Five years after Wall Street crashed the economy, not one banker has been prosecuted for the reckless and fraudulent practices that cost millions of Americans their jobs, threw our cities and schools into crisis, and left families and communities ravaged by a foreclosure crisis and epidemic of underwater mortgages.
Record profits are back at the bailed-out banks. Meanwhile:
Homeowners and communities have lost billions to Wall Street’s foreclosure crisis;
Millions more families face foreclosure in the coming months;
The time is now for Congress and the Obama administration to make Wall Street pay us back:
Prosecute Wall Street bankers for stealing our homes, savings and livelihoods;
End the foreclosure crisis;
Reset mortgages to their current value (“principal reduction”);
Restore and rebuild wealth stolen from communities of color hardest hit.
Since the crisis began, Americans from all walks of life have banded together to help each other. Working through community organizations, civil rights groups, the Occupy movement, and community and faith leaders, we have shared our stories, lobbied, petitioned, and even faced arrest for occupying our own homes and demanding justice.
During the Wall Street Accountability Week of Action in Washington, D.C., May 18-23, families on the front line of the foreclosure crisis will travel from around the country to Washington, D.C., to make their voices heard. The week will include community organizing, home-defense training, and non-violence and civil-disobedience training.
On Monday, May 20, at 1:00pm, home defenders, as well as faith and community leaders will rally to Bring Justice to Justice – demanding an end to the “too big to jail” policy, and relief for families and communities devastated by the financial crisis and foreclosure epidemic.
When people from two different countries hate you, that means you are a public enemy. Last week, the richest man in the entire world, Carlos Slim, attempted to use a philanthropic gift to cover up the fact that his monopolistic practices have impoverished all of Latin America, with headway being made to raid the coffers of the United States with over $451.7 million taken in from subsides from the government of the United States every year.
“This is a non-violent direct action, you are not being held in this room, you are free to exit when you please. We no longer recognize your presidency at Cooper as legitimate and in so doing we commit to re-claim this office in the interim until a suitable administrative alternative is secured."
Over 50 students have overtaken the office of Cooper Union President Jamshed Bharucha in response to the Administration and the Board of Trustees announcing the implementation of tuition for the incoming class of 2014- desecrating a 154 year old tradition of meritocracy and free education. "We stand together with the extended Cooper community in opposition to this decision; we reaffirm all of the previous and future actions of our fellow students and allies."
UPDATE: Cooper Union Students are calling for a Solidarity Rally Tonight at 6PM outside the Foundation Building at Cooper Square Park.
The students delivered a Statement of No Confidence from the School of Art, one of the three colleges that make up Cooper Union. Similar Statements of No Confidence are currently in the process of being drafted and voted upon by the School of Architecture and the School of Engineering.
On April 23, 2013, Cooper Union’s board of trustees announced that they will begin charging tuition, ending the university’s 144-year-old mission of providing free education to all those who merited entry. The decision was met with a united uproar of dissent from nearly all sectors of the university community, including students, faculty, and alumni. While it might seem counterintuitive to get behind a relatively small struggle at one of the most exclusive universities in the country—an old-fashioned meritocracy in a world in which a young person’s “potential” is directly proportionate to their family’s economic station—Cooper Union is by far the most diverse of all elite colleges: white students are a minority here and two-thirds of the student body attended public high schools.
Institutions funded by philanthropy and real estate earnings are clearly unsustainable as foundations for a quality education, but the school’s economic problems and its board’s regressive solutions mirror the situation currently taking place at countless other universities, both public and private. From CUNY tuition hikes to the torpedoing of Medgar Evers College to NYU’s unprecedented land grab, students across the city are fighting back. As student struggles continue across the globe, Cooper Union is a flashpoint for something much larger than itself.
Peter Cooper, the school’s founder, railed against the scourge of student debt a century and a half before the streets of Montreal exploded with resistance, before New York universities faced a string of militant occupations, before students in California put their bodies on the line against tuition hikes and the commodification of higher education. The ongoing fight at Cooper Union is but one part of the broader struggle against austerity, debt, and all other symptoms of capitalism.
On May 1, a 36-page mini-zine that serves as a postscript to last year’s Why is Cooper Union Being Occupied? was produced and distributed around the city. Collecting recent articles, editorials, and primary source documents, this basic update outlines the current situation at Cooper Union, at once a eulogy and a call for new resistance.
Download the PDF here, read online here, or come down to Cooper Union and pick up a hard copy.
On his way to vote on Thursday, state Sen. Stacey Campfield ® was confronted by 8-year-old homeschooler Aamira Fetuga, who presented him with a petition signed by people opposing his welfare bill, according to the Tennessean. Nearby, a choir of about 60 activists sang “Jesus Loves the Little Children.”
“You are so weak, to not listen to a child,” a parent said as Campfield walked away with the girl following.
“Why do you want to cut benefits for people?” 8-year-old Fetuga asked after she caught up with him on a Capitol escalator.
“Well, I wouldn’t as long as the parent shows up to school and goes to two parent-teacher conferences and they’re exempt,” the state Senator explained.
The confrontation continued during what appeared to be long, uncomfortable walk to the Senate floor for Campfield.
Campfield decided to withdraw the bill before Thursday’s vote after several other former supporters began to express doubts.
“You can say that withholding the money from the parents doesn’t harm the child, but you’re fooling yourself,” Senate Majority Leader Mark Norris (R) pointed out.
On November 25th, 112 workers burned to death in a factory fire in Bangladesh producing garments for Walmart. The Port of Newark is a major entryway for Walmart garments coming from Bangladesh. Walmart is going to profit off of the garments these workers died to make.
Unless we block the boat.
Walmart - the world's largest employer and 1% corporation - refuses to take responsibility, compensate the families, or take any action to prevent needless deaths like this from happening again. The 1% must not profit from the workers' deaths in Bangladesh!
On Tuesday December 18th, buses will be leaving at 6am from Canal and Broadway in Manhattan to head to the port.
If you’re not taking the bus, the staging ground location will be the IKEA parking lot in Elizabeth, NJ at 7am. Timing is critical.
We're calling on Occupiers near all East Coast ports to be on alert if the cargo ship is re-routed to dock at another port.