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Occupy Wall Street gained some new members on Wednesday as some key significant groups backed their cause. Union workers from Chinatown Tenants Union and the Transit Workers Union joined in, lending some credibility to the movement, which began with some frustrated college students and long-term unemployed individuals.
The liberal group MoveOn.org, and community organizations like the Working Families Party and United NY also showed support and joined Occupy Wall Street. The protests began on September 17 as growing frustration over the state of the economy and spending cuts became too much for some people.
College students flocked to Zuccotti Park in lower Manhattan where they have camped out and plan to stay until they see real change. What is being termed the American Autumn is now spreading across the country and enjoying global support. On the west coast, Seattle, Los Angeles and San Francisco are having similar protests.
“We’re really excited that labor is part of the protest,” said Sara Niccoli, spokeswoman for the Labor-Religion Coalition, an Albany, N.Y.-based organization that aims to “do justice” for workers. United NY applied for a permit for the rally on Wednesday so that they could use microphones.
“I think they’re capturing a feel of disempowerment, feeling like nobody is listening to them,” said Camille Rivera, executive director of United NY. “What do you do when no one is listening to you? You speak up, you take action.”
MoveOn.org is planning a “virtual march” on its website by encouraging people to post photos of themselves with the caption: “I’m the 99 percent” – a reference to those people not among the wealthiest 1 percent of Americans and the debate over whether they should be taxed more.
The group’s executive director, Justin Ruben, called the protesters “brave young people” who have successfully inspired others to join them. “From our perspective, we’re protesting kind of the greed that led to the collapse of our economy,” Ruben said. “The fact that these banks aren’t paying their fair share.”
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