What is the Line?

17 Nov

The Line photo by Joyce Kuh

THE LINE is a Visually Stunning Protest Representing 14 Million Unemployed Americans and Demanding Action from Congress and Corporations.

5,000 Concerned Citizens Form a Three-Mile Line on Broadway, Holding Pink Slips from the Bull at Bowling Green to Union Square from 8:14 to 8:28 A. M. on Super Tuesday, March 6, 2012.

“If all 14 million jobless Americans formed a single unemployment line, it would stretch unbroken around the borders of our entire country (from Portland, Maine to Seattle Washington to San Lucas, California, to Miami, Florida and back to Portland),” said Kristin Marting, Artistic Director of HERE, one of the Line’s organizers. “The Line will remind Congress and Corporations about their responsibility to put America back to work. Creating jobs is the key to a productive America.”

Tal Yarden of NY America said “Things are getting better and Obama’s policies have pulled us back from the brink. That is true, but there is still overwhelming unemployment in America and Congress is doing nothing to help. We need bipartisan collaboration to support the President’s call to action to pass job creation bills that put America first and get us back to work. ”

Mark Plesent of the Working Theater added, “The Line is a call to action and a demand for focus and attention. We want corporations to stop outsourcing our jobs and take responsibility for bringing work back to America. “

Join the Line
“We encourage anyone concerned about American jobs to join us on The Line”, said artist activist Mahayana Landowne, one of the Line core organizers.  We are looking for people willing to stand in for the unemployed for 14 minutes one morning in March. One minute for each of the million unemployed in America today.

We are still welcoming collaborating organizations to help turn out people for this action.  We are also still looking for some more experienced organizers.

Please email us at theline2012@gmail.com if you are interested in getting involved in any of these ways. Let us know what neighborhood is best and how many you will be.

History
The Line is a remake of an action which took place back on September 1, 2004, thousands gathered along three miles of Broadway, from the bull at Wall Street to the Republican Convention at Madison Square Garden. Standing silently for eighteen minutes, they held in their hands pink slips representing the millions of unemployed who were being left behind.  The 2004 action was organized by The Imagine Festival of Arts and Ideas, NY America, People for the American Way,  artists, activists, unions, church groups, and social service organizations.  Here’s a link to some photos from this action: http://www.wastedirony.com/linephoto/.  It was well covered in all the media – here’s a link to a Times piece : http://www.nytimes.com/2004/09/01/nyregion/01CND-PROT.html

Who are we?
THE LINE is being organized by artists and activists from HERE and Working Theater and with organizations as varied as the Arts & Democracy Project, BAAD!, Construction and General Building Laborers’ Local 79, CVH Action, the Civilians, CWA Local 1180, Dance New Amsterdam, DC37, Democracy for NYC, Dixon Place, Downtown Community Television, Fourth Arts Block, Foundry Theatre, The Hemispheric Institute of Performance and Politics, National Jobs for All Coalition, National Organization of Women – NYS, New Georges, New York America, New York City Central Labor Council, NYC Americans for Democratic Action New York Immigration Coalition, New York State Immigration Fund, Occupy Astoria LIC, Occupy Wall Street, Peculiar Works Project, Professional Staff Congress, Remember the Triangle Fire Coalition, Teamsters Local 814, Theatre for a New City, UAW, UFT, United NY, Workers Defense League, and Workers United. List in formation. We are also supported by Art is My Occupation.

Photos from Today’s Action

6 Mar

http://theline.smugmug.com/Portfolio/Best-of/

 

and some more courtesy of Tim Krause

http://www.flickr.com/photos/33498942@N04/sets/72157629161656716/with/6812847556/

Thank you everyone!

6 Mar

Thanks to everyone for their participation! You really made the difference.

We had a good turnout (despite the cold), particularly near the Bull and up by Union Square  — Lots of interested passersby and great media coverage – watch for TV, radio and print media over the next day or two.

Keep the conversation going by writing your congresspersons and insisting they pass job creation bills  and by writing corporations you do business with and insisting they stop outsourcing and bring jobs back to America.

Thank you so much.

Kristin, Yana, Mark and Tal

 

 

 

What You Can Write to Corporations

5 Mar

Dear CEO:

I am a concerned customer who supports your company by buying your products.

I stand with thousands of others who support the 14 million Unemployed in America.  We need companies like you to help our country’s economy through stopping outsourcing and putting Americans back to work!

I cannot in good conscience continue to buy your products until your policies change. There are many who feel like I do. It is in your long-term economic interest to support your community’s values and invest locally.

Thank you for supporting America.

What You Can Write to Congress

5 Mar

(Find your local Congressperson here )

Dear Senator or Representative:

I am a concerned citizen. I stand with thousands of others who support the 14 million Unemployed in America.  We need you to represent us by taking action. Support our country’s economic sustainability through the passage of currently pending jobs creation bills. Put us back to work! Vote yes on:

• H.R. 870, the Humphrey-Hawkins 21st Century Full Employment & Training Act which creates jobs and job training programs for the unemployed.

• HR 2914, the Emergency Jobs to Restore the American Dream Act which will strengthen our communities through jobs program focused on improving our schools, parks, homes and emergency services.

