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How to Get People to Go After Bankers and Financiers and Stop Attacking Public Employees

Bill Moyers talks to experienced organizers Stephen Lerner and Bill Fletcher, Jr. about what it will take to really revitalize the labor movement.

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BILL MOYERS: So what is offense? What's your strategy? What do you want people to do who believe in what you've just said?

STEPHEN LERNER: So I would say, one, we should take the fight on underwater homeowners and foreclose that's already stopping, where people are occupying homes around the country. A wonderful way to connect with regular people in the fight against banks that's happening all over the country. There's a woman in Arizona, Lily Washington. Bank of America foreclosed on her while she was visiting her son who had been shot in Afghanistan and threw away her purple heart. A wonderful moment when they foreclosed when veterans, not radicals, regular veterans delivered a purple heart to her house saying, "We are with you in your battle against Bank of America." We need to look at the places where we can have battles we can win that put people in motion, that name Wall Street, that start winning victories. I'm worried less about Washington and much more worried about what happens to communities all over this country and how we start to fight back and win in those. And that's the kind of thing that builds the excitement and the energy to take on the bigger fight about how the system's been co-opted.

BILL MOYERS: Stephen Lerner, Bill Fletcher, thank you for joining us.

BILL FLETCHER, JR.: Thank you very much.


Bill Fletcher, Jr. is the Director of Field Services & Education for the American Federation of Government Employees. He is also a Senior Scholar with the Institute for Policy Studies, the immediate past president of TransAfrica Forum, and the co-author of Solidarity Divided.

Stephen Lerner is a labor and community organizer and the architect of the Justice for Janitors campaign.

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