monday afternoon on september 17, 2012, a portland crowd numbering in the hundreds turned out for the one year anniversary of occupy wall street, which they marked by rallying for justice for colombian general motors workers who were hurt on the job and then kicked to the curb by the us-based, and to a considerable extent us government owned multinational corporation.
(report back from event organizers)
occupy portland marks anniversary in solidarity with global 99%
rally supports injured colombian gm workers seeking justice
the colombians have maintained a continuous peaceful occupation in front of the us embassy in bogotá for over 400 days. ten of the colombian workers including colombian worker leader jorge parra are entering their third week on hunger strike. mr. parra is currently in detroit where supporters rallied in front of gm world headquarters as part of an international day of action for the workers and their families.
"the fact that general motors is firing workers for injuries they developed on the job is bad enough, the company's refusal to sit down and talk - the willingness they are demonstrating to turn a blind eye to the worker's hunger strike is incomprehensible" said paige shell-spurling, a member of the portland central america solidarity committee. " general motors is showing an utter disregard for human life and specifically for the lives of the workers on whose backs gm's profits are made."
the portland rally delivered petitions demanding justice for the colombian workers with over 4,000 signers to wentworth chevrolet. a manager at wentworth agreed to forward the petitions to the gm corporate offices.
according to marco mejia of portland jobs with justice, "the issue of exploitation of the colombian gm workers is emblematic of the kind of global corporate corruption that the occupy movement is fighting against. occupy and the progressive movement in general is continuing to build capacity for change through education, agitation and mobilization."