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Wednesday, July 25, 2012

An "Occupy Tucson" Speech by Al Anzaldua - Part 2

Is it a coincidence that after the 1933 Glass-Steagall Act, which kept investment banks from merging with insurance companies & commercial banks, was overturned by the 1999 Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act (Financial Services Modernization Act) and after Senate Banking Committee head Phil Gramm also inserted a provision into the 2000 Commodity Futures Modernization Act that exempted derivatives like credit-default swaps from government oversight, that Wall Street banks went into a frenzy of mergers & then a frenzy of creating and selling opaque derivatives based on sub-prime loans leading to the 2008 economic collapse?  It is not a coincidence!  These acts of deregulation let the Wall Street foxes run wild in the U.S. economy henhouse!

We must break up the banks and bring back Glass-Steagall!  It was a good law that protected us for 66 years!   We must push for strengthening the Dodd-Frank Act so that all Wall Street derivatives are traded on open, transparent exchanges, like the stock exchange – not just in so-called “clearing houses” dominated by Wall Streeters.  Why is Wall Street so against derivative transparency?  Can you guess?

Some in the richest 1% have influenced members of Congress with bribes (political donations) and lobbyists to rig the tax system so that now the richest 1% make more money than the bottom 140 million people!  And the gap between rich & poor is growing!

If you hold up a 7-11 for a hundred dollars, you will go to jail, but if one of the banking plutocrats steals millions, he at most gets a “naughty naughty” from the press & slap-on-the-wrist fine.  What kind of justice is this?

… because the enemies of our 99% movement are perpetrating a lie – a big rotten lie – that 51% percent of Americans pay NO tax!  They repeat it over and over.  That’s what you do with a big lie.  The truth is that people working for a wage pay 15.3% payroll tax.  (In effect, they are paying 30%, etc.)  Then there’s state, county, and city sales taxes.  And property taxes.  Even renters pay property taxes (indirectly)!  Don’t let them get away with this lie!

Glenn Beck and others are predicting violent class war from us.  (“They will drag rich people out of their homes and businesses and kill them.”)  Don’t give the foes of the 99% movement ammunition to use against us!  Don’t let them divide, discredit, weaken us.  Don’t let them make a lie out of 99% unity.  We therefore must avoid not only violence, but even the hint of violence. Avoid masks and other face coverings.  Avoid compiling rich-people lists, especially ones with addresses.  We don’t need them to prevail.  We have nothing to hide.  They have plenty to hide!  Let them continue to wear their phony American-loving masks.  We can see beneath those masks!  Always remember that we have something stronger, more powerful than violence: We have persistence, we have the numbers, we are the 99%!

At the very least:  We continue demonstrating and organizing.  Before voting for a particular politician, find out how many of his/her staff aids and former staff aids are/were ex-corporate lobbyists or corporation officers.  Find out who the corporate front groups I mentioned are supporting.  Go to Source Watch and other websites and follow the money.  It will amaze you!  Support public financing bills for every level of government.

If you go to you will find a Declaration of Independence from Corporate Power to sign.  It reads:
I pledge my support for America’s founding principle of government of, by, and for the People.  I believe that a corporation is not a person, money is not speech, and corporate money should not be allowed in our country’s elections.
I pledge to work with other grassroots Americans for reforms that will free today’s politics from the dominating power of what Thomas Jefferson called “the aristocracy of our moneyed corporations.”
I encourage you sign this pledge and continue to demonstrate for economic justice!

Remember that we have something more powerful than violence, we have the power of persistence, the power of non-violent action, and if need be, non-violent resistance.  Persistence, Resistance, Non-Violence!  We have the power of numbers.  Potentially vast numbers.

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