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.
Tag Archives: U.S. politics
From a New York Times article
The once-booming South, which entered the recession with the lowest unemployment rate in the nation, is now struggling with some of the highest rates, recent data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics show.
Several Southern states — including South Carolina, whose 11.1 percent unemployment rate is the fourth highest in the nation — have higher unemployment rates than they did a year ago. Unemployment in the South is now higher than it is in the Northeast and the Midwest, which include Rust Belt states that were struggling even before the recession.
For decades, the nation’s economic landscape consisted of a prospering Sun Belt and a struggling Rust Belt. Since the recession hit, though, that is no longer the case. Unemployment remains high across much of the country — the national rate is 9.1 percent — but the regions have recovered at different speeds.
Now, though, of the states with the 10 highest unemployment rates, six are in the South. The region, which relied heavily on manufacturing and construction, was hit hard by the downturn.
Economists offer a variety of explanations for the South’s performance. “For a long time we tended to outpace the national average with regard to economic performance, and a lot of that was driven by, for lack of a better word, development and in-migration,” said Michael Chriszt, an assistant vice president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta’s research department. “That came to an abrupt halt, and it has not picked up.”
Taken from the ANSWER Coalition’s website
The Obama/Holder Justice Department should launch a federal civil rights investigation right now into the case of Troy Davis and seek a stay of his execution that is scheduled for tonight at 7pm.
President Obama, who routinely lectures sovereign governments abroad about civil rights and human rights issues within their countries, has until now said nothing to the state government of Georgia that allowed racist police forces to intimidate and coerce witnesses in the effort to execute an innocent Black man.
It’s not too late to act. The clock is ticking before an innocent man is put to death.
Send a letter right this second to President Obama and Attorney General Holder insisting that he speak up and use the authority of the Presidency to prevent this outrage. Tell President Obama to order a Federal Civil Rights investigation into the case of Troy Davis.
You can also call the White House switchboard and tell them that you want President Obama to initiate a federal civil rights investigation and seek a stay of execution. Call the White House at 202-456-1414.
Background to the case of Troy Davis
More than 1 million people have signed a petition in support of Troy Davis. Demonstrations have taken place around the country and the world. Even the former director of the FBI has said that this execution is an injustice and should not go forward.
Of the nine witnesses, seven have recanted or altered their version of events. Five have signed statements saying they were coerced by police to testify against Davis, a common element of many racist “legal lynchings” targeting Black people. Three witnesses said that another man confessed to them that he killed the police officer.
The execution of Troy Davis shows with full clarity the true character of the racist legal system in the United States—its complete failing as any arbiter of justice. Davis has accessed all allowed avenues of appeal in the U.S. justice system in his quest not be put to death, an innocent man.
The members of the politically appointed Georgia Board of Pardons and Paroles, impervious to any accountability to the people, have decided that they wish for Troy Davis to die. With their announcement today that they have denied clemency to Troy Davis, he is on course to be executed this Wednesday, Sept. 21 at 7pm Eastern, in the state of Georgia.
Absolutely no physical evidence has been found that implicates Davis in the killing. No murder weapon has ever been found, exposing yet another major gap in the prosecution’s case. This is the fourth time the state of Georgia has set an execution date for Davis, who was wrongly convicted of killing a police officer in 1989.
The ANSWER Coalition has been joining with hundreds of other organizations in demonstrations throughout the country in recent days and weeks.
There is worldwide opposition to Troy Davis’s execution. On Sept. 16, coordinated protests took place in cities all over the United States and the world.
Over 650,000 signatures in support of Troy Davis were delivered to the parole board. Now, over 1 million people have signed petitions in his support. Prominent signers include South African Archbishop Desmond Tutu, former President Jimmy Carter, more than four dozen members of Congress, and many celebrities.
The decision to deny clemency to Davis reaffirms the unabashed racism and bankruptcy of the justice system. We are staying in the streets to demand justice! Stop the execution of Troy Davis! End the racist death penalty!
Send a letter to President Obama and Attorney General Holder right now demanding that the Justice department order a Federal Civil Rights investigation into the case of Troy Davis. Prevent the the state sponsored murder of an innocent man.
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
[This article was originally posted on Liberation News]
Victory shows power of solidarityAugust 1, 2011Working-class unity and courageous struggle made the difference for Ikea workers in Danville, Va.
