(Workers Independent News) - While President Barack Obama may have received the most headlines from his speech at the United Auto Workers conference last week he wasn’t the only one receiving applause. One of the most outspoken members of the Occupy movement, Jesse LaGreca spoke on a panel and addressed the need for unions to get outside of their safety zone and get out and talk to people who aren’t in a union.
It’s so important to go to people who aren’t in the labor movement and explain to them “when we do better you do better, too.” When my neighbor’s home is protected, my home value goes up. I know this is hard to understand for some people, but it’s pretty obvious. So we need to look in that communal sense, that we’re all part of one great community.
LaGreca, who writes as “Ministry of Truth” at dailykos.com, became one of the many faces of Occupy Wall Streetwhen he appeared in a man-on-the-street video clearly articulating the demands of the 99 percent. He echoed those statements while speaking at the conference:
“What we’re looking at right now is the total repeal of the 20th Century. Tearing down everything working class people have fought for, we’ve been beaten for, we’ve been arrested for. All of these rights, they want to take that away. So the easiest thing you can do is go into your communities and express the values you hold, “I care about my country and I’m here to fix it.”
He told the audience that there is a very simple first step when it comes to starting change within the country – voting!
The only way that we can counter the corrosive power of corporate funding in our Democracy is to get our boots on the ground. That’s the only way to do it. So if you want to win this fight for the future, you have to show up in November. It’s your absolute duty. But above and beyond that, also explaining to other people why you’re so passionate about this.
While encouraging people to vote, LaGreca also told the conference that the candidates they elect matter more than the party they are in.
I think it is so important to elect politicians who are going to work for working class people, not for the special interests that own them. And if we start there that’s where the future begins.