Call for NY-NJ Regional Online Popular Assembly June 6
We call on all workers and activists from all sectors in New York and NJ to come together for an online Popular Assembly June 6 to agree on common demands and a common plan of action to defend the rights and lives of working people in the face of this emergency.
NEXT Planning Meeting: 2:00 PM, Sunday, May 10 via Zoom. To join, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
The policies of the billionaires, the capitalists, the Wall Street wizards and their political parties, both Republicans and Democrats, have led to the coronavirus catastrophe. It is they who have slashed health services globally to the point that they are incapable of responding to the virus in time to prevent a pandemic. The consequences are falling on working people everywhere in sickness, layoffs, pay cuts, food shortages and deaths. Workers are in plants unprotected by masks from others next to them. We face weeks without income. We are waiting in miles-long lines at food banks. Workers are dying by the thousands. All are under attack. When all are under attack, all must unite to defend ourselves. It is up to workers who face this crisis to lead the way out of it.
We must unite, meet together online and, as it is safe, in person, to agree democratically on common emergency demands, a common program and above all common actions. Today, strikes at individual workplaces are not enough. But when workers in entire regions carry out united actions, spreading our movement without limit, making demands in our common interest, we can win. The emergency has demonstrated who is really essential in the real economy. It is now that workers must use our collective power to defend ourselves: to plan and carry out coordinated strike actions to demand not only protection against the virus, and 100% maintenance of income, but to demand an end to the conditions that led to the crisis and that are leading towards even greater ones.
Simultaneously with crisis, the predictable collapse of the Sanders campaign has demonstrated anew the utter futility of political reliance on the Democratic party. To win our demands, we must link a mass movement to political electoral action entirely independent of the two parties of the capitalists.
As a starting point for discussions and decisions at the Popular Assembly the Organizing Committee has proposed the following set of IMMEDIATE DEMANDS: Safe working conditions for all workers—NO WORK without PPE for ALL; Free all detainees and parole all non-violent offenders NOW; Unlimited sick pay for ALL; Full maintenance of income for ALL; Cancel all rents, mortgages, utility payments; End all US sanctions on foreign governments.
In addition to the immediate demands, the Organizing Committee has proposed for the consideration of the Popular Assembly a broad program, “The Workers Way Forward”, to eliminate the conditions that led to the pandemic. The four points of the program are:
- All who live here have equal rights. End all deportations, end all detentions, end all violations of due process rights, end all limits on the right to vote, to unionize, to organize and to strike. Freedom of movement for all. Without equal rights, we can’t unite to defend our lives.
- All who live here have the right to quality free education, health care, transportation, housing and clean energy, to clean air, clean water and clean food. The government must provide democratically-controlled quality services for all, paid for by taxing the rich and corporations, slashing weapons spending and ending all US wars, occupations and military aid that force people to migrate. Lack of adequate health care, fossil-fuel-driven air pollution which has weakened everyone’s lungs, and overcrowded housing has led to this pandemic spreading out of control.
- All who live here have the right to good jobs at good wages. Providing quality free education, health care, transportation, housing and clean energy will also provide good jobs for all. The desperation that leads people to risk their health to hang on to a job must end.
- Socialization of finance. Federal ownership of all finance—banks, insurance, investment companies -- with democratic control. The Federal government has bought the financial companies twice over with bailouts—it must exercise its ownership, not give it away to billionaire shareholders.
While the Popular Assembly is mainly aimed as a step in organizing workers of the NY-NJ region, we invite activists from other regions in the US or anywhere else in the world to participate, to organize similar regional online Popular Assemblies and to link with us and each other to work to build a global movement.
Below is the content submitted to us.