Workers at the first U.S. Ikea factory in Danville, Va., voted in favor of union representation on July 24. Winning by a landslide margin of 76 percent, or 221 to 69, the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers successfully concluded a three-year struggle at the factory.
Swedwood, the Ikea subsidiary that runs the Virginia plant, forced its workers to endure low pay, cuts to starting pay, firings, unsafe conditions and long hours. African-American workers also faced discrimination, constantly being assigned to the lowest-paying departments and least-desirable shifts. Management also hired the union-busting firm of Jackson Lewis to intimidate workers.
It was through solidarity, one of the most powerful weapons in the working-class arsenal, that this election was won.
“This struggle was global, with support and assistance from every continent by more than 120,000 workers, various social partners, and many other global union federations,” said Bill Street, union organizer and director of the Wood Works Department of IAMAW. (BWI, July 27)
Once certified as the representative of the employees at the Danville factory, the union hopes to resolve these pressing issues. People have already begun expressing their support and gratitude.
“So we can have a voice. So we can all be heard and have another leg we can stand on when we need to,” said worker Coretta Giles, explaining why she supports the union. (Danville Register & Bee, July 27)
It was working-class unity and courageous struggle that secured this first step in the fight for justice at the Swedwood/Ikea factory. The struggle in Danville shows that no matter how bad a situation seems, workers can defend their rights by standing up and fighting back!
[This article originally appears on workers.org]
Tens of thousands of immigrants and their supporters filled blocks of Atlanta’s downtown streets on July 2 wearing white, carrying beautiful banners and hand-printed signs, and chanting nonstop in English and Spanish.
Many of the slogans referenced HB 87, Georgia’s “show me your papers” legislation, which authorizes local police to act as immigration agents and is designed to intimidate undocumented workers into leaving the state.
The march was led by members of the Georgia Undocumented Youth Alliance (GUYA), who are challenging the restrictions on their future and calling for passage of the DREAM Act. Banners called for an end to the raids and deportations.
Many children carried signs pleading not to deport their parents. Challenging the racist aspects of the law, a huge banner depicting a strong Latina declared: “Brown Is Beautiful.” Numerous signs referenced the millions of dollars already lost to the state’s agricultural economy as crops rotted in the fields for lack of skilled farmworkers.
Four counties in Georgia operate under 287(g) agreements that have resulted in the detention and deportation of thousands of immigrants, most of whom were arrested for traffic infractions. The largest, privately operated detention center is in the town of Lumpkin and holds some 1,900 men.
Corrections Corporation of America, which operates the Stewart Detention Center there, has been denounced for its profiteering off the separation of immigrant families.
The failure of the Obama administration and Congress to address legalization and a just immigration policy was addressed in chants and on placards.
In response to a call by the Georgia Latino Alliance for Human Rights (GLAHR), protesters came from across the state, from as far as Valdosta, Dalton, Columbus and Rome. Supporters from North Carolina, Alabama, Florida, Tennessee and as far away as Louisiana, Oklahoma, Arizona, California and New York joined the protest.
Week of intense struggle
The march and rally at the Georgia State Capitol capped off a week of intense struggle by immigrant communities and human rights advocates.
On June 27 a federal district judge agreed to grant a temporary injunction suspending two sections of HB 87, scheduled to be enacted on July 1. Judge Thomas Thrash stopped Georgia from giving law enforcement agencies throughout the state the power to detain and arrest anyone who could not show sufficient identification following any violation, no matter how minor, including traffic stops or jaywalking. He also prevented the implementation of a provision that would make it illegal to knowingly transport or harbor an undocumented person.
This is the fourth federal court that has barred states from assuming responsibility for enforcing immigration policies.
While immigrant and civil rights activists hailed this victory in stopping two of the most egregious sections of HB 87, Georgia law now makes it a crime to use false documents to secure a job, punishable by 15 years in prison. Starting in January, most private employers will be required to use the federal E-Verify system, known to be flawed, to ascertain the legality of new hires. Citizens will be able to sue elected officials for failing to uphold HB 87.
The day after the federal ruling, GUYA held a “Coming Out of the Shadows” rally inside the state Capitol building where five young people from Georgia and one from New York told their stories. Each concluded by saying their name and that they were “undocumented and unafraid.”
At an outside rally, longtime civil rights leaders and members of the African-American religious community proclaimed their support for the immigrants’ rights movement. They applauded the role of young people in confronting injustice, risking their lives and safety to bring about needed change.
