Freedom Socialist Party on Occupy Wall Street: Fight corporate rule with working-class power

Freedom Socialist Party at socialism.com:

As the Occupy Wall Street spirit of rebellion spreads
from NY to LA and around the globe, Establishment
politicians are looking for ways to turn the growing
movement into “the Tea Party of the liberals.” But
what is happening in Liberty Square can be a far
more powerful and fundamental force to remake
society. Don’t let Occupy Wall Street be co-opted!

Who are the 1% that we’re up against?

Our enemy is not just the obscenely rich of Wall Street
and 5th Avenue, but a capitalist system that is in
crisis. Some argue that the problem is “unfettered”
capitalism, or a lack of regulation. Capitalism is
based on a vicious cycle of competition to produce
more and more goods and control markets,
inevitably resulting in overproduction and huge
international monopolies. Economic meltdowns are
hard-wired into the system itself.

Labor productivity in the U.S. is higher than ever,
yet workers’ standard of living has plummeted. We
are now witnessing the largest transfer of wealth
in history—from the working class to the ruling
class. But this is also capitalism’s endgame because
consumers can no longer afford the products
that fuel corporate profits. No amount of market
reforms, “entrepreneurial spirit,” or “Buy American”
campaigns can end the downward spiral.

Who are the 99%?

The majority of this 99% are workers, but it includes small-and medium-sized business owners as well as people who have been forced to the very fringes of society. However, the real power hitters are the workers, not only because of our overwhelming numbers but because we are the ones who actually produce all the wealth and keep society running. We process
every bank transaction, transport people and goods,
design software, and build homes and airplanes. We
pick the fruit, install the cables, tend the sick, and
teach the children.

Workers have the power to shut down business-
as-usual. The O.W.S. movement can be a catalyst,
but until we as workers exercise our power—the
general strike being our strongest weapon—the
politicians (and the corporations that put them in office) won’t give an inch. We have to hit them
where it hurts, in their pocketbook.

And we do that by shutting down our workplaces,
stores, offices, and subways.

Ultimately, to win the demands raised at Liberty
Plaza will take systemic change. We deserve a
society that prioritizes people’s needs; a society in
which those who do the work can democratically
decide what they produce and how goods and
services should be distributed. This is the premise of
socialism—to cut out the profiteers and middlemen
and put the economic and political power into
workers’ hands.

Expand the Occupy Wall Street movement into a
broader United Front

The nationwide occupations are a wake-up call
and they have the potential to galvanize a broader
fightback. But a “leaderless” movement with no
clear program will be easily diverted by Democrats
and groups like MoveOn.org that exist to channel
movement energy into another round of election-
year campaigning for the Democratic Party which
promises peace, jobs, and equality, but delivers the
opposite. A movement that doesn’t have leadership
directly opposed to the system will be co-opted by it.

It’s time for our own party—a fighting, independent
political alternative. We need a Labor Party, a third
party with a working-class platform that defends
working and poor people facing attacks under
capitalism. The Democrats and Republicans have
played good cop, bad cop with us for too long.
President Obama’s phony jobs program is the latest
attempt to rustle up our support for a bill that
amounts to just another “stimulus” package for
private employers, funded with money diverted
from Medicare and Social Security. Labor, women,
communities of color, the elderly, queers, and young
people voted for “change” in 2008, but Big Business
is still running the show.

A cohesive working-class movement also needs the
voices and leadership of those hardest hit by the
recession. Today, on average, for every dollar in a
white household, a Black family has a nickel. Latino
workers saw 600,000 jobs vanish. Employment
of immigrant men dropped by a third from 2007
to 2010. Asian Americans lost a quarter million
jobs and Native Americans suffer the highest
unemployment of all.

Women overall suffer more under the crisis—the
poverty rate for single moms has risen to 40.7
percent since 2008. As a result, one in five children
now live in poverty.

Those bearing the brunt of this disaster are also the
fiercest fighters. It’s no accident that labor activism
has been strongest in public sector and service jobs
where women, people of color, and queer workers
predominate.

The seeds of a United Front—which would enable
socialists, liberals, disaffected Democrats, and
anarchists to share and debate ideas, but march
as one—are budding in the Occupy Wall Street
movement. With working-class leadership, a United
Front could mobilize students, unionists, people of
color, immigrants, veterans, feminists, unemployed
workers, and retirees around concrete demands
such as:

Nationalize the banks under workers’ control.
Open the books of all banks and corporations to public scrutiny.

Cancel the debts on student loans, on the
mortgages of devalued homes, on foreclosures—and
the debts of entire countries impoverished by “Free
Trade” austerity measures.

Establish a national public works jobs program
at union wages;
revive affirmative action plans in
hiring and education; reduce unemployment and
spread the jobs around by cutting the work week to
30 hours—at 40 hours pay.

Tax the rich and corporations to restore social
services for those hardest hit by the economic
crisis.
Fully fund quality childcare, healthcare and education.
No cuts to Medicaid, Medicare, Social Security, and
reproductive services.

Defend civil liberties. End police state tactics
in communities of color and against immigrants,
strikers and those protesting war and Wall Street
crimes.

End U.S. wars and occupations and redirect
military spending for jobs and human needs.

Issued jointly by:

Freedom Socialist Party, fsp@nyct.net;

http://www.socialism.com/newyorkcity

Radical Women, NYCRadicalWomen@nyct.net;

http://www.RadicalWomen.org

Visit our storefront:

Freedom Hall, 113 W. 128 St, NY, NY 10027

212-222-0633

JOIN US IN LIBERTY SQUARE ON THURSDAY, OCTOBER 20TH
AT 3PM FOR A TEACH-IN ON “ECONOMICS FOR ACTIVISTS.”

Get the flash player here: http://www.adobe.com/flashplayer


To see more photos of this growing movement, go here.

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