trying to defend “States Rights” in this particular case were the rights of the state to keep Slavery a legal institution.
So the courage to stand up to the Union ought to be seen as the “courage to defend slavery.”
Causes of the Civil War
Slavery was the base of the economic power for the Southern elite in the pre-Civil War South. After decades of complicated power struggles and debates about expanding the institution to new American states, the Southern elite was threatened and to use a phrase Marx used, launched a “Slave owner rebellion.” As I noted above, they made their reasons for secession quite clear: to preserve slavery. While other factors, such as “taxes and tariffs,” are sometimes pointed to as causes for the war, these factors existed in so far as they interfered with the source of the wealth that was being harmed: the institution of slavery!
This is of course a long historical debate, but the arguments for Southern Secession tend to be red herrings when it comes to slavery. Even these groups putting on the “Secession Ball” make sure to note that they are opposed to slavery and the Civil War’s bloody toll. Yet they defend the event that is noted for its strong defense of slavery and for starting that very war.
When “States’ Rights” is appealed to as the reason for the South’s actions, what rights those States were looking to protect are often ignored. This is because it was the right to own slavery by the Southern elite. Yet the argument over States’ Rights was not resolved at the end of the War.
After the Civil War ended and what is often referred to as “radical reconstruction” was abandoned to an extent, the newer elites in the South instituted “Jim Crow Laws.” It was the “Jim Crow South” that was responsible for racial segregation that wasn’t to be fully broken until the civil rights movement exploded in the 1960s. The arguments for maintaining these laws often appealed to the same thing: States’ Rights.
We can also see a similar kind of rhetoric of States’ Rights in the opposition to the moderate attempt at health care reform over the past few years. It’s rare in the history of the South that these concept is appealed to actually expand the rights of the majority of the people, but instead States’ Rights are often appealed to for the strengthening of the elite.
We need to be clear about the nature of celebrating the Confederacy in any way: It was a reactionary attempt to preserve slavery in the South, and its’ defeat needs to be celebrated, not its’ founding.
David Gilmore, the federally-imposed-administrator of the Housing Authority of New Orleans, and Mayor Mitch Landrieu, want to make life even more miserable for working class New Orleanians by demolishing the Iberville Public Housing development. To add insult to injury they have given the contract to greedy developer Pres Kabacoff, who drove hundreds of poor families from St. Thomas and still, a decade later, has not built the 100 off site apartment he promised. But, to carry out their crime, HANO, Landrieu, and Kabacoff need a multi-million dollar grant from the Department of Housing Urban Development. Join us Saturday, December 18 as we demand:
· No to a HUD Choice Neighborhood grant to demolish Iberville
· Yes to a massive public works program to rebuild Public Housing, Schools, Hospitals and Infrastructure
Press Conference, Rally and March
Saturday, December 18
Meet on neutral ground, corner of St Louis and Basin St.
Sponsor: Hands Off Iberville. For more information call 504-520-9521
Students from across the state of Louisiana (including high school students) are protesting against devastating budget cuts to education. They are gathering at the state capitol on November 10 to voice their outrage. A broad united front of students and those who stand in solidarity with them has formed across the state, inclusive of groups as ideologically diverse as liberals, anarchists and communists. (Though certainly the radical leftists are a minority, albeit a highly-active and vocal one.)
The latest round of cuts to higher education totals $35 million, while Republican governor Bobby Jindal is attempting to borrow $25 million to build a new juvenile prison facility. Two-hundred eighty million have already been cut since 2008. The new cuts would eliminate 109 full-time jobs in the state university system, while entire academic programs are being liquidated; for example, at Southeastern Louisiana University, the degrees in French and French education are being cancelled, despite the fact that the French language is an important aspect of Louisiana’s cultural heritage.
It’s telling that the Jindal administration is so eager to cut funding to public higer education, in effect further gentrifying it and adding more bodies to the reserve army of the unemployed,* and is at the same time eager to expand the prison industrial complex in this state. Louisiana already ranks near the bottom among U.S. states in terms of education, and is the leading incarcerater in the world. This shows where the Baton Rouge government’s sympathies lie – certainly not with the broad masses of the people. Jindal and his cronies in Baton Rouge have been open about the fact that they would like to see education completely privatized.
*I will use the example of SELU again to demonstrate the effect that these cuts will have on working class students. SELU has been historically one of the most affordable universities in the region. Relatively low tuition allowed many working class students to attend this university. In order to compensate for the budget cuts, SELU raised tuition 10% this Fall, as authorized by the GRAD Act, and will continue raising tuition until it reaches the southern regional average; this could take up to six years.
