SEIU Organizer Stephen Lerner: We Need to Create a Crisis for the "Super Rich" by "Escalating Activity" and "Direct Action"


SEIU union organizer Stephen Lerner spoke to a crowd of progressives in Minnesota and said they must "create a crisis for the super rich."

According to Lerner, this can be accomplished with 3 main steps. The first is to "focus on corporate power." Secondly, they must have a "commitment to escalating activity that creates a crisis for the other side." Finally, 'Non-violent' disobedience and direct action" is needed.

In the past, Lerner has stated his aspirations to destroy JP Morgan Chase and cause the collapse of the entire stock market and is reportedly one of the people behind the 'US Day of Rage: Occupy Wall Street' which occurred on September 17, 2011.


Stephen Lerner also was responsible for SEIU's "Justice for Janitors" campaign in the 1980's with a goal of organizing large scale property owners who exercise control over hundreds, if not billions, of dollars embedded into commercial real estate.

According to Canada Free Press:

"These property owners typically hire building managers who out-source the work of office-cleaning to subcontractors who hire non-union cleaning crews. SEIU’s aim was to shame and harass the building’s owner by organizing noisy and disruptive strikes and protests against the subcontractor and demanding “justice for janitors.” Lerner and his staff learned how to coordinate their outcries, involve church and civic leaders in their protests, and denounce the owner as a wealthy absentee landlord profiting from the manual labor of the poor. Cleaning crews were trained in protest tactics to disrupt pedestrian and vehicular traffic, interfere with the building’s tenants and foment other nuisance-generating actions.

The Justice for Janitors campaign helped SEIU leaders show how to coordinate the union’s tactics so that they had a social and political dimension far greater than a mere dispute over custodians’ wages. What came to be called a “corporate campaign” gave the union leverage over the major owners of capital. Rather than rely on any single labor action, a corporate campaign could produce multiple benefits. The trick was to learn how to shake up the downtowns of major American cities, frighten commuters, worry the mayor, and produce editorials in the newspapers urging the property owner to demonstrate “social responsibility.”

The White House visitor log shows that "Stephen Lerner" has visited the Obama White House four times.

UPDATE (Stephen Gutowski): We want to give a big shout out to Naked Emperor News over at the Blaze for originally unearthing clips of this speech by Lerner. Good work!

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