(11 am. – promoted by ek hornbeck)
The resistance continues at Liberty Square, with free pizza 😉
New York Unions are at last coming out to support Occupy Wall St:
Despite the common cause, the city’s established left did not initially embrace the protest, which began Sept. 17 and has been made up mostly of young people angry about the widening income chasm in the country, the growing influence of money on politics and police brutality, among other issues.
But as the action nears the start of its third week, unions and community groups are eager to jump on board. They are motivated perhaps by a sense of solidarity and a desire to tap into its growing success, but undoubtedly by something else too-embarrassment that a group of young people using Twitter and Facebook have been able to draw attention to progressive causes in a way they haven’t been able to in years.
The protestors have transformed the park into a village of sorts, complete with a community kitchen, a library, a concert stage, an arts and crafts center and a media hub. All of that has enabled them not just to sustain the action but to build momentum. And as celebrities like Michael Moore, Susan Sarandon, Russell Simmons and Cornel West have joined in, the city’s traditional activists have been forced to jump into the fray.
“It’s become too big to ignore,” said one political consultant.
Some of the biggest players in organized labor are actively involved in planning for Wednesday’s demonstration, either directly or through coalitions that they are a part of. The United Federation of Teachers, 32BJ SEIU, 1199 SEIU, Workers United and Transport Workers Union Local 100 are all expected to participate. The Working Families Party is helping to organize the protest and MoveOn.org is expected to mobilize its extensive online regional networks to drum up support for the effort.
“We’re getting involved because the crisis was caused by the excesses of Wall Street and the consequences have fallen hardest on workers,” a spokesman for TWU Local 100 said.
We spoke to TWU Local 100’s spokesman Jim Gannon, who told us that the executive board voted unanimously last night at their regular monthly business meeting to support Occupy Wall Street. TWU Local 100 has 38,000 members, the vast majority of whom work in New York City transit. (TWU has 200,000 members in 22 states.) Gannon said, “A motion was brought up to endorse the protests’ goals; I don’t know why it took us so long to do it. Right now we’re going to be involved in a march and rally on the 5th of October. We’ll gather at City Hall at 4:30 and march to Zuccotti Park.”
Why did they join? “Well, actually, the protesters, it’s pretty courageous what they’re doing,” he said, “and it’s brought a new public focus in a different way to what we’ve been saying along. While Wall Street and the banks and the corporations are the ones that caused the mess that’s flowed down into the states and cities, it seems there’s no shared sacrifice. It’s the workers having to sacrifice while the wealthy get away scot-free. It’s kind of a natural alliance with the young people and the students — they’re voicing our message, why not join them? On many levels, our workers feel an affinity with the kids. They just seem to be hanging out there getting the crap beaten out of them, and maybe union support will help them out a little bit.”
The pepper-spraying incident has galvanized support for the protesters, said Alex Vitale, a Brooklyn College sociologist who will be at the Friday’s rally on Police Plaza.
“It’s turned something that was a fairly small group of people, operating somewhat under the media radar, into something that’s getting significant press coverage and a lot of support,” he said.
Vitale is one of several members of the executive council of CUNY’s Professional Staff Congress – a union of 20,000 faculty and staff – who have signed on to a statement condemning the pepper-spraying of several female protesters last Saturday by Deputy Inspector Anthony Bologna. The incident, which was caught on video that subsequently went viral, has prompted an investigation by the NYPD’s Internal Affairs Bureau.
Protest Police Harassment, Brutality & Attacks
When:Fri, September 30, 4pm – 5pm
Where: Liberty Square (map)
** In order not to conflict with the already called demonstration at One Police Plaza on Friday, this action is now moved to FRIDAY and MARCHES TO ONE POLICE PLAZA
NO TO THE NYPD CRACKDOWN ON WALL ST. PROTESTERS
NO TO STOP-AND-FRISK IN AFRICAN AMERICAN & LATINO NEIGHBORHOODS NO TO SPYING AND HARASSMENT OF MUSLIM COMMUNITIES STOP THE RAIDS & DEPORTATIONS
The NYPD is out of control!
Come out FRIDAY 4:00 at the Occupy Wall Street site, Broadway & Liberty, for a demonstration and MARCH to One Police Plaza
JOIN THE DEMONSTRATION FRIDAY AGAINST POLICE HARASSMENT AND STATE REPRESSION AND FOR JOBS, SCHOOLS AND HEALTHCARE
For more information call the Solidarity Center 212-633-6646 Called by BAIL OUT THE PEOPLE MOVEMENT