The following leaflet offers a short, sharp approach to the deepening depression, leaning heavily on militant local actions--asap. It is from the NY/NJ district of the Freedom Road Socialist Organization/Organización Socialista del Camino para la Libertad. It was distributed at the big union demonstration (circa 25,000, though it's hard to tell with police "crowd control" tactics) near City Hall on Thursday.
It's hardly surprising if you are. Fear is a rational response to an economy crumbling more visibly every single day. Fear strikes when we see friends and family members laid off or losing their homes. What's bad is when fear becomes paralysis and not a spur to action.
Thousands and thousands of us are here today to stop the gutting of our already underfunded public education system. Unprecedented cutbacks and layoffs are already underway. As the economic meltdown deepens, even more brutal attacks on public services are in the offing.
Everyone hopes that this disaster will be staved off by President Obama's budget and stimulus package. It does offer important programs to mitigate the damage, and those programs are under fire from the banksters and Wall Street bigshots. But it also includes $150 billion more for the banks that drove the economy over a cliff in the first place, on top of the trillions already thrown away on them.
We need to face facts: the capitalist financial system is broken. The banks themselves are broke, hopelessly insolvent. They are beyond the point of rescue. The banks may wind up nationalized soon--which means we, the taxpayers of this country, will own their huge debts and toxic "investments." It would probably be better to let them go under. Use those trillions insetting up new smaller banks and a new financial system, to rescue homeowners and to invest in infrastructure and productive businesses.
Our cities and towns, our people need every dime of those trillions. And we don't have much time to lay claim to them. The old saying goes:
We don't have money, and we don't have direct access to the corridors of power. What we've got is anger. And numbers.
The banksters and politicians are afraid of the future, too, as their system collapses. The problem is that they are not afraid of us. We need to use our anger and our numbers to strike fear, cold terror, into the hearts of the politicians and policy makers as they plan more cuts, more layoffs, more giveaways to Wall Street and the banks.
Sparks of struggle have been spreading in recent weeks:
ACORN is training "Home Defense" teams to resist foreclosures.
Students at the New School and NYU seized buildings to stop tuition hikes and demand financial transparency.
Young folks in Block Movement use Unlimited Ride MetroCards to let people in poor communities ride free as transit fare hikes loom.
Right to the City, a coalition of community-based groups, disrupted Mayor Bloomberg's "Future of NY" dog and pony show.
We need more of this angry, militant resistance, lots more. And the sooner, the better. It's the only thing they'll listen to.