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by Eric Hammer | FTMDaily Contributing Writer
TEL AVIV, Mar 24 – In a move that some right wing bloggers are referring to as “economic terrorism,” a former president of the SEIU (Service Employees International Union), Stephen Lerner, gave a talk at Pace University recently where he proposed a plan to destabilize certain Wall Street institutions in an effort to force them to take seriously the demands of workers and to “give back the $17 trillion that they stole.”
The plan has been largely ignored by the mainstream press. However, given the fact that the plan offers a great deal of detail to help union members and other community activists to plan this destabilization plan, calls have been issued, most notably by right wing Fox News commentator Glenn Beck for an investigation by the Department of Justice.
The proposals offered by Mr. Lerner include:
1. Double the Number of People Who Stop Paying Mortgages – His theory is that as many as 25% of all mortgages are currently underwater. This has led to a number of people deciding that they would rather live rent free for a year or more while the bank forecloses on the home than continue trying to pay the mortgage. Mr. Lerner suggested that if the number of people engaged in this activity were to double from present levels, it would “bring the banks to their knees.”
2. Force Large Banks to Renegotiate Loans—In this plan, Mr. Lerner suggests the idea that his economic destabilization could be accomplished with the help of city and state governments who would be called on to threaten to default on their loans (most city and state governments have massive amounts of debt on their books) unless banks renegotiate the loans to offer better terms and also renegotiate mortgages to allow everyone to stay in their homes.
3. Student Debt Strike—Mr. Lerner points out that student debt accounts for some $1 trillion in loans. If there were a mass protest by students and former students to refuse to pay their student loans back, this could also bring many banks and the Federal Government (which guarantees many such loans) to the brink of disaster.
4. Mass Strike to Renegotiate Local Debt—The idea here is that the unions would threaten a mass strike by all workers unless banks agree to renegotiate the debt they have with cities and states, which is largely responsible for the layoffs currently taking place in local governments across the country.
Mr. Lerner went on to say that he believes that unions cannot do this on their own and instead he calls on the masses to “bring down the stock market” and interfere with “their [referring presumably to Wall Street bankers] ability to be rich.” He specifically targets JP Morgan Chase as a company “to hate,” targeting that company for mass protests “beginning in the first week of May.” The plan is to include things like civil disobedience and mass protests at board meetings for the company.
Mr. Lerner declined to give further details of his economic destabilization plans explaining his reluctance by saying, “I don’t know which police agents are in the room.” The talk was not videotaped, however an audio recording was apparently made and released on YouTube and in other locations for those interested in hearing what was said.
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