8:35 PM Eastern - Thursday, November 17, 2011

#N17: Bridge Actions Cross The Country #default

Pgh-5-StrongEconomy-Good-Jobs copy.jpgWe're declaring an Economic Emergency for the 99%.

Despite months of demands by our community, despite millions of people out of work calling for change, Congress and the Wall Street banks continue to maintain the status quo, enriching themselves at the expense of the rest of us.

Today we are saying enough is enough.

Our bridges need repair. Fixing them could put unemployed people back to work. These actions are a powerful symbol of our leaders' failure to pass a jobs bill or do anything to help the 99%, while the richest 1% keep getting richer.

We're live-blogging throughout the day as these actions take place in dozens of cities, including New York, Los Angeles, Portland, Detroit, Philadelphia, Boston, Chicago, DC, Seattle, Minneapolis, Milwaukee, Houston and Miami.

You can also follow us on Twitter at @SEIU for breaking news, photos and lots of live updates.

Check out updates, photos and video from cities, below.

CHICAGO

Roughly 1,000 protestors gathered in Chicago, IL on the LaSalle bridge. Shortly after kicking off their march at 4:30EST, protestors blocked the bridge for over an hour. Protestors also marched to the Chicago Board of Trade and Grant Park to round out their day of action.

48 protestors were taken away by the police during the bridge action and were cited for "Pedestrian Failure to Exercise Due Care" for blocking traffic on the bridge. View more photos of the Chicago protest at NBC Chicago.

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SEATTLE

7:38pm -- 800 protestors marching in Seattle to the University Bridge.

8:05pm -- An image from the protest: http://twitpic.com/7fko0b

NEW YORK CITY

8:05 PM: Watch footage of SEIU President Mary Kay Henry being arrested at the Brooklyn Bridge today. The New York Times reported this evening that more than 200 people in total were arrested in NYC.

1199SEIU United Healthcare Workers East members are turning out in full force.

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Students on strike are also out in the streets today to take NYC back.

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PHILADELPHIA

6:20 PM: As protestors continue to rally, 25 people engaged - and subsequently arrested - in a sit-in on the bridge.

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Roughly 1,500 protestors in Philadelphia, PA marched across the Market Street Bridge this afternoon -- a bridge that's in bad a state of disrepair as the Minneapolis bridge when it collapsed.

MILWAUKEE

8:25PM EST: The Action in Milwaukee is over. The protestors marched from the bridge to Micah in solidarity and victory. Wisconsin Jobs Now tweeted some great things to wrap up their bridge action:

"And thanks to the Milwaukee pd on being so very civil and helpful, we're all the 99%." "
So congratulations everyone on an incredibly successful day of action. Bridge occupied, cold defeated, victory declared".

6:10 PM: Protesters have surrounded the sitters in solidarity after cops tear down the tape barrier. The chanting keeps getting louder.

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5:50 PM: Protestors in Milwaukee, Wisconsin are setting up camp for the night at the protest.

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GREAT FALLS

Today in Great Falls, Montana, more than 40 protestors and members of the Montana Organizing Project protested peacefully to show their solidarity with millions of other Americans to fight for jobs--and tell Wall Street that enough is enough.

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MINNEAPOLIS

Clergy, unemployed workers, and local residents in Minneapolis, Minnesota marched to "Bridge the Jobs Gap" and win good jobs and economic and racial justice. Protesters occupied the 10th Street bridge near the Mondale University of Minnesota Law

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11 people overall were arrested during the days actions in Minneapolis. Pastor Paul Slack, a speaker at the rally today, was the first to be arrested on the 10th Street bridge.

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The protest later went back to the University, where individuals spoke out against social and racial disparity within their community.

HOUSTON

6:13 PM: The protest is over...twelve people have been arrested. This photo was taken right as the police began arrests.

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5:52 PM: The Travis Street Bridge is blocked. Protestors just sat down on Travis Street Bridge and more than 20 police officers have surrounded them.

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5:30 PM: In Houston, Texas, more than 500 protestors and Occupy supporters are rallying at Market Sq. Park, chanting "Jobs, not cuts!" "We are the 99%," and "Tired and broke/cant take it no more!"

MIAMI

6:45 PM: March is over. No arrests made!

5:15 PM: March has begun.

4:55 PM: Over 2,000 people gathered under the overpass at Jose Marti Park to stand up against unfair government policies that support the 1%.

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4:45 PM: The Latin band Cache is pumping up the crowd.

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BALTIMORE

Great turnout in Baltimore today - hundreds marched across the Howard Street Bridge.

Video here.

PITTSBURGH

Approximately 250 people peacefully marched to and across the Greenfield Bridge in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania this afternoon.

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The Greenfield Bridge is in such bad repair that it has catch pans under it to capture falling debris. As several hundred protestors surged across the bridge - including construction workers bearing tools and equipment - a large "Good Jobs Now" banner was displayed for drivers on Interstate 376.

