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Today the U.S. House of Representatives voted DOWN Bush’s $700 billion Bailout for Wall St. by 205-228. Surprisingly, the bill was killed by Congressional Republicans, 2/3 of whom voted AGAINST the bailout, while a majority of Democrats supported it. Public outrage of Wall Street’s massive robbery attempt must be running so high that constituents in those red states are rediscovering their Populist roots. This is a major victory for the grassroots. Over the past week there have been many hundreds of protests around the country against the bailout.
Meanwhile, this news helped trigger the Dow Jones’ largest plummet in history, as the industrial markets fell by almost 780 points. The Nasdaq also fell by over 9%.
All of this was preceded by the news that Wachovia stocks had fallen by 80% and the giant bank would be bought out by Citigroup, as the financial industry moved one big step closer towards private monopoly.
Under the shadow of the bailout, a similarly-sized and similarly-horrible bill was passed last week in the US Senate by a vote of 78-12, after passing the House by 370-58. This was a $634 billion spending bill that included such utter garbage as eliminating the 26-year offshore drilling ban, more money for the perennial energy-waster of shale oil in the West, a very regressive $25 billion bailout for the auto industry, and the largest-ever Pentagon budget of half a trillion dollars.
This is just the latest in a series of events that seem to indicate a move towards fascism in the US by financial and political elites. Italian dictator Benito Mussolini, founder of the fascist model, famously declared that “Fascism should more properly be called corporatism because it is the merger of state and corporate power.” Following in his footsteps, the fascists of today apparently aim to handover complete control of the government to private corporations and financial interests, by cracking down on dissent and civil liberties, cutting all social programs, stirring up racism to divide the public, and putting the country on a permanent war footing. This will all be much easier to accomplish once the banking industry has been allowed to pillage the US Treasury and put the entire country in debt to Wall St.
Today’s victory over the bailout plan will not be permanent if Bush and the Democratic Leadership have the last word. Also, it should be clear that both McCain and Obama are firmly in support of giving this humongous sum of taxpayer dollars over to the world’s largest and richest companies, all rhetoric of “protecting Main St.” aside.
Their real opposition as always will be ‘we, the people’, who are fed up with Washington’s crooked deals with Wall St. As we did this past week, we must continue to send in thousands upon thousands of letters and emails and phone calls, and organize hundreds of protests until this absurd bailout plan is dropped or completely transformed into a bailout for those losing homes, health care, access to education, and jobs, the real victims of the economic downturn.
Our hope is that despite those at the top seeking to entrench their power, the failure of the capitalist system will open up a window of opportunity for all those of us who believe in justice, freedom and democracy to create a new world. Today, we say “Enough!”
See this website to find the nearest Emergency Rally, or organize one yourself!
This week the White House is going to try to push through the biggest robbery in world history with nary a stitch of debate to bail out the Wall Street bastards who created this economic apocalypse in the first place.
This is the financial equivalent of September 11. They think, just like with the Patriot Act, they can use the shock to force through the “therapy,” and we’ll just roll over!
Think about it: They said providing healthcare for 9 million children, perhaps costing $6 billion a year, was too expensive, but there’s evidently no sum of money large enough that will sate the Wall Street pigs. If this passes, forget about any money for environmental protection, to counter global warming, for education, for national healthcare, to rebuild our decaying infrastructure, for alternative energy.
This is a historic moment. We need to act now while we can influence the debate. Let’s demonstrate this Thursday at 4pm in Wall Street (see below).
We know the congressional Democrats will peep meekly before caving in like they have on everything else, from FISA to the Iraq War.
With Bear Stearns, Fannie and Freddie, AIG, the money markets and now this omnibus bailout, well in excess of $1 trillion will be distributed from the poor, workers and middle class to the scum floating on top.
This whole mess gives lie to the free market. The Feds are propping up stock prices, directing buyouts, subsidizing crooks and swindlers who already made a killing off the mortgage bubble.
Worst of all, even before any details have been hashed out, The New York Times admits that “Wall Street began looking for ways to profit from it,” and its chief financial correspondent writes that the Bush administration wants “Congress to give them a blank check to do whatever they want, whatever the cost, with no one able to watch them closely.”
It’s socialism for the rich and dog-eat-dog capitalism for the rest of us.
Let’s take it to the heart of the financial district! Gather at 4pm, this Thursday, Sept. 25 in the plaza at the southern end of Bowling Green Park, which is the small triangular park that has the Wall Street bull at the northern tip.
By having it later in the day we can show these thieves, as they leave work, we’re not their suckers. Plus, anyone who can’t get off work can still join us downtown as soon as they are able.
There is no agenda, no leaders, no organizing group, nothing to endorse other than we’re not going to pay! Let the bondholders pay, let the banks pay, let those who brought the “toxic” mortgage-backed securities pay!
On this list are many key organizers and activists. We have a huge amount of connections – we all know many other organizations, activists and community groups. We know P.R. folk who can quickly write up and distribute press releases, those who can contact legal observers, media activists who can spread the word, the videographers who can film the event, etc.
Do whatever you can – make and distribute your own flyers, contact all your groups and friends. This crime is without precedence and we can’t be silent! What’s the point of waiting for someone else to organize a protest two months from now, long after the crime has been perpetrated?
We have everything we need to create a large, peaceful, loud demonstration. Millions of others must feel the same way; they just don’t know what to do. Let’s take the lead and make this the start!
When: 4pm – ? Thursday, September 25.
Where: Southern end of Bowling Green Park, in the plaza area
What to bring: Banners, noisemakers, signs, leaflets, etc.