Dressed in caps and gowns, the students led a crowd of hundreds in a march around Georgia State University, one of the state’s five institutions of higher education which the Georgia legislature has banned undocumented youth from attending.
Their lead banner read “Undocumented, Unafraid, Unashamed, Unapologetic!”
Returning to the Capitol, the students spread a large canvas with the words “We Will No Longer Remain in the Shadows” in the intersection and sat down surrounded by supporters. Traffic was brought to a standstill. Eventually, many police arrived and arrested the six. As each heroic youth was taken to a police car, dozens of chanting young people surrounded them and the vehicle.
All six were charged with multiple state offenses. Three were released to their parents’ custody because they were under 17. The other three spent the night in the Fulton County Jail and were then released on their own recognizance with an August court date.
This was the second such civil disobedience action in Atlanta with undocumented youth risking deportation to press the issue of the status of children who have spent most of their lives in the United States and have no path to legalization. Without papers, they cannot get a driver’s license, find employment, receive public benefits or attend Georgia’s top five universities, regardless of their grades.
July 1 strike spurs resistance
During the week, a number of community meetings were held in metro Atlanta to provide information in multiple languages — from Korean and Chinese to Portuguese and Spanish — about the impact of HB 87 and the injunction. Similar events were organized around the state, including one in Dalton where people were particularly concerned about police roadblocks in immigrant neighborhoods. Students and community members held a rally in Athens on June 30 at the gates to the University of Georgia, one of the universities barred to undocumented students.
On July 1, the day HB 87 went into effect, GLAHR called for a “Day without Immigrants,” a stay-at-home strike where people would not work, shop or go about their usual business. More than 125 businesses owned by immigrants, from beauty shops to food markets, closed that day in solidarity. Restaurant, construction, landscaping, hotel and other workers took the day off. Shopping mall parking lots in immigrant communities were empty.
People outside Georgia are encouraged to cancel any conventions, reunions, meetings or vacations as part of the “Boycott of a State of Hate.”
Volunteers are coming from throughout the country this summer to help build local resistance to HB 87 and other anti-immigrant legislation. A campaign to identify “BuySpots” and “Sanctuary Zones” will identify businesses that agree to publicly oppose HB 87 by refusing to allow police into their establishments to check people’s identification without a warrant and by pledging not to financially support elected officials who promote anti-immigrant legislation.
Already many bookstores, restaurants, clothing and record stores, markets, beauty and barber shops display the BuySpot sign. Churches and other religious institutions, community centers, homeless shelters and other public gathering sites that make a similar pledge will be identified as Sanctuary Zones. For more information, visit WeAreGeorgia.org.
It is hot in Georgia during any summer, but this summer the heat will be on right-wing politicians, spotlighted by a rising people’s movement engaging thousands of workers, youth and women. They are stepping out of the shadows, undocumented and unafraid.
Alabama recently passed a new anti-immigrant law that many have described as “more harsh” than the controversial anti-immigrant law in Arizona that essentially promotes racial profiling (this argument is focused on the fact that folks can be questioned for being “suspected of” being an undocumented worker). Georgia recently passed a similar law, making the South the center of the immigration debate.
As usual, both sides of the “mainstream” debate fall short of getting to the real issues at heart: the real manifestations of racism, and international labor relations (see NAFTA as an important variable to immigration itself). Even the “liberal” arguments against these laws are full of sentiments like “well immigrants do the jobs no one else wants to do for that price.” This line of logic is just as problematic as the more “overtly racist” arguments by the far-Right, in that the “servant class” role for undocumented workers is seen as justified or not problematic itself.
Florida also recently attempted to pass a similar law, but the state legislature as not unified and faced a strong activist response (with the Florida Capitol looking a lot like the halls of the Wisconsin Capitol for a few days).
These laws need to be fought with a mass movement based on solidarity and workers power.
The following video was produced by the Florida AFL-CIO about the actions that workers took to fight back against the reactionary legislature in Florida.
[Originally posted at ColorLines]
The Georgia Legislature last night approved a bill that empowers local police to check the immigration status of any suspect, even those stopped for alleged traffic violations. The final vote in the House came just two hours before the close of the legislative session. The bill, which closely resembles Arizona’s embattled SB 1070, is the first copycat bill to pass through another state legislature. It will now be sent to the Governor Nathan Deal’s desk for signature.
