Occupy Astoria LIC invites everyone to join us for a day of public outrage and education, Wed June 27. #OccupyTheCiti with us from 8am-8pm at the Citigroup Building in Long Island City. (event invitation) (share facebook event) (back to Citi main)

Our Message Is To Our Fellow People –
Especially the Ones Working In This Building

The City Is Bigger Than The Citi

On June 27 we will be at the plaza in front of the Citigroup Building in Long Island City. This is a fully public space under the building owners’ contract with New York City.

The Citicorp Building, as it was originally called, was built in the late 1980s in violation of the local zoning regulations. In exchange, the owners were required to provide a “privately-owned public space” (POP) under the terms of their contract with New York City.

Under the law, this space must be kept open to the public 24 hours a day.

We will be exercising our rights, protected by the First Amendment, to peaceably assemble and engage in free speech.

We will not be at the Citigroup office building to ask favors from Citigroup, but to speak to We, the People.

We know a great many good people work in the Citigroup building, just to make a living for yourselves and your families. Our action is not against you, but against what your company does. We don’t blame you for holding down a job and doing what you must to survive in this economy. Our action will not block or impede you from getting to work on June 27.

Contrary to what you may hear in the sensationalist media, the majority of Occupy people are employed in jobs like yours. We share the same struggles to pay the bills. Like you, we are of the 99 percent.

You Are Invited to the Public Space

With this action, Occupy Astoria LIC wishes to bring attention to the continued abuses of Citigroup’s corporate management. We hope to generate discussion and action that we believe is in everyone’s interest.

We invite you to pay us a visit. Knowledgeable and engaging speakers will be holding an impromptu seminar on the real economic situation in this country and the world, and Citigroup’s dishonorable role in it.

But this is also a chance for you to share your own grievances, your own concerns, your own visions of how the world might be.

We know there are people inside Citigroup and the other “zombie banks” who know where the bodies are buried, who can reveal the inner workings, who have seen the documents. The world needs courageous whistleblowers, and there are so many opportunities nowadays to do it anonymously. (But do be careful!)

We know most of the people working inside Citigroup’s many office towers have a clean conscience. Yet one day, sooner than any of us think, you may look and see the world being ruined, and the people impoverished, so that the 1 percent who already own 40 percent of the wealth and who receive 30 percent of the income can get even more, and you may agree with us:

“Enough is Enough – Time for a General Strike.”

Our nation must re-invent banking as a public utility in the public service.

We must never again give bailouts to monster banks. Banks that fail should be liquidated. Their executives should be fired, not rewarded. They should not be allowed to commit balance-sheet frauds (like not marking assets to actual market price). “Too Big to Fail” should mean “Too Big to Exist.”

Corporate executives (like public servants) who commit fraud must be investigated and prosecuted, so that they do not become an inspiration for total systemic corruption.

We need debt relief for the people, fair living wages, fair terms of credit, and the opportunity to get an education and insure our health-care coverage without crushing debt.

With the bankers, big corporations and the super-rich holding the power over government and economy, our best hope for real change is in People Power.

We all have a part to play. At least one thing is in your power to do immediately:

You can move your money.

If you have an account with Citigroup or another TBTF, this is helping them. You may have been slapped with unjust and exorbitant fees and penalties. It is in your power to open an account with a local credit union, and move your money. Deposits at a credit union are insured by the federal government FDIC program, just like with the big banks. The fees are generally lower, the services much the same, and the money will work for you and your neighborhood. You can use the NCUA Credit Union Locator to find a credit union in your own neighborhood that you may qualify for.

Since the 2008 crash, millions of people have chosen to move their accounts away from the zombie banks. The cumulative total may not seem like much compared to trillions, but every little bit counts. It adds up, and more importantly: you are discovering your own power.

Who Are We?

Occupy Wall Street is only a beginning. It has inspired a national movement of hundreds of self-organized local groups. Occupy Astoria LIC is hosting today’s action, but we are only one seed of many. We live around the neighborhood, and we act locally, but we understand that some of the biggest neighborhood problems have global causes.

Please don’t look to us as though we must be the leaders of a movement, or expect us to be all things to all people. Confronting injustice and giving life to democracy is up to all of us.

We the People need to organize ourselves, to start thousands of independent local groups working for change, to create local self-sufficiency, to plant gardens in every sense, to help each other as neighbors – even as we take our part in the long, worldwide social struggle to shift the power away from those who care only for accumulating wealth, and to become a self-empowered, democratic nation.

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