[act-ma] 9/27: Bail Out People - Not Banks!; 10/6: Demand a Moratorium on Foreclosures and Evictions, Now!

IAC Boston iacboston at iacboston.org
Thu Sep 25 18:42:26 PDT 2008


in this email:

*1) 9/27 - BAIL OUT PEOPLE - NOT BANKS!
2) 10/6 - Demand a Moratorium on Foreclosures and Evictions, Now!
3) **$1,000,000,000,000? United mass action can STOP giveaway to Wall 
Street bankers*
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*1)* *
*
*BAIL OUT PEOPLE - NOT BANKS!*

*MASSACHUSETTS is in an ECONOMIC STATE OF EMERGENCY!*
/*Heat, Housing, Jobs, Food and Fuel are a Human Right!*/

*Saturday, Sept. 27*
*8:30 am - 1:00 pm*
*Madison Park High School*
55 Malcolm X Blvd, Roxbury
(Orange Line - Roxbury Crossing)

On Saturday, September 27 the City of Boston, NSTAR, NationalGrid and 
others will sponsor a forum on food and fuel assistance programs. 
Join us to to demand that Gov. Patrick declare an Economic State of 
Emergency and immediately

    * *Stop Utility Shutoffs & Restore Services Immediately!*
    * *Declare a Moratorium on Foreclosures & Evictions!*
    * *Roll Back Food & Fuel Prices!*


download "Economic State of Emergency" petition 
<http://www.iacboston.org//WFN/No_Utility_Shutoffs/SOE_petition.pdf>

/Anti-war activists need to address the latest phase of the war - the 
war against working people here!/

    * *NO Money for Wall Street & War -*
    * *Bail Out the Workers and the Poor!*
    * *Foreclose the War - Not People's Homes!*
    * *Bail Out People - Not Banks!*
    * *Money for Human Needs - Not War and Corporate Greed!*


Washington wants:

*$1 Trillion to bail out mortgage bankers
$3 Trillion for the War in Iraq & Afghanistan
$ Billions for War against Iran*

We Demand Money for:

*Housing
Health Care
Jobs with a Living Wage
Rebuilding the Gulf Coast
Education
Youth Programs *

SIGN THE ONLINE PETITION 
<http://www.stopforeclosuresandevictions.org/moratoriumpetition.shtml> 
demanding the Feds implement an
IMMEDIATE MORATORIUM ON FORECLOSURES AND EVICTIONS, NOW!
<http://www.stopforeclosuresandevictions.org/moratoriumpetition.shtml>

The same institutions that profit from endless war are now demanding 
that the entire U.S. Treasury to be placed at their disposal to bailout 
corrupt banks and mortgage institutions, a declaration of endless war 
against people at home.  Even mainstream media is describing this as the 
"financial equivalent of the Patriot Act," which will give the banks and 
their politicians in Washington a license to seize billions of dollars 
for the benefit of Wall Street bankers.
 
Many have speculated that the Bush Administration might launch an 
"October Surprise" - and it has.  This is an outright declaration of war 
against working people.  We're told there's no money for health care, 
education, infrastructure -- but in one swoop -- $1 trillion has been 
found to prop up banks and financial institutions.  This money has been 
stolen from working people, who will face massive cuts in every social 
program. 

Saturday's Day of Action was originally called by the Stop War on Iran 
Campaign to protest the Bush Administration's drive to war against Iran, 
and the demand "Stop War On Iran" will remain a central theme of the 
demonstration.  In light of recent developments - Washington's 
declaration of war against working people in order to fund an 
unprecedented trillion dollar bailout of Wall Street bankers - anti-war 
activists need to address the latest phase of the war - the war against 
working people here.

*No Corporate Bailout! - We need immediate moratorium on foreclosures; 
health care, education and housing.
SIGN THE ONLINE PETITION 
<http://www.stopforeclosuresandevictions.org/moratoriumpetition.shtml> 
demanding the Feds implement an IMMEDIATE MORATORIUM ON FORECLOSURES AND 
EVICTIONS, NOW! 
<http://www.stopforeclosuresandevictions.org/moratoriumpetition.shtml>*

For more information, call 617-522-6626

------------------------------------------------------------------------

*2)* *
*
*Demand a Moratorium on Foreclosures and Evictions, Now!*

*Monday, Oct. 6*
*11:00 a.m. -- 1:30 p.m*
*Colonnade Hotel*
120 Huntington Ave.
Boston, MA

On Monday, Oct. 6 banks, mortgage companies, and insurance companies 
such as Bank of America, SBLI, TD Banknorth, The Warren Group, and many 
others will be hosting a conference on foreclosures.  Speakers will 
include Gov. Deval Patrick; Congressman Barney Frank; Director of 
Community Affairs, Federal Reserve Bank of Boston; U.S. Department of 
Housing and Urban Development and many others who are directly involved 
in the financial crisis and forcing people out of their homes.

