The Time to Protest Is Now! Rally to Break Up the Banks


It's Time for Action!

AlterNet has been gathering signatures in partnership with A New Way Forward, an incredible grassroots movement demanding that the U.S. government nationalize, reorganize and decentralize the banks as a first step toward building a more just economy.

A New Way Forward states on its Web site: "If it's too big to fail, it's too big to exist. Dismantle the power of the financial elite and make policies that keep a new crop from springing up. We want our economy and politics restored for the public."

NATIONALIZE: Experts agree on the means -- insolvent banks that are too big to fail must incur a temporary FDIC intervention -- no more blank-check taxpayer handouts. (See Paul Krugman on nationalization.)

REORGANIZE: Current CEOs and board members must be removed and bonuses wiped out. The financial elite must share in the cost of what they have caused. (See Simon Johnson on reorganizing.)

DECENTRALIZE: Banks must be broken up and sold back to the private market with strong, new regulatory and antitrust rules in place -- new banks, managed by new people. Any bank that's "too big to fail" means that it's too big for a free market to function. (See Mike Lux on decentralization.)

In an interview, A New Way Forward co-founder Tiffiniy Cheng touched on the buddy-based corruption that is standing in the way of the true financial overhaul that this country needs:

When your friend gives you a $100 as a political contribution to your campaign, you still want to take care of them. And that's what's happening at the highest levels of government right now. We have an ex-lobbyist for Goldman Sachs [Mark Patterson] as chief of staff for Timothy Geithner, and that's actually breaking a restriction that Obama was going to have. He wasn't going to have any lobbyists serve in his cabinet, but they made an exception for the chief of staff of Geithner. [You can read the whole interview here.]

We here at AlterNet are all too happy to support A New Way Forward's efforts for change, and thanks to the overwhelming response from AlterNet readers like you, our petition has been a huge success.

[If you haven't had a chance to pledge to Break Up the Banks, click here and do so right now. All signatures will be delivered to Congress along with those gathered by A New Way Forward.]

But now it is time for action. Tomorrow, Saturday, April 11, A New Way Forward will be leading protests across the nation to make sure our leaders in Washington hear our message loud and clear. Join your fellow citizens and demand that our tax dollars be used to fix our economy, rather than protect those who helped destroy it. Click here right now to find a rally near you.

Without demand from the public, nothing will change. Matt Yglesias writes:

... the moment of crisis seems like the only time when the political power of the financial sector can feasibly be overcome. If we say we’re going to deal with this later, after we’ve fixed the immediate problems, then attention is going to wander on to other things.

We need to let President Barack Obama and Congress know that we won't take it anymore; join A New Way Forward tomorrow and make sure your voice is heard!

Sign AlterNet's pledge that you aren't going to let this rip-off happen, and join New Way Forward's national protest on April 11.

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