August 2: The Next Step in NYC’s Anti-Austerity Movement

Tuesday, August 2, 4:30 – 7 PM, at the bull

The debt ceiling battle is being fought by representatives of the rich with no input whatsoever by the people. We’re being asked to sit on the sidelines while the Democrats and Republicans duke it out. Possibly we can root for one side or another.

In this drama, August 2 is the deadline for Washington to raise the debt ceiling.

The Bloombergville activists have another goal for that date. We have named August 2 as the day for a People’s Assembly on Wall Street – in other words, August 2 is the day that we assert ourselves, and insert ourselves, into the life-and-death decisions over programs that affect our lives.

We’re the only force that could insert any sanity into this drama. If we had any semblance of involvement in budget questions, someone would ask the common sense question: What about raising the debt ceiling to create a massive jobs program to achieve full employment?

Or better yet, don’t raise the debt ceiling, and instead use interest payments — federal debt service is $29 billion a month — to create jobs rebuilding the crumbling infrastructure. What is interest, after all, but money banks collect for doing nothing?

The debt ceiling has been raised dozens of times. The reason it is a crisis now is that the $14 trillion handed to Wall Street three years ago has depleted a treasury already maxed out by wars and made worse by the recession.

Having looted the treasury, the banks and bondholders want to make sure they’ll still get their interest payments on time.

This is the true crux of the “crisis” facing Washington – and it’s a high-volume drama that’s blocking out the REAL crisis: the effects on our lives by the relentless insistence by banks and bondholders that they get their interest payments on time.

The REAL crisis is that, already, clinics that rely on Medicaid to provide desperately needed services are worrying about whether they can continue to provide services. At Wyckoff Heights Medical Center in Brooklyn, for example, about 84% of net patient revenue comes from Medicaid and Medicare.

The REAL crisis is that, as food shelters report a rise in hunger in every part of the country, Congress is proposing a $187 billion cut in the food stamps program, which is currently relied upon by 44 million people.

The real crisis is mass layoffs. Hunger. Homelessness. Millions of homes in some stage of foreclosure. The bank-sponsored demolition of foreclosed homes. Looting of pensions. Dismantling of public schools. Furloughs. Union-busting.

And while the Democrats willingly offered up cuts in Social Security, Medicaid, Medicare and food stamps, nobody knows what other programs and services are actually being eliminated by these millions in cuts.

No matter what happens in Congress, we are the only force that can stop this madness. On August 2, we will meet on Wall Street, at the bull — the scene of the crime — to decide what to do about it. We’ll discuss the planned occupation of Wall Street set for September 17, or we may come up with a new date. Whatever we decide, we need YOU there!

No matter what happens on August 2 — default or no default — not one penny should be withheld of benefits or entitlements. Let the bankers miss their payments — not the people!




  1. Hope says:

    Can we get a chapter of your organization out here in California? We need to start organizing once again like we did for Civil Rights and Vietnam.

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