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Anti-Austerity Protest at Portland Business Alliance - JWJ 11.2.12.
This the 11/2/12 video footage from the Portland Oregon action at noon: "Jobs With Justice Conducts Pre-November 3rd Direct Action Against the Portland Business Alliance to Highlight Links to Austerity.
Austerity is a systematic policy to balance the budget off the backs of the working class by cutting public services, privatizing resources, and burdening people with enormous private debt. Due to astronomical amounts of military spending, obscene tax cuts for the richest Americans, and a market crash caused by the fraud and casino behavior of Wall Street, our country is in massive debt at the national, state, and municipal levels. In Portland, this means school budget cuts and closures, library cuts, crumbling infrastructure, increased student debt, foreclosures, a race to the bottom in labor standards, and a lack of power or voice for our communities in decis ion making.
The Portland Business Alliance --Portland's Chamber of Commerce -- is a major organized local power that lobbies to slash the social safety net, promotes debt driven development, and is an active contributor to austerity. Despite attempts to cultivate a 'mom and pop' image, their big brother, the US Chamber represents massive corporate interests (including insurance giant Aetna) that are pushing for a "Grand Bargain" after the election to cut Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid. They are pressuring Democrats (including a more than willing Obama) and Republicans to make the deal to unravel the efforts of the New Deal and successful social programs from the 60s. Over the last seven years, the PBA has, through their Political Action Committee (Alliance PAC), spent $398,435.93 on local pro-austerity electioneering. This includes at least $199,603 to the group Oregonians Against Job-Killing Taxes, who campaigned against Measures 66 and 67, advocating a tax policy that supports so-called "job creators" by placing more of a burden on working people. In addition, they have been instrumental in attacking Portland's homeless and act as though there is little value in human life beyond consumerism and employment.
Austerity threatens community in our own back yard. Portland's Chamber of Commerce is a major proponent of measures that hurt ordinary people and safeguard the interests of the super rich. The Portland Business Alliance is bad for our communities. Enough is enough!