November 7, 2011
By Bendix Anderson
Dozens of activists from Occupy Wall Street beat a snare drum and carried banners and American flags to welcome over a hundred unions workers marching across the Brooklyn Bridge in support of Occupy Wall Street October 25.
“We are the 99 percent — AND SO ARE YOU!” said Aaron Black, a direct action activist who met the union marchers on the Bridge. Black has been living at Zucotti Park in Lower Manhattan 24-hours a day since the Occupy Wall Street protests began weeks ago. His call was picked up by the union marchers behind him as they stepped off the Brooklyn Bridge into Manhattan.
New York State Assemblyman Vito Lopez organized the march and headlined a press conference and rally at Brooklyn Borough Hall. Marchers also carried signs for the United Federation of Teachers, the Retail Workers and Department Store Union, 23BJ and the Service Workers International Union, among others.
The delegation from Occupy Wall Street included a variety of signs, from “No Human Being is Illegal” to a banner reading “Debt is Slavery, End the Fed.” At the foot of the Brooklyn Bridge, the delegation from Occupy Wall Street warmed up the Human Megaphone — as Black finished each phrase, the crowd around him repeated his words — to welcome union marchers and relay the route to Zucotti Park.
More political leaders met the marchers at the Park. “We cannot allow anyone to divide us… public sector unions should be the loudest voice for private sector unions, and visa versa,” said New York State Senator Eric Adams. “It’s important for union members to realize that they do have a dog in this fight.”
Labor organizations like the Retail Workers and Department Store Union have been coordinating with the protesters in Zucotti Park to delivery some supplies and volunteers to the Park, depending on what the protesters say they need. “We are all fighting for the same things,” said Black, who supports labor unions. “If they are being treated unfairly, we want to stand with them.”