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Interview With Jack Rasmus
Jack Rasmus is professor of economics at St. Mary's College and Santa Clara University in Northern California. He is a member of the newly formed National Steering Committee of the Workers Emergency Recovery Campaign (WERC). Members of Unity & Independence, an independent trade union newsletter published 6 times a year, interviewed Rasmus this Spring.
U&I: Recently, banks have been saying the banking crisis has "turned the corner" and may even be over. Is it?
Rasmus: No. Quite the contrary. The financial side of the economic crisis is continuing to deepen. All this talk about the banking crisis stabilizing and recovery beginning reminds me of what happened in April 2008, when CEOs of the big banks proclaimed the crisis was over, following the so-called rescue of Bear Stearns in March 2008. Half of those CEOs would be gone, fired, before the end of the year as the crisis intensified and then erupted once again in August-September 2008. Something similar may be happening once again. Just look at the continuing collapse of housing. Foreclosures are still rising. Delinquencies and defaults are increasing. On the residential mortgage side, the problems are spreading from subprime mortgages to the less risky Alt-A and supposedly safest prime mortgages. According to data released recently by Standard & Poors, the business rating agency, almost $300 billion in subprime mortgages are now classified as nonperforming as well as another $225 billion of Alt A mortgages and about $30 billion of prime. In fact, prime mortgages are showing the fastest rise in defaults of the three. RealtyTrac, the real estate reporting service, reported foreclosures up 24 percent compared to the end of last year. Fannie Mae, the U.S. government agency that has bought $800 billion of mortgage loans, reported the largest surge in delinquencies in January since it started keeping data in 1998.
We are starting to see a second wave of residential mortgage problems, as six million workers have been laid off since last October. There's at least another $500 billion in losses due to home mortgages coming. But two even bigger bombs are just around the corner. One is commercial property losses, just beginning. There's over $1 trillion more in losses coming there, over 50 percent of which will hit the banks. The second bomb is the securitized consumer loans markets—that's auto loans, student loans, credit cards, and the like. That's more than another $1 trillion. All this is going to hit the banks 6 to 12 months from now and tear an even larger hole in their balance sheets than subprimes did. Another growing problem involves losses in the defined benefit pension plans which, on average, have lost more than a third of their value.
We're hearing from the capitalist press that bank stocks are rising, along with the stock market in general. How is that possible, given the scenario you just presented?
It's what they call a classic bear market rally. Some of the banks are reporting profits. Not surprising, since the Federal Reserve is giving them free money at 0.25 percent interest and they're continuing to loan at 5 to 8 percent for mortgages and to companies at rates as high as 20 percent. The Fed and U.S. Treasury have pumped $4 trillion into them since last September and Fed-Treasury has announced they will provide another $8 trillion. That's $12 trillion committed to the banks and other financial institutions. Compare that to only $27 billion this year for jobs in Obama's economic stimulus package. The banks' newfound profitability is also being boosted by allowing them to falsely report the value of assets on their books. This is part of the "mark to market" accounting issue. Up until early April, banks had to report the total losses on their securitized loans, most of which had fallen to ten cents on the dollar. That's called mark to market pricing. But then Congress allowed them to suspend mark to market accounting. Now the government is allowing them to falsely report assets on their balance sheets at 90-95 cents on the dollar vs. the real market value of those assets. No wonder they suddenly appear profitable. But it's a false, engineered profitability. It's all part of an orchestrated joint effort by the government and the banks to make it appear as if the financial crisis is now stabilizing, which it isn't.
What's behind big banks announcing they want to pay back the cash the government gave them under TARP?
