Socialist Party USA: Info & News

Take it to the Streets April 4th, 9th, 15th!

April 4th

On this day in 1968, Dr. Martin Luther king, Jr. was assassinated while visiting Memphis to help public-sector sanitation workers organize a union.
Dr. King was a vocal proponent of worker's rights as well as civil rights and he vehemently opposed war.  He rightly drew the connection between
endless war abroad and poverty at home; an issue we still face in 2011. With this in mind, I ask you to make your voice be heard and join the swelling
masses of the working class who have had enough--We can't afford the rich and their wars any more!

If you have the time, there are over 1,000 worker solidarity rallies going on today and tomorrow (including one on the New Haven Green at 6p.m.)

If this is too last minute (sorry), you also have the opportunity to hop on a bus to NYC for a huge anti-war protest this Saturday, April 9th.
The bus will be leaving from the UConn Co-op at 7am on Saturday and leaving NYC around 5:30pm to come back to Storrs.
If you can make it please let me know ASAP so I can reserve a seat for you.

$1 trillion per/yr for the war machine, tax breaks for the billionaires and corporations, and they want the working class to pay for it?

It's time to say "NO MORE!"

Get involved. Together we are everything, separate we are nothing.

In Solidarity,

Todd Vachon

ps; read below for inspiration and yet another opportunity to join fellow workers in the streets to exercise direct democracy!

Published on Monday, April 4, 2011 by
This Is What Resistance Looks Like
by Chris Hedges

The phrase consent of the governed has been turned into a cruel joke. There is no way to vote against the interests of Goldman Sachs. Civil Disobedience is the only tool we have left. [A woman who sympathizes with people who have been foreclosed on is arrested outside a Chase bank in Los Angeles, where she and other protesters gathered to express themselves. (AP / Reed Saxon)] A woman who sympathizes with people who have been foreclosed on is arrested outside a Chase bank in Los Angeles, where she and other protesters gathered to express themselves. (AP / Reed Saxon)

We will not halt the laying off of teachers and other public employees, the slashing of unemployment benefits, the closing of public libraries, the reduction of student loans, the foreclosures, the gutting of public education and early childhood programs or the dismantling of basic social services such as heating assistance for the elderly until we start to carry out sustained acts of civil disobedience against the financial institutions responsible for our debacle. The banks and Wall Street, which have erected the corporate state to serve their interests at our expense, caused the financial crisis. The bankers and their lobbyists crafted tax havens that account for up to $1 trillion in tax revenue lost every decade. They rewrote tax laws so the nation's most profitable corporations, including Bank of America, could avoid paying any federal taxes. They engaged in massive fraud and deception that wiped out an estimated $40 trillion in global wealth. The banks are the ones that should be made to pay for the financial collapse. Not us. And for this reason at 11 a.m. April 15 I will join protesters in Union Square in New York City in front of the Bank of America.

"The political process no longer works," Kevin Zeese, the director of Prosperity Agenda and one of the organizers of the April 15 event, told me. "The economy is controlled by a handful of economic elites. The necessities of most Americans are no longer being met. The only way to change this is to shift the power to a culture of resistance. This will be the first in a series of events we will organize to help give people control of their economic and political life."

If you are among the one in six workers in this country who does not have a job, if you are among the some 6 million people who have lost their homes to repossessions, if you are among the many hundreds of thousands of people who went bankrupt last year because they could not pay their medical bills or if you have simply had enough of the current kleptocracy, join us in Union Square Park for the "Sounds of Resistance Concert," which will feature political hip-hop/rock powerhouse Junkyard Empire with Broadcast Live and Sketch the Cataclysm. The organizers have set up a website, and there's more information on their Facebook page.

We will picket the Union Square branch of Bank of America, one of the major financial institutions responsible for the theft of roughly $17 trillion in wages, savings and retirement benefits taken from ordinary citizens. We will build a miniature cardboard community that will include what we should have-good public libraries, free health clinics, banks that have been converted into credit unions, free and well-funded public schools and public universities, and shuttered recruiting centers (young men and women should not have to go to Iraq and Afghanistan as soldiers or Marines to find a job with health care). We will call for an end to all foreclosures and bank repossessions, a breaking up of the huge banking monopolies, a fair system of taxation and a government that is accountable to the people.

The 10 major banks, which control 60 percent of the economy, determine how our legislative bills are written, how our courts rule, how we frame our public debates on the airwaves, who is elected to office and how we are governed. The phrase consent of the governed has been turned by our two major political parties into a cruel joke. There is no way to vote against the interests of Goldman Sachs. And the faster these banks and huge corporations are broken up and regulated the sooner we will become free.

