#N17: Bridge Actions Cross The Country
by SEIU New Media
November 17, 2011 - 8:35 PM EST
We're declaring an Economic Emergency for the 99%.
Despite months of demands by our community, despite millions
of people out of work calling for change, Congress and the
Wall Street banks continue to maintain the status quo,
enriching themselves at the expense of the rest of us.
Today we are saying enough is enough.
Our bridges need repair. Fixing them could put unemployed
people back to work. These actions are a powerful symbol of
our leaders' failure to pass a jobs bill or do anything to
help the 99%, while the richest 1% keep getting richer.
We're live-blogging throughout the day as these actions take
place in dozens of cities, including New York, Los Angeles,
Portland, Detroit, Philadelphia, Boston, Chicago, DC,
Seattle, Minneapolis, Milwaukee, Houston and Miami.
You can also follow us on Twitter at @SEIU for breaking
news, photos and lots of live updates.
[Reports on actions in Augusta (ME), Baltimore, Chicago,
Cleveland, Detroit, Great Falls (MT), Hartford, Houston,
Iowa City, Kalamazoo (MI), Los Angeles, Milwaukee,
Minneapolis, New York City, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh,
Portland, Richmond, Saginaw (MI), Seattle, Washington, DC
[pictures on actions in each city can be found at:
Roughly 1,000 protestors gathered in Chicago, IL on the
LaSalle bridge. Shortly after kicking off their march at
4:30EST, protestors blocked the bridge for over an hour.
Protestors also marched to the Chicago Board of Trade and
Grant Park to round out their day of action.
48 protestors were taken away by the police during the
bridge action and were cited for "Pedestrian Failure to
Exercise Due Care" for blocking traffic on the bridge. View
more photos of the Chicago protest at NBC Chicago.
7:38pm -- 800 protestors marching in Seattle to the
8:05pm -- An image from the protest:
NEW YORK CITY
8:05 PM: Watch footage of SEIU President Mary Kay Henry
being arrested at the Brooklyn Bridge today. The New York
Times reported this evening that more than 200 people in
total were arrested in NYC.
1199SEIU United Healthcare Workers East members are turning
out in full force.
New York photo:
Students on strike are also out in the streets today to take
additional New York photo:
6:20 PM: As protestors continue to rally, 25 people engaged
- and subsequently arrested - in a sit-in on the bridge.
Roughly 1,500 protestors in Philadelphia, PA marched across
the Market Street Bridge this afternoon -- a bridge that's
in bad a state of disrepair as the Minneapolis bridge when
8:25PM EST: The Action in Milwaukee is over. The protestors
marched from the bridge to Micah in solidarity and victory.
Wisconsin Jobs Now tweeted some great things to wrap up
their bridge action:
"And thanks to the Milwaukee pd on being so very civil
and helpful, we're all the 99%." "?So congratulations
everyone on an incredibly successful day of action.
Bridge occupied, cold defeated, victory declared".
6:10 PM: Protesters have surrounded the sitters in
solidarity after cops tear down the tape barrier. The
chanting keeps getting louder.
5:50 PM: Protestors in Milwaukee, Wisconsin are setting up
camp for the night at the protest.
Today in Great Falls, Montana, more than 40 protestors and
members of the Montana Organizing Project protested
peacefully to show their solidarity with millions of other
Americans to fight for jobs--and tell Wall Street that
enough is enough.
Great Falls photo:
Clergy, unemployed workers, and local residents in
Minneapolis, Minnesota marched to "Bridge the Jobs Gap" and
win good jobs and economic and racial justice. Protesters
occupied the 10th Street bridge near the Mondale University
of Minnesota Law
11 people overall were arrested during the days actions in
Minneapolis. Pastor Paul Slack, a speaker at the rally
today, was the first to be arrested on the 10th Street
Additional Minneapolis photo:
The protest later went back to the University, where
individuals spoke out against social and racial disparity
within their community.
6:13 PM: The protest is over...twelve people have been
arrested. This photo was taken right as the police began
5:52 PM: The Travis Street Bridge is blocked. Protestors
just sat down on Travis Street Bridge and more than 20
police officers have surrounded them.
Additional Houston photos:
5:30 PM: In Houston, Texas, more than 500 protestors and
Occupy supporters are rallying at Market Sq. Park, chanting
"Jobs, not cuts!" "We are the 99%," and "Tired and
broke/cant take it no more!"
6:45 PM: March is over. No arrests made!
5:15 PM: March has begun.
4:55 PM: Over 2,000 people gathered under the overpass at
Jose Marti Park to stand up against unfair government
policies that support the 1%.
4:45 PM: The Latin band Cache is pumping up the crowd.
additional Miami photo:
Great turnout in Baltimore today - hundreds marched across
the Howard Street Bridge.
