Robin Hood Tax protests coming to NYC on Sept. 17

s17 blog

Robin Hood and his merry men and women are demanding a tax on the 1 percent next week on the second anniversary of Occupy Wall Street.

Organizers are calling on everyone to put on their green cap and head to the world capital of banking and finance to demand a "Robin Hood Tax" that would help address the rampant and growing income inequality in the country. They are calling on masses of people to march and rally in New York in order to "restore and expand vital public services for the 99 percent."

Rep. Keith Ellison, D-Minn., introduced in 2012 a federal Robin Hood Tax bill (H.R. 6411) and a number of state and local Robin Hood taxes are being pushed across the country. The federal bill would impose a small 0.5 percent tax on the trading of stocks, 50 cents tax on every $100 of stock trades, and lesser rates on trading in bonds, derivatives and currencies. Estimates are that this tiny tax could generate $350 billion in revenues for essential services and infrastructure and put millions of unemployed people back to work.

Federal sales tax on financial transactions existed in the United States from 1914 to 1966, but only a nominal tax on such transaction exists today.

Prominent supporters of the Robin Hood tax include former Vice President and Nobel Laureate Al Gore, Bill Gates, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, Ralph Nader, the Rev. Jesse Jackson, and AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka.

National Nurses United union has been one of the champions of the Robin Hood Tax, even marching in the 50th Anniversary of the March for Jobs & Freedom donning their green Robin Hood caps. A slew of other labor, community, HIV/AIDS, healthcare, religious and civic organizations have endorsed the tax measure and the protests.

One thousand world economists endorsed the idea as well. In an open letter to the G20 meeting in 2011, they wrote, "The financial crisis has shown us the dangers of unregulated finance, and the link between the financial sector and society has been broken. It is time to fix this link and for the financial sector to give something back to society."

Tuesday's march - dubbed #S17 - will begin outside the United Nations building in Manhattan as the General Assembly meets to discuss anti-poverty measures. Then participants will march to the headquarters of JP Morgan/Chase, the largest U.S. bank. They march will then head to the offices of the Metropolitan Transit Authority to demand full funding of mass transit and justice for transit workers and to the office of the Chancellor of the State University of New York (SUNY) to protest plans to close its community hospitals. Legendary a cappella singing and activist group Sweet Honey in the Rock will perform at Bryant Park at the conclusion of the march.

Event co-sponsor Strong Economy for All stated in a press release, "Austerity is killing our country. We can be the Robin Hoods who save it."

Those interested in attending the Sept. 17 event in New York City, you can RSVP on Facebook.

If you think Robin Hood was right, you can spread the word on social media.

You can also download the flyer for the event here.

Photo: Robin Hood/robinhoodtax.org