Friday, August 13, 2010
Unemployed March on Wall Street
From the New York Daily News:
New York's jobless 99ers channel anger in Wall Street protest, demand unemployment extension
BY Lore Croghan
Daily News Staff Writer
Thursday, August 12th 2010, 3:41 PM
The 99ers took a stand on Wall Street Thursday.
A throng of desperate job-hunters -- who've been out of work so long their unemployment benefits ran out -- staged a protest rally on the steps of Federal Hall.
"Are you going to tell us, President Obama and Congress, that our lives are not worth saving?" asked 99er Connie Kaplan.
She had to move in with her daughter in Astoria, Queens to survive and gets food from food banks.
The grassroots political group, which sprang up after jobless Americans started commiserating online, is demanding that unemployment benefits be extended to include them. Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) co-sponsored a recently introduced bill that would create extensions in states with unemployment rates of 7.5% or higher.
"My family is broken up," 99er and former public relations director Anne Strauss, 58, of Smithtown, L.I., told the Daily News.
Her house is for sale and her husband, also unemployed, has moved in with his son in Albany to take a commission-only job.
Strauss applied for a job at a bakery. One question on the application form asked of the job, "Will it interfere with your after-school activities?"
Pedro Coniconde, 45, of Tompkinsville, Staten Island, lost his job as a file clerk at Bank of New York in February 2008. He held a sign saying, "Pls. Do Not Treat Us the Unemployed Like Lepers and Criminals."
About 1.4 million Americans have been out of work more than 99 weeks, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. That's when unemployment benefits run out in states with the highest unemployment rates.
"A man without a job is like a man that does not exist," said 99er Rubin Edwards, 48, of Clinton Hill, Brooklyn, who came to the rally dressed n a suit and tie. "I hope and pray for my future in America today."