The 11th hour vote came amid mounting pressure from a diverse coalition to kill the bill. In the two weeks leading up the vote, Georgia immigrant rights advocates and civil rights groups collected 23,000 signatures opposing the legislation. Protesters rallied in at the capitol in Atlanta this week with signs reading, “RIP Dr. Kings Dream” and “RIP Georgia Economy.” Business groups, fearing the truth of the later, joined the opposition, forcefully rejecting the requirement that employers implement the E-Verify program to check the immigration status of all employees.
Yet, despite the broad opposition, conservative state legislators ended the week with a victory.
“It’s a great day for Georgia,” Rep. Matt Ramsey, the Republican who authored the bill told the Atlanta Journal Constitution. “We think we have done our job that our constituents asked us to do to address the costs and the social consequences that have been visited upon our state by the federal government’s failure to secure our nation’s borders.”
However, Ramsey’s enthusiasm may be short since the bill will now face significant challenges. Gov. Deal has 40 days to sign the bill into law and he has expressed some reticence recently about the potential costs of the law.
“All eyes on the governor,” Azadeh Shahshahani, of the Georgia ACLU told Colorlines.com. “We do hope that the Governor will veto the bill. Obviously from our perspective the bill has serious concerns. This bill makes the whole state ‘show me your’ papers territory.”
Most expect Gov. Deal to sign the bill into law, and as soon as that happens, Georgia will almost certainly face legal challenges. On Monday of this week, the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a lower courts ruling that struck down the most controversial parts of Arizona’s SB 1070 that require local police to check the immigration status of anyone they suspect may be undocumented. That suit is now making its way to the Supreme Court. In Georgia, legal advocates are likely to seek an injunction in court to the bill from taking effect until it’s constitutionality can be determined.
The bill’s drafters say it was carefully crafted to avoid such legal challenge. Indeed, Georgia’s bill differs from the one in Arizona. Unlike the Arizona bill, the Georgia bill does not outright require police to check suspect’s immigration status but, rather, authorizes them to do so. Its proponents hope that this will be enough to protect it in the courts. Like the Arizona law, Georgia’s bill makes it a state crime to be present on state soil without proof of lawful status.
Many worry about the financial costs of the bill. Though these are surely not the greatest concerns for immigrant communities who would be most impacted if Georgia’s bill is enacted, many business groups are anxious. A national boycott of Arizona cost the state an estimated $250 million in lost taxes, tourism and other revenue, according to the Center for American Progress.
Even before the Georgia bill passed, a group of organizations across the country threatened to wage a boycott of the state of Georgia if it enacts the legislation.
Immigrant and civil rights advocates say the bill will spur increased racial profiling. And, says Shahshahani, this is on top of a climate in which state of Georgia already let’s racial profiling flourish.
“People of color are already being profiled across the state. Georgia does not have racial profiling laws on the books. There is no uniform system for data collection when it comes to traffic stops and there are no oversight mechanisms in place at the state level to prevent racial profiling. This bill is only going to worsen a bad situations.”
At least four Georgia counties currently empower local police to enforce federal immigration laws through the federal 287g program which makes cops into immigration agents. That program has for years been criticized for facilitating racial profiling.
Even if the law is rejected in a legal suit, it is sure to hurt immigrant communities. After Arizona’s law passed, and even since the courts blocked key portions of it, many in Arizona were fearful about how police and other institutions would be required to act vis-à-vis immigrants. The director of a Phoenix shelter for survivors of domestic violence told Colorlines.com earlier this year that in the period after SB 1070 passed, shelters saw a steady decline of women seeking help. The director attributed this to a growing fear among undocumented women about abusers ability to report victims to police and about whether state funded entities like shelters would turn undocumented women away.
Georgia now becomes the first state to pass a bill that closely resembles the one in Arizona. Similar bills have been introduced in at least 24 other states since SB 1070 passed last year. The majority have has been killed or have failed to move.
This failure is despite a well-organized and well-funded strategy to move more such bills across the country. Those efforts, as NPR reported last year, have involved a national network of state legislators and private enterprise, including private prison and immigrant detention companies with clear interests in increasing the number of immigrant detainees.
All eyes now move to a handful of other states where similar bills may still pass. The Alabama House passed an SB 1070-like bill last week and bills have been approved by one house of the South Carolina, Oklahoma and Indiana state legislatures as well.
Florida may also be considering passing a similar law.