Why: To say we won’t pay for the Wall Street bailout
Just in time for the collapse of the capitalist economy, the folks in charge are gearing up for fascism. More comprehensive post coming soon, but this stuff is scary [alex]
Originally published by Democracy Now!
Beginning in October, the Army plans to station an active unit inside the United States for the first time to serve as an on-call federal response in times of emergency. The 3rd Infantry Division’s 1st Brigade Combat Team has spent thirty-five of the last sixty months in Iraq, but now the unit is training for domestic operations. The unit will soon be under the day-to-day control of US Army North, the Army service component of Northern Command. The Army Times reports this new mission marks the first time an active unit has been given a dedicated assignment to Northern Command. The paper says the Army unit may be called upon to help with civil unrest and crowd control. The soldiers are learning to use so-called nonlethal weapons designed to subdue unruly or dangerous individuals and crowds.
This latest turn of events signals quite literally the end of capitalism. We in the US are now entering the age of fascism.
More on this story soon. For now, answer me this: what would you do with $700 billion?
And here’s one article among thousands, this one from wallstreetpit.com
Treasury Sends Congress Unprecedented $700 billion Bailout Plan
By Ron Haruni · September 20, 2008
According to Saturday’s news reports, the federal government is asking Congress for $700 billion to buy up bad debt from U.S. financial institutions in efforts to deal with the ongoing financial crisis.
The plan, part of the government’s largest financial bailout since the 1930s, would give the government broad power to purchase distressed assets of any U.S. financial institutions Read the rest of this entry »
“No Surrender: Writings from an Anti-Imperialist Political Prisoner”
by David Gilbert
2004 Abraham Guillen Press/Arm the Spirit
I recommend this book. David Gilbert, lifelong political prisoner in New York since 1981, and former member of the Weather Underground (now being exploited in McCain political ads), here writes on many subjects of interest to all anti-imperialist activists.
David’s a great writer; very straightforward, focused, but with tenderness and humor, and he has a way of making sense of complicated and terrible political dramas in short and effective little essays. In addition to essays on Gilbert’s own history in SDS and Weather, the best samples here are on the U.S. white working class historically, the prison system, Colombia, Afghanistan, and neoliberalism. But Gilbert delves into a wide array of subjects from feminism to AIDS to institutional racism in many forms, and always with an amazing insight without requiring a lot of effort on the part of the reader.
It’s a damn shame that this man is behind bars, but luckily he’s still able to share his wisdom with us. Check this out!
Originally published by Democracy Now!, September 16, 2008.
Stock Markets Plummet as Lehman Brothers & Merrill Lynch Collapse
Stock prices are continuing to fall sharply across the globe today following the collapse of Lehman Brothers and Merrill Lynch, two of the world’s largest investment banks. On Monday, the Dow Jones index fell 504 points. It was the Dow’s sixth-largest point drop ever. The shakeup on Wall Street has seen the 158-year-old investment bank Lehman Brothers declare bankruptcy and the 94-year-old Merrill Lynch being bought by Bank of America in a $44 billion deal. Forbes magazine said the United States is now facing perhaps the worst financial crisis since the banking panic that former President Franklin Roosevelt faced in 1933.
Future Remains Uncertain for Washington Mutual and AIG
Fears are growing that the nation’s largest savings and loan, Washington Mutual, and the nation’s largest insurance company, American International Group, could also go under. On Monday, Washington Mutual had its credit rating cut to junk by Standard and Poor’s. The bank’s stock value has dropped 94 percent over the past year. And the Wall Street Journal reports the Federal Reserve has asked Goldman Sachs and JPMorgan Chase to help make up to $75 billion in loans available to AIG. Stock in AIG plummeted 61 percent on Monday.
Originally published by the Christian Science Monitor, slightly edited.
Militants step up ‘oil war’ in Niger Delta
Attacks on foreign oil company facilities threaten to disrupt global oil supply.By Jonathan Adams
from the September 17, 2008 edition
Militants in southern Nigeria have sharply stepped up attacks on foreign interests after declaring an “oil war” Sunday. The campaign, which the militants have dubbed “Hurricane Barbarossa,” entered its third day Tuesday with an attack on a Royal Dutch Shell pipeline after attacks on Shell and Chevron facilities in previous days.
The Nigerian government has tried to downplay the threat. But the violence looks set to further disturb oil supplies from Nigeria, the United States’ fifth-largest source of oil, at a time when global supplies are already being squeezed.
Agence France-Presse (AFP) reported Tuesday that the main militant group, the Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND), said it had “blown up and destroyed” a Shell pipeline. Read the rest of this entry »
This is outrageous and disgusting. They are trying to redefine protest and civil disobedience as acts of terrorism under the new PATRIOT ACT laws. We have to stop this now, or they will come for us next.
Call the following individuals and demand all charges be dropped:
St. Paul Mayor Chris Coleman 651-266-8510
Ramsey County Sheriff Bob Fletcher 651-266-9333
Ramsey County Chief Judge Gearin 651-266-8266
Head of Ramsey County Jail Capt. O’Neal 651-266-9350 ex. 1
Breaking: RNC 8 Charged with “Conspiracy to Riot in Furtherance of Terrorism”
Ramsey County Prosecutors have formally charged 8 alleged leaders of the RNC Welcoming Committee with Conspiracy to Riot in Furtherance of Terrorism. Monica Bicking, Eryn Trimmer, Luce Guillen Givins, Erik Oseland, Nathanael Secor, Robert Czernik, Garrett Fitzgerald, and Max Spector, face up to 7 1/2 years in prison under the terrorism enhancement charge which allows for a 50% increase in the maximum penalty.
In what appears to be the first use of criminal charges under the 2002 Minnesota version of the Federal Patriot Act, Read the rest of this entry »