News Release

Obama and Romney vs the 99 Percent?

The following are covering the Democratic convention in Charlotte:

ARUN GUPTA [email]
Independent journalist and regular contributor for AlterNet, Truthout and The Guardian, Gupta is a co-founder of the Occupied Wall Street Journal and The Indypendent.

He said today: “In terms of the protests, these security scare stories around the conventions keep the public away from substantial protest and dissent. The Olympics are about pushing the poor out through massive gentrification and infrastructure projects. What these conventions do — both political conventions, as well as NATO and G8 — is leave behind a massive security matrix that is used to police the poor and restrict dissent.

“Much of the rhetoric from the podium involves the establishment Democrats and Republicans jabbing at each other, but it highlights the broad areas of agreement between the Obama and Romney camps: The six wars (Yemen, Somalia, Afghanistan, Libya, Pakistan, Iraq) — just now, outrage has erupted in Yemen over the killing of 13 civilians in a U.S. drone strike on Sunday. There’s also substantial agreement between the two camps on corporate trade deals, expanding oil and gas drilling, civil liberties restrictions, the general policy toward Wall Street. Both are silent about the home foreclosure crisis and both parties want to cut Social Security and Medicare as the solution to the economic crisis caused by the banks. On many of the most important issues, the Obama and Romney camps take on the minority position of the 1% and oppose most of the U.S. public.”

Gupta wrote “Chatting Up the Right in Tampa” while at the Republican Convention last week.

KEVIN GRAY [email]
Based in South Carolina, Gray is author of Waiting for Lightning to Strike: The Fundamentals of Black Politics and The Decline of Black Politics: From Malcolm X to Barack Obama.

He said today: “Elaine Brye, the woman who introduced Michele Obama with all the kids in the military was critical. I come from a military family. My father served for 27 years. I was a military officer and several of my nephews have done multiple tours. But it ends up being a soft face for empire. If that’s the only real option that our kids have, how much better off are we really?

“Last night, it almost sounded like the Democrats were progressive at times — talking about working people who have to get up at 4:00 and 5:00 in the morning to get to work. But what’s wrong with the policies leading to that and to the unemployment rate among blacks and people of color being higher now than in 2008?

“Tonight, you have Bill Clinton attempting to woo white male voters in an attempt to counter the Republican’s blatant race appeal to white voters with ads on welfare reform in swing states and their projection of Obama as something other than 100 percent American effect.”

Gray recently wrote the piece “Why North Carolina is a Swing State.”