• HR 402, the National Infrastructure Development Bank Act of 2011 which will create jobs to strengthen our infrastructure extends unemployment insurance benefits.

• HR 494, the 21st Century Civilian Conservation Corps Act and HR 724/S 591, The Security in Energy and Manufacturing (SEAM) Act, both of which build a revitalized, green economy by investing in jobs that help the environment.

• HR 11, the Build America Bonds to Create Jobs Now Act, which spurs job creation here at home.

• HR 1901, the “Saving America’s Youth: the Youth Employment Act of 2011, which creates summers jobs for youth.

• HR 1366/S 751, the National Manufacturing Strategy Act of 2011, which creates a national manufacturing strategy.

This can can be paid for through a modest tax on Wall Steet  tax and bond transactions, higher tax brackets for millionaires/billionaires, and eliminating subsidies for Big Oil and tax loopholes for corporations that send American jobs overseas.

Millions of people can be put to work right now rebuilding our country.  New skills training will, not only, ensure a highly trained, educated workforce, but begin to prime the pump for future U.S. manufacturing innovation. Investment tax credits could help businesses upgrade their plants, tools and machinery. And tough Buy American laws will stimulate the economy and create jobs here at home – not overseas!

It’s time for the jobless to receive their fair share. More than 14 million Americans – unemployed through no fault of their own – are pleading desperately for your help. The time has come to leverage their many talents and put them back to work.

I urge your support of these proposals.

Thank you for supporting America.

Pending Job Creation Legislature

5 Mar

Thanks to our partner organization, National Jobs for All Coalition (njfac.org), for providing this up-to-date list of Pending Job Creation Legislation

Representative John Conyers (D-MI) has introduced H.R. 870, the Humphrey-Hawkins 21st Century Full Employment & Training Act with 19 cosponsors. This is a comprehensive and innovative federal and local government job creation and training bill that would create millions of new jobs for the nation’s unemployed.  The Act’s Full Employment Trust Fund would provide federal funding for local community-based job creation and training initiatives until full employment is reached in the United States. The Act is deficit neutral and fully funded through a modest tax on Wall Street stock and bond transactions.

http://putamericatowork.net/

 

HR 2914, the Emergency Jobs to Restore the American Dream Act, introduced by Rep. Jan Schakowsky and 48 cosponsors, would create 2.2 million jobs over two years, to meet critical needs and strengthen communities.  The bill creates a national School Improvement Corps to rehabilitate school buildings; a Park Improvement Corps for youth between the ages of 16 and 25; a Student Job Corps for college students; a Neighborhood Heroes Corps to hire teachers, police officers and firefighters; a Health Corps to expand access to care in underserved neighborhoods; a Child Care Corps; and a Community Corps to rehabilitate and weatherize homes and promote recycling and rural conservation..  The legislation gives the unemployed priority for jobs, particularly those who have exhausted their unemployment benefits (the “99ers”), and veterans.   The $227 billion cost of the Act would be paid for through separate legislation to create higher tax brackets for millionaires and billionaires, and by eliminating  subsidies for Big Oil and tax loopholes for corporations that send American jobs overseas.

http://schakowsky.house.gov/

 

HR 402, the National Infrastructure Development Bank Act of 2011, has been introduced by Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-CT) with 70 cosponsors.  The legislation establishes a National Infrastructure Development Bank, an independent body designed to evaluate and finance infrastructure projects of substantial regional and national significance.  Eligible infrastructure projects would include transportation (including highways, transit, inland waterways, rail and air travel), the environment (including development of drinking and wastewater facilities); energy (including renewable energy transmission and building efficiency); and telecommunications and broadband development.  The Bank would be capitalized with authorized appropriations of $5 billion a year for 5 years as paid in capital and would sunset 15 years after it is signed into law.   A similar bill, S. 652, the Senate BUILD Act, introduced by Sen. John Kerry with 10 cosponsors, would establish an American Infrastructure Financing Authority (AIFA), a type of national infrastructure bank, an independent body designed to evaluate and finance infrastructure projects of substantial regional and national significance.

http://www.asce.org/

HR 494, the 21st Century Civilian Conservation Corps Act, introduced by Rep. Marcy Kaptur (D-OH) with 19 cosponsors, would establish a Civilian Conservation Corps to employ unemployed or underemployed U.S. citizens in the construction, maintenance, and improvement projects related to parks and natural resources, including forestation of U.S. and state lands, prevention of forest fires, floods, and soil erosion, and construction and repair of National Park System paths and trails.  The bill would be funded at a level of $16 billion a year from fiscal year 2012 through fiscal year 2015.

http://www.facebook.com/21stCenturyCCC

HR 724/S 591, The Security in Energy and Manufacturing (SEAM) Act, introduced by Rep. Steven Rothman (D-NJ) with 17 cosponsors and Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) with 5 cosponsors, would renew the Advanced Energy Manufacturing Tax Credit program, also known as 48C, which provides investment tax credits of 30% for facilities that manufacture energy equipment. Currently, 70 percent of clean energy components are manufactured outside of the United States.

