It is shocking that in a period when there are two major labor union lockouts [American Crystal Sugar and Cooper Tire], and when #ows has shown that some novel initiatives for action and mobilizing workers and their oppressed allies can achieve results, that O4J is resorting to the good old MLK Day demo as a tactic.
Reviewing the pages of WW newspaper over the last few years, we find that there is always a MLK Day demo. Usually around jobs or against war. Every year.
O4J was presented as being somewhat informed by #ows, but more advanced regarding socialism and racism; but this is the same stale "let's call a march and round up the usual suspects" mentality that is long past its expiration date.
What ever happened to the Socialists Unite statement from 2010? Now that was something to build on!
By Brenda RyanNew YorkPublished Dec 19, 2011
The Occupy 4 Jobs network is celebrating Martin Luther King Jr. Day in New York City with a direct action to demand jobs. The Jan. 16 event will begin at 1 p.m. at Union Square.
"The MLK holiday is the perfect day to do this," said Larry Holmes, a leading organizer of the Bail Out the People Movement, one of the founders of Occupy 4 Jobs. "What most people don't know is that in the last months of his life, King was devoted to opening a struggle for everyone to have a decent-paying job."
In early 1968, before his April 4th assassination, King announced the Poor People's Campaign, which was to culminate in a March on Washington demanding a $12 billion Economic Bill of Rights. The demands of the campaign were jobs, income and housing. The Economic Bill of Rights guaranteed employment to all and an annual income to those unable to work.
Now, 43 years later, people are in desperate need of jobs. More than 30 million people in the country are unemployed and underemployed, and every day more workers are losing their jobs. In New York City alone, 500,000 people are officially unemployed; the figure is probably closer to 1 million when including those who are underemployed or no longer counted on the unemployment rolls.
Occupy 4 Jobs was formed at a People's Assembly in November to demand a massive public works project big enough to provide jobs at union wages for all unemployed and underemployed workers.
Occupy 4 Jobs is also launching a direct action to demand that banks provide money to the community for jobs. Banks are sitting on huge cash reserves and not investing them in job creation. In addition to trillions in bailouts, they also receive tax-exempt bonds from states and cities. The state and city of New York have together given banks $18 billion in these bonds.
Foreclosures, layoffs, and the slashing and eradication of social services, including food stamps and unemployment benefits, have devastated millions of people. There is an urgent need to reignite the campaign that Dr. King launched to fight for jobs for all at a living wage. All out for Jan. 16!
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