I propose that the entire liberal, labor, civil rights, equal rights, environmental, pay equity and women’s movements put their full force behind the Occupy Wall Street movement and its new counterpart in Washington. In recent months I have been calling for major marches for powerful change. I believe this new surge of all-American protest could be the beginning of a new American Spring that could rejuvenate the progressive and populist movements and win majority support throughout the nation.
The Occupy Wall Street movement does not have a clear agenda or clear leaders, which is perfectly fine. Therefore I am not endorsing every single action every member of the movement might take. I am endorsing a full mobilization of the entire progressive movement to join the cause and take the case throughout America.
Now Bank of America takes the abuse of middle-income and poor Americans to new levels with its grotesque new debit card fees.
First these financial institutions made huge money from the crimes and scams of the financial crash. Then they paid themselves gigantic salaries for causing the crash. Then they begged American taxpayers to bail them out for the crash. Then they paid themselves gigantic bonuses during and after the crash.
They caused and profited mightily from the crash; they asked average Americans to pay for the crash through the scams that caused it; through the bailout; then through Mafia-like interest rates on many credit cards; then by laying off many of their own workers; and now by charging new fees.
The above is a short, partial list of what Americans are being forced to endure in our Grapes of Wrath economy by those who made Gilded Age fortunes from this epic disaster. And then perpetuated their power through massive campaign donations to politicians, mostly Republicans but also some Democrats.
It is time for change; real change. It is time for protest; strong protest. It is time for patriotism; real patriotism where the many Americans are no long ripped off by the few. It is time to mobilize, organize, rally, to stand in the streets with signs and register to vote in elections.
I propose that tens of millions of progressives, liberals, true populists, workers, unions, the liberal blogosphere, women, civil rights supporters, equal-rights advocates and environmentalists join this movement in full force, now, today, and begin a new American Spring for our country.
Brent Budowsky was an aide to former Sen. Lloyd Bentsen and Bill Alexander, then chief deputy majority whip of the House. He holds an LL.M. degree in international financial law from the London School of Economics. He can be read on The Hill’s Pundits Blog and reached at [email protected].