Education International
Education International

Unions support the 'Occupy Wall Street' movement

published 19 October 2011 updated 20 October 2011

EI is giving its support to the massive popular protest ‘Occupy Wall Street’ which is a movement for economic justice that is spreading across the United States and the world.

The movement, which is support by EI’s US affiliates, is a call for justice in the American economic and political system, including greater financial regulation, higher taxes for the richest Americans and the return of the social safety net.

Members of the Occupy Wall Street movement, which began in New York on 17 September when 2,000 people rallied in the Financial District to protest against bank bailouts, corporate greed and the unchecked power of Wall Street, set up camp in Zuccotti Park. They have linked their fight to the revolutions in Tunisia and Egypt and to the massive protests against cuts to public spending and increase in taxes in Greece.

The protests have moved beyond New York City with hundreds of events taking place in cities and towns across the US. Their simple message of ‘We are the 99 per cent’ – while the richest one per cent are writing the rules of an unfair global economy – has won the hearts and minds of more than half of Americans, according to a recent Time survey.

The impact of the movement has been global with 1,500 protests organised in 82 countries on 15 October . From Australia to Israel, and China to the UK, where 3,000 people demonstrated in London's financial district, as well as in a series of marches in countries including France, Germany the Netherlands and Spain, where 200,000 people came out onto the streets, the demonstrations are on-going and organisers have pledged to remain for the foreseeable future.

EI President, Susan Hopgood, said: “Workers from every corner of the globe want a fair future where they can earn a decent living and support a family. Governments are failing to tackle the economic crisis and now people are taking to the streets demanding change. We expect to see these protests spread all over the world.”

EI supports pacific demonstrators taking to the streets to exercise their freedom of speech as well as their basic trade union rights to organise and take action for a decisive change to come out of the global crisis.

Global protests video