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UAW behind protests Says union to train 100K for ‘99%’ campaign

February 23, 2012
Website: UAW behind protests
Says union to train 100K for ‘99%’ campaign
By BRYCE G. HOFFMAN / The Detroit News
A conservative-leaning news website says it has obtained documents from the United Auto Workers’ Internet server that show the union is behind a new, nationwide campaign to train 100,000 Americans for “sustained non-violent direct action” on behalf of “the 99 percent.”

The Daily Caller says the documents show the UAW is helping to organize a coalition of 43 organizations calling itself “The 99% Spring.”

The documents, which it says were downloaded from an “unprotected area of the UAW’s Web server,” include press releases, social media plans and a list of talking points.

But a source told The Detroit News that they were “posted by accident” to the union’s website. That person said the UAW is part of the coalition, but not its “mastermind.”

The UAW would not comment on the document leak.

Executive Editor David Martosko acknowledged that his group learned about the documents from a hacker.

“We downloaded the material and connected it back to their website,” he said. “It shouldn’t surprise anybody that a labor union is behind the latest iteration of the Occupy campaign.”

On its own website, The 99% Spring identifies itself as an outgrowth of the Occupy Wall Street movement that took over city squares and newspaper headlines last fall.

“This spring we rise! We will reshape our country with our own hands and feet, bodies and hearts,” the group says on its own website.

“We will take non-violent action in the spirit of Martin Luther King Jr. and Gandhi to forge a new destiny one block, one neighborhood, one city, one state at a time.”

UAW President Bob King has made no secret of his support for the Occupy movement or its latest, more confrontational evolution.

“In April, we’re going to be part of a broad coalition that’s going to be training our membership and anybody who cares about justice in this society in nonviolent direct action,” King told union members in Flint earlier this month at a rally marking the 75th anniversary of the Flint Sit-Down Strike that led to the recognition of the UAW.

King said their first target would be the General Electric Co. shareholders meeting in Detroit on April 25.

“It is morally wrong — it is absolutely wrong — that they make billions and billions and billions of dollars and pay not a single penny in taxes,” King said of GE. “Enough is enough. We’re the 99 percent who want 100 percent fairness for everyone.”

But Martosko said the $168,073 in salary and benefits he says UAW documents show King earns annually puts him in the other camp.

“He is the 1 percent,” Martosko said. “I’m not saying he doesn’t deserve it, but he shouldn’t act like he’s a pauper.”

The Daily Caller was started by conservative commentator Tucker Carlson and Neil Patel, an aide to former vice president Dick Cheney.

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