Under TARP, then Treasury Secretary Paulson found out he couldn't buy the bad assets from the banks because they refused to sell them to him at their true (low) market prices. Paulson said the sky would fall without the $700 billion with which to buy their bad assets to get credit moving again. But when the banks refused to sell the bad assets to the government at anything but bloated prices, Paulson had to show he was doing something. So he threw $250 billion to his big 10 banking buddies, including JP Morgan and Goldman Sachs. With it came certain reporting requirements and limits on executive pay. Now they want to get out from under that government inspection possibility (still not being enforced adequately). They also want to give themselves big bonuses again. It's interesting, isn't it, that Goldman Sachs recently reported it had $164 billion in cash on hand. It either took taxpayer money under TARP it didn't need or else it is now lying about having $164 billion. Ditto for the other big banks. Why should the banks want to take government money with strings attached, when they can get unlimited free money at zero interest from the Federal Reserve?
The government says the bailout is working. Is it?
After Geithner announced the latest bailout, the banks and private investors lobbied hard for changes. Some key changes in the government plan were made. First of all, any zero interest loans that investors get from the government are now considered "non recourse." That means if they buy up bad assets and the prices of those assets fall again, then they, the investors (which include private hedge funds, private equity firms, and the like) don't have to pay back the loans to the government. Nice deal, isn't it? That's to get the investors to buy up the bad securitized assets on banks balance sheets. Those are the packaged securities with subprimes, student and auto loans, and the like bundled in them that are now worth only around ten cents on the dollar. It's a hidden way to make the taxpayer pay for the almost certain losses without having to go to Congress and get the money, like they did with TARP. The money for the non recourse loans for investors will come from the Federal Reserve, which doesn't have to go to Congress. The Fed will simply print the money for the loans.
For the non-securitized loans held by the banks the problem is a little different. These are a different kind of loan which banks get to keep on their books at over-inflated value, say around 98 cents on the dollar, when the loans are actually worth 50 cents. The banks don't want to sell these at 50 cents because they'll have to record 48 cents of losses. So the government will make up the other 48 cents for them. This money will come from the FDIC (the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp). Most of the FDIC's money will eventually come from the Fed as well. So that's how Geithner and Obama plan to do an end run and give trillions more to the banks without having to appear to go to Congress and ask for it directly. It's a shell game. A more clever version of the TARP. Even so, it appears investors are balking. They only want to cherry pick the loans they can make the most profit on. They'll leave most of the securitized loans in the banks.
What about Obama's Housing Affordability Act?
That's a program designed to subsidize the home builders who haven't been able to sell their inventory of new homes still on the market, as well as subsidize the mortgage lenders and mortgage servicers. Eighty percent of the mortgage servicing, by the way, is done by the five largest banks. Little of that $275 billion is earmarked to help the 5-7 million expected to go into foreclosure over the next few years. It's mostly going to subsidize lenders to get them to lower mortgage rates for new buyers looking to buy up the foreclosures and unsold inventory. Modifying principal and interest payments are still largely voluntary by the lenders. There is a provision in the law that would allow a court to enforce a mortgage modification. That's called the cramdown provision. But the banks and lenders are lobbying aggressively to prevent that provision.
There's a lot of talk in the press and from government officials that the real economy is showing green shoots of recovery. What's your take on all that?
Those green shoots are really weeds and crabgrass. It happened last spring when the government passed a $165 billion stimulus package. This year's package is a similar $180 billion, about the same in an economy much worse. It will have the same kind of temporary, tepid effect. Unlike the banking sector, which at least can claim a false appearance of phony bank profits, there isn't even that for the real economy. We have been running job losses of about a million a month, when properly calculated, since last November. We are around 15 million unemployed now. Last December I predicted 20 million jobless by the end of 2009 and we are well on track, and may even exceed that number. That's the key problem right now. You can't get any kind of economic recovery with that kind of continuing job loss. In fact, it's a job loss rate that, at even the official 600,000 a month, tracks almost exactly with what happened in 1929-1930. If the true losses are calculated, we are losing jobs today at a rate even faster than 1929-1930.
