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NEWS: Unions back Wall Street Occupation

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Trade campaigner Stuart Trew’s photo of the Wall Street Occupation, the evening of Oct. 1

The New York Daily News reports, “Thousands of union workers joined protesters marching in downtown Manhattan (on Wednesday) for Occupy Wall Street’s largest rally yet against corporate greed. Member’s of the city’s biggest labour unions (joined the protest). …At least 39 unions and community organizations were part of the march…” Unions represented there included the National Nurses Union (with 170,000 members), the New York City Transit Workers Union (with 40,000 members), the United Federation Teachers, United Auto Workers, United Healthcare Workers, Public Employees Union DC37, and SEIU 1199 and SEIU’s massive 32BJ union (representing 120,000 property service workers).

CBC reports, “Several unions joined students demonstrating in New York’s financial district Wednesday in what have become known as the Occupy Wall Street protests. National Nurses United, the Chinatown Tenants Union, and the Transit Workers Union…were among those who joined the demonstration and a march in Lower Manhattan.”

“Sterling W. Roberson, vice-president for the United Federation of Teachers, said union members shared the same ideals as activists who have been camped out in sleeping bags for more than two weeks. …’We have to start by making Wall Street pay to undo the damage that has caused immeasurable suffering while the high rollers on Wall Street, who created this crisis, are rewarded with bailouts, bonuses, tax cuts, and regulatory rollbacks,’ the executive director of National Nurses United, Roseann DeMoro said…”

Also joining Wednesday’s march, “the liberal group, and community organizations like the Working Families Party and United NY. … is planning a ‘virtual march’ on its website by encouraging people to post photos of themselves with the caption: ‘I’m the 99 per cent’ — a reference to those people not among the wealthiest one per cent of Americans and the debate over whether they should be taxed more.”

The CBC report adds, “Protests are planned in Canadian cities such as Vancouver, Montreal and Calgary. On Oct. 15, a group plans on staging a sit-in in Toronto’s financial district. Chatter on social media suggests a similar event is planned for Vancouver’s financial district on the same day.”

Two weeks ago, the Council of Canadians expressed its solidarity with the Wall Street Occupation, We are now making contact with the various Occupy groups across Canada. OccupyMontreal is scheduled to begin just five days before we hold our major conference/ annual general meeting in that city, As noted above, OccupyToronto is scheduled to start on October 15,