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Union-Backed Occupiers on the March
Posted By Matthew Vadum On November 17, 2011 @ 12:50 am In Daily Mailer,FrontPage | 85 Comments
The sudden eviction of Occupy Wall Street squatters from lower Manhattan hasn’t dampened the enthusiasm of organized labor for their increasingly violent anarchist and neo-communist brethren.
The occupiers now say they plan to shut down Wall Street on Nov. 17 and occupy the New York subway. One Occupy Wall Street supporter was captured on video saying radicals plan to “burn New York City to the ground.” The movement that has spread across America is what ACORN’s neo-communist founder Wade Rathke, a former SEIU boss, calls an “anti-banking jihad.”
After New York police unexpectedly swooped down on the occupants of Zuccotti Park early in the morning of Nov. 15, organized labor leaders formally reaffirmed their support for the Occupy Wall Street movement.
“You can draw a direct line from the Wisconsin protests in the winter to Occupy Wall Street to the overwhelming rejection of an anti-union ballot question in Ohio,” said Teamsters president James P. Hoffa. “Occupy Wall Street is bringing new energy to a fight that labor has been engaged in from the beginning: The fight for an economy that works for everybody, not just the 1 percent.”
The Teamsters union “wholly supports and endorses Occupy Wall Street and opposes any effort to unreasonably restrict, contain or stop this lawful protest,” the union’s general executive board said in an official resolution.
Art handlers who belong to the Teamsters joined with occupiers to protest Sotheby’s in New York a few weeks ago. “The Sotheby’s economy is destroying the lives of too many Americans,” said art handler and Teamsters Local 814 member Sim Jones. The auction house, which the Left now considers to be a playground of the decadent so-called 1 percent, had locked out some of the workers as part of a labor dispute.
Service Employees International Union (SEIU) has been in the vanguard of the Left’s economic terrorism campaign. SEIU board member Stephen Lerner has been leading an effort to physically intimidate corporate executives in their homes.
Not surprisingly, SEIU is still a gung-ho supporter of the occupiers. After Zuccotti Park was cleared, president Mary Kay Henry regurgitated the Left’s talking points. Henry praised what she called the “brave students, unemployed Americans, families and others” participating in the various occupations that have spread to scores of large U.S. cities.
On Nov. 17 SEIU members plan to march “arm in arm with unemployed workers, community members, allied groups and Occupy protesters in support of a great American idea: our nation and our economy should work for everyone, not just the richest 1%.”
New protests will help promote Big Labor’s agenda. SEIU plans to join “a National Day of Action for the 99% protesting the failure of politicians in Congress to pass a jobs bill that would have put people back to work fixing thousands of bridges, roads and schools.”
Just about all major labor organizations in the country now support Occupy Wall Street.
On its website the Newspaper Guild blew a kiss to OWS even after some of its journalist members had tense run-ins with the occupiers. The union acknowledged in a blog post that the protesters “have been known to turn on anyone who seems to represent ‘corporate media’ — most likely a media worker, sometimes a union member, trying to do a job,” but then makes excuses for the occupiers. (Aren’t unions supposed to represent the interests of their members?)
Jim Weitkamp, a regional vice president for the Guild’s parent union, Communications Workers of America, blamed police for the troubles in Oakland. “Clearly, by all accounts I have seen and read, the police leadership on the ground lost both perspective and control,” he wrote in a letter to Oakland’s clueless Mayor Jean Quan. Bernie Lunzer, president of the Guild in Washington, D.C., tipped his hat to the occupiers. “The Occupy movement is about justice … Our effort is to ensure just treatment for all journalists and media workers as they cover this story that’s playing out in the streets.”
United Steelworkers (USW) president Leo Gerard embraces OWS. “You’re damn right Wall Street occupiers speak for us,” he said. The Left needs to start a “resistance” movement. “If Wall Street occupation doesn’t get the message, I think we’ve got to start blocking bridges and doing that kind of stuff,” Gerard said.
The American Federation of State, County & Municipal Employees (AFSCME) endorses Occupy Wall Street. “We stand in solidarity with those protesting Wall Street’s greed,” said AFSCME president Gerald McEntee. Rattling off Marxist boilerplate, McEntee said the banks’ “reckless pursuit of profits, at the expense of working families’ pursuit of the American dream, must come to an end.”
AFSCME has also thrown its lot in with the most violent of the occupiers in America, the arsonists and rioters of Occupy Oakland, CA. The government employees’ union, along with United Food and Commercial Workers International (UFCW), International Federation of Professional & Technical Engineers (IFPTE), International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW), UNITE HERE, SEIU, and the California Labor Federation even donated food for a cook-out, serving hot dogs, veggie burgers, beans, rice, and cupcakes for more than 3,000 Occupy Oakland supporters.
Members of the International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) walked off the job at the busy Port of Oakland to support Occupy Oakland’s demand for a “general strike.” ILWU spokesman Craig Merrilees said his union and others “are supporting the concerns raised by Occupy Oakland and the Occupy movement to speak up for the 99 percent and against the corporate greed that is wrecking America.”
Of course the limitless avarice of the labor movement, especially of public sector unions, never finds its way into union communiqués.
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