The job losses are causing a collapse in consumption, which makes up 70 percent of the U.S. economy. Consumers are also cutting back because of foreclosures, home equity values falling, fears of job loss even if they still have one, worries about their 401ks collapsing further, tighter credit terms from the banks, credit card rate balances rising to 29.99 percent. All these factors will cause further collapse of consumption that in turn will exacerbate the mortgage market problems as well as provoke the crisis in the consumer loan markets (autos, student, credit cards).
Meanwhile, to make matters worse, world trade is in freefall and export sales are plummeting. State and local governments are raising fees and taxes while cutting jobs and services. Business capital spending is down 40 percent. Moody's business research is predicting a tripling of the corporate default rate from around the current 5 percent to more than 15 percent. This is not a scenario even close to recovery.
Are we in a depression yet?
We are not yet in a depression, but we're headed there—fast. Don't forget, the depression of the 1930s was accompanied by unemployment of 25 percent, 30-40 percent if farm labor is included. Production fell nearly 50 percent. Prices fell 50-70 percent. The stock market plummeted 90 percent. The important thing about the Great Depression is that the steep declines of 1929-1934 were associated with a series of four banking crises. In between the banking crises were deepening unemployment, business defaults, collapsing consumption, and falling prices. Roosevelt's second New Deal of 1935-37 didn't end the Depression, it only stopped it from falling further. When business interests forced the beginning of the dismantling of the New Deal in 1937, the economy quickly fell back into depression in 1938 and continued to stagnate thereafter. It wasn't until 1942 that the full recovery occurred. That's World War II. But it's important to know that it wasn't simply spending on bullets and guns that ended the Depression, it was massive government spending on infrastructure, buildings, new factories and such, all financed by the government and taxpayer. That is what ended the Depression. What kept it from coming back in 1945 was the massive shift in income to workers during the war.
Here's two facts that should not be overlooked. First, in 1929 the wealthiest 1 percent of households had 22 percent of all income. By 1945, they had only 8 percent. Their share remained at that level until the late 1970s and then accelerated again. By 2006 the richest 1 percent were back up to 22 percent. In other words, massive shifts in the distribution of income are directly related to depressions. We won't prevent a depression unless we can re-shift income once again, from investors and bankers back to workers and their families. That will take not only a massive jobs creation program, but longer-term programs that re-shift income as well. By longer term, I mean programs like single payer universal health care and the creation of a national retirement pool that guarantees everyone a decent livable retirement.
We must re-unionize the economy. That's why the Employee Free Choice Act (EFCA) is key. Not only because it is a just thing to do, but because unions play a key historic role in ensuring more equitable distribution of income. It's not by accident that the unionization of the economy had fallen to less than 9 percent in 1929 and consumption collapsed so badly and fast in the 1930s. If the workforce were today at the 22 percent union rate in 1980, it would mean 15 million more members in unions. That's 15 million making 25 percent more income a year. That's a trillion dollars a year in spending power. EFCA, single payer health care, and retirement reform are keys to avoiding a depression.
Also essential is the shift of government public investment in the economy. In 1929 the government was only 3 percent of the economy. A rise in government spending to 20 percent in 1935 only checked the Depression's fall but did not ensure recovery. Today, government spending is only 20 percent. We need to increase public investment to 40 percent, the level of spending in 1942. That's what ended the Depression. That does not mean war spending. I'm talking about job-intensive public investment in health care, education, alternative energy, public services, and the like.
You published a recovery program earlier this year. What are some of the major provisions in that plan?
My program calls for spending $1 trillion immediately on job retention and creation, to create 20 million jobs at $50K per job. Second, we must stop the collapse of housing and foreclosures driving that collapse. My program calls for a full nationalization of the residential mortgage and small business property markets. Not a bailout, but a nationalization putting the markets under full government financial and operational control. The program calls as well for nationalizing the consumer credit markets—the auto and student loan markets in particular. I envision a phased deepening of the nationalization of the banking sector. A new banking structure where banking is just another regulated utility, at least the consumer side of that sector. We will also have to fully nationalize the Federal Reserve System, which is too influenced by the banks. This was only partially done in the 1930s.
