If We Don't Stop Wall Street's Colossal Theft Now, Where Will This Country Be Next Year?

We have the most fundamental fight over power ahead of us -- either the banks get bigger and richer and more powerful, or we take away some of their political power for ourselves and our businesses.

Why does this fight matter? Because we have trillions of dollars in deficit, and the financial sector is winning policy after policy and will continue to squeeze tax breaks, loose rules and dollars out of government. The financial sector is stopping our country from getting out of the crisis, it is to blame for our troubles. If we don't stop it, where will our country be by the end of this year?

But do you feel like you don't understand big finance, while you feel less financially secure? Wall Street has been getting away with taxpayer dollars, corruption and risky practices, and a massive market failure. It's because it wants us to believe that "ordinary people can't understand finance and economics." Let's get together and understand why the economic crisis happened and what is being done now.

To beat Wall Street at its game, we need to learn about what it's doing and then loudly refuse its way of doing business. A New Way Forward is launching a way we can do the first part to stop bad practices on Wall Street -- volunteers around the country are hosting economic crisis video screenings and town hall forums starting this Monday through Friday, some Webcasted live.

So, feel like you want a chance to learn more? Come enjoy yourselves and talk about where your money belongs. Find one near you or plan one of your own (New York City's is on Monday).

You can see the ANWF Economic Crisis 2009 video or bookmark this link to watch any of the live Webcasts on Monday, Wednesday and Thursday. You can host your own screening using just this link: livestream.com/anewwayforward

These town halls are educational, local, citizen, community, rallying with former IMF Chairman Simon Johnson and author and progressive consultant Mike Lux on Captiol HIll. There will be a lively debate at the NYC event, with business leader Leo Hindery debating author Les Leopold and history professor Alice Kessler-Harris. In San Francisco, author Doug Rushkoff and economist Ernesto Dal Bo. 

A New Way Forward is a pact we're making as citizens to not continue to let Wall Street act like our masters. The point is that winning the battle with the banks can change politics as usual. I truly believe this is a fight that can reset our political process, restoring it for the public.

So, A New Way Forward is a new group that is open and participatory and crosses party lines -- it's easy to be a part of this important movement, just sign up and we'll win.

ANWF is organized via the Web by local teams that want to take back the power of the ordinary citizen to affect our economic structure. As the banking industry continues secret lobbying in Washington, A New Way Forward is trying to begin a serious discussion at the grassroots level. Getting together this week is a start to fighting the big players in the financial sector.

You can find the full listings on A New Way Forward's site -- but here's a short list of town halls:

Bethelehem, Pa., June 9, 7 p.m., with Tom Hyclak, professor of economics, at Public Library

Bellingham, Wa., June 10, 4 p.m., street corner forum with Kristi Laguzzi, downtown Federal Building

San Diego, June 10, 6 p.m., with Jeeni Criscenzo at University of San Diego

San Francisco, June 10, 6:30 p.m., with Ernesto Dal Bo, Doug Rucskoff, Donald Goldmacher at Mechanic Library, Webcast

New York, June 8, 7 p.m., with Leo Hindery, Les Leopold, Alice Kessler-Harris at the Tank, Webcast

New York, June 10, 7 p.m., video screening with Danny Shechter at Le Poisson Rouge

Washington, June 11, 9 a.m., with Simon Johnson, John Taylor, Nancy Cleeland, Mike Lux at Capitol Hill, Webcast

Video Screenings:

June 8, 6 p.m., Berkeley, Hillside Club

June 9, 6 p.m., Austin, Texas, Carver Library

June 10, 5 p.m., Fontana, Calif., Fontana Lewis Library

June 10, 5:30 p.m., Nogales, Ariz., Nogales Public Library

June 10, 7 p.m., Santa Monica, Calif., Public Library -- Community Room

June 10, 7 p.m., Decatur, Ga., Push Push Theater

June 10, 7 p.m., East Lansing, Mich., Ramona's Home in Hawk Nest

June 10, 7 p.m., Paterson, N.J., Robert A. Roe Federal Building

June 10, 7 p.m., McMurray, Pa., Our Home

June 10, 7:30 p.m., Jamaica Plain, Mass., First Church Unitarian Universalist

June 11, 1 a.m., Durham, N.C., Durham Downtown Plaza

June 11, 7 p.m., Boulder, Colo., Colorado University -- Humanities 150

June 15, 7 p.m., Princeton, N.J., my house and patio

June 17, 7:30 p.m., Hyattsville, Md., Paint Branch Unitarian Church

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