Occupy Super Bowl being planned to protest Indiana anti-union law

Occupy Super Bowl being planned to protest Indiana anti-union law

The last time Occupy got a major injection of support from unions was October 5th. Backed by the AFL-CIO and other major unions, Occupy transformed from a relatively modest encampment in Zuccotti Park to a massive march with tens of thousands of union members and supporters literally occupying the streets of lower Manhattan.

Even though Occupy has now largely fizzled out, it may get one more injection of union support to help revive the meme. And not just any union: the football players’ union.

As Think Progress pointed out yesterday, just four days before Indiana plays host to Sunday’s Super Bowl, governor Mitch Daniels (R) signed anti-union “right-to-work” legislation into effect.

Indiana union branches are none too pleased. Before the law passed yesterday, the unions announced plans for an Occupy Super Bowl initiative were it to pass, taking advantage of the attention being turned toward Indiana this weekend to make their opposition heard. What’s more, they’re backed by the NFL Players Association.

From Think Progress:

According to a UNITE release, DeMaurice Smith, the executive director of the NFL Players Association, will participate in the protest. Smith has issued a statement and written an editorial against the right-to-work law, and several NFL players, including Indiana native and Chicago Bears quarterback Jay Cutler, have also spoken out.

“I can promise you that the players of the National Football League and their union will be up front about what we think about this and why,” Smith added in an interview with The Nation in January. Smith is a double threat: he’s also a member of the AFL-CIO’s executive board.

As we saw in October, unions have serious organizing power. If the NFL Players Association can unite with the AFL-CIO in opposition to the anti-union bill, they could potentially draw a lot more attention to the issue. Governor Daniels has warned that any Occupy activities that disrupt the bread-and-circus routine of the Super Bowl would be a “black eye” eye on the state.

I guess the injury in this case, whether the law or the protest, depends on your point of view.

Of course, one thing that could keep Occupy Super Bowl from getting the same kind of attention as the Occupy march of early October is the absence of an actual Occupy faction nearby, although apparently local Occupy branches have vowed to make their way to the Super Bowl, including members of Occupy Purdue. (You know, of Purdue University.)

Hey, it might not be Occupy Wall Street, but at least this still shows the Occupy meme is still alive and well as a touchstone.