Many of the “grievances” seem to fit in well with the Democratic Party platform and are no challenge at all to Wall Street, Obama, the Democrats or Republicans.
For health care there should be no “means test.” Health care should be free for all and universal— everybody in, nobody out. We have seen how “means testing” is used to exclude so many people since the “poverty level” has been established in this country without any relationship what-so-ever to cost of living factors.
There is no “means test” for getting a public education or for getting mail delivered; why should there be a “means test” for health care? “Means testing” is a thoroughly reactionary, not a progressive, concept when it comes to any public social programs. For progressives the objective is to make every social program universal. We want to create a health care system that embodies such world class standards that no one would want to seek health care through private providers because as we have seen in the battle between public education and private education this undermines the public schools— public schools should be so good no one wants to seek a private education; same with health care.
Ending the wars should be at the very top of the list and a primary focus of the OWS movement along with some kind of concrete alternative to military spending that would be in line with the “Blueprint for America” previously created by progressives led by William Winpisinger which would finally yield real “peace dividends” for the American people and the peoples of the world who would finally be free from the arms race. Most people in this country have already spoken on this issue. They want monies from wars and militarism to be spent providing for human needs: health care, housing, education, child care, parks and recreation, infrastructure, water and sewage, libraries.
The “Dream Act” and its militarization of our youth has no business being among the demands.
What the heck does “non-partisan” mean? We need a third party in this country reflecting the needs of working people.
There should be a moratorium on ALL foreclosures and evictions with the kind of board created as suggested to readjust mortgages so people can stay in their homes with most of the interest already paid applied to the principal.
Anyone can walk down the street talking to people in their neighborhoods, where they shop for groceries, where they fill their gas tanks and pay their electric and heating bills, where people work and conclude what kind of massive reforms are needed in this country.
Here is what you will find; feel free to print this off and discuss it with family, friends and fellow workers (the 99%)—
A people’s program for real change…
* Peace— end the wars in Iraq, Afghanistan and Libya and shutdown the 800 U.S. military bases on foreign soil protecting Wall Street’s interests.
* A National Public Health Care System – ten million new jobs; free health care for all.
* A National Public Child Care System – three to five million new jobs; free child care for all working families.
* Works Progress Administration – three million new jobs; repair, restore and build new infrastructure.
* Civilian Conservation Corps – two million new jobs protecting and restoring to health our ecosystems.
* Public Ownership of the 58,000 mines, mills and factories closed by Wall Street – twenty-five million good paying, decent union jobs.
* Tax the hell out of the rich and cut the military budget by ending the wars to pay for it all which will create full employment.
* Enforce Affirmative Action; end discrimination.
* Raise the minimum wage to a real living wage.
* What tax-payers subsidize in the way of businesses, tax-payers should own and reap the profits from.
* Moratorium on home foreclosures and evictions.
* Defend democracy by defending workers’ rights including the right to collective bargaining for improving the lives and livelihoods of working people.
* Roll-back and freeze the price of food, electricity, gas and heating fuels; not wages, benefits or pensions.
* Defend and expand Social Security.
++ Wall Street is our enemy.
To rally the American people for real change all we have to do is talk about the politics and economics of livelihood.
The time has come for working people to break free from Wall Street’s “two-party trap.” We need a working class-based progressive people’s party similar to the socialist New Democratic Party in Canada.
Peace + tax the rich = millions of new jobs at real living wages putting people to work solving our social problems which will solve our economic problems… Redistribute the wealth. Put people before Wall Street profits.
The OWS movement should be asking the American people: How is Barack Obama’s Wall Street war economy working for you?
In fact, if each of the OWS movements across the country ran candidates across the country in each congressional district and others in state house and senate districts on a platform as described above we would be well on our way towards winning real reforms.
The question of “reform” or “revolution” is a silly question. People need their problems solved here and now and there is no reason why we can’t be advocating for revolutionary change while struggling for reforms.
The struggles by “the people’s front” in the 1930’s which won the New Deal reforms, the Civil Rights Movement which won the Civil Rights ct and the movement against the war in Vietnam that contributed so much to ending that dirty imperialist war proved that there is not only room for all ideas to be discussed and debated but that such discussions actually strengthen our movements. Those who seek to retard such discussions are in fact putting the brakes on this new movement. It should be very easy and simple for people to carry on discussions and dialog in a civil manner.
This notion put forward that bringing these kinds of ideas into this OWS movement will in some way hinder this movement is ridiculous since no one has, or should have, a monopoly on ideas.
What we need is more ideas being stirred into the pot, not less.
Historically, when all ideas have been placed before the American people they have chosen the most progressive reforms and the revolutionary road.
There should be no posing reforms against revolution. Lots of people don’t understand that our country has several times been on the road to revolution as the struggles for reforms intensified. Far from muting revolution, reforms strengthen the revolutionary movement. A case in point was “the people’s front” of the 1930’s. Only severe governmental repression prevented a socialist revolution. And this governmental repression continues to this very day. The best way to stand up to this repression is to bring our ideas out into “the public square.”