In addition, the program calls for a longer run redistribution of income by instituting single payer health care, a new national pension pool, passing the EFCA, and a re-unionization of the economy. It also reinstitutes Regulation Q, which was repealed in the 1970s, which puts a single digit ceiling on credit card rates. To help pay for all this, the plan requires the repatriation of the $4-$6 trillion stuffed by wealthy U.S. investors, hedge funds, and corporations in 27 offshore tax havens, which is costing at least $500 billion a year in lost tax revenue. Refusal to put their money back in the U.S. would result in fines every 90 days plus potential criminal violations by repeat refusers. A major restructuring of the tax system is also part of the program, primarily in the form of rolling back capital gains, dividends, inheritance, foreign profits, and other capital incomes taxes to their 1979 levels. Finally, the program calls for the payroll tax to be levied on all forms of incomes, not just wages, at the current tax rate. And a value added tax on all intermediate goods to fund a national retirement pool.
What are some of your predictions for the coming years?
The economy will continue to deteriorate and job losses will rise to 20 million by year end. Home prices will fall another 20 percent, in addition to the roughly 25 percent so far. The Obama-Geithner PIPP-TALF-HASP bank bailout program will produce few and insufficient results. As a consequence, there will be renewed discussion and debate on what form bank nationalization should take. There will be a second economic stimulus bill before the end of the year. Business and consumer defaults will rise precipitously and become more obvious in the news, in particular commercial property defaults and consumer auto-student loan defaults. General Motors will be allowed to enter Chapter 11 and autoworkers will lose their defined benefit pensions. Global economies will continue to weaken, especially Japan, the UK, and Spain. Eastern European countries will be severely impacted, provoking banking problems elsewhere in Europe. Foreign buyers of U.S. bonds—including China—will cut back their purchases, forcing the Federal Reserve to print more money to cover deficits from the bank bailouts. That will set in motion a decline of the dollar as a global currency.
Z Magazine Archive
AnnouncementsLABOR - May 1 is May Day. Workers of the world will celebrate the 124th anniversary of International Worker’s Day. Born out of a call for an 8-hour workday in the United States, this day is an opportunity for all workers to show their solidarity with one another, as well as to renew the call for labor rights.
FARM CONFERENCE - The Farm Conference on Community and Sustainability will be held May 24-26 in Summertown, TN, in partnership with the Fellowship of Intentional Communities. Tour green homes, see sustainable food production, learn about solar installations, alternative education, midwifery, and more.
Contact: Douglas@thefarmcommunity.com; http://www.thefarmcommunity.com/.
PALESTINE - The Conference of the Palestinian Shatat in North American will be held June 3-5 in Vancouver. The conference will examine the future of the Palestinian liberation movement.
Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org; http://www.palestinianconference.org/.
LABOR - The Pacific Northwest Labor History Association’s 45th annual conference will be held May 3-5, in Portland, OR. This year’s theme is Labor Under Attack: Learning from the Past and Preparing for the Future. A call for presentations, workshops and papers is currently underway.
Contact: PNLHA, 27920 68th Ave. East, Graham, WA 98338; 206-406-2604; PNLHA1@aol.com; http://www3.telus.net.
MARIJUANA - On the first Saturday of May marijuana legalization activists will hold informational and educational events, rallies and marches in over 300 cities around the world.
ECONOMICS - The Union For Radical Political Economics will hold its 39th annual conference May 9-11 in New York City.
RECLAIM THE DREAM - The 2013 Poor People’s Campaign & March from Baltimore to Washington D.C. will be May 11. Communities, schools and unions interested in participating are encouraged to contact the Baltimore People’s Assembly.
Contact: 410-500-2168; 410-218-4835; BaltimorePeoplesAssembly@gmail.com; Southern Christian Leadership Conference of Baltimore and the Baltimore Peoples Power Assembly, 2011 N. Charles St., Baltimore, MD 21218.
