Emergency Labor Network
We in the Emergency Labor Network salute the Occupy Wall Street movement in its demand for social justice. During the past several decades we have witnessed an historic growing inequality where wealth has been diverted from working people and channeled into the hands of bankers, corporate CEOs and the rich. Government policies of deregulation and its relentless lowering of taxes on corporations and the rich have simply accelerated these tendencies.
The people in America have grown increasingly resentful of a political system that has abandoned them. Corporate money has penetrated both the Democratic and Republican parties. Consequently, politicians from both parties have routinely lowered taxes on the corporations and the rich, while they have laid off public workers, slashed public education, health care, and social services, threatened Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid, and done little to stem environmental devastation.
The grievances of Occupy Wall Street are just and represent the interests of the vast majority of the population. The overwhelming majority wants a massive jobs creation program, they want taxes on the rich raised, they want Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid preserved and expanded, they want public education and social services to be fully funded, and they want the war dollars to be brought home now. By maintaining political independence, and remaining in the streets — and refusing to be co-opted by either corporate political party — this movement has the potential to inspire millions of ordinary people across the country and become truly massive. Its numbers will be its strength.
During the past year, the Emergency Labor Network has been urging organized labor to launch massive demonstrations in the streets to demand a government jobs program that would put millions back to work (and be paid for by taxing Wall Street), stop cuts to Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid, increase taxes on the rich, and end the wars now. We encourage organized labor and the Occupy Wall Street movement to join together and coordinate demonstrations across the country in order to maximize their size. These demonstrations can be a powerful tool in winning demands, as people all over the world have recently been learning.