“When people ask me, ‘What do you do?’ I say I create crisis, because crisis is that edge where change is possible.” — Lisa Fithian
To say that Lisa Fithian is just a paid-professional protester would be to undersell her radical accomplishments. True, she’s received compensation from the SEIU and the SEIU’s labor federation Change to Win as a consultant. However, her war on the free market goes well beyond that. Last year, Fithian helped the UAW shut down Bank of America branches and, now, is helping the #OccupyWallSt protesters wage their occupations all across America.
Over the past three decades, according to her bio, Lisa Fithian has worked with Abbie Hoffman, organized protests against the Army Corp of Engineers, U.S. foreign policy in Nicaragua, and was the national coordinator of a march to shut down the CIA in 1987 where over 600 people were arrested.
In a 2005 National Review article on Fithian’s coordination of Cindy Sheehan’s crusade against the Iraq War, Byron York explained:
Fithian is a legendary organizer who operates in the world of anti-globalism anarchists, antiwar protesters, and union activists; an advocate of aggressive “direct action” demonstrations, she protested the first Gulf war, played an important role in the violent shutdown of Seattle during the 1999 World Trade Organization meeting, was a key planner in protests at the Republican and Democratic national conventions in 2000 and 2004, and organized demonstrations at trade meetings in Washington, D.C., Prague, and Genoa.
In 1993 Lisa joined the labor movement through the AFL-CIO Organizing Institute. She work on a Teamster Hospital Campaign and for Hotel workers union, HERE in Washington DC, leading a successful campaign against a lock-out at the Madison Hotel using creative direct action tactics. Lisa has brought her nonviolent direct action experience to the Justice for Janitors campaigns in Washington DC, Denver, Boston and LA and the Dignity Campaign for nursing home workers in Detroit and San Francisco. She has worked with theUnited Auto Workers in developing their direct action capability. Lisa provided support to the Detroit Newspaper strikers as well.
The Justice for Janitors 1994-95 bridge blockades in Washington DC trained hundreds of union members and staff from over 20 unions in nonviolent direct action. Lisa has also provided support to hotel workers, farm workers and laundry workers. She was the Southern, CA coordinator for a statewide hospital campaign that eventually lead to union membership for thousands of works. Lisa served at the Mobilization Coordinator for the Los Angeles Country Federation of Labor an 800,000 member labor federation. In more recent years Lisa helped coordinate a four week strike in Houston for the Justice for Janitors campaign in 2006 that resulted in the best first contract in the history of the union. In 2007, Lisa again helped coordinate a strike of security workers in San Francisco, again leading to a record contract that set the bargaining pattern for six more cities.
As the mainstream media and the useful idiot supporters and sympathizers of the #Occupy protests continue their empathetic meme toward the occupiers and their faux agenda, it helps to know just who its real organizers and supporters are, as well as their motivations—because they certainly are not 99% of America.
“I bring reason to your ears, and, in language as plain as ABC, hold up truth to your eyes.” Thomas Paine, December 23, 1776
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