Sunday, April 5, 2009

Pillow Fighting Wall Street / April 11 Protests

I was pleasantly surprised when I opened the Cleveland Plain Dealer today (Sunday) and saw a picture of a large crowd of people gathered on Wall Street on Saturday. Several organizations, led by United for Peace and Justice (UFPJ), sponsored a march calling for, among other demands, cuts in military spending and funding for bank bailouts.

The picture was opposite an article about how billionaire Warren Buffett has benefited from the bank bailout, with just 28 companies receiving more than 90 percent of the funds so far going to financial firms under the $700 billion Troubled Asset Relief Program, or TARP.

Turns out the opposite picture wasn’t of the UFPJ march...but of a pillow fight. Literally. It was “Pillow Fight Day in the Financial District” with more than 1000 people taking part in this 4th annual event in New York and 108 other cities sponsored by “newmindspace,” a group devoted to free public gatherings.

Maybe the media decided to cover the pillow fight rather than the march since they’re more familiar with political pillow fights than mass marches as responses to the global economic crisis.

Political pillow fighting is probably a good way to describe the response in Washington to the economic meltdown, outright theft, and further consolidation of financial power caused by the taxpayer bailout of insurance giant AIG, banking zombies JP Morgan Chase, Goldman Sacks, Bank of America, Citibank, and Well Fargo-Wachovia, and other financial institutions.

Despite all the tough talking, there’s still been:
- no Administration or Congressional demands to account for where public tax dollars have gone,
- no demands that the leaders of the zombie banks be fired (if not jailed),
- no calls for a return of public dollars misused/misspent,
- no action to explore legal challenges to how bailout money was used by some banks to acquire other banks,
- no demand that the Administration follow the Prompt Corrective Action Law, passed after the savings and loan crisis, stipulating that severely undercapitalized banks be promptly put into receivership (i.e., nationalized/democratized). This federal law says insolvent banks must be promptly nationalized/democratized. Former senior Savings & Loan Regulator William Black spelled this out Friday night on Bill Moyers’ Journal
Black charges the Administration with covering up the full extent of the financial calamity

This is unacceptable.

It’s time to end the Wall Street pillow fighting. Let “newmindspace” organize those.

It’s time to open up space in our minds to the urgent need to express outrage at what is happening...and to take it to the streets.

April 11 Protests in Cleveland and Columbus — Break Up the Banks

Rallies being planned all over the country at 2:00 PM
Decentralize – Nationalize - Reorganize
Sign up at

Cleveland, OH USA Willard Park
at corner of Lakeside and E. 9th
62 people plan to attend

Columbus, OH USA Ohio Statehouse
77 S High St
60 people plan to attend

If not near either of these two places, sign up to organize your own action. If April 11 is too soon, do it about Tax Day (April 15) or May Day (May 1).

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