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M19 - Activists with Direct Action to Stop the War Blockade Federal Reserve

by Anonymous
On March 19, 2008, activists from Direct Action to Stop the War blockaded the Federal Reserve Building in San Francisco, in protest of that institution's links to the war in Iraq.
The Federal Reserve is the nation’s central bank. Its unelected managers set the ‘discount rate,’ and thus wield enormous power over the U.S. economy. The Fed has played an integral role in creating a dangerously balanced war economy – and, in recent days, as that economy has begun to unravel, the Fed has stepped in to pay billions in public money to protect rapacious Wall Street investors, while millions of poor Americans suffer the effects of those investors’ greed.

The Fed: Helping Steal Money from the Iraqi People

According to Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative journalists Donald Barlett and James Steele, the Federal Reserve shipped $12 billion in U.S. currency to the U.S.-run military government of Iraq in 2003-2004. This cash came from the notoriously corrupt U.N. “Oil for Food” program – in which the Saddam Hussein dictatorship used its total control over the Iraqi oil supply to create a mutual-benefit kickback scheme that enormously enriched foreign and Iraqi government officials.

In May 2003, the U.N. Security Council turned the remaining “Oil for Food funds over to the U.S. military government in Iraq. According to Barlett and Steele, this cash – $12 billion – was shipped from the New York Federal Reserve to Iraq in June 2003. This money was then used to pay for “reconstruction” contracts for huge U.S. corporations such as Halliburton, Bechtel, and the Washington Group – contracts which have since become notorious for their corruption and lack of oversight. Barlett and Steele allege that $9 billion of this $12 billion that the Fed shipped to Iraq is unaccounted for.

The Federal Reserve has thus been intimately complicit in one of the biggest money laundering schemes of all time. This $12 billion was first stolen from the Iraqi people, and used to enrich the Iraqi government and corrupt politicians. The Federal Reserve then conspired with the U.S. military government of Iraq to give this money away to greedy U.S. war-profiteering corporations, who failed to fulfill their contracts to rebuild Iraqi schools, hospitals, and infrastructure. This money has thus been stolen twice from the Iraqi people – and the Federal Reserve has been intimately complicit in its theft.

The Fed: Helping Protect the War Economy

The Federal Reserve – managed by seven unelected governors, who are appointed for 14-year terms – is one of the most powerful entities in the world. By adjusting the discount rate, the Fed enables banks to lend out a greater or lesser proportion of their reserves – and thus essentially creates money out of thin air. The Fed thus has enormous control over interest rates, inflation, and the U.S. economy as a whole.

In the past five years, the Fed has used that power to help build an unsustainable war economy. The U.S. government has spent $2.8 trillion on the U.S. military since 2003 – more money than the military budgets of all the other countries in the world combined. According to Nobel Prize-winning economist Joe Stiglitz, “to offset those costs, the Federal Reserve has flooded the economy with liquidity [easily investable cash], looked the other way when you needed tighter regulation, and that’s what led to the housing bubble, the consumption boom. And we were living off of borrowed money. The war was totally financed by deficits. And eventually, a day of reckoning had to come, and now it’s come.”

In recent days, the Federal Reserve has spent billions bailing out collapsing Wall Street investment firms, such as Bear Stearns. The Fed has played an integral role in creating this unsustainable war economy, and is now spending billions in public money to protect Wall Street firms whose lending practices played a major role in precipitating the war economy’s collapse. Meanwhile, poor Americans are losing their jobs, and are being evicted from their homes.

Direct Action to Stop the War: Shutting Down War Profiteers

The affinity group that is shutting down the Fed today is part of Direct Action to Stop the War (DASW). We are taking nonviolent direct action today in order to bring the war home to the Bay Area’s elected and unelected political leadership, and to the corporations who profit off of war. We are outraged that the U.S. government continues to wage – and fund – a war that has killed nearly 4,000 U.S. soldiers and hundreds of thousands of Iraqis, and bankrupted the U.S. economy.

We cannot rely on politicians to end this war for us – the war will only end when we take action against those who profit from the suffering and destruction of disenfranchised Iraqi, Afghani, and American people.

No business as usual until all U.S. troops are withdrawn from Iraq and Afghanistan!
§Arrest 1
by Anonymous
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Comments (Hide Comments)
by irish lover
A picky little point, I know, but could you please not call it a "PADDYwagon"? Just call it a wagon, no need to keep perpetuating an old ethnic slur against Irish folx
by reality check
thank you DASW for this powerful action.

it is so refreshing to see serious protest that doesn't include people in pink costumes, stupid pink crowns or clown suits. Code Pink could learn a lot from DASW;
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