Operation Chaos

Former SEIU Official: OWS to put 'millions' on street, 'redistribute wealth and power'

ANCHOR: Where does Occupy stands with unions that you traditionally work with, with church organizations, with human rights and social justice groups, do you see some type of larger integration?

STEPHEN LERNER: You know, I think that’s the moment we’re in that’s so exciting. In California yesterday, a community group, ACCE, and the longshoremen reoccupied the home of a longshoreman that had been evicted from his home. I think we’re at that sweet spot where we don’t need to worry about co-opt—well, we should always worry about co-option—where the issue isn’t co-option, labor or Occupy or community groups. It’s the moment where we can come together and put millions of people in the street. It’s a moment where we can come together and talk about shutting down shareholder meetings where people don’t have a voice. I think there’s never been a more exciting time in my 30 years of organizing to imagine building the kind of movement that can transform the country, that can really talk about redistributing wealth and power. And there’s never a better time to get involved. I think the key thing we have to do is—there’s not one tactic, there’s not one thing folks should do; it’s the combination of many threads of work that will build this up to be the kind of movement that Frances talks about that changes this country for—changes this country in a historic and wonderful way.