Union Whose PAC Spent $27M to Elect Obama Organizing 'Occupy' Encampment at Capitol
(CNSNews.com) – The Service Employees International Union (SEIU), whose political action committee made more than $27 million in independent expenditures to help elect Barack Obama president in 2008, is now organizing a Occupy movement encampment scheduled to take place in Washington, D.C. next week.
"It’s time for the 99%-ers to be a visible, peaceful presence in Washington, DC," says a notice for the event posted on the website of SEIU Local 1991.
"By day we’ll show up at Congressional hearings and K Street lobbyists’ offices, and by night we’ll crash in church auditoriums, union halls, and in tents around the Capitol," says the notice. "Our goal is to remind Congress their job is to represent all Americans—not just the richest 1%."
In addition to living in tents on the National Mall (as well as at local churches, halls and homes), the campers are scheduled to "Occupy" congressional offices, march on K Street to visit "corporate lobbying firms that have polluted the political system and rigged the economy against the 99%."
The SEIU political action committee made more than $27 million in independent expenditures toward the election of Barack Obama in 2008, according to the Federal Elections Commission.
Several of the union’s local chapters have received waivers from the requirements of the new Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, popularly known as Obamacare.
The SEIU Local 1991, based out of Miami Gardens, Fla., is the contact organization for the weeklong event “to show Congress what democracy looks like, shine a light on corporate greed and human suffering it has caused, and demand justice for the 99 percent,” according to the draft itinerary.
“Take Back the Capitol will feature three full days of spirited actions, speak-outs, protests and entertainment,” the schedule says. Breakfast and dinner are listed every day of the protest.
The “Take Back the Capitol” event is scheduled to start on Dec. 5, and it allocates time to “construct a home base encampment with designated tents for each state.” Its itinerary also says “art supplies provided” to “create signs, banners, flags, t-shirts.” A “dinner and orientation” is also scheduled for Monday.
“People’s Camp, Teach-Ins, Cultural Tent, Model Sharing” are on the agenda for Tuesday. Also that day, protesters are called on to “‘Occupy’ Congressional offices until closure” and to “Depart in TEAMS to VISIT Congress and seek commitments to unemployment insurance extension and jobs not cuts for the 99%.”
On Wednesday, the itinerary includes an 11:00 a.m. march on K Street to “[f]an out to the corporate lobbying firms that have polluted the political system and rigged the economy against the 99%.” Later, the demonstrators are to “report back, dinner, entertainment.”
Thursday’s schedule includes a “Speak-Out,” a march on the Capitol, a prayer vigil, and an 11:30 “RALLY AT CAPITOL or Boehner’s office.” At 2:30 p.m. protestors can return for “teach-ins or free time.” At 5:00 p.m. there will be a “Taking it Home” assembly, and demonstrators will be encouraged to “prepare for action in their home states.”
The only activity listed for Friday is to “Pack up, head home for more action.”
Potential protestors can get a “Take Back the Capitol – Sign-Up Form” on the SEIU’s Web site. It says to “return this completed form to your Local Union, FFE or Organization organizer.”
The form instructs potential protestors to include their “Local Union Name,” “Role, Local Union Staff,” as well as “Languages Spoken, Special Needs? If so, what are the needs? Do you want to sleep in a tent outside? (Y/N), Unemployed? (Y/N) If so, are you in danger of losing unemployment insurance? (Y/N), Do you have a story that should be shared with others at this event?(Y/N).”
“[T]his truly is an encampment,” reads the form. “those not wishing to camp outside will be sleeping in hallways and floors of community centers, churches, union halls and buildings near the U.S. Capitol. Each location will have a staff presence for security …. Two or three meals per day will be provided cafeteria style and often outdoors.”
“This is not a luxury trip and we expect to mobilize thousands to join us; so we’re counting on your to be very flexible,” reads the sign-up form.