July 28, 2011
Formally launched at a June 23, 2011 New York City rally which was keynoted by Van Jones and co-sponsored by MoveOn.org, the American Dream Movement (ADM) vows to “stand up to say ‘No’ to right-wing attacks on the middle class”—attacks that allegedly have placed “the American Dream … under siege.” “Instead of investing in our shared future,” ADM charges, conservative politicians are “giving tax breaks to the rich,” “slashing vital services families depend on,” and “trying to gut workers’ rights.” As evidence of these trends, ADM cites the example of Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker’s February 2011 “power grab”—a reference to Walker’s request that state workers in Wisconsin, who earned significantly more (in salaries and benefits) than their private-sector counterparts, should begin to contribute a small percentage toward their own pension and healthcare costs in order to help keep the state’s financially ravaged economy solvent. To Jones and ADM, the governor’s suggestion was both extreme and unreasonable.
The earliest public harbinger of ADM’s imminent founding was a February 22, 2011 Huffington Post article in which Van Jones outlined “the steps needed to renew and redeem the American Dream”:
“Increase revenue for America’s government sensibly by making Wall Street and the super-rich pay their fair share.”
“Reduce spending responsibly by cutting the real fat—like corporate welfare for military contractors, big agriculture and big oil.”
“Simultaneously protect the heart and soul of America—our teachers, nurses and first responders.”
“Guarantee the health, safety and success of our children and communities by leaving the muscle and bone of America’s communities intact.”
“Maintain the American Way by treating employees with dignity and respecting their right to a seat at the bargaining table.”
“Rebuild the middle class—and pathways into it—by fighting for a ‘made in America’ innovation and manufacturing agenda, including trade and currency policies that honor American workers and entrepreneurs.”
“Stand for the idea that, in a crisis, Americans turn TO each other—and not ON each other.”
A few days after the publication of Van Jones’ article, a host of “American Dream” protests and rallies—conceived by Jones—were staged in numerous cities across the United States. Most of these events had a heavy socialist and anarchist presence, particularly the main gathering in Washington, DC where Jones himself delivered a speech. The permit for that DC rally was filed by the International Socialist Organization.
In May 2011, MoveOn.org produced and posted a YouTube video designed to help introduce the “American Dream Movement” to the public and to lay some groundwork for the organization’s scheduled launch of June 23. The video made it appear that the electronic ticker outside the Manhattan headquarters of Rupert Murdoch’s News Corporation, the parent company of Fox News, had been hacked and reprogrammed with a script that read:
“We are being lied to. Right wingers are destroying the middle class and trying to kill our unions. The country is not broke. We are the richest country in the world. USA is twice as rich as China. Our economy is bigger than most of Europe combined. We are not broke. We are being lied to. We will rise up We will fight back. We will spread the truth.”
These themes were revisited at ADM’s June 23 kickoff event, where Jones focused his message on the U.S. economy and the allegedly dangerous falsehoods which the political right was promulgating. Most notably, said Jones, the notion that America was on the precipice of bankruptcy was a blatant lie—the implication being that conservatives’ calls for governments to show fiscal restraint were nothing more than scare tactics. He also asserted that raising taxes on the wealthy would cause no harm to the economy: “You do well in America, you should do well by America.” Moreover, Jones called for a “gambling tax on Wall Street” (which would take 1/10 of one cent for each stock trade), a rollback of the Bush-era tax cuts, the recall of U.S. troops in Afghanistan and Iraq, and the elimination of government subsidies for the oil industry.
On its website, ADM lists some six-dozen partner organizations that share its major agendas. These groups include, among others: 350.org, AFSCME, America Votes, Americans for Democratic Action, Campaign for America’s Future, Campus Progress, the Center on Wisconsin Strategy, Change To Win, Code Pink, Color of Change, the Daily Kos, Democracy For America, the Economic Policy Institute, the Ella Baker Center for Human Rights, Faithful America, Green for All, MoveOn, People for the American Way, Planned Parenthood, Progressive Democrats of America, the Progressive States Network, the Sierra Club, True Majority, USAction, and the Working Families Party. According to an independent news source, the AFL-CIO, the Service Employees International Union, and the Center for Community Change are also partners of ADM.
Source; http://www.discoverthenetworks.org/groupProfile.asp?grpid=7686&utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed:+fpmdtn+(FrontPage+Magazine+%C2%BB+Discover+the+Networks) (28 July, 2011)