Approximately 250 people peacefully marched to and across
the Greenfield Bridge in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania this
The Greenfield Bridge is in such bad repair that it has
catch pans under it to capture falling debris. As several
hundred protestors surged across the bridge - including
construction workers bearing tools and equipment - a large
"Good Jobs Now" banner was displayed for drivers on
Near dusk, nearly 100 showed up to march across the Michigan
Avenue Bridge in Kalamazoo, Michigan. People shouted chants
like "Banks got bailed out, we got sold out!"
Over 100 Mainers gathered at the crumbling Rines Hill Bridge
in downtown Augusta to urge Congress to create jobs and an
economy that works for the 99 percent of Americans.
"By repairing bridges, roads, parks and schools, we could
create millions of jobs. Instead of putting Americans back
to work by repairing bridges like this crumbling Rines Hill
Bridge, Congress has failed to pass a single jobs bill and
the Supercommittee is considering job-killing budget cuts,"
said Jon Upham, an electrician from Bath.
In Connecticut, more than 200 people blocked the entrance
ramp to 1-84 in downtown Hartford this afternoon. Ten
protestors were arrested.
Dozens of protestors in Saginaw, MI stood alongside M-46 to
fight for jobs for unemployed Americans.
"I want our voices heard, the unemployed in Michigan," said
Mary S. Barker of Mount Pleasant. The Saginaw News claims
Ms. Barker has been unemployed for 27 months after being
laid off from her job as a librarian at a private school.
Protestors in Detroit, Michigan gathered together today to
take over the Second Ave. bridge over I-94. Their march took
them from the Second Ave. bridge to Wayne State University,
then back to the bridge.
Obie Griffin with Good Jobs Now spoke to reporters, saying
"I will do whatever it takes to draw the attention of
those that don't represent me. This is the 99-percent.
The one-percent is not representing me, yet here it is
they are the ones."
See more coverage at myFOX Detroit and the the Detroit News.
4:15PM: Over 1,000 people have shut down the Second Ave.
bridge over 1-94 in Detroit, Michigan.
SEIU Local 1 joined Occupy Cleveland in Ohio to express
solidarity with the Occupy Wall Street movement today. More
photos on Facebook here.
Great shot from Key Bridge:
4:05 PM: Marchers from DC and VA have just met in the middle
of the bridge.
Video of protesters on the Key Bridge in DC:
Follow @SEIU and @OurDC on Twitter for updates.
More DC pics:
Over 70 Virginians came out in the cold pouring rain in
Richmond today to declare an economic emergency for the 99%.
Residents rallied in front of the Hamilton Street Bridge/195
overpass which cuts through Rep. Cantor's district. Rep.
Cantor's unemployed constituents called on him to stop
obstruction the American Jobs Act by dropping a banner
declaring, "Rep. Cantor: This bridge needs work, and so do
Additional Richmond photo:
Rallygoers adorned the support structure of the bridge with
signs that said, "Caution: Cantor Obstruction Zone"
"Caution: Cuts Approaching" and "Caution: Falling Middle
Class." More pics from Virginia Organizing on Flickr here.
10:35am -- Here are some pictures of a rally in LA:
11:30am -- Coming down grand on 5th flooding streets
11:55am -- Police arresting protesters in LA.
12:13pm -- Live video from L.A.
12:25pm -- Here's an overhead view of a part of the L.A.
12:56pm -- 16 peaceful arrests in L.A.
11:04am -- Police have shut down the Steel Bridge.
11:09am -- Livestream of the Portland event:
http://www.livestream.com/occupyptown. Here's a picture of
the closed bridge: http://twitpic.com/7fefyx
11:35am -- Peaceful arrests have begun in Portland on the
Steel Bridge: http://twitpic.com/7ferzm
11:57am -- More images out of Portland on the Steel Bridge
12:36pm -- Here's another picture of Portland's Steel
12:45pm -- Portland Police spokesman: "The group has been
utterly peaceful" http://bit.ly/sGMKeA
Citizens in Iowa City, IA took to Park City bridge. The
bridge was damaged in a flood in 2008 and has yet to be
repaired. Members from SEIU Local 199 were joined by Occupy,
Citizen Action and graduate students from University of
Iowa City photo:
From the Press-Citizen in Iowa City:
The signs of aging on the nearly 50-year-old bridge that
spans the Iowa River are obvious: chipping paint, bent
side rails and chunks of concrete missing. A sign draped
over the side of the bridge read, "This bridge needs
work. So do we." http://www.press-citizen.com/article/20111117/NEWS01/111117005/Protesters-use-aging-bridge-to-illustrate-country-s-economic-peril
- - - - - - -
The November 17th National Day of Action is the most
prominent example to date of Occupy protesters joining
forces with progressive organizations, labor unions and the
American Dream movement, which is a partnership between
MoveOn.org, Rebuild The Dream, SEIU, Center for Community
Change, and many other groups.
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