Published by the Center for Economic and Social Justice, May 20, 2005
Photos by Kemp Harshman
On a bright, brisk day, April 15, 2005, the core groups and special guests of the Center for Economic and Social Justice (CESJ) and the American Revolutionary Party (ARP) gathered at the front entrance of the Federal Reserve Building in Washington, D.C. Tax Day will now herald a new message to all Americans who believe in economic freedom and justice for every citizen: “Focus on the Fed.”
The purpose of the gathering was two-fold: (1) To launch an annual gathering to focus attention on the Federal Reserve and the impact of its money creation policies on the concentration of capital ownership in the U.S., and (2) to inaugurate the newly formed American Revolutionary Party. Present were Norman Kurland, Rick Osbourne, Rabbi Herzel Kranz, The Hon. Rev. Walter Fauntroy, Dr. Norman Bailey, Dawn Brohawn, Rowland Brohawn, Jack Einkopf, Michael D. Greaney, Kemp Harshman, Ken Krogh, Humberto Rodriguez, Steve Nieman, John Romano, Bob Scanlon and Rob Woodman.
Some eye-catching and thought-provoking signs and handouts were designed and constructed for the rally by CESJ board member Rowland Brohawn. Participants wore the “Own or Be Owned” tee shirts designed by CESJ intern Chris Carson. The t-shirts attracted the attention of some young people who were attending gatherings in preparation for protests to be held at the World Bank. Kemp Harshman, a CESJ board member and President of the Clarendon Foundation, provided an excellent sound system and photographed the event. The group received a cordial and cooperative reception from the security staff at the Federal Reserve as well as from the D.C. Metropolitan Police.
ARP Co-Founder Rick Osbourne, best known as “the press secretary for virtual presidential candidate Joe Lunch Buckett,” opened the proceedings. Before introducing the speakers, Rick commented on the importance of democratizing the free market economy to provide a sound basis for economic and social development—not just for the United States, but for the world. Rabbi Herzel Kranz of the Silver Spring Jewish Center gave an invocation, preceded with some commentary. He recognized the late Louis Kelso and his writings (starting in 1958) that underpin the work of CESJ promoting the goal of economic justice through broadened capital ownership. His invocation offered thanks for God’s bounty and noted the importance of everyone sharing in it in a just and equitable way.
CESJ President and ARP Co-Founder Norman Kurland next gave a short history on the Just Third Way, mentioning the special role that the late Senator Russell Long played, and the significance of the day’s gathering at the Federal Reserve. Rev. Walter Fauntroy then took the stage, remarking on the importance of the Homestead Act and its relationship to the Emancipation Proclamation, and how Capital Homesteading was the next necessary step. The Federal Reserve, Rev. Fauntroy observed, is the key to opening up access by every citizen to the means of acquiring and possessing private property. Norman Bailey followed, commenting on the need to end wage slavery by universalizing access to capital ownership, reinforcing Rev. Fauntroy’s point that changing Federal Reserve policy was critical to creating a genuine ownership society. He also thanked the DC government for providing sufficient security in a way that doubled the number of people attending. He observed that the police officers at the event were also wage slaves and deserved the opportunity as citizens to acquire income-producing capital.
CESJ board member Dawn Brohawn read the Declaration of Monetary Justice and called upon CESJ’s Cuban-American-Texan revolutionary Humberto Rodriguez to deliver the signed declaration to Chairman Alan Greenspan. Rick Osbourne then read the letter supporting Capital Homesteading and the ARP that was sent by Joseph Recinos, Executive Director of the Solidarista Council of Central America, on behalf of the 3,000 Solidarista Associations and 480,000 members. Letters of support sent by Fr. Cassian Yuhaus and Prof. María Teresa Rosón (Buenos Aires, Argentina) were also read aloud.
Participants at the rally were invited to offer their statements. Bob Scanlon, CESJ board member and a member of Beyond Just Faith, declared that the United States is ready for Capital Homesteading, and that the idea is quintessentially American. The biggest problem we face is getting people to understand the idea; it is a new way of thinking. Rob Woodman, President of the Seafarer’s Empowerment Association (SEA), gave a brief expression of solidarity with the American Revolutionary Party, followed by remarks by Steve Nieman, Co-Founder of the Ownership Union, on how wages alone are not sufficient for building economic security and independence. Only capital ownership, he noted, has the potential to stop the flight of jobs overseas. All stakeholders should have the opportunity to become shareholders, and ownership should be for the benefit of everyone.
Humberto Rodriguez, President and Founder of the Free People’s Foundation, then spoke of his lifelong struggle for freedom, and his belief that Capital Homesteading is the economic foundation of the freedom that he fought for in Cuba and for the U.S. in World War II. He proclaimed that the United States has the right and the duty to help everyone be free. John Romano then expressed his wholehearted support for the work of CESJ and the position of ARP. He added that one of the basic problems was how corporations were financed. He noted that reforms are needed to make it easier to form capital, and to facilitate democratic participation in the process.
All in all, the participants felt that the day was a success. It introduced to the world the American Revolutionary Party and served as the first of what is hoped will become an annual event—at least until Capital Homesteading for every citizen is established as national policy. ARP will strive to build public awareness of the key role of the Federal Reserve in creating money and credit to build the productive sector and universalize access to ownership of new growth through Capital Homesteading.