It’s About To Get Ugly: Union Thugs Joining Occupy Wall Street Protest –SEIU’s Stephen Lerner’s OWS Nudge
Left-wing extremist comrades coming together united in solidarity!
In a supposed spontaneous show of support (see video below), union agitators and professional leftists have announced they will soon be joining the collective mishmashÃ‚Â of clueless Occupy Wall Street protesters. In hopes to breathe some life into what has only amounted to so far, as nothing more than –anÃ‚Â dirty hippie neo-com commune.
(Crains NewYork) –The city’s most experienced agitators—the labor and community groups that typically organize local marches, rallies and sit-ins—have been largely missing from the Occupy Wall Street protest that is in its 13th day at Zuccotti Park in lower Manhattan.
But that’s about to change.
A loose coalition of labor and community groups said Thursday that they would join the protest next weekÃ‚Â . They are organizing a solidarity march scheduled for Wednesday [October 5 –Ed.] that is expected to start at City Hall and finish a few blocks south at Zuccotti Park.
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.
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.
Community groups like Make the Road New York, the Coalition for the Homeless, the Alliance for Quality Education and Community Voices Heard are also organizing for Wednesday’s action, and the labor/community coalitions United New York and Strong Economy For All are pitching in as well. [...]
Embedded links mine.
When in reality the big guns have been laying in wait with plans to send in their jack booted storm troopers once their useful idiot foot soldiers were entrenched.
SPEAKER: Stephen Lerner. Speaker at the Left Forum 2011 “Towards a Politics of Solidarity” Pace University March 19, 2011
W: We’re going to hear from Steve Lerner next, of SEIU, the Architect of the Justice for Janitors campaign. Currently, he’s working on partnering with unions and groups in Europe and South America, it’s building campaigns to hold financial institutions accountable.
It feels to me after a long time of being on defense that something is starting to turn in the world and we just have to decide if we are on defense or offense
Maybe there is a different way to look at some of theses questionsÃ‚Â it’s hard for me to think about any part of organizing without thinking what just happened with this economic crisis and what it means
I don’t know how to have a discussion about labor and community if we don’t first say what do we need to do at this time in history what is the strategy that gives us some chance of winning because I spent my life time as a union organizer justice for janitors a lot of things
It seems we are at a moment where the world is going to get much much worse or much much better
Unions are almost dead we cannot survive doing what we do but the simple fact of the matter is community organizations are almost dead also and if you think about what we need to do it may give us some direction which is essentially what the folks that are in charge – the big banks and everything – what they want is stability
Every time there is a crisis in the world they say, well, the markets are stable.
What’s changed in America is the economy doing well has nothing to do with the rest of us
They figured out that they don’t need us to be rich they can do very well in a global market without us so what does this have to do with community and labor organizing more.
We need to figure out in a much more through direct action more concrete way how we are really trying to disrupt and create uncertainty for capital for how corporations operate
The thing about a boom and bust economy is it is actually incredibly fragile.
There are actually extraordinary things we could do right now to start to destabilize the folks that are in power and start to rebuild a movement.
For example, 10% of homeowners are underwater right their home they are paying more for it then its worth 10% of those people are in strategic default, meaning they are refusing to pay but they are staying in their home that’s totally spontaneous they figured out it takes a year to kick me out of my home because foreclosure is backed up
If you could double that number you wouldÃ‚Â you could put banks at the edge of insolvency again.
Students have a trillion dollar debt
We have an entire economy that is built on debt and banks so the question would be what would happen if we organized homeowners in mass to do a mortgage strike if we get half a million people to agreeÃ‚Â it would literally cause a new finical crisis for the banks not for us we would be doing quite wellÃ‚Â we wouldn’t be paying anything.
Government is being strangled by debt
The four things we could do that could really upset wall street
One is if city and state and otherÃ‚Â government entities demanded to renegotiate their debt
and you might say why would the banks ever do itÃ‚Â – because city and counties could say we won’t do business with you in the future if you won’t renegotiate the debt now
So we could leverage the power we have of government and say two thingsÃ‚Â we won’t do business with you JP Morgan Chase anymore unless you do two things: you reduce the price of our interestÃ‚Â and second you rewrite the mortgages for everybody in the communities
We could make them do that
The second thing is there is a whole question in Europe about students’ rates in debt structure. What would happen if students said we are not going to pay.Ã‚Â It’s a trillion dollars. Think about republicans screaming about debt a trillion dollars in student debt
There is a third thing we can think about what if public employee unions instead of just being on the defensiveÃ‚Â put on the collective bargaining table when they negotiate they say we demand as a condition of negotiation that the government renegotiate – it’s crazy that you’re paying too much interest to your buddies the bankers it’s a strike issueÃ‚Â – we will strike unless you force the banks to renegotiate/
Then if you add on top of that if we really thought about moving the kind of disruption in Madison but moving that to Wall Street and moving that to other cities around the country
We basically said you stole seventeen trillion dollars – you’ve improvised us and we are going to make it impossible for you to operate
Labor can’t lead this right now so if labor can’t lead but we are a critical part of itÃ‚Â we do have money we have millions of members who are furious
But I don’t think this kind of movement can happen unless community groups and other activists take the lead.
If we really believe that we are in a transformative stage ofÃ‚Â what’s happening in capitalism
Then we need to confront this in a serious way and develop really ability to put a boot in the wheelÃ‚Â then we have to think not about labor and community alliancesÃ‚Â we have to think about how together we are building something that really has the capacity to disrupt how the system operates
We need to think about a whole new way of thinking about this not as a partnership but building something new.
We have to think much more creatively. The key thing… What does the other side fear the most – they fear disruption. They fear uncertainty. Every article about Europe says in they rioted in Greece the markets went down
The folks that control this country care about one thing how the stock market goes what the bond market does how the bonuses goes. We have a very simple strategy:
* How do we bring down the stock market
* How do we bring down their bonuses
* How do we interfere with their ability to be rich
And that means we have to politically isolate them, economically isolate themÃ‚Â and disrupt them
It’s not all theory I’ll do a pitch.
So a bunch of us around the country think who would be a really good company to hate we decided that would be JP Morgan ChaseÃ‚Â and so we are going to roll out over the next couple of months what would hopefully be an exciting campaign about JP Morgan Chase that is really about challenge the power of Wall Street.
And so what we are looking atÃ‚Â is the first week in May can we get enough people together starting now to really have an week of action in New York I don’t want to give any details because I don’t know if there are any police agents in the room.
The goal would be that we will roll out of New York the first week of May. We will connect three ideas
* that we are not broke there is plenty of money
* they have the moneyÃ‚Â – we need to get it back
* and that they are using Bloomberg and other people in government as the vehicle to try andÃ‚Â destroy us
And so we need to take on those folks at the same time
and that we will start here we are going to look at a week of civil disobedience – direct action all over the city
then roll into the JP Morgan shareholder meeting which they moved out of New York because I guess they were afraid because of Columbus.
There is going to be a ten state mobilization it try and shut down that meeting and then looking at bank shareholder meetings around the countryÃ‚Â and try and create some moments like Madison except where we are on offense instead of defense
Where we have brave and heroic battles challenging the power of the giant corporations. We hope to inspire a much bigger movement about redistributing wealth and power in the country and that labor can’t do itself that community groups can’t do themselves but maybe we can work something new and different that can be brave enoughÃ‚Â and daring and nimble enough to do that kind of thing.
Remember America, SEIU’s agenda is Obama’s agenda and [always] has been.
I recommend pausing the above video throughout to gain a better grasp of the info as presented.
Patrice Lewis links…thanks!