The 99% Spring

posted by Rainforest Action Network

RAN at General Strike in Oakland, CAThis spring, RAN has joined an amazingly ambitious effort to train 100,000 Americans in non-violent direct action and start a movement to take our country back.

Please read the call to action below from more than 40 economic and environmental advocacy groups. And then join us in springing into action.

DATE: February 15, 2012
TO: America
RE: The 99% Spring

Things should never have reached this point.

Every day, the American Dream seems a little farther away. More of our grandparents are being thrown from their homes. Our mothers and fathers can’t retire because their pension funds tanked. Our brothers and sisters are burdened by student loan debt. For our children, budget cuts have resulted in crumbling schools, skyrocketing class sizes, and teachers being denied the supports they need to do their best. Our friends and family are being denied collective bargaining rights in their workplaces and are falling further and further behind. Our neighbors are being poisoned by pollution in our air and water.

The numbers are staggering: in recent years, millions of jobs have been destroyed, homes foreclosed, and an unconscionable number of children live in poverty.

And worst of all: this is no accident. It is a result of rampant greed—the deliberate manipulation of our democracy and our economy by a tiny minority in the 1%, by those who amass ever more wealth and power at our expense.

We are at a crossroads as a country. We have a choice to make. Greater wealth for a few or opportunity for many. Tax breaks for the richest or a fair shot for the rest of us. A government that can be bought by the highest bidder, or a democracy that is truly of the people, by the people, and for the people.

The choice is in our hands. This spring, we will act on that choice and rise up in the tradition of our forefathers and foremothers. We will not be complicit with the suffering in our families for another year. We will prepare ourselves for sustained non-violent direct action.

From April 9-15 we will gather across America, 100,000 strong, in homes, places of worship, campuses and the streets to join together in the work of reclaiming our country. We will organize trainings to:

  • Tell the story of our economy: how we got here, who’s responsible, what a different future could look like, and what we can do about it
  • Learn the history of non-violent direct action
  • And, get into action on our own campaigns to win change.

This spring we rise! We will reshape our country with our own hands and feet, bodies and hearts. We will take non-violent action in the spirit of Martin Luther King, Jr. and Gandhi to forge a new destiny one block, one neighborhood, one city, one state at a time.

We know great change is possible. We inherit a history of everyday people standing up for their own dignity, freedom, and self-determination, shaping our direction as a country. The seamstress in Alabama who launched a bus boycott. The farmers in New England and Virginia who imagined we could be a free nation. The workers in Flint, Michigan who occupied their plant to win collective bargaining rights. The farmworkers in California who liberated our fields. The women in New York who dreamed they could one day speak with equal voice. The mother who stood up in Love Canal to stop the poisoning of her community. And the students who risked their lives during Freedom Summer to register voters.

In the last year alone we watched the teachers and fire fighters of Wisconsin stand for the rights of workers. And we joined those who Occupied Wall Street, inspiring us to stand with the 99%.

We will rise this spring, because we DO hold these truths to be self evident—that all men and women are created equal, that we are endowed by our Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness.

Will you rise with us? Can we count on you to join us April 9th to 15th to stand with the 99% for America?

Sarita Gupta
Jobs With Justice

Bob King
United Auto Workers

George Goehl
National Peoples Action

Ai-jen Poo
National Domestic Workers Alliance

Justin Ruben

Joy Cushman & Judith Freeman
New Organizing Institute

Liz Butler
Movement Strategy Center

John Sellers
The Other 98%

Mary Kay Henry
Service Employees International Union

Van Jones and Natalie Foster
Rebuild the Dream

John Wilhelm

Phil Radford

John Cavanaugh
Institute for Policy Studies

Scott Reed
PICO National Network

Tracy Van Slyke and Ilana Berger
New Bottom Line

Leo Gerard
United Steel Workers

Daniel Cantor
Working Families Party

Larry Cohen
Communications Workers of America

Victor Sanchez Jr
United States Student Association

Becky Tarbotton
Rainforest Action Network

Randi Weingarten
American Federation of Teachers

Brian Kettenring
Leadership Center for the Common Good

Randy Jackson

Saket Soni
National Guestworker Alliance

Bill McKibben and May Boeve

Sharon Lungo and Megan Swoboda
The Ruckus Society

Ian Inaba
Citizen Engagement Lab

Patrick Reinsborough
smartMeme Strategy & Training Project

Rachel LaForest
Right to the City Alliance

Brigid Flaherty
Pushback Network

Tim Carpenter
Progressive Democrats of America

Bob Callahan
Change to Win

Michael Leon Guerrero
Grassroots Global Justice Alliance

Roger Hickey
Campaign for America’s Future

Aaron Ostrom
Fuse Washington

Jeff Ordower
Missourians Organizing for Reform and Empowerment

Karen Scharff
Citizen Action of New York

Marianne Manilov

Bruce Klipple
United Electrical Workers Union

Pablo Alvarado
National Day Laborers Organizing Network

LeeAnn Hall
Alliance for a Just Society

Leslie Moody
The Partnership for Working Families