Hurricane Sandy: Capitalism is the disaster, people’s power is the answer

Following is the text of the Peoples Power Assembly statement:

Protest Rally & March in NYC

Sat. Nov. 3 — 12 noon at the Main Post Office, 32th St. & 8th Ave., Manhattan

Following this join the Peoples Power Assembly in a “people to people” relief effort. We will distribute water, do free blood pressure screenings at the nearby Chelsea community and help in food distribution.

NEXT STEP:

SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 10th PEOPLES POWER REGIONAL ASSEMBLY MEETINGS

The Peoples Power Assembly commends and has joined in the many relief efforts led by community activists, who understand that the people cannot depend on the system to do what’s necessary, from Chelsea Housing, CAAAV Organizing Asian Communities, the Peoples Power Movement, the Occupy Movement and countless others, in providing immediate relief throughout the impacted areas, from New York City to New Jersey, from Baltimore and Philadelphia to New England.

We commend the hardworking sisters and brothers of the Transit Workers Union, city workers, Amtrak workers, nurses and hospital staff who have labored throughout this “super storm” risking life and limb.

Thousands of people in poor communities throughout the region are asking: ”Where’s FEMA? Where are city, state and county governments?” Many are outraged that Mayor Bloomberg would pour huge resources into making sure the NYC Marathon goes forward, that the Stock Exchange opens, while the poor and workers of the city are still without power, hospitals are being evacuated, and gas is close to running out. Where are the priorities? Instead of aid, “stop and frisk” policies have escalated and curfews continue.

We demand first and foremost:

· That the homeless, the elderly, the very young, those with physical and mental challenges, the poor, along with all the people, have priority over big business and the banks — this means emergency access and distribution of food, clothing, medical care and shelter.

· It’s a crime that Wall Street was up and running in less than 36 hours while people throughout the region still languish without lights or heat.

· We want a Works Progress Administration (WPA) style jobs program to put the thousands of unemployed workers back to work at union wages to immediately provide services and rebuild the region. Thousands of unemployed laborers with LIUNA and other unions need jobs; unemployed youth need jobs too. Why should exploitative private contractors profit off of this disaster at the people’s expense? While we demand jobs for all and solidarity with workers around the world, we reject “guest worker” programs like those used after Hurricane Katrina, which amounted to slave labor and union busting.

· No police repression! The people need services and jobs, not jails. Drop all the charges on the arrested youth in Jersey City; end police abuse, racial profiling and brutality now!

· Reopen closed hospitals and make working backup generators a priority. We must protect the sick in the advent of a disaster — it’s unacceptable that so many hospitals in New York, important hospitals like St. Vincent’s, were already closed, making evacuation even more difficult.

· Free transit throughout the crisis. No fare hikes. Reduced fares for low-wage and unemployed workers.

· We demand that the trillions being spent on war and occupation abroad, be spent instead on compensating and paying reparations to the thousands of workers who have lost wages, have suffered from property damage, and who have been hurt or injured. This includes small businesses and whole communities.

· Give priority to the communities ignored, from Brooklyn to those living in Far Rockaway, to those neglected in rural areas and small towns.

· We call for full rights and legalization for undocumented workers, who may be afraid to come forward for needed food and care. We demand an immediate end to any form of racism, bigotry, anti-LGBTQ, anti-woman or anti-youth bias in resources or treatment.

Global capitalism has created this crisis! We wish we could say this was solely a natural disaster, but every scientific source clearly has pointed out that global warming has been at the root of this kind of super storm. It is not an exaggeration to say that we have arrived at the tipping point on the climate crisis. The people and scientists who have been fighting this issue from India to Bolivia for decades must be allowed to step in and implement a real people’s plan and we must work to halt the capitalist system itself. Or else.

We can do it! People’s power must be on the agenda! Solidarity is our first defense! The movement must come together.

Join the Peoples Power Assembly this Saturday for an emergency response. But if transportation problems prevent you from reaching 34th Street, there is much still to do.

NEXT STEP: SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 10th — First in a series of critical planning meetings and summits, immediately following the election, to begin the process of strategizing and planning a fightback in preparation for coming plans by the 1% to enact severe austerity measures. The movement must prepare.

Plan to discuss how to fight back against the growing police terror in communities from Oakland to Baltimore to Jersey City, from New York to New Orleans.

Join the PPA, Nov. 10 at 2 p.m. at the Solidarity Center, 55 W. 17th St., 5th floor, NYC, NY 10011.

And join us on Dec. 15th in Baltimore for a National Peoples Power Assembly to continue our plans to fight for people’s power.

Contact the Peoples Power Assembly. Call 212-633-6646 or visit www.occupy4jobs.org