Occupy Wall Street Needs Clear Demands To Succeed

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Republicans believe another recession is their best path to the White House. Wall Street believes Republicans back in the White House means more tax cuts for the wealthy and more deregulation.


[Black Star News Editorial]

The current campaign against Wall Street by "Occupy Wall Street" needs some clear objectives.

Demonstrators should not allow themselves to be baited by New York police into shifting the story away from the lofty goals that must be realized--the rescue of ordinary Americans from economic woes and national political paralyses.

It's good that people marched to New York Police Department headquarters yesterday to express outrage against the abusive police tactics against demonstrators, including the unjustified pepper spraying. In the future, we hope to see similar marches when a Black man is mowed down with 50 bullets.

Still, overall, the protests currently lack direction and objectives.

As one "demonstrator" said on MSNBC, before the New York Police Department's brutal attacks on the peaceful protestors, the atmosphere had been "festive" and "carnival like." It's good that it's peaceful; yet that doesn't mean hard demands can't be delivered to the captains of U.S. banking finance industry.

The protest has already exposed one thing--the brutality of the police officers, some of whose ranks routinely take out their depraved aggression and racist animus against people in the African American community.

Imagine what these cops do at night in Black communities if they can display such brutal conduct, in broad daylight, against predominantly White demonstrators--on Wall Street.

Maybe next time corporate White media will be less dismissive when African Americans complain about police brutality. Maybe jurors will also be less hasty in acquitting police officers who kill Black males, firing more than 50 bullets into them.

We won't hold our breath.

Nevertheless, the Wall Street protest presents a great opportunity for millions of ordinary Americans to voice their strong disaffection while getting major media coverage; to the fact that Wall Street, bailed with taxpayer money is now thriving again while Mary and Joe America still feel the pain of the Republican-created recession.

Wall Street finance houses caused the U.S. and global economy to almost collapse by selling toxic and phony financial products for decades. When President Barack Obama inherited the mess, the economy was shedding almost 800,000 jobs per month and the Stock Market was in free fall. The U.S. auto industry was on the point of collapse.

There was a fear that there might be a run on the banks, fear that Joe America would panick and attempt to withdraw whatever funds he had in the bank, to save under his mattress. Of course this would have triggered a 1920s -type Great Depression.

The Obama Administration made the distasteful but necessary decision; which was to bail out Wall Street and the major banks with hundreds of billions of dollars.

The rationale was that if the banking system and Wall Street could be saved, Joe America would eventually be rewarded.

Wall Street and the big banks have proven otherwise. Even after recovering, thanks to taxpayer money, the banks and corporate America rewarded Joe America by refusing to lend money to small business and by hoarding $2.5 trillion in cash.

Wall Street was saved because there was a fear that a run on the banks would lead to a depression. Instead, Wall Street has decided to do what the Obama Administration didn't want people to do-- hide the cash in their own mattresses, creating the possibility of a depression.

Wall Street is so miserly that The Wall Street Journal recently reported that major banks such as Bank of New York Mellon would be charging clients --instead of paying out interest-- to accept any more cash deposits in excess of $50 million.
Yet this did not deter large corporations from still depositing vast sums of money.

Better to hoard than bail out Joe America they figure.

Meanwhile, unemployment remains at 9.1% with more than 15 million jobless; perhaps 25 million if those who don't even bother searching are counted.

Wall Street and their allies in the Republican party don't seem to care. Republicans are opposed to any more stimulus dollars to create jobs, including the President's proposed $447 billion Jobs Bill.

Republicans believe another recession is their best path to the White House. Wall Street believes Republicans back in the White House means more tax cuts for the wealthy and more deregulation.

Once again, Wall Street would be able to sell toxic phony financial products even if it worsens the Republican-created recession, knowing full well that at the end of the day Wall Street would be bailed out again.

People have had enough. But in order for the current protests to have meaningful impact it must coalesce around a set of demands.

These can include demands that:

[] Banks and other corporations that are now flush with cash, lend money to small businesses, which are the back bone of America.

[] That the outrageous executive compensations, now in the tens of millions be capped and that they be tied to a firm's profitability.

[] That each of the leading banks that were bailed out with tax payers money and that are profitable, all contribute funds to join the U.S. government in seeding the Infrastucture Bank that is badly needed to get economic recovery on track.

[] That the U.S. quit engaging in imperial wars of conquest such as the Libyan debacle that's now installed a xenophobic anti-Africa regime beholden to the oil industry that's been engaging in ethnic cleansing of Black people.

[] That police departments throughout the country, including in major cities such as New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Boston, Miami, and Chicago have permanent federal monitors to keep eyes on these departments to curb police brutality. These demonstrators only got a little taste of the abuses police departments met on Black communities on a daily basis.


Send comments/reactions to milton@blackstarnews.com

"Speaking Truth To Empower."


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