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#M31 European Day of Action Against Capitalism

Posted 3 years ago on March 31, 2012, 12:47 p.m. EST by OccupyWallSt

occupy milan
#OccupyPiazzaAffari protesters today in Milan

Today, just days after a General Strike against austerity in Spain, protesters are again taking to the streets in Europe. In a press release, organizers say, ¨there will be simultaneous demonstrations, rallies and assemblies in many European cities. Protests have been organized by anti-capitalist groups and libertarian grassroots unions from all over Europe. The initiative is labeled M31 – European Day of Action against Capitalism. Members of M31 want to send a clear signal against current austerity policies and authoritarian labour reforms by national governments and the Troika (European Union, European Central Bank and International Monetary Fund) on the backs of wageworkers, migrants and the unemployed.¨ Occupiers from Union Square, New York to Business Square in Milan and elsewhere in Europe are joining the initiative toward our shared goal of challenging economic inequality and fighting for real democracy.

via March31.net:

Events are planned in Portugal, Spain, France, Netherlands, Germany, Austria, Italy, Poland, Ukraine, Slovania, Croatia, and Greece. In solidarity with M31, anti-capitalist groups within Occupy Wall Street will hold a rally in New York City. Parallel to M31, anti-capitalist groups in Moscow and in many cities of the United Kingdom will take to the streets against neoliberal labour reform. Check our M31 – What’s going on? page.

To stay up-to-date during tomorrow’s day of action, check Twitter: @m31dayofaction & #m31 or #31m

This is only a start – as we said in our Call for Action: “Simultaneous demonstrations in many European countries are more than just a signal of solidarity. They’re already sparking transnational discussion and cooperation. We invite all emancipatory initiatives to join this process. We strive to grow independent of official institutions, and are prepared for a persistent struggle. The crisis may manifest in varying ways in different countries, but we all share a common goal: We don’t want to save capitalism, we want to overcome it. We oppose nationalism. It is crucial to fight against the continued erosion of social standards, but we need to aim higher. We want to get rid of the fatal constraints of capitalism and its political institutions. That’s the only way the widespread demand for ‘real democracy’ can be fulfilled.“


Solidarity With Today's General Strike in Spain

Posted 3 years ago on March 29, 2012, 9:17 a.m. EST by OccupyWallSt

no cuts in spain

For live updates (mostly in Spanish and Catalan), follow #HuelgaGeneral, #29M, @acampadasol, @acampadabcn, and @occupybarcelona. For English, see @acampadabcn_int.

Across Spain today, the 99% are rising together in a national General Strike in opposition to the government's pro-business labor reforms and funding cuts to education and other services. In a country where over half of young people are already unemployed, these austerity measures - created solely to appease un-elected European Union bureaucracies and used to protect the interests of powerful international banks and wealthy investors - would demolish decades of hard-won labor rights by making it easier for companies to lay off employees and unilaterally cut wages.


But, like their counterparts in Greece, the Spanish 99% are not responsible for the financial crisis. And they refuse to see their rights stolen to line the pockets of the very banks and institutions who did cause the economic system to collapse - the people who run it: the 1%. Today, the people of Spain are fighting back: across the country, workers left factories and picketed markets, protesters blocked roads, TV stations were forced off-air, flights were cancelled, and train stations closed. The Spanish state has sent in riot police to attack protesters. Only minutes after midnight and the start of the strike, dozens of people had already been arrested.

Tomorrow, Spain's government is expected to release a new budget that will cut billions of euros in measures supposedly designed to stim Spanish debt and ¨encourage investors.¨ This is the same rhetoric used to excuse the unfair cuts to education, infrastructure, and safety net programs here in North America. It is the same misleading language used by corrupt politicians across the world who, working for the bankers and investors who pay for their election, ram through massively unpopular bailouts and austerity measures that only hurt the 99% to benefit the 1%.

