[act-ma] 10/8 - Eyewitness Report from the G20: The Economic Crisis - Racism & the Struggle for Jobs, Housing, Education & Healthcare

Bail Out the People Movement - Boston bopmboston at gmail.com
Wed Oct 7 02:56:31 PDT 2009

*in this email:

1) 10/8 - Eyewitness Report from the G20
2) Struggle for jobs comes to G-20

Thurs., Oct. 8 - 6:30 pm

Eyewitness Report from the G20:
The Economic Crisis - Racism & the Struggle for Jobs, Housing, Education 
& Healthcare


USW L. 8751
Boston School Bus Drivers
Union Hall
25 Colgate Rd., Roslindale
(a few blocks south of Forrest Hills T, off Wash. St.)

Lessons from Pittsburgh..and next steps
We'll have footage of the March for Jobs, the Tent City and the activities.
Pittsburgh was another step on the way to a new and powerful people's 
movement. The struggle continues.

Speakers & topics will include:

Members of BOPM and USW L. 8751 who participated in the Sept. 20th March 
for Jobs as well as other actions during the G20 in Pittsburgh.

Updates and discussion on the struggle for equal, quality education in 
the Boston Public Schools

Racism & the attacks on healthcare reform

The struggle for justice by workers at the Hyatt and Harvard

The continuing struggle against foreclosures
*2) Struggle for jobs comes to G-20*

by Brenda Sandburg

More than 1,000 protesters marched through the streets of Pittsburgh on 
Sept. 20 demanding a real jobs program, like the public works program 
the Roosevelt administration enacted during the Great Depression of the 

It was the first demonstration related to the G-20 summit, a gathering 
of Treasury officials and central bankers from 20 countries that will 
take place in Pittsburgh Sept 24-25. The goal of the G-20 is to protect 
bank profits. The goal of the March for Jobs is to revive Dr. Martin 
Luther King Jr.'s call for the right of all to a job. The march was 
organized by the Bail Out the People Movement and the Rev. Thomas E. 
Smith, pastor of the Monumental Baptist Church, and endorsed by the 
United Steelworkers union and the United Electrical Workers.

The march garnered coverage and interest from major big-business media, 
both nationally and locally, including the Associated Press, Reuters, 
the Wall Street Journal, the French Press Agency and others. Organizers 
of the march attributed the media interest to the fact that the march 
addressed the crisis of joblessness and its devastating impact on the 
Black community.

People came from cities throughout the country to join a significant 
number of Pittsburgh area residents for the march. The cities 
represented included Los Angeles, San Francisco, Detroit, Cleveland, 
Akron, Minneapolis, Baltimore, Miami, New York, Buffalo, Philadelphia, 
Providence, the North Carolina Triangle area and Boston. Many have been 
laid off or lost their homes to foreclosures. Despite the crisis, people 
were spirited, drawing strength from being together and from building a 

"In honor of Martin Luther King we are continuing what he started in 
uniting people together in a poor people's campaign," the Rev. Tom 
Smith, pastor of Monumental Baptist Church and one of the organizers of 
the march, told the rally. "The G-20 is structuring deals to protect the 
corporations and not the workers. It's time for the workers to come 
together and make a difference."

People gathered in the morning at Monumental Baptist Church located in 
the historic African-American Hill district of Pittsburgh. A tent city 
dedicated to the unemployed had been set up next to the church the day 
before. Many of the protesters will stay at the tent city throughout the 
week with more people expected to join as the G-20 summit opens.

An opening rally was held before the march stepped off at about 2:30. 
People marched carrying hundreds of placards with the image of Dr. 
Martin Luther King Jr. and chanting, "We got the right! We got the right 
to a job!" The march ended at Freedom Corner, where in 1963 people got 
on buses to go to the historic civil rights march in Washington, D.C.

Larry Holmes, an organizer of the Bail Out the People Movement, said the 
government claims a jobless recovery is on the horizon. He emphasized 
that this is unacceptable. "A jobless recovery is like a dead patient 
after a successful operation," he said.

Monica Moorehead of the organization Millions for Mumia recognized the 
more than two million people in prison who couldn't be at the 
demonstration. She introduced a taped message from political prisoner 
Mumia Abu-Jamal.

At the closing rally, Fred Redmond, United Steelworkers vice president, 
noted the need for universal health care and affordable education as 
well as jobs for all. "Enough of our kids are going to school where the 
rats outnumber the computers," he said. "We have to assure that every 
child receives an education to equip them for the 21st century."

