Saturday, October 1, 2011

Occupy Wall Street Gets Traditional Union Support

The city's most experienced agitators—the labor and community groups that typically organize local marches, rallies and sit-ins—have been largely missing from the Occupy Wall Street protest that is in its 13th day at Zuccotti Park in lower Manhattan.

But that's about to change.

A loose coalition of labor and community groups said Thursday that they would join the protest next week. They are organizing a solidarity march scheduled for Wednesday that is expected to start at City Hall and finish a few blocks south at Zuccotti Park.

“It's a responsibility for the progressive organizations in town to show their support and connect Occupy Wall Street to some of the struggles that are real in the city today,” said Jon Kest, executive director of New York Communities for Change...

But as the action nears the start of its third week, unions and community groups are eager to jump on board. They are motivated perhaps by a sense of solidarity and a desire to tap into its growing success, but undoubtedly by something else too—embarrassment that a group of young people using Twitter and Facebook have been able to draw attention to progressive causes in a way they haven't been able to in years.

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