Union leaders say they feel vindicated by the Occupy Wall Street protests and are doing all they can to keep the movement going.
Years before the rallies began, union leaders frequently blamed the banking giants for the country’s economic woes. Labor officials have criticized CEOs’ large compensation packages; pushed for a financial transactions tax; and called for Wall Street bailout funds to be used for small business loans.
Mary Kay Henry, president of the Service Employees International Union (SEIU), told The Hill that she found the protesters to be an “incredible inspiration” that have highlighted issues like pay inequality and social injustice.
“We have been talking about the increasing inequality in this county for a long time. I think what’s wonderful about the Occupy movement is that they captured this with … ‘We are the 99 percent.’ I feel like what we are doing is echoing a very smart thing that the occupiers began with,” Henry said.
Unions have been quick to lend a hand to the protests that have been springing up across the country.
On Friday, SEIU members and other unions participated in a march in Minneapolis to call on banks to end foreclosures. AFL-CIO members have also showed up at Occupy protests in Boston and St. Louis.
On October 7, AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka was on Wall Street to talk with protesters. Lee Saunders, secretary-treasurer of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME), attended protests in Washington. And Henry has sent out an email to her members nationwide to encourage them to attend protests inspired by Occupy Wall Street. Continue reading →
The Occupy Wall Street movement – for now it is a movement – is the most important political happening in the United States since the uprisings in 1968, whose direct descendant or continuation it is.
Why it started in the United States when it did – and not three days, three months, three years earlier or later – we’ll never know for sure. The conditions were there: acutely increasing economic pain not only for the truly poverty-stricken but for an ever-growing segment of the working poor (otherwise known as the “middle class”); incredible exaggeration (exploitation, greed) of the wealthiest 1% of the U.S. population (“Wall Street”); the example of angry upsurges around the world (the “Arab spring,” the Spanish indignados, the Chilean students, the Wisconsin trade unions, and a long list of others). It doesn’t really matter what the spark was that ignited the fire. It started.
In Stage one – the first few days – the movement was a handful of audacious, mostly young, persons who were trying to demonstrate. The press ignored them totally. Then some stupid police captains thought that a bit of brutality would end the demonstrations. They were caught on film and the film went viral on YouTube.
That brought us to Stage two – publicity. The press could no longer ignore the demonstrators entirely. So the press tried condescension. What did these foolish, ignorant youth (and a few elderly women) know about the economy? Did they have any positive program? Were they “disciplined”? The demonstrations, we were told, would soon fizzle. What the press and the powers that be didn’t count on (they never seem to learn) is that the theme of the protest resonated widely and quickly caught on. In city after city, similar “occupations” began. Unemployed 50-year-olds started to join in. So did celebrities. So did trade-unions, including none less than the president of the AFL-CIO. The press outside the United States now began to follow the events. Asked what they wanted, the demonstrators replied “justice.” This began to seem like a meaningful answer to more and more people. Continue reading →
The European Federation of Public Service Unions (EPSU) salutes the global movement of citizens organizing actions on 15th October.
This movement was launched by millions of young, unemployed and working people in the streets of Spain to protest government austerity policies that affect working men and women, unemployed and other citizens responsible for the crisis. The Spanish movement was inspired by the Arab Spring and has since spread to Israel, the United States, Italy, South Africa, France and many other countries across the globe.
These citizen and labour movements share a demand for alternative solutions to the crisis. Public sector workers in Europe share a great number of the concerns of those that will be marching internationally. The future of our society is to give hope and stability to young people. Governments are now offering the perspective of years of austerity while in many countries unemployment for young people reaches more than 30% reaching over 40% in Spain and Greece. That has to change.
The struggle of European trade unions for sustainable development, for public education and health systems, for the eradication of poverty and for jobs and better pay and conditions converges with the new popular movements. Also we support more transparency and democracy both at the work place as well as in society. The fight against corporate greed and power and corruption is a key issue for us.
We wish the 15-Octubre mobilizations a great success in realizing the demands and aspirations for a better society.
Tomorrow, the 15th October, will be the most special day in human history after the day occupation was invented. Tomorrow will be the symbol of awakening of humankind. After suffering from long during elite rule, humanity is finally standing up. This time we are very decisive on putting a full stop to the injustice, we are %99!
