Guess who gave this speech.

#1
On friday 500 young people were arrested in NYC, 6 months ago this speech was given at a University, guess who gave the speech.

TRANSCRIPT OF THE TAPE:

It feels to me after a long time of being on defense that something is starting to turn in the world and we just have to decide if we are on defense or offense

Maybe there is a different way to look at some of theses questions it’s hard for me to think about any part of organizing without thinking what just happened with this economic crisis and what it means

I don’t know how to have a discussion about labor and community if we don’t first say what do we need to do at this time in history what is the strategy that gives us some chance of winning because I spent my life time as a union organizer justice for janitors a lot of things

It seems we are at a moment where the world is going to get much much worse or much much better

Unions are almost dead we cannot survive doing what we do but the simple fact of the matter is community organizations are almost dead also and if you think about what we need to do it may give us some direction which is essentially what the folks that are in charge – the big banks and everything – what they want is stability

Every time there is a crisis in the world they say, well, the markets are stable.

What’s changed in America is the economy doing well has nothing to do with the rest of us

They figured out that they don’t need us to be rich they can do very well in a global market without us so what does this have to do with community and labor organizing more.

We need to figure out in a much more through direct action more concrete way how we are really trying to disrupt and create uncertainty for capital for how corporations operate

The thing about a boom and bust economy is it is actually incredibly fragile.

There are actually extraordinary things we could do right now to start to destabilize the folks that are in power and start to rebuild a movement.

For example, 10% of homeowners are underwater right their home they are paying more for it then its worth 10% of those people are in strategic default, meaning they are refusing to pay but they are staying in their home that’s totally spontaneous they figured out it takes a year to kick me out of my home because foreclosure is backed up

If you could double that number you would you could put banks at the edge of insolvency again.

Students have a trillion dollar debt

We have an entire economy that is built on debt and banks so the question would be what would happen if we organized homeowners in mass to do a mortgage strike if we get half a million people to agree it would literally cause a new finical crisis for the banks not for us we would be doing quite well we wouldn’t be paying anything.

Government is being strangled by debt

The four things we could do that could really upset wall street

One is if city and state and other government entities demanded to renegotiate their debt
and you might say why would the banks ever do it – because city and counties could say we won’t do business with you in the future if you won’t renegotiate the debt now

So we could leverage the power we have of government and say two things we won’t do business with you JP Morgan Chase anymore unless you do two things: you reduce the price of our interest and second you rewrite the mortgages for everybody in the communities

We could make them do that

The second thing is there is a whole question in Europe about students’ rates in debt structure. What would happen if students said we are not going to pay. It’s a trillion dollars. Think about republicans screaming about debt a trillion dollars in student debt

There is a third thing we can think about what if public employee unions instead of just being on the defensive put on the collective bargaining table when they negotiate they say we demand as a condition of negotiation that the government renegotiate – it’s crazy that you’re paying too much interest to your buddies the bankers it’s a strike issue – we will strike unless you force the banks to renegotiate/

Then if you add on top of that if we really thought about moving the kind of disruption in Madison but moving that to Wall Street and moving that to other cities around the country

We basically said you stole seventeen trillion dollars – you’ve improvised us and we are going to make it impossible for you to operate

Labor can’t lead this right now so if labor can’t lead but we are a critical part of it we do have money we have millions of members who are furious

But I don’t think this kind of movement can happen unless community groups and other activists take the lead.

If we really believe that we are in a trans-formative stage of what’s happening in capitalism

Then we need to confront this in a serious way and develop really ability to put a boot in the wheel then we have to think not about labor and community alliances we have to think about how together we are building something that really has the capacity to disrupt how the system operates

We need to think about a whole new way of thinking about this not as a partnership but building something new.

We have to think much more creatively. The key thing… What does the other side fear the most – they fear disruption. They fear uncertainty. Every article about Europe says in they rioted in Greece the markets went down

The folks that control this country care about one thing how the stock market goes what the bond market does how the bonuses goes. We have a very simple strategy:

* How do we bring down the stock market
* How do we bring down their bonuses
* How do we interfere with there ability to be rich

And that means we have to politically isolate them, economically isolate them and disrupt them

It’s not all theory i’ll do a pitch.

So a bunch of us around the country think who would be a really good company to hate we decided that would be JP Morgan Chase and so we are going to roll out over the next couple of months what would hopefully be an exciting campaign about JP Morgan Chase that is really about challenge the power of Wall Street.

And so what we are looking at is the first week in May can we get enough people together starting now to really have an week of action in New York I don’t want to give any details because I don’t know if there are any police agents in the room.

The goal would be that we will roll out of New York the first week of May. We will connect three ideas

* that we are not broke there is plenty of money
* they have the money – we need to get it back
* and that they are using Bloomberg and other people in government as the vehicle to try and destroy us

And so we need to take on those folks at the same time

and that we will start here we are going to look at a week of civil disobedience – direct action all over the city
then roll into the JP Morgan shareholder meeting which they moved out of New York because I guess they were afraid because of Columbus.

There is going to be a ten state mobilization it try and shut down that meeting and then looking at bank shareholder meetings around the country and try and create some moments like Madison except where we are on offense instead of defense

Where we have brave and heroic battles challenging the power of the giant corporations. We hope to inspire a much bigger movement about redistributing wealth and power in the country and that labor can’t do itself that community groups can’t do themselves but maybe we can work something new and different that can be brave enough and daring and nimble enough to do that kind of thing.
 

