New York area union members will join an expected several thousand labor activists and supporters today in a Wall Street march and rally in support of the Occupy Wall Street protesters.
The grassroots-grown protest is now in its third week, with a diverse array of people from across the country camping out in the heart of the financial district to demand Wall Street is held accountable for the schemes and reckless games that led to the nation's economic collapse.
The mostly young Occupy Wall Street protesters are "speaking for the vast majority of Americans who are frustrated by the bankers and brokers who have profited on the backs of hard working people," says Amalgamated Transit Union (ATU) President Larry Hanley.
Stuart Appelbaum, president of the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union (RWDSU), says Occupy Wall Street "has brought into sharp focus a reality that cannot be denied."
Corporate greed is responsible for harming the lives of millions of working people and unemployed people....A small group of firms, banks, and corporations now hold trillions worth of our collective wealth and assets. That money should be invested in job creation on a massive scale and used to rebuild countless lives damaged by the recklessness that caused the recession.
Over the weekend, the 800 young activists at the AFL-CIO's Next Up Young Workers Summit in Minneapolis threw their strong support to the Occupy Wall Street protesters.
Wall Street symbolizes this simple truth: a small group of people have the lives and livelihoods of working Americans in their hands.... We stand together in calling for a country that doesn't just work for the top 1 percent. We stand together to call for a sustainable future that doesn't begin with massive tax breaks for the wealthy and end with austerity measures and a jobs crisis.
Jim Gannon, a spokesman for the Transport Workers (TWU), told the Daily Beast:
We view the protests as young people who are articulating the same kind of things that we've been trying to articulate... they've really thrown a spotlight on issues that are bothering people, especially bothering workers like our members.
AFL-CIONowBlog, Tues Oct 4 2011