http://www.americanmanufacturing.org/

HR 11, the Build America Bonds to Create Jobs Now Act, introduced by Rep.  Gerry Connolly (D-VA) with 18 cosponsors to spur job creation here at home. These bonds have been an effective tool in job creation, having helped finance $181 billion in critical infrastructure projects, such as schools, hospitals, roads, courthouses, public safety facilities and equipment, water and sewer projects, environmental projects, energy projects, public buildings, government housing projects and public utilities.   http://www.democraticleader.gov/floor?id=0423

HR 1901, the “Saving America’s Youth: the Youth Employment Act of 2011” (SAY YEA!),  introduced by Rep. Bobby Rush (D-IL) with 22 cosponsors, would create summer jobs for disconnected youth.  The bill would provide $6.5 billion dollars for youth employment while offering tax incentives for businesses that hire employees ages 16 to 21 years of age.  The bill funds a national public service employment program that focuses on jobs in parks, education and rebuilding infrastructure.   According to Rep. Rush, “…the unemployment rate for Americans between the ages of 16 and 19 had reached a Depression-era level of 25.5 percent.  That percentage, which translated into an estimated 1.5 million unemployed youth, was the highest level it had ever been in the 50-plus years that the U. S. Labor Department has been tracking those records.”

http://rush.house.gov/

HR 1366/S 751, the National Manufacturing Strategy Act of 2011, introduced by Rep. Daniel Lipinski (D-IL) with 41 cosponsors, and Senators Sherrod Brown (D-OH) and Mark Kirk (D-IL) in the Senate, expresses the sense of Congress that: (1) the U.S. government should promote policies related to the nation’s manufacturing sector intended to promote growth, sustainability, and competitiveness, create well-paying jobs, enable innovation and investment, and support national security; and (2) the President and Congress should act promptly to pursue policies consistent with a National Manufacturing Strategy (Strategy).   The bill directs the President to submit a national manufacturing strategy to the Congress every four years.

http://www.americanmanufacturing.org/

 

OTHER NOTEWORTHY PROPOSALS & BILLS

 

Energy Independence Plan: The Apollo Alliance has proposed a 10-year plan to get the U.S. to energy independence by investing in clean and renewable energy, including energy efficiency and conservation and green vehicles.  The plan would require an annual investment of $50 billion each year for 10 years, but it wouldactually pay for itself through public sector savings and avoiding costs of imported oil and fossil fuel consumption.

http://www.apolloalliance.org/

 

Mass Transit Plan:  “Make it in America: The Apollo Clean Transportation Manufacturing Action Plan” calls for sustained investments to harness transit and clean vehicle building here in the U.S., investments that would result in 3.7 million jobs in the next 6 years. Of those new jobs, 600,000 alone would be in the manufacturing sector.

http://www.apolloalliance.org/

 

Unemployed Workers:  HR 589, the Emergency Unemployment Compensation Expansion Act of 2011, introduced by Reps. Barbara Lee (D-CA) and Bobby Scott (D-VA), with 89 cosponsors, would add 14 weeks of benefits to the first “tier” of Emergency Unemployment Compensation, one of two programs that together give the unemployed up to 73 weeks of federally-funded benefits for workers who exhaust 26 weeks of state benefits. The full 73 weeks are available in states with unemployment above 8.5%. http://american99ersunion.com/

Route and Outreach Update

1 Mar

We have a coalition of over 30 awesome art, activists and labor organizations participating. Woo hoo!

We are currently planning  that our route will stretch 3 miles from the Bull at Bowling Green to Union Square.

But if we have a big groundswell of last minute folks over next couple of days, then we will expand  to Madison Square then to Times Square.

Help us get the word out widely these last few days:

eblast info under Flyers/Eblast tab on this site -

https://www.facebook.com/events/260930897301189/

#theline2012

InterOccupy Arts Call | Wed Feb 22 | 10pm Eastern/7pm Pacific

21 Feb

Artists as Bridges: 

How are artists connecting Occupy 

and other movements for economic and social justice?


As Occupy and ‘The 99%’ movement expands, it continues to deepen its connections with communities and issues of all kinds. On this call, we will hear from artists who are doing powerful, innovative work of ‘bridging’, using the unique power of art, music, performance and spectacle to connect Occupy to new issues and communities, and vice versa.


Presentations:
Housing and Foreclosures  | The Singing Auction Blockade
Michael Premo and Rachel Falcone, Housing is a Human Right
Immigrant Rights | The World vs. The 1% | Undocumented and Awkward
Favianna Rodriguez – Just Seeds, Presente!
Julio Salgado – Dreamers Adrift

Unemployment  & Jobs | The Line
Kristin Marting,  Artist

Prisons & Incarceration | TruthMobs
Denise Mewbourne, Occupy4Prisoners

Food Justice, Farming and Urban Gardens | Occupy Our Food Supply!
Seth Wulsin, Occupy Gardens NYC

There will be breakouts sessions where we will all have a chance to discuss questions about how to make these  connections stronger, and continue to build the occupy movement.

For links to the artists’ projects:

http://www.artismyoccupation.org/Interoccupy_call_artists_as_bridges/

If you have never registered for one of these calls, you can register here
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