Occupy Wall Street gets support from MoveOn, trade unions, community groups

A coalition of activists, community groups and trade unions (whom Crain's New York Business hilariously refer as "agitators," as though they were the Red Menace a post-WWII installment of Little Orphan Annie) are set to join the Occupy Wall Street protesters. The new group includes MoveOn, some SEIU chapters, Workers United, the United Federation of Teachers, and a Transport Workers Union local. They're also being backed by the Working Families Party.

Signs and chants will likely call for an extension of the so-called millionaires' tax and a roll-back of state budget cuts. They will also likely show support for New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman's position that a proposed settlement between banks and attorneys general over troubled mortgage pools is too lenient.

Organizers of the march said they aren't looking to take control of the Occupy Wall Street protest, which has captured headlines since it began nearly two weeks ago, but add to it.

“We're not trying to grab the steering wheel or to control it,” said Michael Kink, executive director of the Strong Economy For All coalition. “We're looking to find common cause and support the effort. It's the right fight at the right time and we want to be part of it.”

(via Consumerist)

(Image: Day 12 Occupy Wall Street September 28 2011 Shankbone 14, a Creative Commons Attribution (2.0) image from shankbone's photostream)


  1. SO GOOD to see this movement growing!!

    Maybe Michael Moore was right–those few who started it will be remembered as the spark of something really, really powerful and effective.

  2. I can’t stay for too long but I’m stopping by the grocery store and bringing a bag of supplies for Occupy Boston tonight.

    -abs may not be able to live out in the cold tonight, but he can at least help feed those who will

  3. But, that can’t be possible.  According to all the naysayers this whole thing is already a flop because it doesn’t have a clear enough message ironed out with public relations executives just yet.

    This must all be a hallucination… or the naysayers are simply full of it… you decide.

    1. @boingboing-555d6702c950ecb729a966504af0a635:disqus ,

      According to all the naysayers this whole thing is already a flop because it doesn’t have a clear enough message ironed out with public relations executives just yet.

      It’s obviously not a flop, and the naysayers can stuff it, but I’d be happy to see a more coherent and unified message, whether from the folks who’ve gotten the ball rolling, or from someone coming in to join them.  Not because I disagree with the protesters’ motives or passion (far from it) or that I think they should be dismissed as ridiculous (which I don’t, but that seems to be the current media narrative), but because a clear, unified message is the difference between an exercise in protest theater and an effective movement, and makes the action as a whole more difficult to discredit.  When (or, sadly, if) the press coverage makes it to the general populace, I think it will be much more effective to say, “X is a bad policy for reason Y and can be fixed with Z” than “corporate greed is bad”.  There is absolutely nothing wrong with a more unfocused protest intended to raise awareness or to act as a symbolic rallying point, but once the awareness is raised, and the public is motivated, then what?

      1. There is absolutely nothing wrong with a more unfocused protest intended to raise awareness or to act as a symbolic rallying point, but once the awareness is raised, and the public is motivated, then what?

        You only need to look at past history.  It’s not going to be some overnight sensation, that’s incredibly rare.  Look at the civil rights movement for some parallels.

  4. There was a sad irony to the fact that it was only the youth of the Arab world who were leading the movement towards bettering society.  The ones who the western world had been told hate us for our freedoms, were the only ones who were brave enough to risk everything to truly be free.

    It’s a great day to finally see that same movement gaining steam in the country that claims to be the leader of the free world.  It’s time for us to stop just talking a big game about freedom, and actually standing up and fighting for what needs to be fought for.  Namely, the removal of centralized tyranny from our day to day lives.

  5. Another resonance of the term “agitators” is the civil rights movement. A lot of the iconic scenes from that were also the result of police claiming to be protecting public safety; they often involved “illegal gatherings” that lacked parade permits or blocked traffic. Nothin’ ever changes. (Although I doubt we’ll see police dogs and firehoses; teargas, however, seems quite possible.)

    1. @Awesomer:disqus ,

      Another resonance of the term “agitators” is the civil rights movement.

      That was one of the first connections that popped up in my mind, too.  I’ll laugh if that choice of word backfires on them, and gives the movement more credibility instead of less…

  6. A start would be demanding the national minimum wage be raised to $12.50/hr, which would raise base income to $26,000/yr before taxes, or about $4,000 above the poverty line.

