About Peoples Power Assemblies
Peoples Power Assemblies organize to empower workers & oppressed people to demand jobs, education & healthcare while fighting against racism, sexism & LGBT bigotry.
We must begin the struggle for people’s power
The only way we are actually going to have justice and build equality in this society — the only way we are going to build a society based on solidarity instead of profit — is to begin the struggle for power. That is why we have been talking about People’s Power Assemblies.
The U.S. imperialist ruling class wants to maintain the status quo — that is what the government is there for. The bosses will send their cops against strikes and people who mobilize in the streets to fight for their needs.
We have to elect a new power. We have to show people and build confidence in their ability to fight. If you have a next-door neighbor who has been paying on a house for 30 or 40 years, and the sheriff shows up at their door saying the bank has foreclosed, the only way you can stop that from happening is to join with that neighbor of yours and you take over that home.
If the city is closing a school because government officials say they no longer have the money to keep it open, then you join with the teachers, students and family members and say, “We will not let you close and foreclose on these children’s education.”
If a victim of police brutality is ignored by the city council and no one in the so-called halls of justice is paying any attention to them, you erect the type of organization that is designed to and will help them raise struggle. That is what organizers have done in cities like Baltimore and Oakland.
Over time this builds confidence in people, not just in the individual ability to struggle, but in their neighbors and in the organization itself.
It is time for us to make it very clear that things are only going to get worse. And the only way we can stop things from getting worse — the only way we can win a society that we dream for, not only for ourselves, but for our children and our grandchildren and the children that we don’t know, not only here but around the world — is to overthrow this brutal system.
We start organizing in the streets and we build that type of organization. As soon as we get to that point at our local level, at our street level, at the block level — we take it to the seat of power in this country; we take it to Washington, D.C. We erect the dream of Dr. Martin Luther King. We go there and we shut Washington, D.C., down and refuse to leave until our demands are met.
All power to the people! Build Peoples Power Assemblies!
To Create — Build & Multiply People’s Power Assemblies
Things are already bad — and they are about to get a lot worse!
The people must prepare to defend ourselves against the life-threatening and ever-intensifying economic and social misery that Wall Street and its politicians are imposing on us, including endless war.
We propose to all who are concerned about defending the economic, social and political rights of the 99%, that this period, starting with the conventions of the major parties at the end of the summer, through the elections and into 2013, be dedicated to the convening of People’s Power Assemblies, at the local and regional level, and when ready, at the national level.
Reverend Cortly “C.D.” Witherspoon, president of the Baltimore Southern Christian Leadership Conference, said at a rally in Maryland for Trayvon Martin: “The political establishments, both local and national, have proven to be bankrupt; they have done virtually nothing to protect or serve the people. It’s time for the people to organize themselves and to build people’s power.”
He was speaking not only of specific circumstances in Sanford, Fla., that allowed George Zimmerman to walk free for more than 40 days after killing Trayvon Martin, but of the fact that politicians and other officials at every level of government have failed to defend the interests of working people in this country, especially the most affected, most of whom are people of color.
There is a dual crisis at play. One aspect is the crisis of the economic system, which is global. More than merely a crisis of the financial markets, it is of the system of capitalism itself. And it is the workers who suffer acutely, for workers are thrown out of the workplaces, from their homes, and left destitute. From Greece and Spain to Detroit and Los Angeles, the banks’ demand for more and more money is crushing the lives of workers and poor people, especially young people. Funds for weapon systems, however, and continuing or new wars such as in Syria and Iran, are guaranteed.
The other crisis is political. The cold and brutal truth is that no matter who wins the 2012 Presidential Election, cutbacks, wage cuts, and unemployment are going to get 10 times worse in the future. So-called “democracy” as practiced in the U.S. has never been more meaningless than now. The word is little more than a cover for the dictatorship of the big banks.
No major institution or government entity is protecting workers, especially the most disenfranchised, Black, Latino/a, Native and other workers of color who have faced historical oppression. Both political parties go along with cutting back programs that address important social needs. Both are attacking public- and private-sector unions, allowing foreclosures to continue at a rapid pace, closing and privatizing schools, continued destruction of the environment, deporting undocumented immigrants at an unprecedented pace, and sitting back while youth of color face rampant police brutality and a jobless, uncertain future.
What is to be done then? Regardless of what button or lever is chosen in the elections, the primary factor in ensuring change is action and struggle. The eight-hour workday, Social Security, Civil Rights, the right to vote, unionization, Unemployment Insurance — every progressive law or right was won and secured through struggle in the streets. In this period, the Occupy Wall Street movement opened the door, but it’s just the beginning. More is necessary to widen and sustain the rebellion against the 1%’s “take no prisoners” war on the rest of us.
A higher level of organization is called for: a block to block, neighborhood to neighborhood, city to city, state to state, region to region approach; a national network of People’s Assemblies — assemblies designed to empower at every level, that take up the interests of working people, especially the most disenfranchised, assemblies that defend our rights and fight for real democracy, assemblies where the least of us is made whole by a deepening social contract that puts working people’s needs and rights before the interests of the wealthy, corporations and financial institutions.
Such an organization would be the highest expression of democracy. The People’s Power Assemblies are the vehicles through which we struggle, whether it is defending a home -owner from eviction, occupying a school from being closed, seizing vacant property, fighting against racism, sexism or LGBT oppression.
Let the PPA be what the government has failed to be. Onward.
Build People’s Power Assemblies
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