The Occupy Wall Street movement got a big boost this week when organized labor decided to get involved. Members of several New York unions came out to Wednesday’s demonstrations and national unions expressed their support.
The intervention of the AFL/CIO means more than just more people protesting and more people getting arrested. The unions bring two great strengths to the Occupy Wall Street movement:
- Their ability to organize, which could help sustain the protest for many weeks and months.
- The fact that they have an action plan for changing the country’s direction, something that Occupy Wall Street doesn’t yet have.
The movement is also picking up steam in the news media, with coverage every day for the past week. As late as last week, I saw a lot of Facebook complaints that the news media were ignoring the Occupy Wall Street movement. I didn’t think it was so then, and it certainly isn’t true now.
And it looks as if our elected officials and candidates have stopped ignoring the Occupy Wall Street movement. This morning, President Obama said he believes that the Occupy Wall Street movement reflects the current national mode. Amen to the truth!
Until President Obama made his remarks this morning, Democrats have been ignoring or running away from Occupy Wall Street. Running away would describe the comments of our Vice President Joe Biden, who yesterday compared Occupy Wall Street to Tea-partiers, who in Joe’s version hated the TARP bailout of the financial system. Of course the easy-to-understand code embedded in Biden’s remark is that both are extremists who have no place in politics.
Now it looks as if Joe Biden’s boss, the POTUS AKA Barack Obama is overruling him and sympathizing with the protestors and unions. Something else the unions may have been behind since they and trial lawyers are traditionally the two biggest donors to Democratic candidates and the Democratic party.
Let’s hope the Democrats build on Obama’s remarks. Imagine if Barack Obama or Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi were to speak at an Occupy Wall Street rally and tell demonstrators what the Dems intend to do about the growing inequity of wealth in this country. A jobs program. Higher taxes on the wealthy. More investment in public institutions. Wouldn’t that energize many of the protestors to volunteer for and vote for Democrats?