This is the written version of a talk I gave at a panel on Greece and the European refugee situation in downtown Olympia. My Reflections on Greece today, and future possibilities! (click on this link)
by Peter Bohmer, September 26, 2015
At the Working Washington organized Gathering and Rally at Heritage Park, Olympia, Washington
Working Washington and the fight for $15 an hour is a very important movement and I want to thank the organizers and all of you for attending this gathering. You are involved in this necessary struggle for economic justice. I recently returned from a month in Greece where because of inhuman policies forcing Greece to cut government spending, cut pensions, lower the minimum wage and raise taxes on basic goods and services, unemployment, poverty, low wages and job security are even worse than in the U.S. Many Greek people asked me about important issues and social movements for justice in the United States and I usually mentioned the ones for climate justice, $15 an hour and a living wage, and the Black Lives Matter movement that has focused on exposing and stopping police shooting of Black people.
$15 an Hour: Its Time has Come!
First a little about significance of the fight for $15 and the statewide Working Washington organization. Since the 1970’s, the gaps between the rich and poor have grown significantly in the United States. The top 1% today takes more than 20% of national income; the average household in the poorest 20% of the population earns about 1/100th of the top 1%. The 2011 Occupy Wall Street movement made public the obscene inequality in the United States between the 1% and the 99%. In Olympia, four years ago, Olympia residents occupied the land where we are standing for more than two months as part of the national Occupy Movement. … (Connect to link above to read the entire talk)
What follows are my answers to a written interview from Kourosh Ziabari, a writer and reporter for the Fars News Agency, an Iranian foreign policy news and analysis website. I submitted the following answers to Kourosh Ziabari’s six questions on August 4, 2015 and slightly revised them on September 18, 2015.
Question 1- For many years, you’ve been a political activist protesting racial discrimination across the United States, as well as other forms of social injustice. You’ve also organized solidarity movements with the people of crisis-hit countries like Vietnam, Puerto Rico and Cuba. How does the US government perceive your activism and how does it react to you? Are such egalitarian and liberal movements ever taken seriously by the White House? Do they leave any impact on the major decisions of the US government and its institutions?
My own active opposition for many years to the U.S. war in Vietnam is probably what I am proudest of in my life. The millions of people in the United States outside the military but also inside the military deserve credit for actively opposing their government’s waging of a murder, immoral and illegal war. Of course, the people who deserve the most credit are the Vietnamese people who opposed the U.S. occupation and war. … (see link above)
Update: Monday, 11:00 A.M., July 13th, 2015. The European Zone governments, the Eurogroup, led by Germany demanded even more concessions and humiliation from Greece such as controlling Greek privatization and the funds generated from it and monitoring and controlling the Greek government’s budget as a price for Greece staying in the Eurozone. It explicitly states there will be no forgiveness of Greek government debt. The Greek Prime Minister, Tsipras, accepted these new conditions which is further blackmail by Germany and Eurogroup. The new plan is even worse than the deal that the Syriza leaders forced through parliament on Friday, July 10th. This even more restrictive austerity plan will now go back to the Greek parliament but Greece has little choice but to “accept” this imperialist deal if it rules out leaving the Eurozone.
What follows is my commentary of July 11th, 2015 after Syriza proposed a restrictive austerity plan with the hope that the Troika would accept it. The Troika led by the German finance minister, Schauble, has now demanded an even greater violation of Greek sovereignty.
by Peter Bohmer, July 11, 2015
Another Police Shootings of African-Americans! It Can Happen Anywhere in the U.S including Olympia. It Did Happen Here!May 27, 2015
by Peter Bohmer, June 4, 2015
Nomination of Larry Mosqueda for emeritus faculty at TESC, Peter Bohmer, May 20, 2015
Please join Kshama Sawant at our fundraiser Friday, June 12th from 6-9 P.M. There will be food and drink. Kshama Sawant will give a talk at this social and community event and fundraiser which is at Patty and Larry Mosqueda’s house, 2725 Westwood Dr., Olympia, WA 98502
Since her election in 2013, Councilmember Sawant has led the opposition to the corporate agenda in Seattle. An unapologetic fighter for working people, she refuses all corporate donations and only accepts the average worker’s wage. She has tirelessly advocated for workers and the environment, risking arrest standing with workers in Sea-Tac AND stopping coal trains from running through Washington. She is anti-capitalist and an advocate for socialism.
Although Kshama Sawant does not represent Olympia directly, her election to the Seattle City Council and her outspoken support for key movements and issues has furthered activism here such as the movement for a $15 hour minimum wage . Opposition to her reelection will be funded by major corporations. So Kshama Sawant’s reelection is important far beyond Seattle. That is why we are organizing this fundraiser.
Join us in our urgent fight to defend a true champion of the working class and anti-corporate politics! We hope you can make it.
Even if you cannot make this fundraisert, please make a check out to “Vote Sawant’ and mail it to the Mosqueda address above, or go to http://www.kshamasawant.org/
Please rsvp to email@example.com
What follows is the Powerpoint presentation on the economics of $15 an hour of the Economics for Everyone Workshop led by Peter Bohmer and Savvina Chowdhury on April 8, 2015 at Traditions Cafe at Fifth and Water Street in downtown Olympia. We followed powerful presentation by four low wage workers who are active in Working Washington, a statewide group organizing low wage workers. Our next Economics of Everyone workshop is Wednesday, April 29th, 2015 at 7 P.M. at Traditi0ns on “The Anti-Austerity Struggle in Greece and Spain and Lessons for the United States”.