Occupy, Lobby, Gather, Demonstrate!

Instead of holding our usual 2nd Wednesday Jobs with Justice planning meeting in Grand Prairie, we should meet at 6 PM in front of the A. Maceo Smith Federal Building, 525 Griffin at Young in downtown Dallas. There is seating within the esplanade directly in front of the building. Catty-Cornered, in Pioneer Park, is the base camp of "Occupy Dallas."

Occupation activist Stephen Benavides called while I was writing this. He says that the City of Dallas plans to evict the campers today, October 11, at 5 PM. They are marching on City Hall at noon. Stephen does not expect the campers to leave Pioneer Park. The Dallas newspaper and other sources had said that the City gave them until Friday to evacuate, but Stephen said that was wrong.

As of 7:30 AM on Tuesday, October 11, yesterday's camp needs list had only been updated with two new entries:

I believe that the Occupy Fort Worth group might be in Burnet Park, but it is not clear from their web site. They began with an assembly there on Saturday, October 8, of 150 people. The AFL-CIO and MoveOn.org both call for support for them.


Lobby for Jobs and Fair Trade

Even though these may seem to be two separate campaigns, "Pass the President's Jobs Bill" and "Stop the Trade Agreements" are designed to create and/or preserve good jobs. The AFl-CIO has supplied telephone numbers for emergency call-in actions on both issues:

for Trade: Please ask your representative to STOP the trade deals. CALL 800-718-1008.

For the jobs bill: Please call your senators toll free at 1-888-659-9401 right away. We’ll give you directions and connect you with your senators’ offices.


Pass the jobs bill

Here are some reasons why you and your senators should support the American Jobs Act:


Here’s what’s at stake on the trade deals:

Korea: The Korea Free Trade Agreement (FTA) is the largest and most economically significant trade deal since the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). The Economic Policy Institute estimates the growing trade imbalances associated with the Korea FTA would displace some 159,000 net U.S. jobs, mostly in manufacturing. Its low domestic content requirement for goods and existing problems with transshipment from China also mean that many of the deal’s economic benefits could go to China, which is not a party to the agreement.

Colombia: Colombians who try to organize to lift their families out of grinding poverty are often murdered with impunity. According to international studies, Colombia is the most dangerous place in the world for trade unionists. In 2010, 51 trade unionists were assassinated in Colombia, an increase over 2009 and more than in the rest of the world combined. So far in 2011, another 22 have been killed, and 15 since the much-heralded announcement of the “Labor Action Plan.” Would we do a trade agreement with a country in which 51 CEOs were killed last year?

Panama: Panama has a history of failing to protect workers and enforce labor rights. Panama is known as a “tax haven,” with a history of attracting money launderers and tax dodgers. Only time will tell if the Tax Information Exchange Treaty that Panama recently signed makes a real difference and helps the United States collect the taxes that are due.


jobs with justice sign on a bridgeThe new "Restore the American Dream" coalition boosted the President's Jobs Bill on the Houston Viaduct, a fast-decaying bridge, at 6PM on Monday, October 10. About 30 people from Jobs with Justice, MoveOn, Texas Organizing Project, and the Service Employees International Union gathered over U.S. Highway 30 to wave signs and make noise.

Response from the cars on the highway was amazing! Trucks and cars, without being asked, honked their approval. Dallas police wasted no time in telling the group that they could not hang their banners over the railings, so we complied. The officer was not sure if we could even hold our homemade signs, but he didn't get back to us on that, so we did it.

In the photo, top MoveOn organizer Hobie Hukill and Elaine Lantz hold the JwJ banner.



Into the Streets!

Let's participate with the occupation forces in North Texas whenever we can. Let's join MoveOn.org's demonstration at Congressman Hensarling's office, 6510 Abrams in Dallas, at 4PM on Thursday,October 13

Do what you can!