Appearing on a February 11 panel titled “The Winter of Our Discontent” at The New York Institute for the Humanities, former long-term Service Employees International Union leader Stephen Lerner spoke in favor of Occupy Wall Street’s anti-capitalist tactics.
“How do we create a mood in the nation where we’re occupying our workplaces, where we’re shutting down our workplaces?” Lerner asked, ” … where workers are sitting in, where workers are shutting down their places of work, and when the police come, when the injunctions come, we’re all there with them, so we can really deal with part of the reason that the economy’s so screwed up … which is a few people have got all the power.”
“Think stew, think hope, death to the Stockholm Syndrome!”
With video cameras rolling, Lerner made a case that Occupy protesters should shut down not just workplaces, but also the shareholder meetings of public companies.
“Annual meetings, shareholder meetings. We have this wonderful myth that goes on which is corporations get together and they so-called have shareholders vote on what’s gonna happen,” he explained. “Maybe our goal ought to be able to shut down as many of the shareholder meetings as possible.”
“Let’s shut it down … Who the hell are these people to be meeting and deciding our fate without us there?”
In November, Lerner told an audience of Minnesota progressives that they should work to “create a crisis for the super rich.” By “focus[ing] on corporate power,” he explained, they could make a “commitment to escalating activity that creates a crisis for the other side.”
According to the Glenn Beck-affiliated website TheBlaze.com, Lerner’s name appears at least four times on the Obama White House’s visitor log.