Next Saturday at 1:00pm, there will be a demonstration in downtown Saint Louis to show support for the idea that we need another solution to our banking crisis other than a willingness by the government to endlessly supply money to the same people who have shown no ability to manage it in the past. The protest will be part of A New Way Forward, a larger set of demonstrations taking place all across the country, with approximately 60 organized so far. Even Springfield, MO will have something going on!
So what will the protests look like? As I wrote about previously, the beauty of it is that the national organizers have proposed a message and a fairly straightforward solution: Nationalize, Reorganize, Decentralize. Nationalize the problem financial institutions, reorganize them by sorting out the bad assets and removing the leadership that got us into this mess in the first place, and then re-privatize them into smaller, healthier units that will no longer remain toxic to the political and economic health of our country.
Within the framework of that idea, local organizers are free to come up with whatever creative way we can use to express the ulitimate goal of decentralization. In North Carolina, on account of the protest taking place the day before Easter, organizers are holding a “Nest Egg Hunt”, where messages are placed inside plastic eggs and hidden around the demonstration site. In New York near Wall Street, organizers are putting together a “bank run”, a sort of combination of a fun run and a tweaking of the banks. Others are doing a zombie bank flash mob, where a group of people quickly assemble in a bank lobby and stumble out en masse wearing zombie masks or zombie makeup.
Here in Saint Louis, we’re going to use the opportunity of having a large group under the Arch to hold a massive phone bank to tell our elected representatives to stop dribbling hundreds of billions of dollars to the banksters, and to hold those accountable who got us into this mess in the first place. We’ll have giant banners with the phone numbers of our Senators (bring your cell phone and use those free weekend minutes!), and we’ll also have preprinted cards to sign and send to our representatives in the US House.
I hope to see you next Saturday. If you’re not in the area, you should consider going to one where you’re at, or even organizing your own. The national organizers have made that simple; they’ve provided some tips for holding a rally and getting the word out, and even sample press releases and flyers for you to print out and use. And they are easy to get a hold of if you need any more guidance.
Whatever you do, please don’t miss this opportunity to send a message to our elected leaders that we need a real solution to this mess. We can’t continue this process of socializing the massive risks these guys have been taking with our money, and then privatizing the rewards. Simply continuing to give them money and then slapping a few regulations on them will not suffice. We need a real systemic change, and we need to let President Obama and our other elected leaders know it. It’s the only way things are going to change.