Unions, community organizers, and even more college students are swarming together at Occupy Wall Street on its 19th day. Occupy Wall Street organizers have already posted a game plan for today on their site:
“On October 05, 2011, at 3:00 in the afternoon the residents of Liberty Square will gather to join their union brothers and sisters in solidarity and march. At 4:30 in the afternoon the 99% will march in solidarity with #occupywallstreet from Foley Square to the Financial District, where their pensions have disappeared to, where their health has disappeared to. Together we will protest this great injustice.”
Those set to join in on the fracas today include the liberal group MoveOn.org, Working Families Party and United NY. The Chinatown Tenants Union and the Transit Workers Union have also signaled their intent to join the swelling marchers’ ranks. The Transit Workers Union alone has 20,000 members in the New York City area.
On top of that, the Occupy Wall Street organizers are calling for a 2PM walk out of college students across the United States. And the protest organizers are using Twitter and Social Media to rally protests in other cities.
Similar “Occupy” movement have sprouted up in Boston, Los Angeles, Chicago, and Seattle, among others.
The Occupy Wall Street Movement has received criticism in the media for its lack of a clear message or definable goals beyond rage at Wall Street and general perceptions of injustice in society. Protest organizers claim it draws inspiration from the Arab Spring in North Africa and the Middle East. There are environmentalists, anarchists, and communists spread among the group.
But a muddled message certainly hasn’t slowed down the protest at all. And the labor unions could provide a major manpower boost, as well as on-the-ground organizational assistance.
President Michael Mulgrew of the United Federation of Teachers, the sole bargaining agent for 75,000 New York City public school teachers, has publicly endorsed the demonstrations, stating:
“The way our society is now headed it does not work for 99% of people, so when Occupy Wall Street started … they kept to it and they’ve been able to create a national conversation that we think should have been going on for years.”
The conversation is likely to kick up into a higher gear if there are mass arrests like the 700 this past weekend, or acts of violence or destruction break out.
One thing is for sure– It’s going to be loud and hectic on the southern tip of Manhattan today.