MOTHER’S DAY - The 17th Annual Mother’s Day Walk For Peace will be May 12th, in Dorchester, MA. The walk began in 1996 for families who had lost children to violence. The day has become a way for thousands of people to financially support the work of the Louis Brown Peace Institute.
Contact: http://www.ldbpeaceinstitute.org/; http://mothersdaywalk4peace.org/.
NATO 5 - An International Week of Solidarity with the NATO 5 has been called for May 16-21. Supports call on supporters to raise awareness of the NATO 5 and support funds for the defendants on the one-year anniversary of their preemptive arrests.
Contact: email@example.com; https://nato5support.wordpress.com.
MOUNTAINTOP - The 2013 Mountain Justice Summer Activist Training Camp will be held May 19-27 in Damascus, VA. It will be a week of workshops, field trips to view Mountain Top Removal coal mines, direct actions, and service project.
FEMINIST SCI-FI - The feminist science fiction convention WisCon 37 is scheduled for May 24-27 in Madison, WI.
Contact: WisCon, ? SF3, PO Box 1624, Madison, WI 53701; firstname.lastname@example.org; http://www.wiscon.info/.
ANARCHY FEST - A month-long Festival of Anarchy is scheduled for May in Montreal. The festival includes The Montreal Anarchist Bookfair (May 19-20).
Contact: http://www.anarchistbookfair.ca/; http://www.radicalmontreal.com/.
LABOR - The International Labor Rights Forum will present: Down the Supply Chain, Driving Corporate Accountability, on May 22 in Washington, DC. The Labor Rights Awards Ceremony and Reception will honor pioneers in supply chain worker organizing, working solidarity and international labor rights policy.
MULTICULTURE - The 26th annual National Conference on Race & Ethnicity in American Higher Education (NCORE) will take place May 28-June 1, in New Orleans.
Contact: SWCHRS, 3200 Marshall Avenue, Suite 290, Norman, OK 73072; 405-325-3694; email@example.com; www.ncore.ou.edu.
MEDIA - The 2013 Alliance for Community Media Annual Conference will be held May 29-31, in San Francisco, CA. Participants will include educators, community leaders, media professionals, journalists, nonprofit leaders, policymakers and students.
RADIO - The 38th Annual Community Radio Conference is schedule for May 29-June 1, in San Francisco, CA, with discussions and workshops.
Contact: 1101 Pennsylvania Ave. NW, Suite 600, Washington, DC 20004; 202-756-2268; firstname.lastname@example.org; http://www.nfcb.org/.
BRADLEY MANNING - On June 1, a rally will be held at Fort Meade in support of Bradley Manning.
BIKES - Bikes Not Bombs is holding its 24th annual Bike-A-Thon and Green Roots Festival in Boston, MA on June 3, with several bike rides scheduled, music, exhibitors and more.
Contact: Bikes Not Bombs, 284 Amory St., Jamaica Plain, MA 02130; 617-522-0222; email@example.com; www.bikesnotbombs.org.
LEFT FORUM - The 2013 Left Forum will be held June 7-9, at Pace University in New York City.
Contact: 365 Fifth Avenue, CUNY Graduated Center, ? Sociology Dept., New York, NY 10016; http://www.leftforum.org/.
VEGAN FEST - Mad City Vegan Fest will be held in Madison, WI, June 8. The annual event features food, speakers, and exhibitors.
Contact: 122 State Street, Suite 405 B, Madison, WI 53701; firstname.lastname@example.org; http://veganfest.org/.
ADC CONFERENCE - The American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC) holds its annual conference June 13-16, in Washington, DC, with panel discussions and workshops on civil rights, media and other topics.
Contact: 1990 M Street, Suite 610, Washington, DC, 20036; 202-244-2990; email@example.com http://convention.adc.org/.
