ARUN GUPTA, ebrowniess at yahoo.com
A founding editor of the New York City based Indypendent, Gupta just wrote the piece “The Revolution Begins at Home: An Open Letter to Join the Wall Street Occupation.”
Prins, a former investment banker turned journalist, is author of the book It Takes a Pillage: Behind the Bonuses, Bailouts, and Backroom Deals from Washington to Wall Street and the just-released Black Tuesday. Prins said today: “Unbridled bank speculation, fraudulent inflation of home and security values, corruption, government subsidization, and lack of accountability tanked the economy and inflated the wealth gap leaving the citizenry of the world financially devastated in its wake. Never before have the governments of the world united so cohesively to back Wall Street practices and bets.
“Business as usual on Wall Street is not an option. Business as usual on Wall Street has decimated our country and planet. Banks must be brought to account. The wealth gap cannot continue to grow so Wall Street can keep sucking the financial blood from individuals as governments enable the extraction:
“No more federal stimulation for banks at the expense of citizens.
“No more bank lobbyists buying the politicians we voted for.
“No more government subsidies to make big banks bigger.
“No more dumping their risk and losses on the global population while banks accumulate profits.
“No more zero percent money from the Fed to banks that don’t help borrowers restructure mortgages to avoid foreclosure.
“No more secret loans to banks when they face ‘emergencies’ while individuals get hosed and go bankrupt.
“No more mega-banks — break them up a la Glass-Steagall. Let failed ones burn in the financial ashes of their own risk.
“No more kid-gloves on prosecutions and BS little fines — prosecute banks and bank leaders to the fullest extent of the law for securities fraud and grand larceny.
“No more job cuts because banks won’t lend to small businesses.
“No more banks parking $1.6 trillion of excess reserves at the Fed doing nothing productive for the economy.
“No more business as usual on Wall Street.”
RACHEL LaFOREST, [in Boston] rlaforest at righttothecity.org, also via Brandon German, bgbran at gmail.com
LaForest, executive director of the Right to the City Alliance, which is holding its national convention in Boston and leading a protest there on Friday. The group states: “Over 1,000 people are expected to take to the streets Friday for a march on Bank of America (NYSE:BAC) to rally against Wall Street greed, predatory lending, and skyrocketing foreclosures in urban communities. The march will be led by Boston residents who are facing foreclosure, and will culminate in a confrontational nonviolent sit-in by over 40 people at Bank of America’s Massachusetts headquarters.”
LaForest said today: “Across the country, we are seeing the same story: The mortgage bubble created by Wall Street pushed predatory lending on urban communities, and since the bubble burst the fallout has been catastrophic. Unemployment and foreclosure have hit communities of color first and worst. But it is urban communities who are at the forefront of the movement to fight back. We are gathering here in Boston to strategize and develop real economic solutions for 21st century cities.” For more on the Boston actions, see.
CLAIRE HAAS, [in San Francisco / Oakland] chaas at calorganize.org, via Oriana Saportas, osaportas at gmail.com
MARGOT FRIEDMAN, mfriedman at dupontcirclecommunications.com
The Boston protest is part of a ten-city campaign — including Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco, Minneapolis, Denver — aligned with The New Bottom Line, a “nationwide coalition of 1,000 faith-based and community organizations that seeks to hold Wall Street accountable.” Haas is with the Alliance of Californians for Community Empowerment, which is having a protest in the San Francisco financial district today and next week.
Friedman is the media contact for The New Bottom Line, see.
Protests are slated to begin in Washington, D.C. next week.