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Tuesday, Apr. 07, 2009 at 1:45 PM
From Wall Street to Los Angeles Demonstrations Connect Bailouts to Joblessness and Housing Crisis
At the Bank of America Plaza spirited demonstrators echoed chants off the towering Bank of America corporate building calling for an end to bank bailouts and foreclosures and evictions. A picket line of dozens of protesters rallied around a large tent set up to dramatize the epidemic of "Hoovervilles" or tent cities in California due to the housing and job crisis. "The government has to do something about all of the people facing foreclosure and forced out into the streets," said Martha Rojas, member of the Labor/Community Coalition that co-sponsored the event. Rosie Martinez, executive board member of SEIU Local 721, said: "We're here fighting against foreclosures and for jobs and that's why we need the Employee Free Choice Act which helps people get the benefits and protections of a union."
The Employee Free Choice Act was one of the demands at demonstrations across the country sponsored by the Bail Out the People Movement. In New York the protest on Wall Street got 1,000 people out in spite of heavy winds and pouring rain. That protest received much attention from the media and managed to disrupt traffic on Wall Street with 4 arrests. Organizers there said they wanted to emphasize that this crisis would not allow business as usual.
In Los Angeles demonstrators promised to be back and hold more protests with creative strategies in getting the message out. "This crisis is occurring because this system of capitalism is broken and you can't fix the housing crisis and 11 to 20 percent unemployment in California by handing over 10 trillion dollars to the banks which exacerbated this crisis. You do, however, make change by handing that money over to working and poor people who can make decisions on fiscal spending based on people's real needs, not profit. We will be bringing back the strategies of activists and communities in the 1930's depression and there will be no business as usual - On To May 1st," said John Parker from the Bail Out the People Movement.
CONTACTS and Partial Speakers List:
GLORIA SAUCEDO, Director, Hermandad Mexicana – (818) 989-3019
ROSIE MARTINEZ, Executive Board, SEIU Local 721 – (213) 351-1397
JOHN PARKER, International Action Center/Bail Out the People – (310) 677-6407
TERESA GUTIERREZ, May 1ST Coalition, NY - (917) 328-6470
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