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October 2011, Week 2

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Fri, 14 Oct 2011 22:36:11 -0400
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Occupy Wall Street Turns Back Eviction Threat

by Mike Hall, 
Oct 14, 2011
http://blog.aflcio.org/2011/10/14/occupy-wall-street-turns-back-eviction-threat/

Following a huge and rapid public outcry that included
hundreds of thousands of online petition signatures and
phone calls to New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg's
office, a threatened clean-up/eviction of Occupy Wall
Street protesters was postponed early this morning.

Yesterday afternoon, Bloomberg said the city would use
force if necessary to evict the protesters who have been
camped in the privately owned Zuccotti Park for nearly a
month. He claimed the action was needed to "clean up"
the park and that the protesters would be allowed to
return, but under strict rules that in effect would shut
down the 24/7 protest against Wall Street greed.

As soon as the threat was made public, MoveOn.org, the
AFL-CIO and other progressive groups launched a huge
online and e-mail campaign to fight back against the
eviction. In just a matter of hours, more than 20,000
people signed an AFL-CIO petition calling on Bloomberg
to respect the protesters' First Amendment rights. (Many
thanks to everyone who took part!)


Also, New York City Central Labor Council (NYCLC)
President Vincent Alvarez met yesterday with Bloomberg
and urged the mayor to respect the protesters' rights
and allow them to remain in the park.

AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka denounced the
threatened closing of the park, saying,

     It is clear that what is being threatened in
     Zuccotti Park is nothing but silencing the voices
     and stomping out the rights of Americans. The AFL-
     CIO stands with Occupy Wall Street and the 99
     percent of Americans just trying to level the
     massively unequal playing field.

Representatives from the real estate company that owns
the park and Occupy Wall Street met late last night and
early this morning and reached an agreement to develop a
clean-up plan on their own that would not include
forcible eviction. Occupy Wall Streeter Tyler Combelic
told CNN:

     We're extremely excited. This is an example of what
     people power can do.

The protesters have been cleaning the park since they
began their action and have formed on Occupy Wall Street
Sanitation Operation. Says New York City Councilmen
Charles Barron:

     You want to clean up something? Clean up these
     crooks on Wall Street.

In other news from Occupy Wall Street, National Nurses
United (NNU) will set up a first aid station in Zuccotti
Park  to provide basic medical assistance to the
protestors. RN volunteers from NNU will staff the first
aid station. The union says it will set up similar first
aid stations in other cities where the protests are
growing.

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