KALAMAZOO

Near dusk, nearly 100 showed up to march across the Michigan Avenue Bridge in Kalamazoo, Michigan. People shouted chants like "Banks got bailed out, we got sold out!"

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AUGUSTA

Over 100 Mainers gathered at the crumbling Rines Hill Bridge in downtown Augusta to urge Congress to create jobs and an economy that works for the 99 percent of Americans.

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"By repairing bridges, roads, parks and schools, we could create millions of jobs. Instead of putting Americans back to work by repairing bridges like this crumbling Rines Hill Bridge, Congress has failed to pass a single jobs bill and the Supercommittee is considering job-killing budget cuts," said Jon Upham, an electrician from Bath.

HARTFORD

In Connecticut, more than 200 people blocked the entrance ramp to 1-84 in downtown Hartford this afternoon. Ten protestors were arrested.

SAGINAW, MI

Dozens of protestors in Saginaw, MI stood alongside M-46 to fight for jobs for unemployed Americans.

"I want our voices heard, the unemployed in Michigan," said Mary S. Barker of Mount Pleasant. The Saginaw News claims Ms. Barker has been unemployed for 27 months after being laid off from her job as a librarian at a private school.

DETROIT

Protestors in Detroit, Michigan gathered together today to take over the Second Ave. bridge over I-94. Their march took them from the Second Ave. bridge to Wayne State University, then back to the bridge.

Obie Griffin with Good Jobs Now spoke to reporters, saying

"I will do whatever it takes to draw the attention of those that don't represent me. This is the 99-percent. The one-percent is not representing me, yet here it is they are the ones."

See more coverage at myFOX Detroit and the the Detroit News.

4:15PM: Over 1,000 people have shut down the Second Ave. bridge over 1-94 in Detroit, Michigan.

CLEVELAND

SEIU Local 1 joined Occupy Cleveland in Ohio to express solidarity with the Occupy Wall Street movement today. More photos on Facebook here.

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WASHINGTON, DC

Great shot from Key Bridge:

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4:05 PM: Marchers from DC and VA have just met in the middle of the bridge.

Video of protesters on the Key Bridge in DC: http://twitpic.com/7fhr2r

Video here. Follow @SEIU and @OurDC on Twitter for updates.

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RICHMOND

Over 70 Virginians came out in the cold pouring rain in Richmond today to declare an economic emergency for the 99%.

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Residents rallied in front of the Hamilton Street Bridge/195 overpass which cuts through Rep. Cantor's district. Rep. Cantor's unemployed constituents called on him to stop obstruction the American Jobs Act by dropping a banner declaring, "Rep. Cantor: This bridge needs work, and so do we!"

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Rallygoers adorned the support structure of the bridge with signs that said, "Caution: Cantor Obstruction Zone" "Caution: Cuts Approaching" and "Caution: Falling Middle Class." More pics from Virginia Organizing on Flickr here.

LOS ANGELES

10:35am -- Here are some pictures of a rally in LA: http://pic.twitter.com/Jeu1gQqS and http://instagr.am/p/UiL_Z/

11:30am -- Coming down grand on 5th flooding streets http://twitpic.com/7feljo

11:55am -- Police arresting protesters in LA.

12:13pm -- Live video from L.A. http://www.ustream.tv/channel/brothersport86

12:25pm -- Here's an overhead view of a part of the L.A. action: http://twitter.com/?photo_id=1#!/Truth_Tracker/status/137218774280581120/photo/1

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12:56pm -- 16 peaceful arrests in L.A.

PORTLAND

11:04am -- Police have shut down the Steel Bridge.

11:09am -- Livestream of the Portland event: http://www.livestream.com/occupyptown. Here's a picture of the closed bridge: http://twitpic.com/7fefyx

11:35am -- Peaceful arrests have begun in Portland on the Steel Bridge: http://twitpic.com/7ferzm

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11:57am -- More images out of Portland on the Steel Bridge http://twitpic.com/7feyff

12:36pm -- Here's another picture of Portland's Steel Bridge: http://twitpic.com/7fffkj

12:45pm -- Portland Police spokesman: "The group has been utterly peaceful" http://bit.ly/sGMKeA

IOWA CITY

Citizens in Iowa City, IA took to Park City bridge. The bridge was damaged in a flood in 2008 and has yet to be repaired. Members from SEIU Local 199 were joined by Occupy, Citizen Action and graduate students from University of Iowa.

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From the Press-Citizen in Iowa City:

The signs of aging on the nearly 50-year-old bridge that spans the Iowa River are obvious: chipping paint, bent side rails and chunks of concrete missing. A sign draped over the side of the bridge read, "This bridge needs work. So do we."
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The November 17th National Day of Action is the most prominent example to date of Occupy protesters joining forces with progressive organizations, labor unions and the American Dream movement, which is a partnership between MoveOn.org, Rebuild The Dream, SEIU, Center for Community Change, and many other groups.

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