Wednesday, November 16, 2011

This Land Is My Land; This Land Is Your Land; This Land Is Not “Their Land.

This Land Is My Land; This Land Is Your Land; This Land Is Not “Their Land.

It is time for America to accept the fact that we need to Occupy The Streets of this land and through strikes, boycotts and credit card cancellation, through buy only American; choking the living hell out of powerful privileged who believe they are above the ;law and rape us if we were their slaves.


The International Brotherhood of Teamsters, representing 1.4 million hardworking men and women throughout the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico, acting through its General Executive Board hereby adopts the following Resolution this 15th day of November 2011:

WHEREAS, "Occupy Wall Street” is the foundation of the nationwide protest against economic inequality, unfair tax structure, bank bailouts and corporate greed that has affected every worker in the United States, including every member of the Teamsters Union, and brought the country to its current economic crisis;

WHEREAS, just as "Occupy Wall Street" demands that the nation respond to the unrelenting pressure on the middle class, on workers and on the unemployed, the Teamsters have exposed the "War on Workers” being waged by billionaires and CEOs who seek to blame working people for the state of the economy and to "fix" the economy by giving to the rich and taking from the middle class;

WHEREAS, the Teamsters share the outrage of “Occupy Wall Street” over the foreclosure crisis, over out-of-control health care costs, over attacks on pensions, over the fact that corporations are sitting on more cash than anytime in history while millions of able-bodied workers cannot find a job, and that Teamster children may not achieve the standard of living their parents achieved and may never own a home or a pension;

WHEREAS, Union members must fight to keep the gains they have achieved through collective bargaining as corporate-backed politicians attack public sector workers with the same ruthlessness they exhibited in the past 11 months, and private sector employers are following their example;

WHEREAS, just as workers’ rights to organize, picket and strike are abrogated based on unjustified allegations of a threat to public safety and health, “Occupy Wall Street's” Constitutionally protected right to a peaceful protest and assembly must be protected and cannot be curtailed or contained based on unsupported claims of public safety;

WHEREAS, the lockout of 43 Teamsters art handlers by the profitable auction house Sotheby’s has become for “Occupy Wall Street” a symbol of the unrelenting greed of the 1 percent, and “Occupy Wall Street” has for weeks acted in solidarity with the locked-out Teamsters from Local 814; 

WHEREAS, New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg ordered Liberty Park cleared of all “Occupy Wall Street” protesters and the New York Police Department entered the park with police in riot gear backed up by numerous police vehicles, including a bulldozer, evicting occupiers, destroying property and arresting dozens of occupiers and protesters, including New York City Councilmember Ydanis Rodriguez and District Leader Paul Newell, in the early morning hours of November 15, 2011, and
WHEREAS, attorneys working as the Liberty Park Legal Working Group obtained a temporary restraining order directing that occupiers be allowed back on the premises with their belongings.

NOW, THEREFORE, it is resolved as follows:

The International Brotherhood of Teamsters and the working men and women it represents wholly supports and endorses Occupy Wall Street and opposes any effort to unreasonably restrict, contain or stop this lawful protest; and

The International Brotherhood of Teamsters commends and extends its appreciation to New York Supreme Court Judge Lucy Billings for issuing a restraining order that restores the Constitutional rights of “Occupy Wall Street” to peacefully protest.

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FedEx Ground drivers often face long hours, no benefits, and no control over their work because the company claims they are independent contractors.  When drivers attempt to form unions to address their working conditions, they face an arduous route. First, they must prove they are employees, and not independent contractors who lack the federally protected right to form a union. If they overcome that legal obstacle, they have to go up against FedEx Ground’s sophisticated anti-union campaign.
To date, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) has issued complaints charging FedEx Ground with unlawful threats, interrogation, bribery, soliciting grievances, creating the impression that it was spying on workers’ union activities, and harassing, isolating, and firing union supporters.
FedEx CEO Fred Smith told The Wall Street Journal in 1989, “I don't intend to recognize any unions at Federal Express.”
Read below to hear from workers who have first-hand experience with FedEx Ground’s aggressive unionbusting campaign, that frequently includes the following tactics:

