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AFL-CIO youth summit in Minneapolis backs Occupy Wall Street protests

About 800 young labor organizers at the AFL-CIO’s Next Up Youth Worker Summit in Minneapolis announced their support for New York Wall Street protesters Sunday. The youth summit attendees compared the protests to the pro-democracy Arab Spring demonstrations in the Middle East and recent protests against Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker.

“The future of our country depends on young people demanding the future we believe in,” the statement said. “And we believe that Wall Street should pay for the damage they’ve done to our economy, our jobs, and our communities – foreclosing on homes, making massive profits with no oversight, and not sharing in building a future for the next generation.”

The resolution was proposed by Mary Clinton of the CUNY Murphy Institute in New York. It passed by a unanimous voice vote at the convention.

Citing Occupy Wall Street’s slogan that “we are the 99 percent,” the labor organizers called for a “country that doesn’t just work for the top 1 percent.”

“We stand together to call for a sustainable future that doesn’t begin with massive tax breaks for the wealthy and end with austerity measures and a jobs crisis,” the statement said. “We are one.”

Protests inspired by the Wall Street occupation have broken out in Minnesota. One group, OccupyMN, plans to occupy a site in downtown Minneapolis Friday.

The full resolution is below:

“The world in which we live isn’t working for the vast majority of people. The top 1 percent controls the economy, makes profits at the expense of working people, and dominates the political debate. Wall Street symbolizes this simple truth: a small group of people have the lives and livelihoods of working Americans in their hands.

In the last two weeks, young people have sparked a movement on Wall Street, just as they did through the Arab Spring and in Wisconsin against Scott Walker. Participants at the AFL-CIO Next Up Young Worker Summit left Occupy Wall Street to join with young people in the labor movement to talk about how best to take back our economy for the middle class.

Today, more than 800 Next Up participants from around the country stand with those on Wall Street who are making their voices heard. The future of our country depends on young people demanding the future we believe in. And we believe that Wall Street should pay for the damage they’ve done to our economy, our jobs, and our communities – foreclosing on homes, making massive profits with no oversight, and not sharing in building a future for the next generation.

We stand together in calling for a country that doesn’t just work for the top 1 percent. We stand together to call for a sustainable future that doesn’t begin with massive tax breaks for the wealthy and end with austerity measures and a jobs crisis.

We are one.”

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