UAW Endorses Occupy Wall Street; Massive March Planned Today
This morning the UAW -- the International Union, United Automobile, Aerospace and Agricultural Implement Workers of America -- issued an official endorsement of Occupy Wall Street, which they deem "a movement for economic and political justice." They've said they'll commit resources to the movement and also activate their membership nationally "in support of reclaiming the American economy on behalf of working men and women, the poor, the elderly, the unemployed and our nation's youth." UAW members have already been showing solidarity at Occupy Wall Street protests and rallies in New York and in Boston on an individual level; this announcement puts the full support of another union behind the protesters at Zuccotti Park.
This announcement comes on the same day as a Community/Labor march to Wall Street that nearly 3,000 people have said they will attend (Facebook page here), many from organizations including the Coalition for the Homeless, Working Families Party, MoveOn.org, The Job Party, TWU Local 100, Communication Workers of America, United Auto Workers, United Federation of Teachers, Writers Guild East, Greater NYC for Change. Marchers will assemble at Foley Square at 4:30 p.m., then head past City Hall and to Zuccotti Park to "unite in solidarity."
An email from the UAW to participants states, "With all the press coverage, support for the march has grown with more and more unions and organizations signing onto the call. It looks like there will be thousands of people joining us. Also, please note that we do have a permit from the police to march so there are NO arrests anticipated."
Meanwhile, the Partnership for Civil Justice Fund has filed a federal class action lawsuit against the NYPD and Mayor Bloomberg over Saturday's arrests on the Brooklyn Bridge, on behalf of five protesters who say that they and hundreds others were falsely arrested and prevented from leaving the bridge after being led there -- citing both alleged First and Fourth Amendment violations.
Update: The Amalgamated Transportation Union (ATU) Local 1056, representing drivers and mechanics with the MTA's Queens bus divisions, has issued a release announcing that they too will be joining in support of Occupy Wall Street and will be at today's march. I. Daneek Miller, President and Business Agent of the local, said in a statement:
"Without a strong and vibrant transit system, much of the economic growth over past decades cannot be sustained. And, as many know, MTA management with the concurrence of the state and the city eliminated core services in the boroughs. Less than eight million dollars would restore the cuts to the bus service. For example, Queens primarily depends on more on buses than subway and rail to move about.
"So while private finance forced the recent and past meltdowns, the conservatives and their media and elected official allies - doing the bidding of the wealthy elites - seek to shift the burden for financing the relief from that wealth sector to the public employee whose seamless contributions remain at the forefront of our civil society, and by burdening everyone with less public services that they pay even more for. In solidarity with this grassroots movement "occupying" Wall Street, we ask Americans to join our movement and the wealthy to re-think their thoughtlessness - after all they have much more to lose!"
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