US Nationwide Rallies Planned For Saturday Feb 26th
In response to ultra-conservative tactics for greater sacrifice by the vast majority of Americans, two major progressive organizations have plans for massive rallies this Saturday. An Emergency 50-State Mobilization to Save the American Dream is planned for every state capitol to protest union busting tactics in Wisconsin and across the country. USuncut is also staging demonstrations at various corporations that are dodging paying taxes in the face of severe austerity measures being asked of regular people.
The protests in Madison, Wisconsin have been going for 10 days straight with a 24 hour presence, and crowds reaching at least 70,000 people at one time. These are a reaction to a draconian bill that the Republicans are attempting to force through the legislature that will not only slash promised benefits to public employees, but effectively smash their union. This is part of a concerted effort orchestrated by corporate front groups including the billionaire Koch Brothers AFP that they pray will extend to many states, and destroy the last stronghold of organized labor in America.
The Republicorp strategy appears to be backfiring so far, as the protests are spreading to other states. The Service Employees International Union listed 30 events that have taken place in the last 4 days, including places like Montana, Arizona, and Arkansas.
To demonstrate nationwide support for the working men and women of Wisconsin, Moveon.org is putting it’s extensive field organization into play by helping to organize the Emergency 50-State Mobilization to Save the American Dream. From their call to action:
In Wisconsin and around our country, the American Dream is under fierce attack. Instead of creating jobs, Republicans are giving tax breaks to corporations and the very rich, and then cutting funding for education, police, emergency response and vital human services. The right to organize is on the chopping block. The American Dream is slipping out of reach for more and more Americans, and we have to fight back.
We call for emergency rallies in front of every statehouse this Saturday at noon to stand in solidarity with the people of Wisconsin. Demand an end to the attacks on workers’ rights and public services across the country. Demand investment, to create decent jobs for the millions of people who desperately want to work. And demand that the rich and powerful pay their fair share.
We are all Wisconsin.
We are all Americans.
In addition to these, USuncut is having it’s First Day Of Action, also on Saturday, February 26th to protest the banks and corporations getting rewarded while ordinary people are expected to sacrifice even more. Over 60 demonstrations are currently being planned, with more being added every day. From their page:
US Uncut is about taking action against unnecessary and unfair cuts to public services across the US. Washington’s proposed budget for the coming year sends a clear message: The wrath of budget cuts will fall upon the shoulders of hard-working Americans.
Obama seeks to trim $1.1 trillion from the budget in the next ten years by cutting or eliminating over 200 federal programs, many dedicated to social services and education. For instance, it cuts in half funding to subsidize heating for low-income Americans; limits an expansion of the Pell grant program for students; and decreases Environmental Protection Agency funding by over 12%.
Meanwhile, Republicans are using their new House majority to slash spending even more brutally. The GOP has made it clear that they are bent on raiding funds for Social Security, Medicare, education; determined to kill health care reform; and gut needed investments in infrastructure, climate change and job creation, at a time when America needs it most.
The common theme of this revolt is the same: poor and middle class Americans being told to work longer, harder, and faster for less pay, less benefits, and less job security. Things are already pretty dire for the American worker, who gets on average one half to one quarter the vacation days per year of other developed nations, with none legally guaranteed. 50 million Americans have no health insurance, and those that do are often severely underinsured. Wages have been stagnant for the most of the country since 1979.
The richest 400 people in America now have wealth that is equal to the poorest entire half of the nation combined (155 million people). If you are a big banker or on Wall St., the recession is over. If you are poor or in the middle class, you are fighting to buy food and to keep your home and still very much in the grip of the Great Recession.
It is no wonder the people are rising up in protest.