CWA: Movement's Peaceful Protests 'An Appropriate Expression of Anger'
CWA members march in Occupy Wall Street demonstrations this week in New York City (above and left) and San Francisco (below). Protesters have also joined with CWA to leaflet at Verizon and Verizon Wireless stores and buildings.
Fighting for economic justice and good jobs to rebuild America's middle class, CWA members and thousands of other union members joined Occupy Wall Street demonstrators for a march in New York's financial district on Wednesday. CWA also participated in San Francisco and other cities as similar rallies and protests spread nationwide.
The New York City crowd swelled to an estimated 20,000 demonstrators Wednesday. "Being able to be here and walk in protest with my union is amazing," said Local 1180 member Marissa Colon-Margolies. "My dad, who believed in the American dream, got laid off four years ago. He was an engineer and designed some of the first computers and now he can't get a job. The Wall Street people and politicians are demonizing union workers for having too much. It's what everyone should have."
The CWA Executive Board endorsed the Occupy Wall Street movement this week, saying it is "an appropriate expression of anger for all Americans, but especially for those who have been left behind by Wall Street. We support the activists' non-violent efforts to seek a more equitable and democratic society based on citizenship, not corporate greed."
Toward that end, Occupy Wall Street demonstrators have shown their support for Verizon and Verizon Wireless workers by joining CWA to leaflet at VZW stores and for rallies and marches outside Verizon buildings.
The OWS activities have brought together people of all ages with diverse opinions but shared general goals. As described by the AFL-CIO, working Americans are calling for:
- Wall Street and corporate America to invest in America: big corporations should invest some of the $2 trillion in cash they have on hand, and use it to create good jobs. Banks should be making credit more accessible to small businesses, instead of parking almost $1 trillion at the Federal Reserve.
- An end to foreclosures by rewriting loans to stop the downward spiral of the housing market and inject more than $70 billion into the U.S. economy.
- A tiny tax on financial transactions to raise hundreds of billions in revenue that could fund education and create jobs rebuilding our country. Such a tax also would discourage speculation and encourage long-term investment.
As the protests continue and grow, the AFL-CIO said unions nationwide "will open our union halls and community centers as well as our arms and our hearts to those with the courage to stand up and demand a better America."