Occupy State Street: short on union support, throng of protesters quietly sounds off in Trenton

TRENTON – While the tipping point for the Occupy Wall Street movement seems to have been reached this week in New York City, the growing arms of the anti-profiteering movement are still fledgling and weak. One limb sprouted in front of the New Jersey Statehouse today, in the form of two- to three-dozen protesters carrying signs like: “That’s all I can stands; I can’t stands no more.”

As the Popeye-quoting protester stood in turn before the crowd, he addressed the mostly college-aged men and women, “Hello, my fellow indentured servants!”

There was hardly much rallying at all across from the capital building, as the congregated dissenters lacked even a microphone to pronounce their displeasure with Big Banks and Big Business.

Sierra Club state director Jeff Tittel stood with the mild crowd denouncing “the power of corporate money” that seeks to rewrite environmental regulation.

Unlike in other locations where the protests are under way – New York, Chicago, San Francisco, and in Jersey City – only five of the dozens of protesters were union-affiliated – three from the CWA and two from the NJEA – although the men said they were not representing the unions at the protest.

Local representatives for the CWA, NJEA, and AFL-CIO weren’t immediately available for comment on whether the unions were planning to stand with protestors, but national AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka said in a statement Wednesday, “Occupy Wall Street has captured the imagination and passion of millions of Americans who have lost hope that our nation’s policymakers are speaking for them. We support the protesters in their determination to hold Wall Street accountable and create good jobs.

“As we did when we marched on Wall Street last year, working people call on corporations, big banks, and the financial industry to do their part to create good jobs, stop foreclosures and pay their fair share of taxes,” Trumka said. “We will open our union halls and community centers as well as our arms and our hearts to those with the courage to stand up and demand a better America.”