Editorial: April 4 March on Wall Street

Last fall, Congress approved $770 billion to stave off financial collapse, to free up credit, to staunch the hemorrhage of layoffs and foreclosures. But the layoffs and foreclosures have gotten worse. The nation’s economy continues to plummet. What happened?

Wall Street bankers had other ideas on how to spend our money. AIG, for example, spent $165 million in bailout money to pay fat bonuses to their executives. The bankers are spending our tax dollars on stretch limos, corporate jets, yachts. Oh yes, and to lobby against the Employee Free Choice Act.

Don’t get mad, get even! Join the , April 4. Take to the heart of finance capitalism the message: “Beyond War: A New Economy is Possible … Yes We Can!”

The peace coalition chose April 4 because on that date in 1967, at Riverside Church, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. called for an end to the Vietnam War. King warned that a nation that spends more on war than it does in meeting human needs is approaching “spiritual death.” Exactly a year later, April 4, 1968, King was killed in Memphis marching with striking sanitation workers.

UFPJ urges people to work once again for the vision and values of Dr. King. That means struggling to end war profiteering by Halliburton, Blackwater and their ilk. It means bringing an end to boondoggling on weapons systems like Lockheed Martin’s F-22 Raptor.

Plus it is a reminder that six years after George W. Bush ordered the invasion of Iraq, the U.S. is now deploying tens of thousands of troops in Afghanistan. The road home from Baghdad does not run through Kabul.

The sweeping election victory last November puts the peace and justice movement in a stronger position to win this new peacetime economy based on green jobs, health care for all, quality public education for our children. We can end the poverty that blights 40 million people’s lives, and win immigration reform with a path to citizenship for millions. We can win union protection for every worker. This is the “beloved community” Dr. King marched and died for. It’s time to march again!