STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. — November 12, 2011. On a cool, windy Saturday about 60 Staten Islanders turned out to voice their support for — and willingness to learn from and listen to — Occupy Wall Street.
The group formed up at Lieutenant Lia Park on the corner of St. Marks Place — and Wall Street. The Staten Island version of this famous address was less crowded than its Manhattan sibling but no less animated. A boistrous group marched down Wall Street to Richmond Terrace and on to Borough Hall.
On the steps of Borough Hall representatives from MoveOn, Staten Island for Change, the Staten Island Democratic Association, Peace Action, and CWA Local 1102 offered their support for the Occupy Wall Street movement.
Steve Lawton, business agent for CWA Local 1102, addressed a receptive audience.
“My union has been fighting to preserve good jobs here on Staten Island for several generations. We came out today to speak out against corporate greed and to protect good jobs,” Lawton said.
Click HERE to view Steve Lawton at Borough Hall
(Photo: Thomas Good / NLN)
“As part of the Staten Island 99 percent we demand that out elected officials hold corporations accountable for the damage that they’ve done to our economy,” he added.
There is an ongoing Class War, Lawton said, but it is Verizon and other greedy corporations that are waging it.
“As far as redistribution of wealth goes, there is no conincidence, that in the last 35 years, with the decline of unionism and the decline in wages and stagnant wages, that there has been a rise in CEO and executive pay. They redistributed the wealth and our Congress has done nothing to stop it. As far as class warfare is concerned, calling a protest where you ask your elected official to come out and do their job and protect our economy and hold corporations accountable, it’s not class warfare, it’s democracy,” Lawton said.
“I’m very proud to be part of the Staten Island 99 percent,” he said. “We got to make it out to every event, we have to have our voice heard on every issue, and next year, when it comes down to elections, you can bet the 99 percent will be heard.”
Leslie Greenwood of MoveOn also spoke about holding corporations — and politicians — accountable.
Click HERE to view footage of Leslie Greenwood and the march to Boro Hall
(Photo: Thomas Good / NLN)
“I’m here to talk about the need for corporate accountability, which everyone has already been talking about. And the contract for the American Dream. 350,000 people have signed this contract, that over 100,000 have inputted on,” said Greenwood.
She read the ten points of the “Contract for the American Dream” –
Number 1: invest in America’s infrastructure.
Number 2: create 21st century energy jobs.
Number 3: invest in publich education.
Number 4: offer Medicare for all.
Number 5: make work pay.
Number 6: secure Social Security.
Number 7: return to fairer tax rates.
Number 8: end the wars and invest at home.(In response to this point an audience member said, “Out of Vietnam!” which elicited laughter).
Number 9: tax Wall Street speculation.
Number 10: strengthen democracy.
“We want this contract to be known across the nation and we will vote based on the willingness of our candidates to support these platforms,” she said.
After the rally some of the participants boarded the ferry and continued on to Zuccotti Park.