For all the hand-wringing by cable news and pundits about what the Occupy Wall Street protests are actually about, there was a pretty anti-corporate message at the protests Wednesday in downtown Manhattan. But despite the overarching opposition to the financial sector’s political influence, some of the protesters dismissed the need to have a unified message in the demonstrations.The declaration published last weekend made the movement's agenda clear: end corporate hegemony. Is that so hard to understand? The Teamsters, 1.4 million strong apparently do.
Protesters marched from Occupy Wall Street’s base in Zuccotti Park to meet up with union organizers a few blocks away in Foley Square, where the march was then set to head to the financial district. Along the way there were chants of “We got sold out/banks got bailed out” and “Hey hey, ho ho, Wall Street greed has got to go.”
People carried signs with messages like “people before profits,” “greed is killing earth,” “corporate $ out of politics” and “due to recent budget cuts, the light at the end of the tunnel has been turned off.” One had a picture of JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon that said “Wall Street Robber Banker.”
James P Hoffa, leader of the Teamsters Union, which represents 1.4m workers. confirmed its backing for Occupy Wall Street in a statement....:
No one should be surprised that Occupy Wall Street is gaining support and spreading quickly around the country. The American Dream has disappeared for students, whose reality is debt and unemployment. The dream disappeared for workers forced to take wage cuts by employers sitting on billions of dollars in profits. The dream disappeared for working families who paid too steep a price for Wall Street's greed, stupidity and fraud.
It's clear what this movement is all about. It's about taking America back from the CEOs and billionaires on Wall Street who have destroyed our nation's economy. It's about creating good jobs. It's about corporate America treating its workers and customers with honesty and fairness and paying its fair share to stimulate the economy.
Teamsters all over the country are participating in Occupy Wall Street events, and I support and encourage them. We stand in solidarity with Americans who want better lives for themselves and for future generations.