Take a Stand: Against the Right Wing Agenda, For the Wisconsin Protests

by on February 24, 2011 · 3 comments

in Civil Rights, Economy, Labor

And for Your Own Well Being

So you’ve been seeing all this stuff in the media about what’s going on with workers in the mid-west, or the attacks on Planned Parenthood funding, or the move in the US Congress (by the GOP) to strip the federal government of virtually all its capacity to regulate public health threats and environmental abuse. Maybe you’re a little concerned.

You ought to be.

Here are two things that you can do right here in San Diego to take stand against right-wing extremism:

1) Attend the “We Are One” Rally—Noon, Saturday at the County Administration Building (1600 Pacific Hwy., on the Bay side of the building).   Yes, the weather will be frightful (for San Diego). And, yes, the Aztecs are playing BYU.  Bundle up! Make your voice heard for one hour out of your life.  (Details)

2) Attend the Community Labor Forum at City College next Friday, Mach 4th.  It’s an all day affair, but there are workshops and discussions throughout the day that you can attend individually that are aimed at stimulating your mind and creating networking opportunities. This event is about giving YOU the opportunity to get involved with people who are standing up for what’s great in this country and against the right-wing assaults that are underway.  I’ll have an article up here at the OB Rag early next week with all the details; go here if you want more info right now.

The assault on public employees in Wisconsin and elsewhere is part of a much larger right wing agenda.  Big-money and corporate interests are out to destroy collective bargaining to solidify their control of political and economic life in this country.  Even though the public employees’ unions of Wisconsin already agreed to Gov. Scott Walker’s demands to cut their benefits, he insists on ending their right to negotiate at all, citing a looming financial crisis.  That’s because this is not really about money. It’s about power.

Not one teacher or police dispatcher or state office worker had a role in the economic collapse that has overwhelmed so many working families and hammered state and local governments. Governor Walker, along with his conservative backers, wants us to focus on public employees because they don’t want us to focus on the people who are really making out in the current economy.  You see, while there may be hard times for most of us, things are going swimmingly for few very special people.  And they’d like to keep it that way. However, the last 30 years have seen an unprecedented upward redistribution of national income. The richest one percent has seen their share of national income rise from 8.6 percent in 1979 to 15.9 percent in 2008.

Not a single executive who ran the companies that cooked up and cashed in on the phony financial boom — an industrywide scam that involved the mass sale of mismarked, fraudulent mortgage-backed securities — has ever been convicted. Their names by now are familiar to even the most casual Middle American news consumer: companies like AIG, Goldman Sachs, Lehman Brothers, JP Morgan Chase, Bank of America and Morgan Stanley. Most of these firms were directly involved in elaborate fraud and theft.” Matt Taibbi in Rolling Stone

Meanwhile, the United States has 59 million people without healthcare, 52 million in poverty, 44 million on food stamps, 30 million in need of work, seven million foreclosed upon and five million homes over two months late in their mortgage payments.  Despite this, all new political policies and proposals on the table, on the state and federal level, are committed to major cuts in social services.

This is just the start for the far right.  They are committed to, in the words of Tony Krvaric, chairman of San Diego’s Republican Party, destroying the American social contract:

“This is a 50 year experiment whose time has run out. It’s been a failure for taxpayers. Our schools are worse than they were 50 years ago, our taxes are higher, and the benefits that government workers get are out of control.”  Quoted in Thursday’s Union-Tribune

There are so many untruths packed into that statement as to qualify it for a “pants on fire” rating on just about any fact check website. And the same people who are behind the attacks on public employee unions are also cueing up for attacks on the environment, women’s rights, child labor laws, social security….you name it. And if it isn’t obvious from this statement, let me spell it out for you: Next Up will be an assault on Public Education.

So get off your butt. Do something. The time has come to make a stand.

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

avatar annagrace February 25, 2011 at 4:29 pm

To get a sense how much the civic “discourse” has dropped right off the right wing fringe, consider this- Ronald Reagan was the only president in US history who belonged to a union (6 term president of the AFL-CIO affiliated screen actors guild) and he was a staunch advocate for collective bargaining in Poland during the Solidarity movement.!

What we are seeing and hearing now from conservatives is neither centrist nor moderate. It is radical extremism.

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avatar bob February 25, 2011 at 8:57 pm

It’s not that I am against the unions, it’s just hat I think the unions have overstepped their charter. And I don’t think I will say more than that.

bob

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