Other speakers at the two rallies included Oscar Hernandez, a 
participant in the 11-month Stella D'Oro bakery strike in New York City; 
Clarence Thomas, International Longshore and Warehouse Union Local 10 
and Million Worker March Movement; Brenda Stokely and Jennifer Jones, 
NYC Coalition in Solidarity with Katrina/Rita Survivors; Rob Robinson, 
Picture the Homeless; Rosemary Williams, Poor Peoples Economic Human 
Rights Campaign; Mick Kelly, Coalition for a Peoples Bailout; Nellie 
Bailey, Harlem Tenants Council; John Parker, Bail Out the People 
Movement organizer in Los Angeles; Sandra Hines, Michigan Moratorium 
NOW! Coalition to Stop Foreclosures, Evictions and Utility Shutoffs; 
Rokhee Devastali, Feminist Students United, University of North 
Carolina-Chapel Hill; civil rights attorney Lynne Stewart; Larry Hales, 
FIST (Fight Imperialism Stand Together); Larry Adams, People's 
Organization for Progress; Pam Africa, International Concerned Family 
and Friends of Mumia Abu-Jamal; Victor Toro, an immigrant facing 
deportation and member of the May 1st Coalition for Worker & Immigrant 
Rights; Berna Ellorin, BAYAN-USA; Father Luis Barrios, Pastors for 
Peace; Kali Akuno, U.S. Human Rights Network; and Pennsylvania state 
Sen. Jim Ferlo.

*Why people came to Pittsburgh*

The march was a powerful draw for people, many of whom traveled long 
distances to be part of the event. Strikers from TRW Automotive, a 
seatbelt-making plant in Mexico, had been in Detroit speaking out about 
their struggle when they heard about the protest in Pittsburgh and 
joined the bus from Detroit. One member of the TRW group, Israel Mouroig 
of the Coalition for Justice in the Maquiladoras, said it was necessary 
to forge alliances at the international level. "Corporations that 
generate billions of dollars a year produced the crisis in our country," 
he said. "There is a lack of jobs because they see the working class as 
robots, as numbers. We have to appropriate the means of production and 
be the actors of our own history."

Several people drove from Los Angeles, including Guy Anthony, who lost 
his job as an organizer with the Service Employees union in June. Now 
living in his car, he has traveled around the country writing a blog 
about his experiences (thedistantdrummer.com). "You can't talk about 
joblessness without talking about homelessness," Anthony said. He met 
people in Seattle who had set up "a fabulous tent city" on church 
property. He also stayed with people who set up a homeless community at 
a roadside stop off of Route 280 south of San Francisco. "You couldn't 
want better neighbors," he said. "Nobody went hungry. It was a beautiful 
socialist community." The county recently shut the group down.

A large contingent from the Boston School Bus Drivers union, USW Local 
8751, including Gary Murchison, former three-term president of the 
local, and Frantz Mendes, current president, showed up three days before 
the march to help organize and build the tent city.

Detroit activists, who organized a hugely successful tent city in June, 
brought a busload of people to Pittsburgh. "We had to be here," said 
Sandra Hines of the Moratorium NOW! Coalition. "We have to mobilize, 
organize before they take every right we have away from us." Latonya 
Lloyd, who was part of the Detroit delegation, recently battled the 
shut-off of utilities at the Highland Towers apartment building.

Mary Kay Harris came with about 40 other people on a bus from Rhode 
Island. A member of DARE (Direct Action for Rights and Equality), Harris 
said that as soon as they heard about the March for Jobs they decided 
they had to be there. Rhode Island, which has one of the highest 
unemployment rates in the country, has a tent city of the homeless. "We 
feel that solidarity is the most important thing," she said.

Activists in Cleveland also brought a busload of people, including a 
large contingent from the Poor People's Economic Human Rights Campaign. 
And a group of 18 youth came from North Carolina, including Tracy Gill, 
a member of FIST who said this was the first big protest she had ever 
been to.

Members of the Minnesota People's Bailout Coalition also came to the 
march. Angel Buechner said the organization had fought for legislation 
last year that would have provided immediate jobs or income and a 
moratorium on foreclosures and on the state's five-year limit on 
receiving welfare. But Gov. Tim Pawlenty defeated the measure. Despite 
the setback, Buechner is ready to continue the battle.

At the ending rally at Freedom Corner, Holmes announced---to the 
approval of the crowd---that the next step is to build a national march 
for jobs in Washington next April to continue Dr. King's dream.

*Bail Out The People Movement
bopmboston at gmail.com <mailto:bopmboston at gmail.com>

*National Office*
bailoutpeople at safewebmail.com <mailto:bailoutpeople at safewebmail.com>

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