What started on Wall Street has spread to nearly 1000 cities and towns in the United States and around the world. This movement is a direct response to the stark income inequality gap between the richest one percent, and the struggling 99 percent of workers. It is time for Wall Street to be held accountable and for politicians to listen to the people who got them elected – and not to the ultra-rich one percent who line their pockets. America wants to work!
Our brothers and sisters were mobilized and energetic on the days of the Occupy marches. Participation was seen by the American Federation of Teachers Local 420, AFGE Local 3354, Missouri National Education Association, SEIU Local 1, Teamsters Local 688 and 682, Communication Workers of America Local 6300, LIUNA (Laborers) Local 110, 660, 840, 42 and 44, Sheet Metal Workers Local 36, UAW Local 2250, 1760, 1887, and 282, UFCW Local 655 and 88, United Steelworkers Local 50, Pipefitters Local 562, Insulators International (AWIU), AFSCME, Bricklayers Local 1, St Louis Building and Construction Trades, Operating Engineers Local 148, Ironworkers 148, IBEW Local 1 and 124, Fire Fighters Association of Missouri, Machinists Union District 9, American Postal Workers Union District DAL, IUAW, among others.
This newsletter highlights recent actions across the state in the struggle to get Missourians back to work. Find the next action in your area here, and be sure to check out the Missouri AFL-CIO Facebook page and also @MOAFLCIO on Twitter!
OCCUPY ST. LOUIS
On Friday, October 14th over one thousand teachers, students, laborers, unemployed workers, senior citizens and retirees marched through downtown St. Louis. A highly anticipative and ambitious crowd was gathered at Kiener Plaza in their preparation to march in solidarity.
“For a generation, our economy has been geared towards spending more and working more while making less,” said Bob Soutier, President of the St. Louis Labor Council. “Working people have become staggeringly productive, but our wages fell through the floor. We’re here because “we are the 99 percent.” Since 1993, the majority of the income growth in our economy has gone to the other one percent.”
The protesters walked in solidarity to the Bank of America, hearing and reacting to stories of unrealistic bank loans and devastating home foreclosures. America wants to work, and there is much work to be done. The crowd marched down Market toward the Arch, where workers could see a few highways and bridges in need of construction.
“Now it is time for Congress to act to create millions of jobs and put America back to work. We need solutions on scale with the problems our economy faces. Our elected leaders must put aside partisanship long enough to help our middle class and economy recover. This is the moment in history every elected leader will be judged on their actions taken to create good jobs,” said Gary Elliott, Business Manager of the Eastern Missouri Laborers (MOLECET).
“The American Jobs Act includes significant investments in infrastructure – modernizing roads, transit systems, schools, airports, and other key components of a modern economy – and public servants, offering money to prevent layoffs of teachers and first responders.”
The Occupy St. Louis movement has been camped out at the Kiener Plaza in downtown St. Louis for weeks now with increasing community support. Occupy involvement has even looped in a commercial-free live showing of the World Series, communicating via livestream with Occupy Dallas during the breaks. Feel free to visit the Occupy St. Louis web site to check out more information and get involved at occupystl.org or their Facebook page.
The Occupy Kansas City movement has also been alive and well this past month, holding marches, information meetings, and camping out by the Kansas City Federal Reserve. The occupiers have been making their voices heard all over Kansas City – whether it’s handing out fliers during rush hour or making a stand at the Kansas City Federal Reserve. This movement is picking up strong momentum and media coverage, and many teachers, unemployed workers, retirees, students, and concerned citizens participated in the Occupy KC movement.
“It was heartening to see hundreds of Kansas Citians coming together to demand jobs, justice and fairness in the economy. For too long Wall Street and Big Banks have gone unchecked,” said Alexandra Townsend of AFSCME Council 72. “We look forward to continuing to stand and march in solidarity with Occupy Kansas City.”
The Occupy Kansas City movement will continue to hold events and meetings in Kansas City – their next big march will be on October 30th to the City Hall. For more information and to get involved, check out their web page at occupykc.com or their Facebook page.
OTHER OCCUPY EVENTS
Occupy Columbia, Missouri (COMO), Occupy St. Joseph and Occupy Springfield have also been strong participants in the occupy movement. They have been holding events and informational meetings in their communities for the past few weeks as well. There is an event in St. Joseph on October 22nd – check out their Facebook page or occupystjoseph.com for more information.