Nine activists were leafleting at the corner of Elm and Lamar in downtown Dallas at noon on April 15, when another fifteen activists arrived from Communications Workers of America Local 6215. We formed a picket line in front of the Bank of America while continuing to leaflet the passersby and students from El Centro College across the street. Two TV cameras representing five different TV stations covered us as we chanted "Jobs Now!" The sides of the biggest building in North Texas made a nice echoing sound.
National Jobs with Justice said that there were at least 27 of these "Tax Day" actions. Most of them, like ours, targetted big banks for their sorry role in bringing the U.S. economy to its knees, accepting billions of dollars in tax money bailouts, then doing everything in their power to resist any kind of reform. The national AFL-CIO says that they are not lending to small business to create jobs, and they are spending millions to lobby Congress against financial reforms.
The Dallas newspaper announced on tax day that one of the big banks, JP Morgan, had experienced a 55% increase in profits! This while over 26 million American workers are unemployed or underemployed and desperately willing to take any job for half of what it formerly paid. The effect is to drag all workers backward while bankers get rich!
One simple solution to the crisis would be to create a "transactions tax" on stock speculation, such as the one that Britain has had for years, and use the money to finance government-created jobs. The banks, of course, will fight any such legislation with all their powers and with all our tax money.
Jobs with Justice will continue making the American public aware of the big banks' sorry role in running our economy backward. On June 21, we board buses for the national March for Jobs in Detroit Michigan. We march on June 22 and can be home on June 23. We can charter a bus for less than $200/seat. In the past, we have been very successful in raising money for such activity, because a lot of people appreciate the importance of what we are doing, even if they are not personally able to go to Detroit.
People who want to sign up for the bus should contact us and say what part, if any, of the $200 they might be able to raise. In order to get the largest possible contingent, we will accept the riders with the biggest contributions first, then work down the list until we have everybody going, one way or another. Some North Texans have indicated an interest in attending the entire four-day Social Forum June 22-26. Contact us quickly, because some scholarship money is available until April 30.