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Occupy Wall Street - Thursday update
The occupation continues, in about the 13th day and pouring rain. Occupiers walk solidarity picket with Verizon workers.
No really new news at the site. except preparation for a really strong thunder storm. The permit does not allow for any "strutures" erected, so big tarps covering everybody and everything - including media equipment is all allowed.
A U.S. map is up with markers for all the cities having solidarity activity, including Oakland and San Francisco. A report placed about 5,000 people at a Wisconsin site in recent days. There is some type of public hearing late PM over an officer who'd pepper sprayed young women - with police supervisors seen directing the action at the site, while trapping people in a new type of protester net in the street last weekend.
The issue was covered well in the press, the Village Voice I think. Regular New Yorkers not directly involved are pissed off at the brutality, from a few I talked to at other places around the city.
IWW activists at the site rallied some of us to a noon-time informational picket at Verizon, maybe a quarter mile away. Workers are holding these actions twice weekly on lunch hour, while working without a contract. As we marched the streets to the site with Verizon signs chanting "What are we fighting? Corporate greed!", many passersby shouted out in support of the action. Construction workers at lunch at worksites all across the way - in a part of town that seems like one big construction site including the subway system - yelled and chanted loudly in solidarity as we passed. "All Verizon jobs union jobs" was the over-riding chant at the picket in front of a Verizon office.
I'm told their contract ended in August. They were on strike for two weeks and are now working under the old contract in a 30-day cooling off period while negotiations continue. Negotiations have reportedly not been productive, and management wants to "decimate" the existing contract conditions. The slogan of "All Verizon jobs are union jobs" includes demanding an end to contracting jobs oversees. Workers passed out flyers suggesting customers switch service to AT&T, which compensates its workers much better.