Saturday, June 25, 2011

Bail Out The People Movement Links People's Struggles

By Bryan G. Pfeifer
Milwaukee, Wis.
Published Jun 23, 2011 10:05 PM

Since the Wisconsin union-busting bill was first introduced in February, the Bail Out the People Movement is one of many progressive organizations that have brought in organizers from across the country--often at their own expense--to help build the mighty peoples' resistance here.

BOPM now has a chapter in Wisconsin and has been in the streets to advance the struggle. Organizers have raised the role of the banks in creating the misery that all poor and working people--especially people of color, women and children--are experiencing as the capitalist crisis drags on.

On June 7, BOPM organized a street speak-out on the north side of Milwaukee, a predominately African American area. With a banner that read “Jobs Not Racism!,” members of the community spoke out against unemployment, the foreclosure crisis, and the attacks on education and public services--all being driven by the banks and corporations.

The role of the police in terrorizing Black and Latino/a neighborhoods, all the money that is spent to build prisons and wage wars on people across the globe, and how that money could instead be used to fund a jobs program and peoples' needs here at home, were also raised at the speak-out.

On June 8, BOPM, UWM Occupied, the Moratorium Now! Coalition, the Farm Labor Organizing Committee, Voces de la Frontera, the National Black United Front and others participated in a demonstration outside the main headquarters of Chase bank in Milwaukee.

The protest demanded a moratorium on foreclosures, justice for farm workers in North Carolina, and for banks like Chase to pay for the crisis that their system created and the misery being inflicted on people. Chase bank, a division of JPMorgan Chase, carries out the most home foreclosures of any U.S. bank.

Chase is also the chief financier of R.J. Reynolds tobacco company. Workers from FLOC have been waging a three-year-long struggle to win better working conditions, wages and justice in the fields of North Carolina and elsewhere.

Even before demonstrators arrived, the area in front of Chase had been roped off with a sign declaring the area “private property” and closed to public access for 24 hours. Nearly two dozen cops from Milwaukee and private Chase goons flanked the main entrance to the building. Organizers with the Moratorium Now! Coalition traveled from Detroit to join the lively demonstration, which included speakers from a wide range of progressive organizations.

At the Milwaukee Pride march on June 12, BOPM marched with the spirited Queer Workers for Wisconsin contingent. [See related article.] For more information on how to join WI BOPM, go to or email

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