The following excerpted statement was issued by the youth group Fight Imperialism, Stand Together (FIST).
The Bail Out the People Movement is calling for a march on Wall Street on April 3 and 4.
April 3 will mark the 41st year since Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. gave his “I’ve Been to the Mountaintop” speech to striking sanitation workers who were working for meager wages and being severely repressed. April 4 will be the 41st anniversary of King’s assassination.
These are important dates to commemorate. Workers and the oppressed are being fired and evicted in mass numbers and face an increasingly turbulent future.
Wall Street is the center of U.S. high finance and therefore the center of parasitic U.S. imperialism. Imperialism seeks greater and cheaper access to resources and commodities, pitting workers around the globe against one another in a drive to the bottom.
Youth and students have a vested interest in being a dynamic presence at the march. For youth ages 16 to 19, the unemployment rate is more than 20 percent, more than 30 percent for Black youth and 18 percent for white youth. The unemployment rate is in double-digit numbers for Latinas/os and Indigenous people.
While banks and automakers get bailed out, workers and the oppressed are saddled with debt for trying to survive, go to school or own a home.
In 2004 the National Center for Education Statistics reported that by the time they graduate, more than 66 percent of college and university students will have student debt. NCES stated that most graduate with at least $15,000 in student loans and that many wind up with more than $30,000 in student debt.
These figures do not include the loans parents take out to send their children to college, nor do they factor in credit card debt used to pay for books, meals and other expenses.
Young people should be bailed out of the debt incurred for seeking higher education. Education is a right and should be guaranteed. All student loans and credit card debt used to pay for books or meals should be cancelled.
Hundreds of billions of dollars have been spent to wage war against the people of Iraq and Afghanistan, and in assistance to Israel—which is waging a genocidal war against the Palestinian people. Hundreds of billions of dollars more have been spent to bail out banks, other financial institutions and the auto corporations.
The money spent on bailouts and war is money that could be spent for actual needs. For instance, the $700 billion used for the Troubled Assets and Relief Program could have paid off all $300 billion in student debt, or could have been used to provide universal health care for six years.
A pitched workers’ struggle is needed—one in solidarity with all oppressed peoples; against racism, sexism and homophobia; and with a program for working people, not the rich. Youth are needed to fight for the better world they will inherit.
We urge you to help mobilize youth and students to converge on Wall Street and shake the foundations of the Financial District.
FIST March on Wall St Call to Action
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