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CWA, Occupy D.C. Activists Jointly Protest Verizon, Corporate Greed

Local 2222 President: Verizon a 'Poster Child for the 1 Percent'


Larry Marches with Occupy DC to Vz

In a joint march against corporate greed, CWA members and Occupy D.C. activists march Wednesday through downtown Washington. Stops included a Verizon Wireless store and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

Rally @ Verizon Store w Occupy DC

Hundreds of CWA members and Occupy D.C. activists joined forces Wednesday for a downtown march that included demonstrations outside a Verizon Wireless store and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

Events began at 5 p.m. at Freedom Plaza, one of two major Occupy D.C. sites. Speaking to the crowd before the march, Occupier Kevin Zeese of Maryland said, "The strength of the Occupy movement grows the more we are joined by workers and labor, the more we fight for the things workers are fighting for, like CWA's battle at Verizon for a fair contract."

Local 2222 President Jim Hilleary told Occupiers, "Your fight is our fight," describing the telecom giant as "a corporation that could be the poster child for the 1 percent."

Hilleary and CWA President Larry Cohen said the struggle at Verizon and Verizon Wireless illustrates how out of control corporate power and greed has gotten in the United States, with a hugely profitable company demanding even more sacrifice from workers. "If we can't hold the line at a company like Verizon and Verizon Wireless, we can't hold the line," Cohen said.

He told Occupy activists, "We will stand with you, but we need your help, too. Whether it's our new retirees or children who are here, we're all in this together."

Marching alongside CWA members on a gorgeous fall day, willing and eager Occupiers carried signs protesting Verizon and loudly chanted against union-busting outside a downtown Verizon Wireless store.

The march continued several blocks north and west to the second main Occupy site at McPherson Square and continued to the Chamber of Commerce, where the stately exterior shamelessly displays giant banners that spell out, "J O B S." The crowd chanted, "Shame" and "You are the 1 percent," denouncing the greed that is keeping the Chamber's rich corporate membership from creating good jobs in the United States.

Marchers passed in front of the White House before winding their way back to Freedom Plaza. Throughout the parade route, city and federal police officers quickly and efficiently blocked rush hour traffic, allowing marchers to move through major intersections without incident. Many drivers honked and waved in support.

Are you participating in Occupy events in your community? Please send details to Ron Collins, CWA Chief of Staff, at Ron_Collins@cwa-union.org.