Saturate terminals with anti-union propaganda

Once FedEx Ground gets word of workers’ organizing efforts, it saturates the terminal with anti-union propaganda:
·         Dennis Lynch, a former driver at the Barrington, MA, terminal, recalls that once he and his fellow drivers petitioned to hold a union election, anti-union posters appeared everywhere, even in bathroom stalls.
·         Rudy Trbovich attended an initial union meeting on a Friday, and by Monday, managers had plastered the Fairfield, NJ, terminal with posters.
·         FedEx Ground also distributes anti-union videos to drivers, and according to a complaint filed by the NLRB, it even “coercively solicited employees to appear in an anti-union video.”

Send in managers to intimidate drivers

According to drivers, high-level management from all over the country descend upon the terminals where union organizing is rumored or underway to pressure drivers against the union:
·         Donna Eickhorst, a union supporter in Northboro, MA, estimates that managers rode in her truck with her six times over the course of three weeks, although “service rides” typically occur only once a year.
·         Dennis Lynch similarly recalled seeing managers “all over the terminal” once the union effort began.  
·         According to Rudy Trbovich, shortly after a union meeting, high-level management showed up and held a series of meetings with food for drivers at the end of the day.

Woo the drivers

FedEx Ground’s anti-union campaign also attempts to address the drivers’ grievances to dissuade them from voting for the union:
·         Cathy Curran, of the Wilmington, MA terminal, witnessed the company finally repay drivers for payments long overdue, remove an aggressive manager that drivers complained about, and reconfigure routes to help drivers with excessive workloads. Curran’s reaction to the company’s effort: “This is the best year I’ve ever worked for this company.”
·         Dave McMahon recalled similar efforts at the Barrington terminal, as managers helped drivers load their trucks and took people out for steak dinners to sway them against the union. An NLRB complaint charged FedEx Ground with unlawfully soliciting drivers’ grievances and bribing drivers with the promise of benefits to discourage them from supporting this union effort.

Isolate, intimidate, and even terminate union supporters

Another element of FedEx’s anti-union campaign is to isolate, harass, and even fire union supporters.  
·         Rudy Trbovich, a union supporter at the Fairfield terminal, believes “they let me go first because I was the big mouth of the terminal…and I think they thought I organized [the union effort].”
·         Dennis Lynch was fired in March 2005 from the Barrington terminal. An NLRB complaint charged that FedEx Ground fired him in retaliation for his testimony at an NLRB hearing. He volunteered to stick his neck out and testify because he “knew there would be bloodshed,” and unlike the other drivers, he didn’t have a family to support. Dave McMahon, a fellow union supporter with three young children, had already been terminated shortly after a brief attempt to form a union at the Camden terminal.
·         NLRB complaints charged that FedEx Ground illegally separated known union supporters from other drivers in loading areas to discourage union activity at the Northboro and Barrington terminals.

·         Bob Williams, another union supporter at the Northboro terminal, worked as a senior manager for FedEx in the late 1970s, and enjoyed working for the company. After retirement didn’t suit him, he went back to work as a driver. He quickly became frustrated, so he contacted the union.  After he testified at an NLRB hearing to determine the drivers’ status as employees, he was fired.

Challenge election results and stymie negotiations

FedEx Ground also uses legal obstacles to stall union efforts:
·         At the Wilmington terminal, despite the company’s anti-union campaign, drivers voted to form a union in October 2006. The company filed an objection to the election, asserting that the immigrant workers could not comprehend English and were misled by a sample ballot distributed by the union before the election. An Administrative Law Judge overruled the objection.
·         Consistent with its strategy of delay, FedEx Ground appealed the judge’s ruling to the NLRB, which in June 2007 overruled the company’s objections and certified the union. Throwing the case back into the legal system, the company refused to bargain, forcing the union to file charges with the NLRB. According to driver Bill Gardner, FedEx Ground told drivers that they intend to take the case all the way to the Supreme Court if necessary.

