Subject: [SocialistWorker.org] Views in brief
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======== VIEWS IN BRIEF ======================================================
March 22, 2012
-------- SUPPORT OCCUPY NEW PALTZ --------------------------------------------
IN RESPONSE to "A Green Party mayor cracks down" : I am one of the four
who was arrested when Occupy New Paltz was evicted. I wanted to thank you for
spreading the word on this. This article was very well-written, and really
got to the heart of the matter.
Our next court date is April 18 at New Paltz Village/Town Court at 25
Plattekill Ave., at 6 p.m. We are asking folks to join us in occupying the
court. We are also raising money to pay our attorney from the National
Lawyers Guild. If anyone is able to give, even just few dollars, it would be
The four of us feel that this is not just our court case, but that of Occupy
New Paltz and of the Occupy movement. Every favorable court ruling helps
everyone who is occupying the courts right now. We can be contacted at
Thank you to all who support the movement.
*Amanda Sisenstein*, New Paltz, N.Y.
-------- DEBT THAT WILL LAST FOREVER -----------------------------------------
IN RESPONSE to "Graduating into never-ending debt" : I am a clinical
social worker. I have worked within the social services sector since 1992, to
help the stigmatized and less fortunate among workers.
As such, I have never earned the pay that other peers my age have earned. I
even needed to go through bankruptcy because child care costs gouged my
family income to the tune of $13,000 to $20,000 per year. After putting two
kids through day care, because there are no public day care programs, our
financial situation was in ruins.
My daughter is 12 now. In five or six years, she will presumably be attending
college. There are no funds for her college education, as they were consumed
up front during her time in day care as a younger child. This dilemma is
prevalent. It is a crisis of stagnant wages, and it is an all-out attack on
the working class, who live paycheck to paycheck in this wage-slave economic
Despite these problems, the Sallie Mae corporation demanded their money,
effectively forcing us into forbearance. This helped us to not pay a certain
number of months, but it also increased the monthly payments. The Sallie Mae
corporation has no mechanism to renegotiate the loan to make monthly payments
more manageable over a longer period of time.
This is what I call the great bourgeois deception. I could have entered a
trade. I could have generated more personal income. I could have had no
student loans with this scenario. And yet, I am punished for achieving an
advanced degree and earning a pittance for helping the unfortunate.
Certainly, a libertarian would say that I have a choice to get a new job.
However, this would demand new education to gain different skill
sets--increasing my student loan debt. The imperialist ruling class wages
class war upon the workers in every manner imaginable. Student loans are just
one of those ways.
*Thomas Lane*, Rockaway, N.J.
-------- UNIONS GIVE UP ON TAXING THE RICH -----------------------------------
THANKS FOR the article ("Giving up on the millionaire's tax" ). What can
be done with a union or association that cannot stand up to the challenge in
the class struggle for the benefit of their workers, and in this case, their
recipients, the public?
At the national level, how can teachers accept Barak Obama and give backing
to his campaign when he undermines public education and its funding in favor
of charter schools and blames teachers for societal problems in learning?
I could not finish reading the article because the first half tells the
too-often repeated history. Continue. Tell readers that there are candidates
outside of the Republicrat war parties.
*Michael Severson*, from the Internet
-------- DON'T FUNNEL OCCUPY INTO ELECTORALISM -------------------------------
AS AN active member of Occupy Portland and the Occupy Wall Street movement, I
would hate to see us turn toward elections as the path to power. Our ability
to disrupt business-as-usual is much more important to winning power for the
Martin Luther King Jr. did not focus the civil rights movement on electing
Lyndon Baines Johnson. LBJ was not elected as a civil rights president, but
the power of masses of people in the streets, occupying lunch counters and
boycotting buses, forced LBJ to become a civil rights president.
Franklin Delano Roosevelt was not elected advocating for labor unions, Social
Security or a massive government jobs program. The factory occupations; the
general strikes in San Francisco, Minneapolis and Toledo; the food riots and
the widespread eviction resistance all forced FDR to act on behalf of the
Depression-ridden working class.
Even Republican Richard Nixon championed affirmative action, the
Environmental Protection Agency and the Occupational Safety and Health
Administration because of pressure from below.
Elections have a role, especially as an educational vehicle for popularizing
our message. But let us not pretend that anything less than massive
mobilizations of millions of Americans in the streets, in the neighborhoods,
in our schools and in our workplaces will bring the change we need.
*Jamie Partridge*, Portland
/First published at the/ Portland Tribune .
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