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10 Winning Moments for the 99% in 2011

This year saw working people around the world begin to stand up and fight back. Ten organizers share their most inspiring moments from the U.S.'s year of action.

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7. Matt Browner Hamlin, organizer with OccupyOurHomes.org, Victory for Veteran Facing Foreclosure in Atlanta.

Brigitte Walker, a decorated veteran of the Iraq War pushed into medical retirement from the army after the shock from a mortar round crushed her spine, was able to negotiate a principal reduction on her mortgage from Chase Bank after Occupy Atlanta defended her home from foreclosure.

“The Occupy Our Homes victory in Atlanta this week with Brigitte Walker is incredibly inspiring and shows yet again that when people take the fight to the banks, the 99% can win. Banks just don't like their dirty business being put out in public and that's what Occupy Our Homes and the communities rallying around these housing activists are doing.”

8. Roberto Lovato, Writer, Co-Founder of Presente.org – International Movements Connect to One Another

“I think the most important victory for working people in the US – and the world -- is the building out of the matrix of intersecting and increasingly interconnected movements—the Arab Spring, the Indignados in Spain, ongoing Latin American mobilizations and the most recent, Occupy in the US, among others--transforming the global web of politics.

Thanks to the vision and continued mobilization of working peoples around the world, there's a new day on the planet, one that previews the millenial movements needed to literally 'save the planet' from the physical, economic and spiritual toxicity of "hope"-killing capitalism. Thanks to working people struggling around the world for clearing the air of barriers to real Hope.”

9. Charles Monaco, Progressive States Network – Ohio's Defeat of Anti-Union Legislation

“Exactly one year after the tea party takeover of Congress, and following months of sustained attacks on workers and the 99% in statehouses, voters in every corner of the nation sent a striking and direct message on Election Day 2011, rejecting the overreach of right-wing state legislatures and governors on a wide range of issues.

Nowhere was that message voiced louder than in Ohio, where Senate Bill 5 — a law signed by Gov. John Kasich in the spring that would have stripped law enforcement officers, firefighters, and other public employees of fundamental collective bargaining rights — ended the year going down in flames. After consistent polling that saw the bill broadly unpopular with voters, a grassroots effort that gathered 1.3 million signatures to put it on the ballot, and a campaign that saw corporate interests flood the state with money in attempt to save it, the measure was decisively rejected by a 22-point margin and by majorities of voters in 82 of the state’s 88 counties.

Even without a statewide electoral race on the ballot this year, a quarter million more Ohioans voted to repeal the bill than had voted for Gov. Kasich a year earlier — a level of intensity that should worry any governor or lawmaker in any state considering more economically destructive attacks on workers in 2012.”

10. Leo Gerard, President, United Steelworkers – Occupy Wall Street

“A seminal event for all working people in 2011 was the birth of the Occupy Movement with the first encampment at Wall Street and those that followed across the country and around the world.

This protest of the economic and social injustice created by corporate greed and by the barons of finance diverted the focus of public dialogue from deficits to the needs of working, poor and marginalized people -- the 99 percenters.

Although some occupiers have been evicted and their encampments destroyed, the protesters are right when they say: no mayor or police force or 1 percenter can destroy an idea whose time has come.”

 
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