Joseph B. White, “Federal Express's Plans for Handling Tiger International Merger Anger Pilots,” The Wall Street Journal,4 Aug.1989. 

Cathy Curran, Donna Eickhorst, Bill Gardner, Dennis Lynch, Dave McMahon, Rudy Trbovich, and Bob Williams, personal interviews, by Erin Johansson, March 2007.

FedEx Home Delivery
,1-CA-42984 et al,NLRB Region 1 Order Consolidating Cases,Consolidated Complaint and Notice of Hearing,30 Mar.2007 (Northboro,MA); FedEx Ground Package Systems,4-CA-3635 et al,NLRB Region 4 Order Consolidating Cases, Consolidated Complaint and Notice of Hearing,30 June 2006 (Barrington,NJ); FedEx Ground,22-CA-26894,NLRB Region 22 Complaint and Notice of Hearing,23 June 2006 (Fairfield,NJ).

Police can break up the various “Occupy” encampments across the country but can they halt the movement? Probably not. As disorganized, disparate and disheveled as some would like to believe Occupy Wall Street and its regional allies are, the barn door is open and the horse is romping freely in the field.
Or in this case, the park.
We are seeing the early stages of a new progressive movement, according to Jeffrey D. Sachs, director of the Earth Institute at Columbia University. The Occupy gatherings “are most likely the start of a new era in America,” he wrote Sunday in a New York Times article.
“Historians have noted that American politics moves in long swings,” he continued. “We are at the end of the 30-year Reagan era, a period that has culminated in soaring income for the top 1 percent and crushing unemployment or income stagnation for much of the rest. The overarching challenge of the coming years is to restore prosperity and power for the 99 percent.”
The roots of today’s crises of vast income inequality and wealth transfer, corporate dominance and feckless, inept elected leaders lie with the direction that Reagan took the nation – always making government the problem, slashing taxes for the rich along with outlays on public services and infrastructure investment, and sweeping deregulation.
“Reagan’s was a fateful misdiagnosis,” Sachs says. “He completely overlooked the real issue — the rise of global competition in the information age — and fought a bogeyman, the government. Decades on, America pays the price of that misdiagnosis, with a nation singularly unprepared to face the global economic, energy and environmental challenges of our time.”
And yet Washington “still channels Reaganomics… Both parties have joined in crippling the government in response to the demands of their wealthy campaign contributors, who above all else insist on keeping low tax rates on capital gains, top incomes, estates and corporate profits. Corporate taxes as a share of national income are at the lowest levels in recent history. Rich households take home the greatest share of income since the Great Depression.”
The American people are waking up and the OWS movement wants to challenge and change the channel of inequality.
“Following our recent financial calamity, a third progressive era is likely to be in the making,” Sachs writes. “This one should aim for three things. The first is a revival of crucial public services, especially education, training, public investment and environmental protection. The second is the end of a climate of impunity that encouraged nearly every Wall Street firm to commit financial fraud. The third is to re-establish the supremacy of people votes over dollar votes in Washington.”
Sachs says the people in Zuccotti Park and more than 1,000 cities have put the nation on a path to renewal.
While it’s hard to think in absolute terms about something so new, something without central leadership or a written platform, the need to reverse obvious flaws has touched a chord.
Perhaps, as Sachs says, a new generation of leaders who are not on the corporate take is just getting started. Perhaps it is history in the making and the dawn of a new progressive era. Perhaps it needs to be the crowd-sourcing movement it is and not a party or corporation or organization that’s easily corrupted and dominated by the wealthiest few. Perhaps the pendulum—as pendulums do—is swinging back.
The string of brutal attacks on and evictions of occupation groups in cities across the country is no accident of timing write TCBH! journalist Dave LIndorff. The cold, treacherous hand of Washington, and the Obama administration, is clearly evident.

