DATE: February 15, 2012
RE: The 99% Spring
Things should never have reached this point.
Every day, the American Dream seems a little farther away. More of our grandparents are being thrown from their homes. Our mothers and fathers can’t retire because their pension funds tanked. Our brothers and sisters are burdened by student loan debt. For our children, budget cuts have resulted in crumbling schools, skyrocketing class sizes, and teachers being denied the supports they need to do their best. Our friends and family are being denied collective bargaining rights in their workplaces and are falling further and further behind. Our neighbors are being poisoned by pollution in our air and water.
The numbers are staggering: in recent years, millions of jobs have been destroyed, homes foreclosed, and an unconscionable number of children live in poverty.
And worst of all: this is no accident. It is a result of rampant greed—the deliberate manipulation of our democracy and our economy by a tiny minority in the 1%, by those who amass ever more wealth and power at our expense.
We are at a crossroads as a country. We have a choice to make. Greater wealth for a few or opportunity for many. Tax breaks for the richest or a fair shot for the rest of us. A government that can be bought by the highest bidder, or a democracy that is truly of the people, by the people, and for the people.
The choice is in our hands. This spring, we will act on that choice and rise up in the tradition of our forefathers and foremothers. We will not be complicit with the suffering in our families for another year. We will prepare ourselves for sustained non-violent direct action.
From April 9-15 we will gather across America, 100,000 strong, in homes, places of worship, campuses and the streets to join together in the work of reclaiming our country. We will organize trainings to:
Tell the story of our economy: how we got here, who’s responsible, what a different future could look like, and what we can do about it Learn the history of non-violent direct action, and Get into action on our own campaigns to win change.
This spring we rise! We will reshape our country with our own hands and feet, bodies and hearts. We will take non-violent action in the spirit of Martin Luther King, Jr. and Gandhi to forge a new destiny one block, one neighborhood, one city, one state at a time.
We know great change is possible. We inherit a history of everyday people standing up for their own dignity, freedom, and self-determination, shaping our direction as a country. The seamstress in Alabama who launched a bus boycott. The farmers in New England and Virginia who imagined we could be a free nation. The workers in Flint, Michigan who occupied their plant to win collective bargaining rights. The farmworkers in California who liberated our fields. The women in New York who dreamed they could one day speak with equal voice. The mother who stood up in Love Canal to stop the poisoning of her community. And the students who risked their lives during Freedom Summer to register voters.
In the last year alone we watched the teachers and fire fighters of Wisconsin stand for the rights of workers. And we joined those who Occupied Wall Street, inspiring us to stand with the 99%.
We will rise this spring, because we DO hold these truths to be self evident—that all men and women are created equal, that we are endowed by our Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness.
Will you rise with us? Can we count on you to join us April 9th to 15th to stand with the 99% for America?
Jobs With Justice
United Auto Workers
National Peoples Action
National Domestic Workers Alliance
Joy Cushman & Judith Freeman
New Organizing Institute
Movement Strategy Center
The Other 98%
Mary Kay Henry
Service Employees International Union
Van Jones and Natalie Foster
Rebuild the Dream
Institute for Policy Studies
PICO National Network
Tracy Van Slyke and Ilana Berger
New Bottom Line
United Steel Workers
Working Families Party
Communications Workers of America
Victor Sanchez Jr
United States Student Association
Rainforest Action Network
American Federation of Teachers
Leadership Center for the Common Good
National Guestworker Alliance
Bill McKibben and May Boeve
Sharon Lungo and Megan Swoboda
The Ruckus Society
Citizen Engagement Lab
smartMeme Strategy & Training Project
Right to the City Alliance
Progressive Democrats of America
Change to Win
Michael Leon Guerrero
Grassroots Global Justice Alliance
Campaign for America’s Future
Missourians Organizing for Reform and Empowerment
Citizen Action of New York
United Electrical Workers Union
National Day Laborers Organizing Network
Alliance for a Just Society
The Partnership for Working Families
United Students Against Sweatshops