Protestors Demand: Tax Wall Street. We Need Good Jobs Now!
On April 15, 2010, tax day, Jobs with Justice activists and allies in 40 cities across the country protested at banks and post offices to highlight the need for jobs -- and a way to pay for them. Activists held rallies calling on Congress to create millions of good new jobs, tax the Wall Street speculators who broke our economy, and reign in the Big Banks and protect consumers, demonstrating support for legislation like the Local Jobs for America Act (H.R. 4812), which will create 1 million jobs, and for the Let Wall Street Pay for the Restoration of Main Street Act (H.R. 4191).
Support is growing for the Local Jobs for America Act, which would ensure that communities can still operate essential services, and helping to prevent state and local tax increase. In Florida, South Florida Jobs with Justice sent a diverse delegation of workers to Rep. Kendrick Meeks’ office to thank him for co-sponsoring the Local Jobs for America Act. The delegation spoke with Meeks about the bill and invited him to join upcoming local jobs actions. Central Florida Jobs with Justice and AFSCME met with Rep. Suzanne Kosmas to encourage her to sign on as a co-sponsor of the bill.
In Washington, DC, Jobs with Justice Executive Director Sarita Gupta joined Wall Street and economic experts and consumer, development, and global health advocates for a press conference to push for a Financial Speculation Tax. The group called on President Barack Obama and Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner to embrace this tax and on Congress to move swiftly to enact it. The tax is a very small levy on financial short-term transactions which will curb excessive speculation by big banks, but with minimal impact on long-term investors. Momentum for enacting a financial speculation tax is already strong in Europe. It will be on the agenda at G20 finance ministers’ meeting in Washington on April 23 and the G20 leaders’ meeting in Canada in June.
Other coalitions throughout the country staged protests at post offices, banks, and more. For example:
- In Ashland, OR, Southern Oregon JwJ passed out flyers at the Post Office for an hour before marching to US Bank, Chase, the Chamber of Commerce, Wells Fargo, and finally to Bank of America’s Mortgage storefront where we served a foreclosure notice;
- In Dallas, North Texas JwJ picketed bank of America;
- DC JwJ sent members to a city council hearing on the Mayor’s budget, where they called on the Council to “Save our Safety Net” and increase taxes on the wealthiest people in the city;
- In Indianapolis, Central Indiana JwJ & Tri-State JwJ were part of a report release on the tax dollars lost when an Evansville, IN Whirlpool plant closed;
- Utah JwJ, Portland JwJ, and Chicago JwJ teamed up with local Peace groups for tax day activities;
- Rhode Island JwJ and DC JwJ teamed up with UFCW to expose how Walmart cheats states out of millions in tax dollars each year.
To see a full list of actions and to learn more, visit www.taxwallstreet.org.