Occupy Wall Street protesters have been given a massive boost as representatives from no fewer than 15 of the nation’s largest labor unions have joined with them to take part in a mass rally and march Wednesday afternoon in New York’s Lower Manhattan.
Among others, the AFL-CIO, United Auto Workers, and Transit Workers' Union have joined hundreds of mostly unemployed young people, who have for nearly three weeks set up a permanent protest in Zuccotti Square near Wall Street.
Protesters have already inspired a number of celebrities to come out and support them, including movie director Michael Moore and actress Susan Sarandon. The movement is also rapidly moving to other cities across the United States.
Los Angeles has already played host to Occupy Wall Street protesters. San Francisco, Boston, Denver, and Occupy Spokane have also witnessed a presence from anti-big business protesters.
There are efforts being made, however, to put a stop to the protests in New York; park property is maintained by Brookfield Properties, a publicly traded corporation. The company has said it was extremely concerned about the conditions that have been created in the park, and has said it is working with city officials to restore the park to its intended purpose: allowing Wall Street employees a place to eat lunch.
However, the arrival of union representatives is being described as a watershed moment for the movement, and is likely to give further energy and strength to protesters for foreseeable future. The “Union March” will be the largest the movement has seen so far, and is likely to result in further arrests. At the weekend more than 700 protesters were arrested as a march tried to cross the Brooklyn Bridge. Those arrests took the total number of arrests associated with the movement to more than 1000.