Wednesday, June 20, 2012

US campaigners launch Robin Hood tax plan on Wall Street excess, FSRN's survival is coming down to the wire.

US campaigners launch Robin Hood tax plan to outlaw Wall Street excess

Mark Ruffalo among stars calling for tax of less than 1% on Wall St transactions because the 'government is robbing our people'

Actor Mark Ruffalo and Rage Against the Machine's Tom Morello have launched a new US campaign for a "Robin Hood tax", a small levy on Wall Street transactions that organisers say could generate hundred of billions of dollars a year.

The campaign, backed by National Nurses United, the largest nursing union in the US, has already launched in 14 countries, including the UK, France and Germany.

Organisers of the campaign, which also features Coldplay singer Chris Martin, are calling for a tax of "less than half of 1%" on Wall Street transactions, which they say would not affect most Americans' financial activity.

Adopting the 99% language of the Occupy movement, the campaign said the tax would "easy to enforce and tough to evade".

"This is a tax on Wall Street, which created the greatest economic crisis in our nation and globally since the Great Depression," a statement said on the movement's website.

"The same people who have returned to record profits and bonuses while ordinary Americans, the 99%, continue to pay the price of their crisis."

*** Click on  for 2 great videos***

A video released to coincide with the launch encourages supporters to take a $1 bill and draw a Robin Hood-style hat on George Washington's head along with a mask over his eyes "because the government is robbing our people at this particular point".

In a blogpost on the campaign's website, Ruffalo said that the "tragic irony" of the financial crisis was that "while ordinary Americans are still picking up the pieces today, those most responsible – Wall Street – have returned to their stranger-than-fiction reality".

"A Robin Hood Tax would raise revenue from Wall Street while reining in their worst excesses – helping to rebalance the American economy," Ruffalo said.

"For all these big ambitions, the tax is surprisingly small: less than half of 1%, or about 50¢ on every $100 of trades. It would apply not to ordinary Americans (the rate is set so low precisely to avoid impacting ordinary people and businesses) but to Wall Street's sprawling, churning predatory casino-style trading that helped drive the financial crisis. We're talking high-frequency trades carried out by computer algorithms, billion-dollar bets on currency fluctuations, credit default swaps and other derivatives.

"Because these financial markets have grown so large, the tax is capable of raising hundreds of billions of dollars a year. Money that could stop foreclosures, fund new jobs and help repair the social safety net in the US."

Since the first Robin Hood Tax campaign launched in the UK in 2010 it has been supported by economists, charities and various celebrities. Bill Gates gave his backing to the tax last year, presenting a report – Innovation with Impact – commissioned by Nicolas Sarkozy to the G20 meeting in Cannes.

The US campaign launch comes after hundreds of registered nurses travelled to Chicago in May, demonstrating with Rage Against the Machine guitarist Tom Morello for the Robin Hood Tax ahead of the Nato summit.

On Tuesday supporters were expected to rally at JP Morgan Chase's offices in New York, the demonstration coinciding with JP Morgan chief executive Jamie Dimon appearing in front of Congress. Dimon will be quizzed by the house financial services committee over his bank losing $2bn on high-risk derivative trading.

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---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Barbara Bilson <>
Date: Tue, Jun 19, 2012 at 6:53 PM
Subject: Fwd: FSRN's survival is coming down to the wire.
To: Joyce Leanse <>

I may have already sent you the request by my granddaughter Alice to support FSRN--the radio station Free Speech Radio News--for whom she is the Washington D.C. reporter, but here's a plea from the management with some information you might find helpful in making your decision to support the station.

FSRN is the nightly news feed for the Pacifica stations (KPFK and KPFA in California), and you can hear Alice every week night after the 6:00 p.m. headlines (usually about 6:05).

Please send this on to whomever you think will be responsive, for we need news outlets like FSRN that present news that often doesn't get reported in mainstream media.

I and all people concerned with having media free from corporate and government influence thank you.

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: FSRN - Alan Searle <>
Date: Tue, Jun 19, 2012 at 3:17 PM
Subject: FSRN's survival is coming down to the wire.

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Free Speech Radio News
FSRN's survival is coming down to the wire.

Without continuing donations, large and small, Free Speech Radio News could go off the air Please donate now.

Why is this happening?

In early May 2012, our major funder reported an inability to meet its obligations for operating support. There is hope the money will come through in time to prevent FSRN from going off the air, but this is not certain.

As of today (June 19), we have enough money to operate into July. That's it. When our bank account dips below a certain point, we will have to issue layoff notices.

Couldn't you see this coming?

In fact we did. At the beginning of 2012 we started a process to upgrade our website and enhance our online presence, build fundraising capacity and begin more aggressive marketing of FSRN to both radio stations and funders. If things had gone according to plan, you would be reading this message on a newly-built website with broad multi-media capability and tools to help us start up new streams of revenue. We still hope to do this, but had to use the funds for this project to keep our daily operations going. We plan to complete the project once we stabilize our income again.

Is FSRN alone in this?

No. This type of financial pressure is being felt all over the independent media sector. FSRN is not the only progressive news outlet taking drastic measures to stay alive. Fortunately, FSRN listeners are very loyal, and understand the importance of Free Speech Radio News. You are helping us meet this challenge, and we appreciate your generosity.

What can I do about it?

Donate: Free Speech Radio news is unique and irreplaceable in today's homogenous media landscape, so keep the flame burning at FSRN. If you have not yet answered our appeals, now is the time. The $10 donor is as important as the $10,000 donor, so please donate everything you can.

You understand FSRN's value, and share our values: we're independent; we're fair, and we're free from government and corporate spin; we report with integrity. We bring you stories from around the world that are un-reported, under-reported, or that some would like to censor. We report on how policies affect people. We report on the issues you care about that are hard to find elsewhere.

Spread the word: Forward our e-mail appeals to friends and family, send links to our stories through Twitter and Facebook. On Twitter, use the hashtag #savefsrn.

Free Speech Radio News was built with grassroots efforts, and uses a grassroots model for our reporting - with more than 200 free-lance correspondents around the world, in places you don't often hear from elsewhere. In just the past couple weeks, you heard FSRN reports from: Lagos, Nigeria; St. Petersburg, Russia; Srinigar, Kashmir; Bethlehem and Jerusalem; Calapan, Philippines and more. Our global coverage is unparalleled and uncompromising. It would be a huge loss if we were to go off the air.

Get Involved: If you are able to take a personal role in our fundraising, would like to discuss a major gift, or have other ideas or suggestions, please contact me directly. Together, we can save FSRN.

Ideas? Comments? Suggestions? Please contact me directly.

Alan Searle
Development Director
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Free Speech Radio News | Alan Searle - FSRN | 147 NW 1st St. | Box 381 | Toledo | OR | 97391

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