FRSO Forum: Capitalism in crisis: fighting back in hard times
Activists from the welfare rights, labor, immigrant rights and anti-war movements filled May Day books store here, for a forum called 'Capitalism in crisis; fighting back in hard times,' Oct. 25. Speakers included Steff Yorek of Freedom Road Socialist Organization and Linden Gawboy of the Welfare Rights Committee and the Minnesota Coalition for a People's Bailout, along with labor and student activists.
Linden Gawboy, of the Welfare Rights Committee told the crowd, “We have be clear who the enemy is in our battles. The wealthy that own this country want to get rid of welfare. They want to steal our houses. They want us to work for nothing, have no education and on an on. Not for the good of society, but in the hopes that they can crawl up on a heap of corpses – and get rich.”
Steff Yorek, the Political Secretary of Freedom Road Socialist Organization opened her talk by stating “It's not news to us in this room that there is an enormous economic crisis. It began in December of 2007 with a crisis of overproduction, where the economy produces more than can be sold at a profit.” She also noted that the effect of the economic crisis are uneven, saying, “The monopoly capitalists are trying to put the burden of the crisis on the working class and oppressed nationalities,” pointing out that home foreclosures and job losses are disproportionately affecting African American, Chicano/Latino and other oppressed nationality communities.
Yorek also talked about the financial crisis, stating “The ruling class says the financial crisis is over; that remains to be seen. The federal government did give banks $700 billion and a free line of credit. The capitalists tried to blame the crisis on the government, overlooking the fact that the government had pursued their policies of deregulation, free trade and cuts in social programs for almost the last 30 years. And none of that has resolved the crisis of overproduction. This crisis is continuing and will continue for a long time. Working and oppressed people will continue to see massive unemployment, a crisis in housing and an accelerated erosion of our standard of living over the next several years, as if it isn't bad enough already.”
After stating that is was critical to build the day-to-day struggles of working people, Yorek said that revolutionary change was necessary to get rid of capitalism and its crises.
“When I talk about revolution, I mean that we need to throw out capitalism altogether – with its recurring crises and its criminal abuses of all working and oppressed people, always favoring a tiny group of rich and powerful. The socialist countries are not experiencing the economic crisis that plagues the capitalist world. Socialism would never throw our nation’s wealth into bailing out criminal bankers who are closing up factories and taking away people’s homes. So as each of us fight for changes here and now, we must see our work as part of a long term fight to overthrow the capitalist system and build something new: Socialism. Socialism would put an end to these crises and allow us to solve the problems of society in the best interests of all of us, not in the interests of the rich,” Yorek concluded.