Occupy Wall Street, the Trade Union Movement and the Fight to Stop the Cuts and Concessions | The Organizer

Tens of thousands – if not hundreds of thousands – of people have taken to the streets over the past four weeks across the United States as part of an Occupy Wall Street movement to protest the intolerable conditions of massive unemployment, growing inequality, rampant home foreclosures, and stepped-up cuts in the social safety net. Their outrage has been especially focused against the bailout of Wall Street, while Main Street has been left to languish, and the takeover of the political system by big-money interests.

A growing number of trade unionists have joined this movement, first as individual workers, then as part of an increasing number of union contingents that have joined the OWS activists to build large protest actions, often with more focused political demands.

One of the largest actions in the San Francisco Bay Area, for example, witnessed thousands of union and community activists – mostly Black and Latino – marching to Wells Fargo Bank on October 12 in response to a call by the union-based Jobs with Justice, Causa Justa and other organizations to demand an immediate halt to home evictions and a moratorium on foreclosures. Their leaflet included the following wording:

“We are the 99%. From Wall Street to Market St., we demand an end to racist profiteering off of foreclosure and immigrant detention! We demand full employment, social services and civil liberty for all. From San Francisco to Kabul, we demand an end to corporate war and militarism that target communities of color, tearing our families and planet apart.”

This explosion of anger against the unbridled greed of the capitalists – particularly the banksters and speculators – is legitimate. The protesters speak for millions of people in this country. They speak for the working-class majority. They speak for the 99 per cent – all of whom have said in one form or another, “Enough is Enough!” Continue reading