On the occasion of its one-year anniversary, Occupy Wall Street has invited all members of the 99% to New York City for three days of education, celebration, and direct action from September 15-17. [Read the OWS S17 Call to Action. View the OWS S17 promotional video]
The Labor Network for Sustainability – an organization devoted to sustainable livelihoods on a livable planet — urges all those concerned about the future of working people and the future of our planet to join OWS in New York and across the country.
Remember Occupy Wall Street? A year ago on September 17, a few hundred people occupied a New York City park and started a national – indeed a global – conversation about the power of Wall Street and the future of our world. There are those who want to shut down that discussion – and they use every tactic from racial division and global fear-mongering to police clubs and illegal surveillance. But that discussion – and the fight for the well-being of the 99% all over the world galvanized by OWS — must continue.
This September, Occupy Wall Street and its allies in the New York City labor movement are returning to Wall Street and they are asking all who have been inspired by their action to join them. The plans include opportunities for diverse advocates for the 99% to participate in their own way and to focus attention on their own concerns.
September 15th and 16th will feature an array of cultural and education programming, including town square assemblies, teach-ins, and a concert at Foley Square. Monday, September 17 will be a day of public assembly and non-violent civil disobedience in the financial district with varied options for participation and support.
The Labor Network for Sustainability believes the financial industry’s greed for profit is making our world unlivable – economically, socially, and environmentally – for the 99%. LNS is an organization of working people who are concerned about the environment and environmentalists who are concerned about jobs and working people. LNS founding president Joe Uehlein, former Secretary-Treasurer of the AFL-CIO’s Industrial Union Department and member of the Union of Concerned Scientists’ National Advisory Board, says:
For us the idea of sustainability includes but goes beyond the environment to encompass social and economic sustainability as well. The fight against global warming, for example, is really part of a broad shift in society’s principles and vision – a shift from honoring greed to honoring what’s good for the health of the planet and the people on it first and foremost. That’s to the benefit of labor – and it will only happen if labor helps take the lead.
LNS believes that an economy driven to enrich the 1 percent cannot meet the needs of the 99% for a secure, sustainable future. We need a strategy to counter the threats to economic security and climate security by putting people to work to create a low-pollution, climate-friendly, sustainable global economy. It will require democratizing our economy so that we can direct our labor and our investment to sustainably meeting the needs of all people. It will require not just different policies, or even different structures, but a global society mobilized for change. That change will ensure jobs and livelihoods for all, because it will take all the work—and all the creativity—we can muster.
OWS has embraced climate change as a core concern. A General Assembly resolution states, “We are at a dangerous tipping point in history. The destruction of our planet and climate change are almost at a point of no return.” The resolution links climate destruction to the shift in political power that lies at the heart of Occupy: “We must reclaim our democracy to protect our planet. It adds, “The same banks that foreclosed on millions of Americans’ homes are busy foreclosing on Earth. They gladly underwrite anything that smells like money no matter how terrible the cost to the rest of us, our children and our planet’s future.”
The S17 convergence provides a unique occasion for alliance-building and media visibility for OWS allies – an opportunity to show solidarity among all who work for sustainable livelihoods on a sustainable planet.