Activists from the Occupy Wall Street movement will join a broad coalition of Bernie Sanders supporters Wednesday to march on Wall Street in New York City and demand Democratic presidential frontrunner Hillary Clinton release the transcripts of speeches she gave to financial giant Goldman Sachs.
Protesters will gather on the steps of the Federal building at 11:30 a.m. and march to the Trump Building on Wall Street until 1 p.m.
Two groups that support Sanders’ bid for the White House—Latinos for Bernie and Veterans for Bernie—will attend the event in an official capacity and join other Sanders supporters as well as Occupy Wall Street activists in carrying signs and banners that read “#ReleaseTheTranscripts.”
Clinton has come under fire in recent weeks for taking millions of dollars in speaking fees from financial firms, many of which have links to Wall Street. A New York Times article from January detailed how Clinton and her husband accumulated $125,000,000 from speeches after the former first couple left the White House.
Hillary Clinton receieved about $225,000-$250,000 per speech, including $675,000 for three speeches she gave to Goldman Sachs in recent years.
It was then revealed that Clinton had transcripts written up of the speeches, causing Sanders and many others to call on her to release them to the public. Clinton has received criticism for refusing to do so, telling one voter at a town hall last month: “I am happy to release anything I have when everybody else does the same. Because every other candidate in this race has given speeches to private groups, including Sen. Sanders.”
The protest on Wednesday focuses specifically on the Goldman Sachs transcripts rather than the speeches Clinton gave to other financial firms.
Tyson Manker, the director of Vets for Bernie and a candidate for State’s Attorney in Morgan County, Illinois, issued a statement blasting Clinton for being too close to Wall Street and not being truthful to the public.
“Veterans fight wars abroad to ensure freedom and transparency at home,” Manker said. “The last thing we need is a president who hides what they say to Wall St. bankers behind closed doors. That’s not what we fought for.”
Manker also started a petition on Change.org, which has about 8,000 signatures, demanding Clinton release the transcripts. Liberal websites MoveOn.org ands RootsAction.org have created their own petitions for the same purpose with 16,000 signatures combined, according to the protest flier.
RootsAction.org co-founder Norman Solomon said that releasing the transcripts is “a basic matter of transparency and candor–what we minimally have a right to expect from someone who claims to be representing the public interest while running for president.” He then asked, “If Clinton isn't even willing to let the public know what she told a huge Wall Street firm in exchange for astronomical speaking fees, why should anyone believe she'd actually attempt to restrain the inordinate power that such firms have over policymakers in Washington?”
Members of Latinos for Bernie will speak in front of the Trump Building about why Clinton’s close ties to “corporate America” hurt latinos in the United States.
The flier for the event states that artists will contribute to the protest as part of a wider movement to get Clinton to release the Goldman Sachs transcripts.
Sanders has tried to capitalize on Clinton’ relationship with Wall Street, arguing that she is being hypocritical by issuing tough rhetoric about going after the financial industry when she takes so much money from it.
The Democratic presidential primary has largely focused on which candidate will be tougher on Wall Street to address income inequality in the country. Both candidates have said that America’s economic system is unfair and favors the wealthy at the expense of the poor, with Sanders even calling the system “rigged.”
Correction: An earlier version of this article misstated that Norman Solomon was the co-founder of MoveOn.org. He is the co-founder of RootsAction.org, and this has since been changed.