31,000 Deliver Message to Wall Street: Fix The Mess You Made
|AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka (center), Executive Vice President Arlene Holt Baker and NYC Central Labor Council President Jack Ahern join TWU members and 30,000 other on-the-ground and virtual marchers to Make Wall Street Pay.|
Some 15,000 union members and other progressives on the ground and another 16,000 virtual marchers got Main Street’s message to Wall Street today: Good Jobs Now! Wall Street Must Pay! Marchers in New York carried the names of virtual marchers on stickers as they marched toward the statue of the Wall Street bull.
Led by AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka, union members and activists from National People’s Action (NPA), NAACP, Move On and others took over Wall Street during the afternoon rush hour for a march and rally. When the marchers got to Wall Street, there were so many that they filled up two streets.
At the rally, Trumka told the cheering crowd:
We’re here today for the folks who were played for suckers in the casino economy and will be silent no more. And the message we bring is this: Wall Street, fix the mess you made.
America lost 8.5 million jobs because of the financial crisis created by Wall Street, Trumka said, and now is 11 million jobs in the hole.
We need to go back to basics, where good jobs, not bad debts, drive our growth. An economy where Wall Street is the servant, and not the master of Main Street.
Workers in the public sector and education talked about how deep budget cuts are strangling schools and public services.
NAACP President Benjamin Jealous told the massive crowd that this is the time to take back America from the Big Banks. He said while money can buy votes, money can’t vote and all the newly registered voters in the 2008 election will make a difference in 2010.
Trumka laid out three simple steps the Big Banks can take to start paying back for the damage caused by their risky actions
- Stop fighting Wall Street reform. Stop acting like what happened to our economy was some kind of accident, like a meteor fell on us. Take some responsibility for what you did. Call off the lobbyists.
- Second-Stop speculating and start lending. We bailed you out, it’s far past time you started lending to Main Street.
- Third-Take responsibility for the clean-up of the mess you made. Pay your fair share of the cost of creating the jobs you destroyed.
During the rally and march, hundreds of participants joined a text messaging action and called Goldman Sachs, telling the Wall Street giant to stop opposing meaningful financial reform. In addition to the mass of people taking part, hundreds watched the event in a live webcast (see clips at www.aflcio.org/wallstreet) and commented live throughout the march and rally, many showing the deep hunger across the country for action to create jobs and restore our economy.
Some of the comments included:Kevin Hansel/IN: WALLSTREET- IT’S OUR MONEY AND WE NEED IT NOW!!!!!
Rita: After living through a lay-off lasting 11 months, I’m working 3 part time jobs for less pay! Stop the destruction of the working class! Solidarity Now!!!
Donna:TRUMKA CAN LEAD US INTO THE FUTURE! GOD BLESS HIM!
Liz: TAKE THIS MARCH NATIONWIDE!!!!!!!
CWA 7019: Shame on you Wall Street!