Alec Baldwin: What Occupy Wall Street Has Taught Me
By Alec Baldwin
Occupy Wall Street people understand that not only are more difficult times possibly around the corner, they know that the current government will likely do as it has historically done, which is to protect the rich and powerful at the expense of ...
The Full Feed from

Support for Occupy Wall Street drops in poll | Strange Bedfellows ...
By Joel Connelly
“What the downturn in Occupy Wall Street's image suggest is that voters are seeing the movement as more about 'Occupy' than 'Wall Street.' The controversy over the protests is starting to drown out the actual message,” wrote Tom Jensen of ...
Strange Bedfellows -- Politics News

Student Opinion | Do You Sympathize With the Occupy Wall Street ...
Student Opinion | Tell us what you know about Occupy Wall Street, and to what extent you sympathize with the protesters' grievances and methods. Finally, view a Times interactive to see how other readers responded to these questions.
The Learning Network

Ann Medlock: The Mayor & Occupy Wall Street
By Ann Medlock
If it weren't for media coverage, most people working on Wall Street wouldn't even know there was an encampment.
The Huffington Post Full Blog Feed

After Occupy Wall Street Eviction, An Elderly Vietnam Vet Stages A ...
By The Huffington Post News Editors
When Hector Lopez heard that police had evicted the Wall Street occupiers, the 71-year-old Vietnam veteran said he immediately travelled from Hartford, Conn., to New York City. "Supposedly, we live in a democracy and people have the right ...
The Huffington Post | Full News Feed

Occupy Wall Street Library Recovery Reports - GalleyCat
By Jason Boog
Occupy Wall Street Library Recovery Reports. By Jason Boog on November 16, 2011 11:37 AM.Occupy Wall Street librarians are reporting that some books and materials confiscated during yesterday's raid on Zuccotti Park were damaged. ...

The Occupy Wall Street Library Regrows in Manhattan | American ...
By Beverly Goldberg
The People's Library at Occupy Wall Street was destroyed in the early morning hours of November 15. Without warning or provocation hundreds of militarized New York police officers cleared the park starting at 1 a.m. The library was torn ...
American Libraries Magazine -.
By OccupyWallSt
Liberty Square is our home. The 1% stole the homes of thousands, but they will not steal Liberty Square! Reoccupation begins NOW! If you're in the NYC area: join the thousands gathering to defend our home, our movement, and our rights! ...
OccupyWallSt News

Why Bloomberg evicted Occupy Wall Street | The Great Debate
By Chadwick Matlin
The Occupy Wall Street movement has been a headache for mayors around the country. For Michael Bloomberg of New York, the encampment-like protest in a privately-owned park in lower Manhattan was more like a chronic migraine.
The Great Debate

PhotoBlog - Occupy Wall Street protesters no longer camping ...
By PhotoBlog
An Occupy Wall Street protester rests in Zuccotti Park a day after it was cleared of the Occupy Wall Street camp in an early morning police raid on November 16, 2011 in New York city. Hundreds of protesters, who rallied against economic ...
Newsvine - PhotoBlog – Articles

Occupy Wall Street protesters face eviction in several cities, Zuccotti Park ...
Washington Post
The Occupy Wall Street camp in Zuccotti Park in Manhattan was cleared by police in an hours-long action Tuesday afternoon, yet by evening's end a judge had ruled the protesters could return with one major difference: no tents. ...
See all stories on this topic »

Planned Occupy Wall Street protests will hit city college campuses
New York Daily News
Occupy Wall Street (OWS) plans multiple protests Thursday, with demonstrations on college campuses all over NYC from Brooklyn College and Queens College to Hunter College and NYU. Students will then join with OWS for a rally in Union Square after 3 pm ...
See all stories on this topic »

