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As the worst worldwide economic crisis since the 1930s enters its fifth year, working people and young people have risen up in ways and in places that no one could have predicted—beginning with the public suicide of a fresh fruit vendor in Tunisia, which ultimately led to the fall of the Tunisian government. Wihin months the “Arab Spring” had brought down the most powerful dictator in the Middle East, Egypt’s Hosni Mubarak. The Arab Spring spread to the European Summer, with strikes and demonstrations erupting in Spain, Greece, Italy, Britain, and other countries. And then in September 2011, the people of the United States, starting with debt-burdened students and other young people, began to rise up against those whom they call the “1%,” as opposed to the “99%,” which in reality is the working class and its allies. It began in a small park in the financial district of New York City and quickly spread throughout the United States.
No one, least of all those of us who build the Labor Standard website, knows how long or how far the Occupy Wall Street movement can go. We only know that it has spread far and wide beyond Wall Street, including to cities and towns previously thought of as conservative “Middle America.” We know that neither the bankers and businessmen, whose insatiable greed created this crisis, nor the politicians and bureaucrats who serve them have the least idea how to respond to the young people who are camped in New York’s Zuccotti Park, now renamed “Liberty Park,” and other “Occupy” sites quite literally from San Diego up to Maine. It is Labor Standard’s intention not to “respond” but to be involved in the struggle as it evolves and moves forward, to listen and learn as well as to share the experience we have gained from struggles in past decades.
It began as the American Autumn, but as the movement intensifies during the spring, we will share information and analysis from this evolving fightback day by day. That applies to the continuing Arab Spring and European Summer as well. And we will continue to bring you information on the trade union movement, the campaign to end imperialist wars, and the continuing struggle to stop the environmental destruction of our planet. Our commitment to analyzing that information for the purpose of advancing the cause of bringing the working class to power throughout the world is as firm as ever. The difference is that before our eyes those ideas are being transformed into genuine action, at a level we have not seen in decades. Welcome to the new Labor Standard on the Internet!