Friday, February 13, 2009

Honoring the Legacy of MLK: Bail Out the People Movement to March on Wall Street April 3 & 4

Bail Out the People Movement

March on Wall Street
April 3 & 4

Endorse the Call for April 3 & 4:
Become a local organizer:
Donate to help with organizing expenses:
Download the BOPM Working Paper:

Bail Out People not Banks!
Help Build the First National March on Wall Street April 3-4!

February 13, 2009

Dear activists,

Events have called upon us to make history. Future generations will look back on this moment to see whether we were able to understand what is at stake, and rise to the occasion.

We call upon you to join with the Bail Out the People Movement and the many community leaders, activists and organizations that are part of it, to help organize the first National March on Wall Street on Friday, April 3 and Saturday, April 4.

Yes! This is a two-day event. The first phase of the march will begin on Friday, April 3; thousands traveling to New York City from all over the country will join us on Saturday, April 4.

We invite you to a planning meeting for the national march, on Wednesday, February 18, at 6:30 p.m. at the CUNY Graduate Center, 365 Fifth Ave., New York City. (between 34th & 35th St. - you'll need ID to get into the building. Trains: N, R, W, B, F to 34th St.; PATH to 33rd St.)

The Wall Street march will take place during the same week that the G20 countries are holding their second emergency global economic crisis summit meeting in London on April 2 and 3, which will be followed immediately by a 60th Anniversary of NATO summit meeting in Strasbourg, France on April 4. Both meetings will be the focus of strong protests against war and for economic justice.

For all of who have made a serious commitment to fighting for social and economic justice, the worsening global economic depression (Yes, it is a depression. It’s time to call it what it is!) is the life-changing event that's going to define the challenges and test the seriousness of our movement.

This crisis, which is firing 20,000 workers, and evicting 15,000 from their homes every single day in the U.S. alone, is not going away. It's only going to get worse.

The crisis is overwhelming, frightening, and almost surreal. Many of us are fighting the layoffs, evictions and budget cuts at the local level. Doing so is both necessary and critical.

However, we must begin the process of coalescing around national mass actions. The big banks and their friends in Washington are way ahead of us in this regard.

Coalescing local and national activists and organizations--and most importantly, the millions of people whose living standards and survival are at stake, is the most important goal of the April 3 and 4 National March on Wall Street.

The mass anger over the continuing bank bailout has the aristocracy of Wall Street and the politicians in Washington scared. But anger that is not organized into mass movement is wasted and ultimately ignored by the powers that be.

As extraordinary as the outcome was of the November elections, clearly the elections alone have not been enough. As activists, we can no longer afford to wait for others to come forth and organize mass resistance.

The so-called “stimulus” legislation may eventually help a few people but it will not even put a dent in the layoffs, evictions, and budget-cutting contagion. The big banks are asking for another $2-3 trillion in bailout money. The money in the stimulus bill allotted to help people facing foreclosure is less than 2% of that sum.

The march on Wall Street has been planned to coincide with the anniversary of the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. There are many reasons one could think of to do this.

Just as Dr. King knew that the Civil Rights Movement would not be viable unless it was also part of the antiwar movement, he knew that freedom would never be possible until everyone had the right to a job with a living wage, or an income. This was the message that Dr. King spent the last year of his life trying to convey.

And it's a message that could hardly be more relevant today. Another important message from Dr. King reminds us of what is so fundamental to his legacy, "Freedom is never voluntarily given by the oppressor; it must be demanded by the oppressed."

People have been waiting for the call for a National March on Wall Street that demands a Bail Out of the People, not the Banks. That call has been issued; support for it is growing every day with hundreds of endorsements. (See for the endorsers’ list).

However, it is the commitment that you make to organize for the Wall Street march that is going to be decisive.

Let us come together and be decisive.

In solidarity,
Bail Out the People Movement

Endorse the Call for April 3 & 4:
Become a local organizer:
Donate to help with organizing expenses:
Download the BOPM Working Paper:

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