Join us to demand:

/*Governor Deval Patrick, Declare a State of Emergency, Now!*/

    * *Declare a Moratorium on Foreclosures & Evictions!*
    * *Stop Utility Shutoffs & Restore Services Immediately!*
    * *Roll Back Food & Fuel Prices!*


*BAIL OUT PEOPLE - NOT BANKS!

MASSACHUSETTS is in an ECONOMIC STATE OF EMERGENCY!
/Heat, Housing, Jobs, Food and Fuel are a Human Right!
/*
------------------------------------------------------------------------
*3)*
$1,000,000,000,000? United mass action can
*STOP giveaway to Wall Street bankers*
By Fred Goldstein


Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson and Federal Reserve Chair Ben Bernanke 
have attempted to stampede Congress into handing them dictatorial 
financial authority so they can carry out a $700-billion bailout of Wall 
Street.

The aim of the Paulson plan is for the government to buy up the bad 
debts of banks, mortgage brokers, insurance companies and any other 
corporation that can be classified as a financial institution.

These loan sharks are the same institutions that made huge profits 
trafficking in subprime and other mortgage loans. Now home prices are 
declining, adjustable-rate mortgage payments are going up, the cost of 
living is skyrocketing, and the economy is shrinking---leaving workers 
with fewer jobs and smaller paychecks. Millions can no longer pay their 
mortgages.

While screaming crisis, the bankers are rushing to the front of the 
$700-billion bailout line.

If approved, the Paulson plan will raise the government's bailout of the 
super-rich to one TRILLION dollars. It has already committed $315 
billion to bail out giant insurer AIG as well as Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac 
and Bear Stearns banks.

What could be done with such a princely sum? It could be used to pay for 
universal health care, affordable housing, affordable education, day 
care, job creation and other basic needs. This money is urgently needed 
to deal with the real crisis of the workers and the oppressed.

The bankers' books are filled with bad debts. They bought up these debts 
thinking to increase their profits through collecting interest payments 
from the workers. But now the gravy train of interest payments is over, 
so they want the government to come in and take the bad debts off their 
books.

Their front man is Paulson, who spent 32 years at the investment bank 
Goldman Sachs and was the biggest single shareholder in the company. Now 
secretary of the Treasury, he is coming to their rescue.

*Attempt at a financial coup*

Paulson tried to terrorize Congress and the entire population into 
quickly giving him unlimited authority to dole out hundreds of billions 
to the banks. He threatened that the "credit markets" would seize up, 
leaving people's businesses, jobs and lives in jeopardy. In plain 
language, it means that these moneybags, already bloated with hundreds 
of billions in assets, will stop lending unless they get their hands on 
the Treasury's money.

Paulson presented Congress with a paltry three-page proposal to explain 
why the Treasury needs to spend the $700 billion! It was virtually empty 
of any specifics other than the authoritarian demand in Section 8 that: 
"Decisions by the Secretary pursuant to the authority of this Act are 
non-reviewable and committed to agency discretion, and may not be 
reviewed by any court of law or any administrative agency."

In this grab for unlimited financial power, Paulson wants to operate 
unimpeded by any legal or constitutional restraints. It was an attempt 
at a financial coup by the so-called banking fraternity, headed by Paulson.

He has around him a whole team of former Goldman Sachs bankers. Bush's 
White House Chief of Staff Joshua Bolten is also from Goldman Sachs. 
There's John J. Mack, head of Morgan Stanley, another giant investment 
bank. Paulson called on him for advice on the bailout of Fannie Mae and 
Freddie Mac. And he consults with William Gross of PIMCO, a giant bond 
fund with $830 billion in assets.

As the quintessential Wall Street representative, Paulson fielded the 
requests of the financial industry as they lobbied to get in on the act. 
In an early draft of the proposal, security firms---i.e., stock 
brokers---were excluded from the bailout. In the final version, they 
were included. In the early version, only banks headquartered in the 
U.S. were included. The later version was broadened to include all 
financial institutions with operations in the U.S.

The feeding frenzy could not be hidden. "Even as policy makers worked on 
details of the $700 billion bailout of the financial industry, Wall 
Street began looking for ways to profit from it." (New York Times, Sept. 
22) The bankers successfully lobbied to have all manner of investments 
covered, not just mortgages.

They began to jockey for position to manage the same funds that the 
Treasury was going to take off the books of the banks. They stand to 
earn hundreds of millions of dollars a year in fees as Paulson draws up 
plans to hire his fellow bankers---the crooks who brought on the 
crisis---to advise on the bailout.