But, as we have seen from Wisconsin to Wall Street, the people are not sitting idly by to watch their rights and livelihoods be stolen by the ultra-wealthy. The Spanish Acampadas/indignados movement helped inspire us to Occupy. Today, we send them our support. And on May 1st, we will show our solidarity with Spanish protesters, and all others across the world, by taking the streets. Unfortunately, U.S. laws make it illegal for unions to endorse a General Strike like the one happening today in Spain. But we, working with our partners in labor and immigrant rights organizations, can.

This May Day: No Work, No School, No Housework, No Shopping, No Banking - TAKE THE STREETS! Here are six ways you can get ready for the May Day General Strike.




#SpringTraining on Friday: Dress To Blend

Posted 3 years ago on March 29, 2012, 5:06 a.m. EST by OccupyWallSt

spring training civilians

Start Training for May Day and Join the Spring Resistance! Marches Every Friday, 2pm in Liberty Square! Trainings, skill shares, games, and theatrics from 2:00-3:30pm followed by a march to disrupt the 4:00pm NYSE closing bell with The Peoples’ Gong.

This week we march as "Civilians." Participants are encouraged to Dress-To-Blend and use street tactics discussed prior to the march.


Successful Fare Strike This Morning - Tens of Thousands Ride NYC Subways for Free

Posted 3 years ago on March 28, 2012, 12:46 p.m. EST by OccupyWallSt

occupy the mta

Wednesday, March 28, 2012 — 10:30 AM
For Immediate Release: Forward far and wide.
Rank and File Initiative
Twitter: #farestrike

This morning before rush hour, teams of activists, many from Occupy Wall Street, in conjunction with rank and file workers from the Transport Workers Union Local 100 and the Amalgamated Transit Union, opened up more than 20 stations across the city for free entry. As of 10:30 AM, the majority remain open. No property was damaged. Teams have chained open service gates and taped up turnstiles in a coordinated response to escalating service cuts, fare hikes, racist policing, assaults on transit workers’ working conditions and livelihoods — and the profiteering of the super-rich by way of a system they’ve rigged in their favor.

For the last several years, riders of public transit have been under attack. The cost of our Metrocards has been increasing, while train and bus service has been steadily reduced. Budget cuts have precipitated station closings and staff/safety reductions. Police routinely single out young black and Latino men for searches at the turnstile. Layoffs and attrition means cutting staff levels to the bare minimum, reducing services for seniors and disabled riders. At the same time, MTA workers have been laid off and have had their benefits drastically reduced. Contract negotiations are completely stalled.

Working people of all occupations, colors and backgrounds are expected to sacrifice to cover the budget cut by paying more for less service. But here’s the real cause of the problem: the rich are massively profiting from our transit system. Despite the fact that buses and subways are supposed to be a public service, the government and the MTA have turned the system backwards—into a virtual ATM for the super-rich. Instead of using our tax money to properly fund transit, Albany and City Hall have intentionally starved transit of public funds for over twenty years; the MTA must resort to bonds (loans from Wall Street) to pay for projects and costs. The MTA is legally required to funnel tax dollars and fares away from transportation costs and towards interest on these bonds, called "debt service." This means Wall Street bondholders receive a huge share of what we put into the system through the Metrocards we buy and the taxes we pay: more than $2 billion a year goes to debt service, and this number is expected to rise every year. If trends continue, by 2018 more than one out of every five dollars of MTA revenue will head to a banker’s pockets.

This much is clear: the MTA’s priorities are all out of whack. This fare strike is a means for workers and riders to fight for shared interests together — but this is just a first step. All of us — the 99% — have an interest in full-service public transportation system that treats its ridership and employees with dignity.

The MTA is a shared, public service — fund it with tax revenues.
Eliminate free money for bondholders at the expense of taxpayers.
End the assault on worker's livelihoods.


#OWS Updates for the Week of March 26-April 1

Posted 3 years ago on March 28, 2012, 11:13 a.m. EST by OccupyWallSt