CUBA/SOCIALISM - A Cuban-North American Dialog on Socialist Renewal and Global Capitalist Crisis will be held in Havana, Cuba, June 16-30. There will be a 5 day Seminar at University of Havana, plus visits to a cooperative, urban garden, community development project, social research centers, and educational & medical institutions.
Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org; http://www.globaljusticecenter.org/.
NETROOTS - The 8th Annual Netroots Nation conference will take place June 20-23 in San Jose, CA. The event features panels, trainings, networking, screenings, and keynotes.
Contact: 164 Robles Way, #276, Vallejo, CA 94591; email@example.com; http://www.netrootsnation.org/.
MEDIA - The 15th annual Allied Media Conference will be held June 20-23, in Detroit.
Contact: 4126 Third Street, Detroit, MI 48201; http://alliedmedia.org/.
GRASSROOTS - The United We Stand Festival will be hosted by Free & Equal, June 22 in Little Rock, Arkansas. The festival aims to reform the electoral process throughout the U.S.
SOCIALISM - The Socialism 2013 Conference is scheduled for June 27-30 in Chicago, featuring talks and panel discussions.
Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org; http://www.socialismconference.org.
LITERACY - The National Association for Media Literacy Education (NAMLE) will hold its conference July 12-13 in Los Angeles under the heading, Intersections: Teaching and Learning Across Media.
Contact: 10 Laurel Hill Drive, Cherry Hill, NJ 08003; http://namle.net/conference/.
IWW - The North American Work People’s College will take place July 12-16 at Mesaba Co-op Park in northern Minnesota. The event will bring together Wobblies from branches across the continent to learn new skills and build One Big Union.
PEACESTOCK - On July 13th, the 11th Annual Peacestock: A Gathering for Peace, will take place at Windbeam Farm in Hager City, WI. The event is a mixture of music, speakers and community for peace. Sponsored by Veterans for Peace.
Contact: Bill Habedank, 1913 Grandview Ave., Red Wing, MN 55066; 651-388-7733; email@example.com; http://www.peacestockvfp.org.
CHILDREN’S DEFENSE - July 15-19, join clergy, seminarians, Christian educators, young adult leaders and other faith-based advocates for children at CDF Haley Farm in Clinton, Tennessee, for five days of spiritual renewal, networking, movement building workshops, and continuing education about the urgent needs of children at the 19th annual Proctor Institute for Child Advocacy Ministry.
Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org; http://www.childrensdefense.org.
ACTIVIST CAMP - Youth Empowered Action (YEA) Camp will have sessions in July and August in Ben Lomond, CA; Portland, OR; Charlton, MA. YEA Camp is designed for activists 12-17 years old who want to make a difference in the world.
Contact: email@example.com; http://yeacamp.org/.
LA RAZA - The annual National Council of La Raza (NCLR) Conference is scheduled for July 18-19 in New Orleans, with workshops, presentations and panel discussions.
Contact: NCLR Headquarters Office, Raul Yzaguirre Building, 1126 16th Street, NW, Washington, DC 20036; 202-785-1670; www.nclr.org.
LABOR - The Eastern Conference For Workplace Democracy: Growing Our Cooperatives, Growing Our Communities, will be held at Drexel University in Philadelphia, PA, July 26-28.
Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org; http://east.usworker.coop/.
WOMEN/LYNNE STEWART- Radical Women is asking for support letters and cards to be sent to Lynne Stewart. Stewart is a civil rights attorney and political prisoner who is currently in jail. She has breast cancer and authorities have denied her request for transfer from her Texas prison to the New York City hospital where she received medical attention during a prior bout of breast cancer. Send messages and cards to: Lynne Stewart 53504-054, Federal Medical Center Carswell, P.O. Box 27137, Fort Worth, TX 76127.
Contact: 747 Polk Street, San Francisco, CA 94109; 415-864-1278; RadicalWomenUS@gmail.com; http://lynnestewart.org/; http://www.radicalwomen.org/.
