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Unions, Occupy Wall Street Join Together in New York, Peoria, Around the Nation

The Occupy Wall Street movement has spread from big cities to small towns, mobilizing a diverse group of people from young workers to grandmothers. Even “The New Yorker” has taken note, with a cover this week that portrays a group of “protesters” who have occupied Wall Street since its inception—and who would like to keep it that way. Take a look here

Meanwhile unions and union members around the country are throwing their support to the movement that is demanding Wall Street be held accountable, that financial institutions invest some of the trillions in profits they are sitting on into job creation and that Congress act to create jobs.

Transport Workers (TWU) President James Little says in this video that the Occupy Wall Street protesters have been the spark that set off this growing rebellion against greed and the huge economic inequality that has enriched the top 1 percent and left the other 99 percent behind.

If these people don’t get together and try to change some of the inequity that’s out there, no one’s going to do it. It has to be done. It’s not being changed in Washington, not by legislators. They’ve got to wake up.


While much of the focus on union members joining the Occupy Wall Street actions has been on cities like New York, Boston, Los Angeles and Chicago, workers in places like Pocatello, Idaho, also are taking to the streets. This past Saturday, the Pocatello Central Labor Council mobilized to join the Occupy Pocatello march and rally.

It plays in Peoria, too. First, Occupy Peoria activist joined in an America Wants to Work rally outside Rep. Aaron Schock’s (R) office during the AFL-CIO’s National Week of Action. That was followed by the West Central Illinois Labor Council and Building Trades mobilizing with Occupy Peoria for a march and rally. The council also has made meeting rooms and office space available to the group.

Tomorrow night in New York City, protesters from Occupy Wall Street will join the Communications Workers of America (CWA) for a march to and a rally outside a Verizon Wireless store to protest corporate greed by Verizon. Verizon Wireless workers have been on the front lines of the struggle against corporate greed.  This summer they were forced on strike and while they have returned to work, the battle for a fair contract continues.

The call for economic justice and equality has long been a cornerstone in the labor/faith community. This week, Interfaith Worker Justice (IWJ) released an interfaith prayer service that can be used or adapted for faith communities looking to reflect and pray on the occupy movement. It’s designed to help people reflect on a moral economy within the context of their religious tradition. Written for clergy and religious leaders, the prayer service is aimed for those Occupying Wall Street and other cities, and for congregational use. Says IWJ Executive Director Kim Bobo:

The core issues here are the growing inequality in the nation, the lack of responsiveness to that and the job crisis.

The prayer service has been tailored for Christian, Jewish and Muslim congregations. Click here to download it.

You can take action now. Tell Congress its time for Wall Street to start Paying US Back! A tiny tax on financial services can generate billions of dollars. Sign the online petition here.

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