In order to reach the public spaces you want to occupy with comrades, we would like to encourage you to use peaceful occupation tactics for public transportation that we actually own.
Use civil obedience principles to occupy collectively one or two compartments only in each train or tramway to reach targeted city centre, so that not yet awakened ones can also use these vehicles.
Pay special attention to not being emotional and negative when conductor approach you to ask tickets. Tell him/her that you have the right to do so, and if you want you can say European public sector unions and other big unions supports the mobilisation.
Meanwhile we are going to be trying, you might do the same, to influence other national public service unions from below, to support the Occupy movement of the indignant ones which include almost all union members by providing free transportation.
Agora Brussels continues its activities. Yesterday, during the day, workshops about horizontality and assemblies, european austerity measures and influence of financial lobbies took place for the fourth day. In the context with the international Anti-Capitalist Day a group of 30 Indignant took Dexia Bank’s main building in Brussels, which was privatized and rescued. The action was to occupy symbolically the bank, to do an assembly and then go peacefully but leaving some banners. When the Indignants were about to leave, the police arrived and closed the doors. 6 people were handcuffed and detained. After a small time they were released without charge. A girl was injured. Show original
Lee Sustar looks at the dynamics of the unions’ support for the Occupy movement.
October 11, 2011
Nurses bring their solidarity to Occupy Wall Street (Bob Jagendorf)
A SPIRITED labor protest against a mortgage bankers’ meeting in Chicago on October 10 got a boost in numbers and energy from the local Occupy movement–highlighting the growing potential to build a fighting working-class movement for economic justice across the U.S.
Since its beginnings close to a month ago, the Occupy Wall Street action in Manhattan’s financial district has become a rallying point for growing numbers of New Yorkers fed up with the greed and power of the bankers and bosses–and it has inspired similar protests in cities around the country.
The October 10 march on the American Mortgage Bankers Association–sponsored by Stand Up Chicago, a coalition of the Chicago Teachers Union (CTU), the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) and a range of community groups–was planned weeks before Chicago activists started an Occupy encampment.
As it happened, the Occupy activists established their round-the-clock protest outside the Federal Reserve Bank, just around the corner from the CTU’s gathering spot outside the Chicago Board Options Exchange. By 3 p.m. on October 10–an hour before the march was to set off–around 300 people were jamming the sidewalks outside the Fed and the Bank of America building across the street. Continue reading →
All across Europe, youth, workers, the unemployed, retirees, migrants and families are today facing the same bleak army of austerity measures, capitalist backlash and police brutality. Like the British Prime Minister loves to say, in this historical moment the European lower and middle classes truly are ‘all in this together’.
Our common enemy is clearly identifiable, as it has been for a long time now. However, its shape has changed over the years, as if it underwent a virtual revolution that turned its body into an omnipresent and infinitely multipliable presence. Financial capitalism is everywhere, from pension funds to house mortgages. Multinational corporations have expanded their tentacles to every aspect of human life, from the prison system to baby food. The security apparatus has gone well beyond the empty dream of the panopticum, creating a real presence in every corner of the physical, digital and cultural world. The arrogance of the State has combined the disappearance of the welfare system with the epidemic of thought-control and social cleansing. The carelessness of global industries has managed to pollute all layers of the biosphere, from the waters of the Niger delta to the air of Beijing. Continue reading →
This report sets out the results of a small-scale research project commissioned by Acas examining the implications of social networking and mobile information and communications technologies (ICT) for employment relations. Social networking involves use of an online platform or website that enables people to communicate, usually for a social purpose, through a variety of services, most of which are web-based and offer opportunities for people to interact over the internet, e.g. via e-mail and ‘instant messaging’.
