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06 Oct 2011 01:17


U.S.: Occupy Wall Street: The crowds get bigger, the police more violent?

  • Switching gears a little bit, tonight’s Occupy Wall Street rallies hit a new peak, in part thanks to fresh support from unions such as AFL-CIO, the United Federation of Teachers, the Communications Workers of America and District Council 37. (According to one estimate, the crowd hit 20,000, but an exact number couldn’t be narrowed down — either way, it was large.) But the new peak in attendance came with a price — police brutality, some of which hit journalists covering the march. “I don’t know what sparked it, but people started tossed about, and I did see people getting beaten with clubs, and I personally was pepper sprayed,” said Flux Rostrum, a journalist and videographer for Mobile Broadcast News. Above is a clip of one of the more violent scenes tonight — the way that they’re throwing around those batons is nothing short of frightening. In all, at least 28 people were arrested. (thanks usualchatter for the kick in the pants; this take on the evening’s events is also worth a read) source

01 Oct 2011 16:43


U.S.: Labor unions slowly latching onto Occupy Wall Street

  • I think it’s a tactic and a valid tactic to call attention to a problem. Wall Street is out of control. We have three imbalances in this country—the imbalance between imports and exports, the imbalance between employer power and working power, and the imbalance between the real economy and the financial economy. We need to bring back balance to the financial economy, and calling attention to it and peacefully protesting is a very legitimate way of doing it.
  • AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka • Talking on C-SPAN Friday about mass protests in general and Occupy Wall Street in particular. Trumka’s endorsement of the protests shadows the growing support the movement is getting from such labor unions as the Transport Workers Union. If the movement grows among labor unions, that will help swell the growth of the movement significantly. source

03 Sep 2011 12:49


Politics: Obama presses Congress to pass job-saving transportation bill

  • Right away, over 4,000 workers would be furloughed without pay. If it’s delayed for just 10 days, we will lose nearly $1 billion in highway funding that we can never get back. And if we wait even longer, almost 1 million workers could be in danger of losing their jobs over the next year.
  • President Barack Obama • Speaking in his weekly radio address about the importance of passing the Surface Transportation Bill — a bill that funds the construction of highways, bridges and so on — before the end of the month. If not, he claims it could cost thousands of jobs, if not more. The AFL-CIO and Chamber of Commerce —a.k.a. unions and big businesses — both support the bill. But Republicans, of course, take issue with the way Obama is framing the debate. Sigh. JUST WORK, GOVERNMENT! source

03 Mar 2011 01:12


Politics: Union rep: We’ll turn lemons into lemonade

  • This isn’t a fight we looked for, but it is one we can turn to our advantage.
  • Thea Lee, the AFL-CIO Deputy Chief of Staff • On the Wisconsin budget battle. Unions really seem to be reveling in this fight; AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka says that his organization has “never seen the incredible solidarity that we’re seeing right now.” source

24 Dec 2009 09:36


Politics: Reaction from the Right – and Left – to Health Care vitriolic

  • This morning, as millions of Americans prepared to gather with their families in celebration of Christmas, President Obama and Harry Reid gathered with their liberal allies in celebration of government.
  • RNC Chairman Michael Steele • Regarding the health care plan’s passage. Man, Mikey, you’re a regular Mitch McConnell, aren’t you? On the other side of the spectrum, AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka said he preferred the House bill, mainly because, well, they didn’t need to gut everything to get it passed. He made this quip, though: “Not since the passage of Medicare 44 years ago have we seen Republican scare tactics so blatantly contrary to the interests of the American people.” source