“Can the Labor Movement and Occupy Wall Street March down the Same Road?”

New York City – Jan. 27 Murphy Institute, CUNY, 25 W. 43 rd St. 18th Floor, New York Friday, January 27, 2012 — 8:30am until 10:30am

Occupy Wall Street’s singular achievement has been to inject issues of concentrated wealth, inequality, and the threat to democracy into the heart of national debate, something the labor movement has tried but largely failed to do for many years. Occupy Wall Street continues to generate attention across the country. While unions were one of its earliest supporters, and share some of its ideals, the two movements are also markedly different.

Unlike unions, Occupy Wall Street is inherently anti-capitalist. It also makes a point of not having a set of demands or a defined leadership, while trade unions are highly structured representative bodies that pay meticulous attention to formulating specific programs and demands. How do the two movements view each other? What has been their working relationship so far? How do OWS and unions see organizing? Are their strategies and tactics compatible? What can OWS gain from the involvement of organized labor, and vice versa?

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