“If you haven’t heard: The administration of UC Davis is holding poet and professor Joshua Clover and 11 students accountable for their alleged role in protests that led to the shutdown of a campus US Bank. “District Attorney Jeff Reisig is charging campus protesters with 20 counts each of obstructing movement in a public place, and one count of conspiracy. If convicted, the protesters could face up to 11 years each in prison, and $1 million in damages.” According to the Davis Dozen press release:
The charges were brought at the request of the UC Davis administration, which had recently received a termination letter from US Bank holding the university responsible for all costs, claiming they were “constructively evicted” because the university had not responded by arresting the “illegal gathering.” Protesters point out that the charges against them serve to position the university favorably in a potential litigation with US Bank…Their arraignment originally set for April 27th has been postponed until May 10th, according to the California Aggie. You can also find out more on the Davis Dozen website.A petition is circulating that demands UC Davis drop all charges.”Read More:poetryfoundation.orgdavisdozen.orgOccupyUCDavis (Facebook) @OccupyUCDavis (Twitter) Petition for the Davis Dozen
Tag Archive: banks
International Workers Day
It’s been a steep learning curve for thousands of brand-new activists that have joined the Occupy Wall Street movement. From the environment to militarism, there’s a sea of misinformation and distractions standing between protestors and their enemies. While the empty rhetoric used to claim that Occupiers “don’t know what they stand for” falls flat to anyone actually paying attention, the ability to identify, isolate, and condemn the 1% for the theft and destruction they are responsible for has been one of the movement’s greatest difficulties.
Now “Occupy Foreclosures” has spread in popularity, with activists setting up eviction blockades and disrupting foreclosure auctions with increasing frequency. While it is a positive step, it contains the same pitfalls as confronting economic injustice. To be sure there is much good that can be done with helping individual foreclosure victims, but ultimately to stop the foreclosure epidemic Occupiers must face up to the same enemy they have so far failed to wholly accuse: Capitalism.
Everyone more or less knows that there is no one or small group to blame for the foreclosure crisis, just as there is no secret cabal that forces us into a never-ending series of wars. There were borrowers who took on loans they couldn’t afford, realtors who signed them up, underwriters who falsely signed off on the loans, and banks who gave the loans that they knew were unlikely to be repaid. Other bank officials securitized the loans, credit rating agencies assigned them false value, investment firms sold these bad securities to investors, and federal regulators failed to stop them. Once the crisis began, municipal, state, and federal government figures, with a few notable exceptions, failed to investigate, prosecute, or otherwise punish anyone who committed these acts. Many public officials passed new laws and regulations to protect these financial criminals and due to lobbying and insider trading even profited off of it themselves. At the same time these acts rendered their own constituents jobless, homeless, and suffering. Lawyers then set about systematically forging paperwork to help banks wrongfully foreclose on millions of people to enormous profit as corrupt and apathetic judges watched. While all of these individuals share blame, Occupiers must accept the bigger picture here.
The true blame for the foreclosure crisis lays at the Capitalist system itself; one that always has and always will exist solely off of the exploitation and destruction of anyone and anything it can affect and while remaining profitable.
The “golden age of free markets” becomes more desirable in these times of suffering but never less mythical; from slavery to the worker’s & civil rights movement to the ever-expanding 21st century empire, Capitalism in America has only ever benefited those lucky enough to be wearing the boot with which they help crush and exploit the rest of the populace.
The fact is we should no more be marking off the entire planet and reselling it back to individuals in the first place than commodifying these lands in order to pad the pockets of the ultra-rich. Federal powers have no more right to wield authority over individual’s lives than to collude in the theft of people’s livelihoods. Occupy Wall Street is evidence that most Americans have been fooled a few times too many by Capitalism’s promise of an “American Dream” for those who are willing to be exploited by it for just awhile longer. Stopping a foreclosure is occasionally quite simple.
Stopping the foreclosure crisis requires imagining a post-Capitalist world where the rich have no more power than the poor and corporations have none at all. One Struggle will continue to show solidarity with the new spirit of resistance in America, and only asks that they never stop short of anything less than a whole new society that calls theft theft and murder murder and holds all perpetrators accountable, no matter who they are or what they possess.