Mark

Bronze Supporter
#5
I think this whole problem stems from the West having complete void in competent leadership/government.

I do not endorse rioting etc, but historically, when 'the people' feel they have suffered from an un-bending, incompetent, self-gratifying leadership for too long (andI refer to decades) they tend to give up reason and revolt.

Seriously, ALL Western Governments need to get a grip. The hay-days of taking the piss are over.

The voice of the common man has been over-looked and ignored for a very long time. No-one cared when everyone was handing out money all over the place. Two cars on every drive etc etc. Once the people feel the pinch, the shit usually hits the fan.
 

Nick

Bronze Supporter
#6
.

I do not endorse rioting etc, but historically, when 'the people' feel they have suffered from an un-bending, incompetent, self-gratifying leadership for too long (andI refer to decades) they tend to give up reason and revolt.
Mark,

So true, we never seem to learn from history you only have to look at what brought about the French revolution, communism in Russia etc to prove your point.
 

Mark

Bronze Supporter
#7
I think the problem is that any individual polititian and even government, never really have any sincere interest in the long-term. It's the same with any major issue such as energy, climate etc etc. They are just individuals trying like the rest of us to feather their own nests for their own personal futures.

Governments employ hoards of advisors and I am quite certain that they don't need my input or opinions to know what is going on. What other reasons could there befor them ignoring history and it's repeated lessons?

It seems that only the truly Ancient civilizations and their leaders, really grasped the notion of long-term. Who these days would build the Pyramids or partake in a plan to build a rail-road across America? No-one! Our modern-day leaders are just after quick gratification the same way they seek a BJ on a Saturday evening.
 

Mark

Bronze Supporter
#8
And it's not a case of which side of the political table you siteither. So don't even go there with the 'blame the other side' nonsence.
 

Mark

Bronze Supporter
#10
I'm afraid you'll have to be a little more expansive Jeff, as I don't really get the sloganized Americana of stateside politic jargon. Over here its a little simpler. Red, Blue and Yellow. Greens don't count although they do mean well.

Red has power, screws up and blames the previous bunch (blue) who then get into power screw up and blame the Reds. Pick any period of modern UK poilitics and that scenario applies to all. I guess that's what you are refering to?

What I am getting at is that IMO, the times for party politics is over. We all want the same things anyway. Better schools, better health care, better social wellbeing in general. I am fed up with the party of the rich fighting the party of the poor. The only losers are the voters on both sides, not the wankers we vote for, whichever your slant.

I'd just like someone to stand up an fix something. In business, you spot the screw up and fix it. If we stand around looking for blame the whole business grinds to a halt. Ergo Politics.
 

Jeff Young

Bronze Supporter
#11
Sorry Mark. The Tea Party phenom in the US is kind of new.....

Here's the deal. Right after President Obama was elected, we had the sudden appearance of a large rabble rousing mass of almost exclusively white folks who claimed to be the intellectual descendants of the patriots who dumped British tea in the Boston Harbor as a protest against the tax on tea in the 1760s/70s.

THey used phrases like they were "taking back America" and "reloading" and carrying signs showing the President as a monkey or a communist or Hitler or any other number of things.

Instead of fading away, they've grown in strength and at this point in time have far too much control over the Republican party.

Now, a grassroots movement like this advocating similar means of apparently forced, violent change from the Left and the "Tea Party of the Right" goes bonkers about it.

Me? I think both are bullshit. We a have system. It's worked phenomenonally well since 1787. We should continue to use it, with (as you state) less partisanship and bickering.

We have an excellent commentator here in the US whose name is David Gergen. He recently wrote an essay on how despite our differences in the past, Americans always believed in the fundamental ability of government to lead. May not be efficient. May not always work perfectly. But it functioned.

We seem to have lost that faith. And that is big trouble for us, and the rest of the world.

Trust me when I say you don't want a "Tea Party" of either variety with their hands on the nuclear codes.
 
#13
The Tea party assembles peacefully asking for govenment responsibility. This idiot Lerner is asking for the collapse of the US economy. There is no comparrison. Are you over doing your medication again Jeff? 500 people were arrested in NYC on Friday for carrying out his plan.
 

Jeff Young

Bronze Supporter
#15
Causing a collapse? You mean like the horde of Republicans who seem to think it is ok to crash the economy in order to ensure that President Obama fails? The ones who thought threatening a default on our debt obligations was a viable political tactic?

There's no difference between these two movements other than what side of the fence they are on. The fact that you can't see that because you can't see over YOUR fence....can't help you there Al.
 
#19
Causing a collapse? You mean like the horde of Republicans who seem to think it is ok to crash the economy in order to ensure that President Obama fails? The ones who thought threatening a default on our debt obligations was a viable political tactic?

There's no difference between these two movements other than what side of the fence they are on. The fact that you can't see that because you can't see over YOUR fence....can't help you there Al.
And it wasn't about Obama, it was about runaway spending and responsibility. Obama will sink himself.
 

Nick

Bronze Supporter
#20
And it wasn't about Obama, it was about runaway spending and responsibility. Obama will sink himself.
Al,

The problem is Al can you and your comrades really put you hand on hearts and say you would be glad if Obama solved all your countries problems and in doing so secured a second term in office.

Before you ask admittedly for the first time I really want the Conservative government in the UK to succeed even though it will be at the cost of the Liberal party because the problems we face and need to be solved are now far more important than party politics.
 
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