*Trying to sell it to Congress*

Paulson and Bernanke had to testify before the Senate Banking Committee 
on Sept. 23 to try to sell the bailout. It was clear that they had 
overreached. The senators were almost all forced to push back. Partly it 
was their usual demagogy and posturing meant for the benefit of the 
electorate. But it was also fear that Paulson and Bernanke did not 
really have any workable plan.

Committee members also voiced skepticism on the excessive demand for 
totally arbitrary authority and the complete lack of even the slightest 
gesture of concrete assistance to the masses. After being pummeled in 
view of the television cameras with demands for oversight, Paulson, who 
wrote the "non-reviewable" provision, declared himself to be an advocate 
of "oversight" and "accountability."

Both Bernanke and Paulson stonewalled the committee over any measure to 
directly stop or even diminish home foreclosures. When Paulson was asked 
about the 10,000 foreclosures a day going on right now, he double-talked 
about how the plan would "eventually" lift the housing market and make 
it easier for people to stay in their homes---always predicting that 
without their plan, things would take an even more disastrous turn.

Much time was spent on the need to limit executive bonuses. It has 
become well known that in 2007 the bankers at Bear Stearns, Goldman 
Sachs, Merrill Lynch, Lehman Brothers and Morgan Stanley gave themselves 
a total of $39 billion in bonuses.

Both Paulson and Bernanke refused to budge on the issue, saying that the 
bailout program was voluntary and they did not want to be "punitive" or 
the bankers might not participate. The same argument was used to talk 
down a proposal made by some senators that the government have an 
ownership stake in any company that gets a bailout. Their reply: The 
bankers would never submit to such treatment and the whole program would 
fail.

There was endless posturing by the senators, many of whom are 
millionaires themselves, about helping Main Street, not Wall Street. As 
a popular slogan, this is very appealing and all the politicians used 
it. But the question is really not one of "streets." It is a question of 
class.

It is the financial oligarchy of the capitalist ruling class that is 
being bailed out at the expense of the working class and the middle 
class. The African-American, Latin@ and other oppressed populations are 
suffering the most.

The working class has debts it cannot pay; the financial rulers have 
debts they don't want to pay.

The masses face poverty and hardship. Some bankers and investors face 
getting down to their last millions.

*Forcing workers to pay bankers' debts*

No matter how much this bailout is "improved" by some minimal 
concessions on secondary issues, such as limiting executive pay---if 
that ever happens---or any other palliative measure, the fact is that 
the working class is going to be forced deeper into debt to pay off the 
debts of the bankers who robbed the workers in the first place. This 
bailout is a ruling-class solution.

Paulson's proposal, in whatever form it emerges from Congress, is 
predicated on there being only one choice: bail out the banks or suffer 
a Great Depression. There may well be a depression. But it will come as 
a result of capitalist overproduction inherent in the profit system. It 
cannot be stopped in the long run by a bailout of bankers.

To fight off the effects of a depression or any economic crisis, the 
workers must have their own program and advance their own demands.

After claiming for a year that the system was fundamentally sound, the 
financial bosses are now using the threat of an apocalyptic depression 
to terrorize everyone into accepting a bailout of billionaires and 
millionaires. This is calculated to promote fear, demoralization and 
passivity among the multinational working class, which is already 
struggling to survive.

According to Paulson and company, either the people give over $700 
billion or risk losing their homes, jobs and retirement. Pay the 
bankers' debts or the credit markets will "seize up." This is the logic 
of unobstructed capitalism.

The working class must reject this dire choice. It is a choice posed by 
the bosses and their paid propagandists. Every struggling sector of 
society---youth and students; Black, Latin@, Native and Asian peoples; 
immigrants; women; the lesbian, gay, bi and trans communities; seniors 
and the disabled---will be affected and need to mobilize to fight back.

The bankers and the government can be made to change their tune when 
faced with a mass struggle demanding a moratorium on foreclosures and 
evictions. They can be pushed back by a movement demanding an end to 
layoffs and plant closings and the right to a job for all workers.

Housing is a right. Education and health care are rights. A job is a 
right. The only way to turn back this onslaught of foreclosures, 
evictions and layoffs, and stop the bailout at the same time, is to 
fight back in an organized, mass, militant way.

Workers have historically found ways of forcing open the pocketbooks of 
the bosses. Eighty years ago, no one thought the law would recognize the 
right to organize a union, the right to Social Security, the right to 
unemployment insurance, the right to Aid for Families with Dependent 
Children. These gains were won by struggles during the Great Depression 
of the 1930s.

Faced with an organized, militant population, the bosses, who had been 
crying poverty, finally came up with the money. They can do it again.

-- 
*******************************************
International Action Center

Boston:
617-522-6626
iacboston at iacboston.org
http://www.iacboston.org

National Office:
212-633-6646
http://www.iacenter.org 

Troops Out Now Coalition
http://troopsoutnow.org 

Stop War on Iran
http://stopwaroniran.org

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