By Kate Thomas
SEIU has issued a union-wide endorsement of support for Occupy Wall Street and its message about shrinking income inequality, investing in public education, and making the rich pay their fair share in taxes. We’re excited to be able to contribute our union’s energy, resources and organizing strength to the resilient demonstrations that began in downtown Manhattan more than two weeks ago.
From SEIU President Mary Kay Henry:
“The brave students, workers, and unemployed Americans occupying Wall Street have shaken the conscience of our nation. The crowds and demonstrations will only get larger and louder as more Americans find the courage inside themselves to stand up and demand Wall Street CEOs and millionaires pay their fair share to create good jobs now.
“The 2.1 million nurses, janitors, school bus drivers and other members of the Service Employees International Union have a message to those on Wall Street today–We’ve got your back, we will join you in the streets, and we will not let up until we bring good jobs back to our communities.
“Wall Street CEOs not only crashed our economy and demanded billions in taxpayer-bailouts–they destroyed the jobs and livelihoods and took the homes of millions of Americans. It’s time to force Wall Street to pay for the jobs our country desperately needs.
“We have work that needs doing in this country and millions of Americans looking for full-time work. It’s time to put the two together to make America a stronger nation. And it’s time to use the money being made on Wall Street and in corporate boardrooms across the country to put America back to work.
“We can put millions of Americans back to work right now by passing the American Jobs Act. We can immediately put Americans to work rebuilding our outdated and dangerous roads and bridges and ensuring our kids have first-class schools to learn in. And we can invest in our communities to keep teachers in our classrooms, police on the beat, healthcare workers at our hospitals and clinics, and ensure that we have enough firefighters to protect our communities.”
Dozens and dozens of solidarity actions have also begun or are being planned in Boston, Los Angeles, Chicago, Atlanta and dozens of cities across the country and even around the world. For information about all of these actions, visit OccupyTogether.org and check out Daily Kos’s map of events. If you’re an SEIU member, you can also shoot us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and let us know how you envision getting involved in the movement.
Check out a smart and thoughtful overview of the Occupy Wall Street movement from David Dayden on Firedoglake here. For up-to-the-minute photos, coverage and conversations about this growing social movement, follow hashtag #OccupyWallStreet on Twitter.