Bank of America is one of the worst. It did not pay any federal taxes last year or the year before. It is currently one of the most aggressive banks in seizing homes, at times using private security teams that carry out brutal home invasions to toss families into the street. The bank refuses to lend small business people and consumers the billions in government money it was handed. It has returned with a vengeance to the flagrant criminal activity and speculation that created the meltdown, behavior made possible because the government refuses to institute effective sanctions or control from regulators, legislators or the courts. Bank of America, like most of the banks that peddled garbage to small shareholders, routinely hid its massive losses through a creative accounting device it called "repurchase agreements." It used these "repos" during the financial collapse to temporarily erase losses from the books by transferring toxic debt to dummy firms before public filings had to be made. It is called fraud. And Bank of America is very good at it.

US Uncut, which will be involved in the April 15 demonstration in New York, carried out 50 protests outside Bank of America branches and offices on Feb. 26. UK Uncut, a British version of the group, produced this video guide to launching a "bail-in" in your neighborhood.

Civil disobedience, such as that described in the bail-in video or the upcoming protest in Union Square, is the only tool we have left. A fourth of the country's largest corporations-including General Electric, ExxonMobil and Bank of America-paid no federal income taxes in 2010. But at the same time these corporations operate as if they have a divine right to hundreds of billions in taxpayer subsidies. Bank of America was handed $45 billion-that is billion with a B-in federal bailout funds. Bank of America takes this money-money you and I paid in taxes-and hides it along with its profits in some 115 offshore accounts to avoid paying taxes. One assumes the bank's legions of accountants are busy making sure the corporation will not pay federal taxes again this year. Imagine if you or I tried that.

"If Bank of America paid their fair share of taxes, planned cuts of $1.7 billion in early childhood education, including Head Start & Title 1, would not be needed," Zeese pointed out. "Bank of America avoids paying taxes by using subsidiaries in offshore tax havens. To eliminate their taxes, they reinvest proceeds overseas, instead of bringing the dollars home, thereby undermining the U.S. economy and avoiding federal taxes. Big Finance, like Bank of America, contributes to record deficits that are resulting in massive cuts to basic services in federal and state governments."

The big banks and corporations are parasites. They greedily devour the entrails of the nation in a quest for profit, thrusting us all into serfdom and polluting and poisoning the ecosystem that sustains the human species. They have gobbled up more than a trillion dollars from the Department of Treasury and the Federal Reserve and created tiny enclaves of wealth and privilege where corporate managers replicate the decadence of the Forbidden City and Versailles. Those outside the gates, however, struggle to find work and watch helplessly as food and commodity prices rocket upward. The owners of one out of seven houses are now behind on their mortgage payments. In 2010 there were 3.8 million foreclosure filings and bank repossessions topped 2.8 million, a 2 percent increase over 2009 and a 23 percent increase over 2008. This record looks set to be broken in 2011. And no one in the Congress, the Obama White House, the courts or the press, all beholden to corporate money, will step in to stop or denounce the assault on families. Our ruling elite, including Barack Obama, are courtiers, shameless hedonists of power, who kneel before Wall Street and daily sell us out. The top corporate plutocrats are pulling down $900,000 an hour while one in four children depends on food stamps to eat.

We don't need leaders. We don't need directives from above. We don't need formal organizations. We don't need to waste our time appealing to the Democratic Party or writing letters to the editor. We don't need more diatribes on the Internet. We need to physically get into the public square and create a mass movement. We need you and a few of your neighbors to begin it. We need you to walk down to your Bank of America branch and protest. We need you to come to Union Square. And once you do that you begin to create a force these elites always desperately try to snuff out-resistance.
Copyright © 2011 Truthdig, L.L.C.
Chris Hedges

Chris Hedges writes a regular column for Hedges graduated from Harvard Divinity School and was for nearly two decades a foreign correspondent for The New York Times. He is the author of many books, including: War Is A Force That Gives Us Meaning, What Every Person Should Know About War, and American Fascists: The Christian Right and the War on America. His most recent book is Empire of Illusion: The End of Literacy and the Triumph of Spectacle.
more Chris Hedges

Demand Charges be Dropped Against Capitol Protestors

On March 16, protesters attempted to occupy the Michigan Capitol building as an act of civil disobedience in opposition to Gov. Rick
Snyder's budget bill which cuts state funding to education, raises taxes for the elderly and the working poor, and allows Snyder to impose unelected emergency financial managers with the power to dissolve union contracts in cities across Michigan.

The Snyder budget makes massive cuts in state spending to pay for a net $1.7 billion tax cut to business, according to the Michigan House Fiscal Agency.

Thirteen protesters, members of the Socialist Party USA, were arrested during the attempt to occupy the Capitol; the protesters now face charges, stiff fines, and potential jail time.

