Nothing’s better for sustaining persistent resistance like persistent music
Why: To create a physical boundary of bodies and voices blocking the transfer of ownership of our public post office
The fate of the Downtown Berkeley Post Office has reached a crisis point.� The transfer of that building to private ownership may be only days away. For this reason, the Berkeley Post Office Defenders call for mobilization of all those who appreciate the danger of privatization. It is time to establish and support a physical presence at the Downtown Berkeley Post Office so that, with arms locked, we can block any poacher of our public property from taking possession. By taking direct action to defend our public goods, we will affirm our reasons for living in community by sharing our energy and resources for the benefit of all.
The Board of Governors of the USPS has done a skillful job of narrowing the focus of the objections to the sale of the Downtown Berkeley Post Office to the issue of two New Deal works of art contained therein. At this time, the position of the USPS is that they’ve done everything they can to satisfy the concerns of the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation (an agency formed by the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966) and concerns of the City of Berkeley for the preservation of these artworks, even to the point of promising that the USPS will provide that protection themselves in perpetuity after the building is sold.
The Berkeley Post Office Defenders re-emphasize two objections that have been largely ignored in the struggle to save our post office:
- The sale that the USPS intends to process is one manifestation of the neo-liberal strategy of privatization, deregulation, union-busting, and the cutting of government services, pursued via the World Bank and the WTO, which in the last half-century have proved to to be so detrimental to the welfare of people living in Chile, Argentina, Uruguay, South Africa, the nations of the former Soviet Union, Iraq, and many others. Locally, the privately-owned Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges (ACCJC) is trying to bankrupt the publicly controlled City College of San Francisco. The capital property of the USPS is a possession of the people of the United States as a public holding, meaning it is a component of national wealth and infrastructure, and the defense of that wealth is necessary for maintaining the viability of the national enterprise. The Berkeley Post Office Defenders oppose the privatization of publicly owned property everywhere it is threatened, and we have mobilized our opposition locally to shield the erosion of the material foundation of community, of which the Downtown Berkeley Post Office is an element.
- With regard to the public ownership of the New Deal artworks, the promise of the USPS to preserve them given its strategy of privatizatioon is a deception. By selling more than 300 of its properties since 2006, the Board of Governors of the USPS has undermined the capital foundation of the enterprise it is publicly charged with protecting. This insidious strategy follows the steps to complete privatization of postal services pursued by other countries the United Kingdom, New Zealand, Sweden, Germany and The Netherlands. Given that the Board of Governors is selling the USPS out of business, it is their intention that, very soon, they will no longer be in a position to preserve the public ownership of anything.
The Downtown Berkeley Post Office is not only a monument to public organization, it is an organ of our common body; without it we grow weaker. The agents of privatization are chiseling away at the investment our ancestors made to the survival of democracy. Our post office was built by the sweat equity of our great-grandparents, and financed by their tax dollars. As such, the Postal Service has NO RIGHT to sell it. Berkeley Post Office Defenders DEMAND that this sale be halted and that the building continue to serve our – and our great-grandchildren’s – common good.
For more on the current status of the Downtown Berkeley Post Office: https://occupyoakland.org/2014/10/berkeley-post-office-contract-sold/
Berkeley Post Office Defenders: http://berkeleypostofficedefenders.wordpress.com/
First They Came for the Homeless: https://www.facebook.com/pages/First-they-came-for-the-homeless/253882908111999?ref=br_tf
BPOD is affiliated with Strike Debt Bay Area: http://strike-debt-bay-area.tumblr.com/
For more on the Staples boycott:
The Seeds of Protest Bloom. Staples Boycott Goes National.
For background on the fight to Save Berkeley’s Post Office:
For more on the privatization of the USPS:
Saving the United States Postal Service as a Public Enterprise: http://tinyurl.com/ltqq7ng