Paul Rainwater, the Commissioner of Administration and the main budget architect for governor Jindal, perversely said, according to the Times-Picayune, that “the actual cuts to colleges aren’t as severe as the administration’s detractors have said. When increased tuition and fees are factored in, the cuts amount to $88 million since 2008.” (This appears to be a paraphrase.)
I love this BS capitalist logic. Actually, it’s not BS if we understand that “capitalist logic” means logic that is favorable to capitalists (i.e., the actual rich people who own everything). He’s saying that the cuts aren’t that bad because increased fees and tuition make up for a portion of the cuts. They in fact do that. But who benefits from increased fees and tuition? Certainly not the vast majority of students who attend schools in the state university and technical college systems.
These cuts negatively impact the working class. More fees and higher tuition are not something that should be welcomed by a generation of students who are already burdened with historically-unprecedented levels of debt, who are working one or more low-wage (typically service industry) jobs, and who will possibly never pay off their student loans. That higher fees and tuition are helping to offset slightly the severity of the cuts should not offer much comfort to such students. What we are seeing in the midst of the worst structural crisis of world capitalism since WWII (among many other horrendous effects) is the further gentrification of education. Public education was originally created to open up education to people who are not wealthy (at least that intention was part of the picture). Now that our public universities and technical colleges are being slashed, education is becoming more and more the privilege of elites. The capitalist class will not stop until they steal every last thing from the people, or are overthrown by a revolutionary workers’ movement.
I originally posted this on an Alternet Blog I created the other day:
There has been quite a bit of controversy over the proposed community center/mosque that is “right by ground zero” in the media lately, it’s gotten to the point where after Barack Obama decided to come out and defend the right to build a Mosque in the location, the White House had to come out and defend the fact that Obama is a Christian and prays daily. The White House continues to be on the defensive against the far-right of America (their apparent favorite group to try to appease). Although the far-right is gaining steam with more and more conspiracy theories introduced to the main stream by folks like Beck (a recent poll suggests that 46% of the GOP thinks that Obama is a Muslim)
So this controversy has made it “to the top” and has turned from a local issue for one city to a national debate. However, the framework of this debate is a sad site to see. Top Democrats (Howard Dean, Reid, etc.) have come out in opposition to this community center in an apparent attempt to continue the Democrats turn to the right. Even those Democrats like Pelosi and Obama who have supported the right for it to be built, have also made it clear that they don’t want to comment “on whether they support it being built or not specifically” but just that they support “the right” for it to be built (this emphasis is theirs).
Those who have come out to support it, do so for reasons that are just as ideologically loaded as the bigots who want “no more mosques” in America. The common line is that we should be preaching “tolerance” in the US. We want to demonstrate that “we’re better” than intolerant nations like Saudi Arabia, goes the line of the tolerance promoters (which to me reeks of American Exceptionalism). But is promoting tolerance problematic?
Absolutely. The idea that we should just “tolerate” groups like Muslim-Americans or “Illegal Immigrants” contains in it the idea that there is something uneasy about these groups, yet we are going to “put up with” them to achieve a moral high ground. Such idealism doesn’t come from a genuine attempt to help to change the status of the most marginalized of this society to become less marginalized, but instead is the notion that we should treat “the Other” well. This doesn’t challenge their position in society in the least. This “anti-tolerance” stance, of course, comes mainly from the Slovenian philosopher (and intellectual “rock star”) Slajov Zizek, who has written extensively on the problems of “liberal tolerance.”
Perhaps we should try to promote tolerance to those who are the most “intolerant” in society: the far-right. Their intolerance is obviously quite problematic: based on xenophobia, bigotry, etc. But does that mean that we want to promote the idea of “we should tolerate the ‘Other’ groups of society” in general?
This kind of logic leads to comments like Howard Dean’s on Muslim Americans:
There’s a growing number of American Muslims. I think most of those Muslims are moderate. I hope that they’ll have an influence on Islam throughout the world, because Islam is really back in the twelfth century in some of these countries, like Iran and Afghanistan, where they’re stoning people to death.
This is based on the idea that “we can promote an Islam that fits American culture throughout the world” which is just as imperialistic as the overt hawks who are trying to promote war in places like Iran.
Instead of preaching the idea that we should tolerate groups that are considered by some to not be “mainstream,” perhaps we should be building real solidarity with the most marginalized of society. After all, those are the groups that need to be on board to build a real alternative to the insane system we currently live under.