Occupy Wall Street Groups Protest Foreclosure, Try To Halt Evictions
Huffington Post
On Sunday, her usual guest list of friends and neighbors expanded to include protesters from the local spinoff of the Occupy Wall Street movement. They'd come to try and stop the bank from throwing White out of her house. "These people are here to ...
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Occupy Wall Street Library Partially Recovered After Eviction
Huffington Post
After the eviction of protesters from Zuccotti Park Tuesday morning, there were reports that 5554 books from the Occupy Wall Street Library had been thrown away by Department of Sanitation officials. A public uproar ensued, prompting the Mayor's office ...
See all stories on this topic »

Occupy Las Vegas is unusually cooperative, ie tourist-friendly
Los Angeles Times
How else to explain the congeniality of Occupy Las Vegas? The Occupy Wall Street movement here is as friendly as the front desk staff at a Strip hotel, as the Associated Press reported, despite Nevadans having lots of reasons for rage. ...
See all stories on this topic »

Occupy Wall Street Porn: LA-Based Porn Company Pink Visual Stands United With ...
Huffington Post
With occupiers getting shoved out of Zucotti Park in New York City and suggestions that LA'soccupy camp could be threatened to shut down, Pink Visual has declared solidarity with theOccupy Movement and wants the world to know it. ...
See all stories on this topic »

Occupy Wall Street joins Delaware protesters in march to DC [Delaware Online ...
Late Tuesday, the Delaware group received reinforcements, when Occupy Wall Street protesters from Manhattan trickled into Wilmington en route to Washington and joined them on the plaza. (11/16/11) Camera: William Bretzger & Esteban Parra Editor: Ashley ...
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Questlove Warned Occupy Wall Street Protesters About Police Raid (blog)
Roots drummer—and social media king—Ahmir “Questlove” Thompson was the unsung hero of the Occupy Wall Street movement this week, when he tried to give protestors a heads up about a police sweep, via a series of tweets to his 1.7 million Twitter ...
See all stories on this topic » (blog)

Occupy Wall Street supporters to rally in Salisbury
Delmarva Daily Times
7, 2011 photo, Phil Pettipiece talks and chants to passersby to bring attention to concerns of members or supporters of the movement, Occupy Wall Street. Pettipiece spoke near Spencer Plaza next to the Federal Court on French Street across from the ...
See all stories on this topic »

Occupy Wall Street: EU power message to Gen'l Assemblies about Am Revolution II
Wednesday, responding to Deborah Dupré's Examiner article, "Viva Revolution: 1500 rights defenders Re-Occupy Wall Street," the European Citizens Network sent a message, emailed from Athens Greece to Dupré, for Occupy Wal
l Street human rights defenders' ...
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Journalists detained at NYC Occupy Wall Street's protests
Today's Zaman
Occupy Cal demonstrators rest in Sproul Plaza in protest against Wall Street and police brutality at the University of California at Berkeley. (PHOTO REUTERS) Journalists at the raid of Occupy Wall Street's New York encampment were kept at a distance ...
See all stories on this topic »-Today's Zaman

