“Enough is enough! We are the 99%!” This is the sentiment being expressed by the brave youth now occupying Freedom Plaza in New York City, just a few feet away from Wall Street. This is the pent-up feeling of millions—no—billions of people around the world. Enough unemployment! Enough war! Enough poverty! Enough discrimination!
We live in the wealthiest and most productive era in the history of humanity. But the absurd, irrational, and inhumane limits of capitalism mean there are not enough jobs, homes, or food to go around in a world of plenty. This has always been the grim reality for hundreds of millions around the planet. But now it has come home to the world epicenter of capitalist greed, speculation and indifference to human suffering: Wall Street.
And it is spreading. The occupations have spread to cities around the country and around the world, inspired by each other’s heroic resistance to the cuts, austerity, and misery being imposed on us all. It is the beginning of a new awakening, a new consciousness, and most importantly, a new desire to act, to actually do something. Thousands of youth, formerly derided as apathetic and apolitical, have now sparked the imagination of millions.
Fightback, the Marxists in Canada, wholeheartedly support this movement and will do whatever we can to promote and spread it. Our comrades in the United States, organized in the Workers International League, are already active participants in New York and other major cities where the movement has spread. In Canada we are doing our part in Vancouver, Ottawa, Montreal, and especially Toronto — the heart of Canadian finance capital.
The key step for this movement is to take it from the street to the wider working class and labour movement. Not a light shines, not a wheel turns, without the permission of the working class; if we can mobilize working people we will win the power to overcome the corporations. To gain a mass sweep we also need to adopt demands that are understandable to people. Below we have included the Fightback program — but we would like to highlight the key element that can break the power of the corporations.
The question is always posed, “Where will you get the money to fund a better society?” The reality is that the money exists; it is with the top 1% whose share of income has doubled in the last 30 years. It is with the half-a-million Canadian oligarchs who control 67% of all wealth in Canada. They live in luxury while the rest of us get poorer and poorer. They lie idle while the rest of us kill ourselves trying to survive. We believe that society can no longer live with this inequality – where those that struggle get less and less, while those at the top are bailed out even when they destroy the economy. We do not trust the bosses and bankers to run society and the economy. Therefore we must take it out of their hands.
Our key demand for the #Occupy movement is: NATIONALIZE THE BANKS, NATIONALIZE THE TOP 150 CORPORATIONS.
Put them under the democratic control of working people and integrate them via a democratic socialist plan of production. Then we will be able to build a society that truly meets the need of the people and allows everybody to reach their fullest potential.
Join the movement on Oct. 15:
Full employment and decent wages for all
For a 32 hour work-week with no loss of pay. No lay-offs. The right to a job, decent benefits, or a place in education. A national minimum wage of at least two-thirds of the average wage. For voluntary retirement at age 55 with a full pension for all.
The right to strike, the right to union representation and the right to collective bargaining
Repeal all anti-union laws. Stop contracting-out, casualization, and all forms of privatization. End back-to-work legislation and the victimization of trade unionists.
Free health care for all
Fund Medicare. Abolish private health care. Nationalize the pharmaceuticals giants that squeeze their profits out of the health of working people.
Equality of the sexes
Equal pay for work of equal value. Release the money for pay-equity. Invest in quality childcare, housing and domestic facilities available to all. Every woman must have complete autonomy over her own body.
Action to protect the environment
Only public ownership of the land, major industries, oil, mining and logging companies, energy and transport, can form the basis of a genuine socialist approach to the environment. Environmental plans would be measured in generations, not fiscal quarters.
An end to all forms of discrimination
Scrap all racist immigration and asylum controls. Workers unity is the way to defeat the racists and the conditions that breed racism.
A socialized plan of production for the fisheries, timber and agriculture
Protect the environment and jobs. End the anarchy of the market in the resource industry. Nationalize the supermarkets and agro-chemical companies that destroy farmers’ livelihoods. Initiate a voluntary socialized plan of production for farming that would protect farmers’ jobs and security.
Education for all
Fund our schools and colleges. End corporate encroachment into the classroom. Scrap tuition fees and loans, for living grants and life-long learning for all.
The right to self-determination for Québec
No support for the bourgeois-nationalist PQ or the bourgeois-federalist Liberals. The Québec labour federations must break with the capitalist parties and form a party standing for the unity and common interests of all workers, irrespective of nationality.
An end to centuries of oppression against First nations
Land and resource rights to all Natives. End the poverty on and off the reserves. Natives must be able to democratically control their own fate.
Nationalization of the commanding heights of the economy; the top 150 banks and corporations
Break with the anarchy of the capitalist free market. No compensation to the millionaires, only those in genuine need. All nationalized enterprises to be run by workers control and management and integrated through a democratic socialist plan of production.
Pull out of NAFTA, WTO and other bankers’ deals that are the tools of imperialist exploitation. Strike back against U.S. imperialism and militarism. Nationalize the U.S. owned industrial giants and unite with American workers. For a socialist federation of the Americas as part of a world socialist federation.
NDP to power on a socialist program
No alliances with Liberals or Conservatives. NDP MPs must be the parliamentary voice of a mass movement against the conservative agenda. Mobilize support by adopting socialist policies that answer the needs and aspirations of workers and youth.