The crowd took the streets, then went into a building ... where, I think, they're refusing to use union janitors. There were drums. It was loud. There was dancing. Information was left behind. And they left. Outside, on the side of the parking structure, three people held a huge banner, at first waving in the wind, then secured. It was SEIU's purple and gold and said, "Got Healthcare?" Very successful banner hang.
There was a notable absence of police presence ... the whole time ... except for at the end when Commander Rosy Sizer, in her best clothes took the streets with the labor protestors. She always seemed a cut above the rest. Kidding aside, she seemed to have come from a meeting and was not in uniform. She walked up the street with the crowd up back to the Park Blox, talking on her walkie talkie and trying to get a handle on the situation. I think, since it was finishing up, she decided just to get a few officers there (not more than 5) and watch it wrap up. Uncanny bit of common sense for the police. Thank you.
The lo-down on Justice for Janitors: It sounds like they've met with some success. SEIU 49 has scored some new contracts with the City, but some buildings are holding out ... and, correct me if i'm wrong ... refusing to use union janitors. Also, the common refrain demanding healthcare implies the fight for jobs with justice is far from over. And there were some disgruntled people from another SEIU Local. From what I recall from talking to Local 140's, they are very, very upset about what they see as machinations by SEIU heavyweight Alice Dale who, they say, negotiated them out of their jobs and is making money on the deal. The people I spoke to about this issue are upset because they lost longtime jobs to a chapter of their own union. Ed, one member of 140 who tried to explain the issue to me, said he'd had that job for a long, long time and has only ever missed one day of work in his lifetime of working. Whatever peoples' opinion of working, he obviously believes in it and values it. He has worked hard, and it's been taken away from him. He said SEIU 49 violated laws to make their deal, and it's currently in court over it. However it works out, hopefully SEIU locals can talk to each other and try to understand the other's positon. All of them seem like really good people.