    1. Unfortunately, that’s not how it works. If you make, say, $9/hr now, raising the minimum wage isn’t going necessarily mean that you’ll get a raise to $12.50/hr.

      If your employer decides that your skills do not add $12.50/hr to the bottom line, instead of getting a raise you’re going to get unemployment.

      1. Random wage amounts aside, the notion that raising the minimum wage has a negative effect has been pretty well debunked, and looking at minimum wage by state can be an enlightening experience, much like looking at divorce rates, government largesse vs. taxes paid and so on…. The paradises with the lowest rates in the country are Wyoming and Arkansas…

        Reminds me of another of Obama’s broken promises: Raising the minimum wage to $9.50 by 2011.


  7. Radiohead says it is a false rumor spread by the occupationists. Does anyone have more information about this?

    According to rumor, they will peform at 1600 local. You are asking this question at 1445 local. Just wait a couple hours and find out! :-)

  8. re: the term agitators. Take a tip from Thurgood Marshall & embrace it: “They call us agitators. Do you know what an agitator is? It’s the part of the washing machine that gets the dirt out, and that’s what we’re doing — getting the dirt out.” 

  9. Regarding “Agitators”
    Reminds me of that Malcolm X quote about newspapers having people hating the oppressed and loving the oppressors.

  10. So grassroot citizen action is good then, tea parties are grassroots and lefty hates them, make up your minds.

    1. Tea parties may have started as grassroots, but now they’re simply a tool of the Koch brothers. 

      Also, just because something is grassroots doesn’t make a group worthwhile. The KKK is also a grassroots organization.  

    2. The tea party is grassroots in the same way that hipsters are punk rock.  Ie- they’re not- they just wear the clothes.

      Grassroots movements dont begin with multiple websites registered by republican party pr firms months prior to when the “spontaneous speech” (santelli’s outburst) that “catalyzes” a movement.  http://www.historycommons.org/entity.jsp?entity=yasha_levine_1

      But as is pointed out elsewhere in this thread- being “grassroots” doesn’t in itself make a movement good or bad. 

      1. I was jumping on this thread to ask “Where is the Tea Party?” 

        Where is the anti-bankster/government cabal right?

        If they have any integrity, they would be there; they would set aside their differences and march arm and arm with these brave people. They would recognize that, in our current political climate, the populist, anti-banker, non-interventionist right has more in common with the left than not.

        Hell, I’d be there myself if it was at all feasible.

        Unfortunately, they started off as a small core of truly well intentioned grass roots citizens..but quickly were absorbed by the Fox News Borg.

  11. Will it be considered a success if nothing changes after the protest? I’m thinking in terms of the Montgomery Bus Boycott. People came together, demanded specific action and bus segregation ended.

      1. You’re right and I feel like an idiot for questioning the potential success of the protest. I wish I hadn’t done that. After I hit the button to post it, I found myself wishing I had the ability to delete my comment. Who am I to criticize those taking action to raise awareness while I sit idly behind a keyboard? I hope they shake things up and make a change.

        1. Is that sarcasm? I can’t honestly tell if that is sarcasm. If it is, I must assume that I accidentally offended you, and I did not mean to. I was simply bringing to light their progression and inviting you to help flesh it out since you seem very knowledgeable and everyone would benefit from an intelligent movement. I would like to see people storming in sharpening the ideals, helping from behind the keyboard or out in the streets but helping instigate change nonetheless.

          1. No, I wasn’t being sarcastic and I wasn’t offended by what you wrote. I just came to the self-realization that I shouldn’t be questioning those who are trying to make a difference. Especially now since things are really beginning to take shape with added support.

  12. Obama orders the assassination of a US citizen without even a scrap of due process, it’s fine.  Pepper-spray  a white girl and IT’S ON NOW BITCH. 

      1. Have you been watching the news? US citizen Anwar Al-Alaki (sp?) was just murdered by predator drone in Yemen, without any trial or hearing whatsoever. On direct orders of our Nobel Peace Prize winner-in-chief.

        Of course, it hardly makes it more objectionable that he was a US citizen, vs not…

  13. Try to marshal a serious argument next time. If I ate 100 vegetables tonight I’d die, but that doesn’t mean that more wouldn’t be good for me.

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