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OpEdNews Op Eds    H3'ed 10/26/09

What I See at the Showdown in Chicago

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The reports have trickled in the same way that proponents of Reaganomics might suggest to poor and working class folks that if they just wait a piece of the pie that Big Banks control will drip down soon enough.

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The American Bankers Association (ABA) and the banks and people of Chicago saw at least a thousand people get off buses and surround the entrance of Goldman Sachs headquarters in Chicago.

Then, they witnessed those same people move to Well Fargo headquarters and enter the lobby. Those in the lobby decried the actions of Wells Fargo and fought to deliver a letter to Wells Fargo executives.

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More than a thousand boarded the buses they came in on and went to the Sheraton Hotel where the ABA is holding their convention.

People read testimony, acted out a skit to remind the Big Banks of what they have done to America, and then they proceeded to declare that they would be coming back to confront the ABA again on Tuesday.

This is the biggest mobilization of people since the Wall Street bailouts were pushed through Congress like a resolution for unjust pre-emptive war on a Middle East country.

I do not know where this will all lead but let me tell you what I see and why I have dropped what I am doing in college to lend support as a citizen journalist to all who have come out to protest.

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I see people from all over finally saying they are not going to let the banks have the power over Congress anymore.

I see individuals from many, many states demanding that Congress finally be the representative body we think it should be.

I see leaders and organizers channeling the anger and frustration into a clear, concise message that will be impossible for Congress, the Big Banks, or the Obama Administration to ignore.

I see a possibility to capitalize off of this action and turn this mobilization into something that ends up truly empowering more and more communities across America.

I imagine that with YouTube video and reports of these actions circulating other Americans will mobilize and hold actions outside branches of "too big to fail" banks like Bank of America, Goldman Sachs, Citibank, JP Morgan Chase, and Wells Fargo.

I imagine each of the 50 states will begin to take action to create their own state-owned public bank.

Perhaps, they will refuse to accept the obstruction of reforms we have come to expect from many of the Democrats and Republicans in Congress.

Perhaps, they will take the populist energy they feel flowing within them and run for office to bring an end to the bank-owned Congress that is partly responsible for the situation we are in.

But, for the future of this country, I hope it doesn't stop there.

I hope they expand their action from breaking up the banks to taking on even more areas where the banks can be pinpointed as being part of the problem. We need mobilizations for Medicare for All and actions to declare that energy resources belong to the people and not the private corporations in America (which tend to be financed and backed significantly by Big Banks).

I hope many stop waiting for the media to cover us and just turn off a media that does not like to report on people powered actions.

I hope they decide to form a small group, create a media operation of their own, and go out and report on how Americans all over are taking on corporate power and corporate greed to put people first in America.

It all depends on the imaginations of leaders, organizers, and followers participating in the Showdown in Chicago. It all depends on how willing the people are to confront the evils that this capitalist system in America has created.

I do not know what will happen. I do not think that matters at this point. For, if we start to be cynical and question whether mobilizations against Big Banks are worth it or not, when we decide we the people do not have a right to stand up and demand dignity in a society that is willing to let banks take our self-worth and happiness away, we will continue to see working folk lose.

Working people deserve a win. And for that, I ask everyone especially people like me who haven't suffered from Big Banks to stand up---Stand with the people who banks think they can walk upon.

I do not know what kind of country you intend for your children or grandchildren to grow up in, but wouldn't it be great if we the people had the power and there wasn't a need for Showdowns in any cities twenty, thirty, or forty years from now?

You may say I'm a dreamer, but I'm not the only one. Thousands are marching on the ABA tomorrow.

Onward.We go. Too big to fail banks have got to go.


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Kevin Gosztola is managing editor of Shadowproof Press. He also produces and co-hosts the weekly podcast, "Unauthorized Disclosure." He was an editor for
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