Massive March for REAL Financial Reform, This Friday Afternoon in Charlotte
This Friday afternoon in downtown Charlotte, please join hundreds of faith leaders, advocates for social justice, students, and progressive activists from across the southeast to demand REAL financial reform.
We will march to the corporate offices of Bank of America and Wells Fargo/Wachovia to demand that Congress join every civilization since the Babylonians by reinstating usury laws to end the legal loan sharking that's ruining our economy by capping interest rates at 10%. It is time for a return to sanity. It is time for REAL reform. 10% is enough!
The march begins at 11:30 AM this Friday at Mt. Moriah Baptist Church on West Trade Street in Charlotte. The flier for Friday's the march can be found here and for information, if you plan on attending or have any questions, please contact organizer Chris Baumann at firstname.lastname@example.org or feel free to message me.
The 10 Percent Is Enough campaign is a grassroots movement started by the Industrial Areas Foundation and progressive faith leaders across the country after the recent financial collapse. Moral and civic prohibitions against usury stretch back deep into our religious and national history. Our prophets and founding fathers made the clear case long before us that usury is patently wrong, against God, and against our national interest.
From the time of Hammurabi to the Carter administration, usury was illegal. It has been prohibited by religious, legal, moral, and social codes since the beginning of recorded human history. Both the Hebrew Bible and the Qu’ran are unequivocal in their condemnation of high interest rates and the people who charge them. At the founding of America, interest rates in all 13 original states were capped at 6%. In fact, usury was illegal in the United States until 1978. But now, just 30 years later, it is rampant and it is destroying our country. Until laws against usury were repealed three decades ago, interest rates were capped, with some exceptions, at 9%. Before 1980, in the context of these caps, banks had somehow found ways to operate profitably.
The elimination of usury laws in America from 1978-1980 ushered in an era of deregulation that allowed financial markets to run wild, accelerating the present economic crisis. Thomas Geoghegan (one of my idols) wrote a fantastic article for Harpers Magazine on the importance of this effort - “Infinite Debt: How Unlimited Interest Rates Destroyed the Economy.” The article is gated, but this interview with Democracy Now is a good resource.
Capping interest rates isn't some socialist fantasy. There is nothing new about a limit on the interest rate that can be charged – just as there is nothing new about speed limits on roads or the amount of alcohol that is allowable before someone is considered too drunk to be driving.
Life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness do not depend on the nation continuing to condone legalized loan sharking. In fact, they may depend on the ability of political leaders to end it. But as we all know, the forces against common sense financial reform are strong and it will take a massive mobilization of American citizens if we are going to be able to break the financial industry's stranglehold on congressional power that Senator Dick Durban (D-IL) described after his legislation to cap interest rates at 30% was defeated in the Senate this year.
Please join us. Financial reform may be the single most important issue facing our nation today. Your voice and your support are crucial if we are to get our country back on track.
Friday, October 2, 2009
GATHERING TIME: 11:00 AM
MARCH TIME: 11:30 AM
Mt. Moriah Baptist Church
747 West Trade Street,
Charlotte, NC 28202
For more information, please read the Metro IAF White Paper: 10% Is Enough (pdf).