Labor ready to fight Occupy eviction

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Photo by Rebecca Bowe

Tim Paulson, director of the San Francisco Labor Council, just told me that he's got as many as 500 union members on alert to stand with the OccupySF encampment if the city attempts to evict the protesters. The Labor Council has put together a communications system to let members who have volunteered to help know when a showdown with the police is coming, and the volunteers are ready to spend as much as 24 hours at Justin Herman Plaza, and if necessary, in jail.

"We mobilized for last night, but nothing happened," he said. "We're in a state of constant vigilance."

Paulson noted that the San Francisco encampment "is the symbol of the Occupy Movement."

The solidarity of San Francisco labor will make it considerably more difficult for Mayor Ed Lee to send in the police and break up the camp. The idea that he would be ordering the arrests not only of several hundred Occupy protesters but a large contingent of local labor leaders and union members has to be giving him second (and third, and fourth) thoughts.

And whatever the outcome, the connenctions between labor and Occupy are critical to building and sustaining a national movement to demand economic justice. It's great to see the SF Labor Council in the heart of the fight.