HAITI/WOMEN - Haiti’s government is considering a legal reform measure that would prohibit and punish all sexual assault, including marital rape. MADRE and the International Campaign to Stop Rape & Gender Violence in Conflict are launching a petition to raise international support for this push to address violence against women in Haiti.
Contact: 121 West 27th Street, #301, New York, NY 10001; 212-627-0444; email@example.com; http://www.madre.org.
SYRIA/MIDDLE EAST - The Middle East Children’s Alliance (MECA) is currently seeking funds to assist more than 200,000 refugees fleeing violence in Syria.
FOLK FESTIVAL - The Falcon Ridge Folk Festival will be held August 2-4, in the Berkshires, NY.
Contact: http://www.falconridgefolk.com/; firstname.lastname@example.org.
WAR RESISTERS - The War Resisters League will hold its 90th anniversary conference, Revolutionary Nonviolence: Building Bridges Across Generations and Communities, August 1-4, at Georgetown University. The event will focus on the U.S.’ long history of antimilitarism.
Contact: 339 Lafayette Street, New York, NY 10012; 212-228-0450; email@example.com; http://www.warresisters.org.
POPULAR ECONOMICS - The Center for Popular Economics is holding its 2013 Summer Institute August 4-9 at Hampshire College in Amherst, MA. No background in economics is needed for this intensive training. This year’s theme is, The Care Economy: Building a Just Economy with a Heart.
Contact: Center for Popular Economics, PO Box 785 Amherst, MA 01004; 413-545-0743; firstname.lastname@example.org; www.populareconomics.org.
VETERANS - Veterans for Peace is holding the 28th annual convention August 6-11 in Madison, WI. This year’s theme is, Power To The Peaceful.
DEMOCRACY - The Democracy Convention will take place August 7-11 in Madison, WI. The convention brings together nine conferences including topics such as media, education, defense, race, environment and others.
MEN - The 38th National Conference on Men & Masculinity: Forging Justice: Creating Safe, Equal and Accountable Communities, presented in partnership with HAVEN, will be held in Detroit, MI, August 8-10.
Contact: email@example.com; http://www.nomas.org/.
OCCUPY - An Occupy National Gathering will be held in Kalamazoo, MI, August 21-25.
Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org; http://occupynationalgathering.net/.
COMMUNITIES - The Communities Conference is a networking and learning opportunity for co-operative or communal lifestyles, with workshops, events and entertainment; scheduled for August 30-September 2 at the Twin Oaks Community in Louisa, Virginia.
LABOR DAY - The 29th annual Bread and Roses Festival, a celebration of the ethnic diversity and labor history of Lawrence, MA, will be held September 2, in honor of the 1912 Bread and Roses Strike. There will be music, dance, poetry, drama, ethnic food, historical demonstrations, walking & trolley tours.
Contact: PO Box 1137, Lawrence, MA 01842; 978-794-1655; http://www.breadandrosesheritage.org/.
OCCUPY WALL STREET - September 17 is the two-year anniversary of the Occupy Wall Street movement. Events are planned in New York City and worldwide.
TEACHERS - The 13th Annual Conference, “Teaching for Social Justice: The Politics of Pedagogy,” will be held October 12 in San Francisco, CA. The free event features workshops, resources, and free childcare.
Contact: 415-676-7844; email@example.com; http://www.t4sj.org/.
HAITI - International Action, which brings clean water and chlorinators to Haiti, seeks office space capable of housing up to six people and their office equipment.
Contact: Zach Bremer, Zbrehmer@haitiwater.org; 202-488-0735; http://www.haitiwater.org/.
MEDIA - The Union for Democratic Communications and Project Censored are sponsoring a joint conference on media democracy, media activism and social justice to be held November 1-3 at the University of San Francisco. Proposals for presentations, workshops and panels from activists and critical scholars are invited.