Barb Shelly | Don't make 'Occupy Wall Street' all about student debt
Kansas City Star
Many of the “Occupy Wall Street” protesters have student debt problems, and they're making that a central issue of the protests, as this piece from Inside Higher Ed points out. Individually, economically and societally, student loan debt is a huge ...
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Now what? Few tangible effects of Wall St protests
Journal Times
A few of the Occupy Wall Street protesters sit in a nearly empty Zuccotti Park in New York, Wednesday, Nov. 16, 2011. The Occupy Wall Street encampment is gone, but the movement lives on. What nobody knows is just how long it can survive without a ...
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Mayor Bloomberg Creates Media Blackout of Occupy Wall Street
I like Mayor Bloomberg and I think some of my fellow pro-Occupy Wall Street friends are making a stretch to paint Bloomberg as Mayor Daley or Bull Connor. But Bloomberg did go too far in removing the media from the Zuccotti Park takeover on Tuesday ...
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Pregnant teen, elderly woman among Occupy protesters hit with pepper spray in ...
Washington Post
SEATTLE — A downtown march and rally in support of the Occupy Wall Street movement turned briefly chaotic as police scattered a crowd of rowdy protesters — including a pregnant 19-year-old and an 84-year-old activist — with blasts of pepper spray. ...
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Wall St. Protesters Plan Big Day in New Haven
The Daily Stamford
by Richard Weizel (email) 1 hour ago Connecticut Working Families partpy member June Benjamin, of the UAW in Stamford, led a vocal Occupy Wall Street protest in October outside the New Canaan home of General Electric CEO Jeff Immelt. ...
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Occupy Wall Street Poetry Anthology Published Online - GalleyCat
By Jason Boog on November 16, 2011 5:06 PM The Occupy Wall Street Library has just created a massive 400-page PDF version of their Occupy Wall Street Poetry Anthology. Until today, the anthology had lived in binders floating around the Occupy Wall ...
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What's Next for Occupy Wall Street Protests After Judge Bars Camping in Park?
PBS News Hour
New York City police routed anti-Wall Street protesters from their campsite early Tuesday, and hours later, city officials won a court ruling that backed up their move. Jeffrey Brown discusses the legal arguments involved in the New York protests with ...
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Assembly held to bring Occupy Wall Street to Queens
Queens Courier
By Michael Pantelidis Residents met in Jackson Heights for an assembly to bringOccupy Wall Street to Queens. Whitey Flagg is aiming to “occupy” the attention of New York's largest borough. The 40-year-old Jackson Heights resident, who participated in ...
See all stories on this topic »-Queens Courier

Huh? SEIU Endorses Wall Street Backed Obama for 2012 and Occupy Wall Street
Town Hall
The SEUI has officially endorsed Barack Obama for President in 2012 while pushing an agenda to benefit the "99 percent," or in other words, Occupy Wall Street. I wonder if SEUI realizes Obama has millions of dollars in personal wealth, not to mention, ...
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Escalation at Occupy Wall Street: What It Really Means
Campus Progress
Though there are clearly a few strategically minded people at Occupy Wall Street who have been actively preparing for this, most protesters and media reports seem absolutely stunned by the police actions. We cannot keep discussing occupation and imply ...
See all stories on this topic »-Campus Progress

Churches Open Doors To Occupy Wall Street Protesters
Huffington Post
MANHATTAN -- Churches around the borough were opening their doors Tuesday night to Occupy Wall Street protesters -- who were left without a place to sleep after police cleared out Zuccotti Park hours earlier. Among those taking in the anti-greed ...
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Occupy Wall Street Leading U.S. on Path to "Renewal?" Hopefully Not
Opposing Views
[emphasis added] To give Sachs and the entire Occupy movement the benefit of the doubt, we might try to view the chaos, mayhem, rape, murder, and general slovenliness as unfortunate distractions from this intended renewal. ...
See all stories on this topic »-Opposing Views

In solidarity with Occupy Wall Street, Occupy Elmira plans to march from ...
Elmira Star-Gazette
Self-confidence is crucial, and sometimes, In solidarity with Occupy Wall Street, Occupy Elmira plans to march from Eldridge Park to Riverfront Park Thursday and will deliver a "declaration of national economic crisis" to the mayor's office. ...
See all stories on this topic »

Justice Dept: Homeland Security Advised Raids On Occupy Wall Street Camps
Including the maxim: "Don't set a midnight deadline to evict Occupy Wall Streetprotesters, it will only give a crowd of demonstrators time to form." In our recent interview with Glenn Greenwald, a former civil rights attorney and current Salon ...
See all stories on this topic »

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