Please help them by calling, faxing, or emailing and ask that all charges against protesters arrested on March 16 be dropped:

Contact:Governor Snyder:
Email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Phone: (517) 373-3400 or (517) 335-7858 (Right now the voice mailboxes are full at both of these numbers.)
FAX: (517) 335-6863

Contact Prosecuting Attorney Stuart Dunnings
Email : This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Phone: (517) 483-6108

Also, please pack the Lansing courthouse at 9:30 a.m. on March 30!
Lansing 54 A District Court 124 West Michigan Ave Lansing, MI


Shut Down Wisconsin!
by Andrea Pason and Billy Wharton, co-chairs Socialist Party USA

March 9, 2011 - It has just been reported that Wisconsin Republicans
have approved the provision in Governor Scott Walker’s Budget Repair
Bill that strips public employees in Wisconsin of their collective
bargaining rights. Collective Bargaining is necessary to the
functioning of trade unions and is a right that should be held by
every worker in both the public and private sectors. As socialists,
we condemn Governor Scott Walker and the Republicans in Wisconsin.

We call on students, workers and all who are opposed to this decision
to converge on Madison tomorrow to protest. We support the resolution
passed by the South Central Federation of Labor (Wisconsin) that calls
for a general strike of all workers in the region. We support the
immediate formation of strike committees by all union and non-union
workers in the state. We support all acts of civil disobedience and
non-compliance to protest and reverse this Bill.

Workers and students shut down Wisconsin! As popular movements
throughout the world claim their democratic rights, Walker and the
Republicans have trampled on workers in Wisconsin. By building on the
spirit of Tahrir Square, Madison can be the site where a new militant
worker’s movement is built. Our democracy is not contained within the
Assembly Houses and State Capitols; we build it in the streets!

For a General Strike of all Wisconsin Workers!
Kill the Bill!
Build Democracy in the Streets!

Get Organized! Contact the Socialist Party USA

Download the Flyer here:

SP Memphis Shuts Down Anti-Worker Committee Meeting!

Last night several members of the Socialist Party of Memphis attended a public committee meeting to speak against anti-worker measures being considered by legislators.  After being asked to leave, the SP contingent broke out into pro-worker chants and rallied the working people in the room who quickly joined in to send a strong and clear message that we need to "chop from the top" and that the working classs did not create this economic mess and we will not subsidize the rich any longer. The spontaneous solidarity was very inspiring and we hope that CT activists will be ready to do the same here if and when the time comes.


Check out the very inspiring video footage here:

SP Statement on Planned Parenthood

Stop The Right Wing Attack on Women
by Andrea Pason, Co-Chair Socialist Party USA and Kristin Schall, Chair NYC Local

Download this statement as a flyer from here:

Access to high quality, affordable healthcare in the US continues to be an obstacle for many Americans.  Amidst this, Planned Parenthood has been a haven for a diverse community of women seeking women’s health services.  From birth control to prenatal care, Planned Parenthood has been at the forefront of offering women access to all aspects of family planning as well as cancer and STI screenings.  This is a vital resource for all women and losing access to these services will affect all women.

What makes Planned Parenthood work so well is precisely the qualities that would make a full socialized medical system work.  Planned Parenthood doesn’t discriminate.  Everyone is provided equal access.  People receive the care they need and no one is turned away.  Instead of cutting back, we need to expand these values to all parts of the US medical system.

The recent vote in the House of Representatives to end federal funding of Planned Parenthood is yet another attack on the poor and working class.  The Right has used their majority status in the House and Senate as a vehicle for pushing through regressive legislation in the guise of spending cuts, which has been used to cut back social programs and put forward an agenda that is rooted in racism, sexism and homophobia.  The proposed cuts to Planned Parenthood is just the latest in a string of bills that chip away at the needs of poor and working class Americans.

The Socialist Party USA opposes the cuts to Planned Parenthood.  We believe that access to a broad range of reproductive choices is a right of all women.  This includes safe, affordable and on demand access to abortion, as well as access to birth control and prenatal care.  We recognize the vital role of Planned Parenthood in providing these services to women who might otherwise not be able to access them.  If this defunding bill is approved, it will be disastrous to women’s access to healthcare.  For many low-income women, Planned Parenthood is the only available option for women’s health services. 

As socialist feminists, we see the cuts to Planned Parenthood, not only as an attack on women’s rights, but as part of a well planned strategy being initiated by the right in the form of budget cuts being enacted across the country.  We oppose any and all legislation that would result in cuts in services to the poor and working class or job loss.  Instead, we call for a Single Payer healthcare system that would provide quality healthcare to all regardless of their ability to pay.  We also call for full funding of all social services as well as a system of full employment.  We see these things as fundamental to creating a more equitable and humanitarian society.  

Insider strategies won’t work any longer.  Lobbying and collecting donations won’t put an end to the attack by the right wing.  Our movement for women’s rights needs to learn some lessons from the Madison protests.  Strategies of mass protest building towards civil disobedience and other forms of noncompliance are critical tools for changing the political culture in this country. By using this strategy, we can not only defend the rights we have, but also push forward to expand them.  If you want to get involved, contact a Socialist Party organizer today! 

No to the Attack on Women’s Rights!
No to Austerity!
For Full Access to Reproductive Services!

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