Indiana State AFL-CIO
INDIANAPOLIS - A new poll released Dec. 7 shows that Hoosiers - including Republicans - reject partisan "right to work" legislation and believe their elected officials should focus on jobs and the economy instead of divisive attacks on working family's collective bargaining rights.
The poll, commissioned by the AFL-CIO, found that support among Hoosier voters for the controversial union-busting bill is weak, with just 38 percent favoring its passage, while 47 percent stand in opposition. The survey also finds that 67 percent of Hoosiers disagree with Statehouse Republicans' decision to make "right to work" their top priority and wish they would move on to other issues.
Watching the world's youth combat the rapacious oligarchy that has poisoned their futures reminds me of a student who told me in the early 2000s that he was graduating with a $40,000 debt. That young man was born at the dawn of the Reagan Revolution. Those in the streets today were born at the end of its namesake's eight years in office. They are all Ron Reagan's kids. And their futures have been stolen.
They've been biologically contaminated since they were zygotes and psychically assaulted since the first reverberations of corporate media penetrated their developing auditory canals. Their parents ignored the clear and present dangers posed by the totalitarian-capitalist economic system Reaganism spawned and embraced it wholeheartedly. As a consequence, they have now lost, or are at risk of losing, their incomes, homes, retirements and children.
Editor's note: The following "statement of intent" was issued by protesters connected to the Nov. 29 protest and arrests at the IU Kelley School of Business.
The protest of JPMorgan-Chase at the Kelley School of Business, on Nov. 29, was intended to stop the recruitment of IU Students by that institution and to discourage JPMorgan recruiters from returning to the IU Campus. The demonstration was not an Occupy Bloomington or Occupy IU event.
The individuals involved were a group of people united first and foremost by their opposition to an institution whose position of influence results in rule by capital and the subversion of democracy. Motivated by the sole pursuit of unsustainable, short-term profits, JPMorgan-Chase continually engages in various malignant business practices including: mountaintop removal coal-extraction, predatory lending, nuclear weapons proliferation, blatant market manipulation, clearly identifiable regulatory corruption and massive fraud.
How does the Occupy Wall Street movement move from "the outrage phase" to the "hope phase," and imagine a new economic model? In a Democracy Now! special broadcast, we bring you excerpts from a recent event that examined this question and much more.
"Occupy Everywhere: On the New Politics and Possibilities of the Movement Against Corporate Power," a panel discussion hosted by The Nation magazine and The New School in New York City, features Oscar-winning filmmaker and author Michael Moore; Naomi Klein, best-selling author of the Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism"; Rinku Sen of the Applied Research Center and publisher of ColorLines; Occupy Wall Street organizer Patrick Bruner; and veteran journalist William Greider, author of Come Home, America: The Rise and Fall (and Redeeming Promise) of Our Country."
Indiana State AFL-CIO
INDIANAPOLIS - In reaction to the announcement by Indiana House Speaker Brian Bosma and Senate Pro Tem David Long that they would make passing the called "right to work" bill their top legislative priority in the 2012 legislative session, Indiana State AFL-CIO President Nancy Guyott issued following statement this morning:
"It's laughable that Republican leaders in the Statehouse actually have the gall to cite 'freedom' in their renewed push for the so-called 'right-to-work' law given that it's already the law of the land that no one can be forced to join a union. In reality, this legislation isn't about giving Hoosier workers and employers more freedom, it is about taking away existing freedoms and choices."
The two-month anniversary of the Occupy Wall Street movement took me back to the summer of 2008, when I had an opportunity to ask author Bill Moyers about civil disobedience in 21st century America. Bloomington was abuzz at the time with an emerging direct-action movement against the greedy, antidemocratic forces driving the I-69/NAFTA Highway through Southwest Indiana. But the PBS journalist wasn't optimistic that "a great rolling movement of civil disobedience," as he described the 1960s, was imminent.
"At this moment, I can't say that civil disobedience has a promising future," he said after a book reading at the Union Square Barnes & Noble in Manhattan. "... But you never know when a tipping point is coming." Among the "deteriorating" forces that the winner of more than 30 Emmys and three George Polk Awards said could tip the balance were infrastructure, mortgages, home foreclosures and stagnant wages.
About 75 protesters gathered at IU's Sample Gates on Nov. 17 for a solidarity march on the two-month anniversary of the Occupy Wall Street movement. A mix of students and local residents, the demonstrators condemned corporate influence and the social ills it perpetuates.
As they marched down Kirkwood to the Monroe County Courthouse, the protesters chanted, "The people, united, we will never be defeated" and sang, "Everybody pays their tax, everyone but Goldman Sachs!"
The Bloomington rally and march were coordinated with similar events from New York to Berkeley, during which almost 300 protesters were arrested nationwide.
Peter Seybold might have been born and educated in the Northeast, but the Indiana University-Purdue University at Indianapolis (IUPUI) sociology professor found the Hoosier state's labor movement intriguing from the dawn of his political awakening back in New Jersey.
"When I became interested in politics I didn't know much about Indiana," he said during an interview in late October 2011. "But I thought, 'Wow, this must be an interesting place. Vance Hartke and Birch Bayh as senators – this must be a pretty interesting place.'"
AMY GOODMAN: We turn here to New York and the Occupy movement. As participants in Occupy Wall Street continue protesting the record profits made by banks bailed out by taxpayer money, a group of grassroots activists are hitting JPMorgan Chase, Bank of America, Wells Fargo where it hurts most: the wallet. Dubbing this Saturday as "Bank Transfer Day," activists are urging people to move their money out of the largest banks in the country into local community banks and credit unions.
Peter Seybold traces the pernicious influence corporatization has had on the American campus to almost a decade before the Reagan Revolution of 1980, to a memo written by Richmond, Va., attorney Lewis F. Powell Jr. to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce in late summer 1971.
Powell, who would be nominated for Supreme Court justice by President Richard Nixon just two months later, said American business had to take the offensive to counter the social movements of the 1960s and early '70s, said Seybold, a sociology professor at Indiana University-Purdue University at Indianapolis (IUPUI). Among the institutions Powell said the business world had to recapture was the American campus.
"Part of this was a cultural and political attack on the university," Seybold said.