As this is a relatively new phenomenon and there is no common international regulatory body, it is difficult to find an official or universally agreed definition. However, Boyd and Ellison’s overview of the field in the Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication (2007) comments on the particular communication opportunities provided by social network sites (SNSs): Continue reading →
…2008 financial crash more hard earned private property was destroyed than if all of us here were to be destroying it night and day for weeks. They tell you we are dreamers. The true dreamers are those who think things can go on indefinitely the way they are. We are not dreamers. We are awakening from a dream which is tuning into a nightmare. We are not destroying anything. We are only witnessing how the system is destroying itself. We all know the classic scenes from cartoons. The cart reaches a precipice. But it goes on walking. Ignoring the fact that there is nothing beneath. Only when it looks down and notices it, it falls down. This is what we are doing here. We are telling the guys there on Wall Street – Hey, look down! (cheering). Continue reading →
WASHINGTON — According to dispatches on Twitter, security officials at the Smithsonian Air and Space museum used pepper spray on “Stop the Machine” demonstrators protesting an exhibition on drone aircraft, which is described as a “glorification of… Show original
I was honored to be invited to speak at Occupy Wall Street on Thursday night. Since amplification is (disgracefully) banned, and everything I say will have to be repeated by hundreds of people so others can hear (a?k?a “the human microphone”), what I actually say at Liberty Plaza will have to be very short. With that in mind, here is the longer, uncut version of the speech.
I love you.
And I didn’t just say that so that hundreds of you would shout “I love you” back, though that is obviously a bonus feature of the human microphone. Say unto others what you would have them say unto you, only way louder.
Yesterday, one of the speakers at the labor rally said: “We found each other.” That sentiment captures the beauty of what is being created here. A wide-open space (as well as an idea so big it can’t be contained by any space) for all the people who want a better world to find each other. We are so grateful.
If there is one thing I know, it is that the 1 percent loves a crisis. When people are panicked and desperate and no one seems to know what to do, that is the ideal time to push through their wish list of pro-corporate policies: privatizing education and social security, slashing public services, getting rid of the last constraints on corporate power. Amidst the economic crisis, this is happening the world over.
And there is only one thing that can block this tactic, and fortunately, it’s a very big thing: the 99 percent. And that 99 percent is taking to the streets from Madison to Madrid to say “No. We will not pay for your crisis.”
That slogan began in Italy in 2008. It ricocheted to Greece and France and Ireland and finally it has made its way to the square mile where the crisis began. Continue reading →
In the first video, Keith Olbermann Reads The Statement Released By The Wall Street Protesters. In the second video, Max Keiser advises the movement to use reverse capitalism to decapitalize the financial predators. This is followed by a support editorial by David Korten.
1. Watch the video:
2. Max Keiser’s advice to the movement:
3. Read David Korten:
“At this moment the brave and dedicated #OccupyWallStreet protesters are in the streets of New York and cities around the world. They call the world’s attention to Wall Street greed and corruption as a common source of the many crises that threaten the human future—economic, political, social, and environmental. This is a defining moment for America. It is our country’s version of the uprisings occurring around the world. It is a ray of hope for democracy and real prosperity in America and beyond.
Contrary to the Wall Street propaganda, Wall Street is a job killer, not a job creator. Wall Street banks and corporations have no interest in creating jobs, educating American children, or assuring that Americans have health care and retirement security. They appeal for ever more tax breaks and regulatory relief only to have yet more money to use as they used their taxpayer provided bailout: to increase executive bonuses, pay dividends, buy other companies, buy back their own stock to increase the value of their stock options, buy political favor, create new financial bubbles, and outsource yet more jobs. Continue reading →
On October 15th people from all over the world will take to the streets and squares. From America to Asia, from Africa to Europe, people are rising up to claim their rights and demand a true democracy. Now it is time for all of us to join in a global non violent protest. The ruling powers work for the benefit of just a few, ignoring the will of the vast majority and the human and environmental price we all have to pay. This intolerable situation must end. United in one voice, we will let politicians, and the financial elites they serve, know it is up to us, the people, to decide our future. We are not goods in the hands of politicians and bankers who do not represent us. On October 15th, we will meet on the streets to initiate the global change we want. We will peacefully demonstrate, talk and organize until we make it happen. It’s time for us to unite. It’s time for them to listen. People of the world, rise up on October 15th! Show original
As P2P Foundation has also been closely following and reporting on it, P2P Global Revolutions has already been taking a momentum globally, since the historical event of Tahrir Square.The time table can also be read as the crystallisation of a P2P revolutionary work which can also be linked back to feminist uprising, environmentalist awakening, Zapatistas, the Battle of Seattle, Social Forums, the anti-war movement and others. Yet the process of global rising up has been accelerated by besides the Icelandian and Tunisian events, the Egyptian, Spaniard, Greek and UK city square occupations. The 2011 International Road to Dignity reflects this momentum of taking over the city centres. So we are moving from war of position to the war of manoeuvre. Show original