Donate | Download BOPM Working Paper
WE NEED JOBS NOW!
MORATORIUM ON FORECLOSURES!
For march details, assembly points, etc., see: http://bailoutpeople.org/logistics.shtml
Why We Need a Bail Out the People Movement
The workers and poor are in the biggest economic crisis since the Depression of the 1930s.
Corporations are laying off while demanding deep concessions from those still employed. State and local governments are cutting jobs and slashing services. Health, schools, libraries, parks, mass transit—all are on the chopping block. Tuition and transit fares are being raised.
More than half a million jobs are being lost every month. Unemployment is the worst in more than 25 years. As bad as that is, joblessness for African Americans, especially the youth, is twice as high.
Millions of families have already lost their homes because of predatory lending and high unemployment. Millions more face foreclosure or eviction. Depression-style tent cities are growing.
On every front, working people are facing an unprecedented attack.
Since March 2008, one year ago, the federal government has committed almost $10 TRILLION of the people’s money to bailouts for Wall Street and the banks, hoping to restore their profits and start them lending money again. It hasn’t worked.
Bailing out the rich doesn’t help the people. Putting profits before the needs of the workers, employed and unemployed, is just deepening the suffering and the economic crisis. It is capitalist greed that brought this crisis on in the first place.
We demand that the government, instead of bailing out the banks, put up the money to guarantee everyone a job or income and that it stop the foreclosures, evictions and utility shutoffs that are devastating the people.
DO THE MATH: Just $1 trillion out of the $10 trillion Washington has committed to the banks could pay for 20 million jobs with salaries of $50,000 a year! That would wipe out unemployment and underemployment in this country.
It’s time to organize and fight back
The Bail Out the People Movement has launched a national campaign to organize and fight for jobs or an income–and for a national moratorium on foreclosures and evictions.
In January, many groups and individuals from different cities came together at conferences in New York and Los Angeles to launch this fightback. We said then that our objective must be to make the struggle proportional in size, scope, organization and militancy to the threat this crisis poses to the social conditions of the working class. That requires a perspective and plan for the mass organization of working and poor people on a scale unprecedented since the defining labor battles of the 1930s.
The fightback movement must be prepared to utilize a wide range of tactics in the struggle, including mass mobilizations, demonstrations, direct actions, sit-ins, occupations, strikes, boycotts, encampments and most importantly, organizing.
An essential part of our work must be to forge solidarity in the large, complex, multi-national working class in the U.S. This means grappling with and overcoming divisions caused by oppression based on race and nationality, immigration status, gender and sexual orientation.
Racism must be pushed back. Unionists and communities must come to the defense of immigrant workers who are being dragged out of their workplaces in chains and locked up in jails—often with their families.
This crisis is worldwide. Corporations are running to wherever they can pay the least and profit the most. Solidarity needs to transcend all geographical boundaries, local and international. That is key to the success of the fightback.
Who We Are
The Bail Out the People Movement is a growing national coalition of community organizers, youth and student activists, labor unionists and grassroots activists united around the demand: “Bail Out the People–Not the Banks!”
Since last October, coalition affiliates have been organizing demonstrations, press conferences and speak-outs, packing City Council meetings, and helping stop evictions and foreclosures in Baltimore, Boston, Buffalo, Detroit, Lansing, Los Angeles and New York.
- In New York, the Bail Out the People Movement lists hundreds of endorsers and 35 groups as organizing centers for the April 3 Wall Street demonstration. BOPM started last October with a rally on the steps of Wall Street’s Federal Hall where Black leaders, youth organizers, labor militants, Katrina survivors and immigrant rights activists pledged a united struggle against the capitalist banks oppressing the people. It organized a regional fightback conference on Dr. Martin Luther King’s birthday. Since then, the coalition made national news with a protest against a foreclosure auction at the Javits Center and was a major force at the International Women’s Day mobilization.
- The Michigan-based Moratorium NOW! Coalition to Stop Foreclosures and Evictions has held countless demonstrations in Detroit and at the State Capitol in Lansing to demand a moratorium. It has also helped stop evictions by mobilizing supporters in solidarity with people about to lose their homes and providing them legal help.
- In Los Angeles, the Labor-Community Coalition to Stop Foreclosures and Evictions has mobilized unions and grassroots organizations to demand a moratorium on foreclosures.
- In Baltimore, the Network to Stop Foreclosures and Evictions has been leading a mass campaign to get the City Council to pass Bill 09-0289, which would require a 365-day notice before any foreclosure eviction could occur in that city.
- In Boston, the Women’s Fightback Network and the Heat and Light Campaign have gone to the streets to demand the governor declare an economic state of emergency and implement a moratorium on foreclosures, evictions and utility shutoffs.
- In Buffalo, N.Y., the struggle began last October with a “Bail Out the People, Not the Banks” rally in the financial district. The coalition has gone on to march against fare increases and, on the campuses, to protest tuition hikes and cuts in financial aid.
While the politicians, bankers and corporate media keep the masses out of the decision-making process, the coalition’s priority is to plan activities and strategies for a people-first fightback.
Here’s what we are working on:
May Day Mobilizations across the Country
Establishing as broad a coalition as possible for mass mobilizations on International Workers’ Day, May 1. The program for May 1 is centered on the struggle for immigrant workers’ rights; it was immigrant workers who in 2006 revived the spirit of workers’ struggle on May Day with massive demonstrations and walkouts across the country. This year the Bail Out the People Movement is participating in the mobilizing for May Day and immigrant rights. We will also include the demand for jobs or income and other demands that reflect the needs of the workers and the poor, including opposition to the wars and occupations in Iraq and Afghanistan.
March on Washington for Jobs/Convening a People’s Assembly
With worsening social conditions, the summer is not likely to be quiet. The combination of the economic crisis and police repression–which is epidemic and deadly all year round but tends to peak during the summer–could spark rebellions of workers, unemployed and oppressed people. The late spring and summer could be a time of intensive organizing. It’s time to start planning for a mass march on Washington, D.C., for jobs and other demands.
There is ongoing discussion among the groups in the BOPM coalition and others about the convening of a National People’s Assembly in Washington in the fall. Such a gathering could help consolidate the base and work of the fightback and set the direction and course of action for the next phase of this gigantic struggle.
This period presents us with both crises and opportunities of historic magnitudes.
The fightback must recruit an army of volunteer organizers–both veteran activists with experience and skills as well as people new to the movement but with the time and willingness to help.
Most importantly, the fightback needs volunteers who are able to work collectively, who are respectful of others and who are committed to interacting with working and poor people of all nationalities, genders, sexual orientations, abilities and ages in a manner that is patient, dignified and devoid of negative presumptions.
Please contact the coalition at 212-633-6646 or www.BailOutPeople.org to find out how you can become part of this army of organizers.
Most importantly, join us in the streets – Friday, April 3, at 1 pm while Wall Street is open for business – continuing on to April 4 – and beyond!