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Wall St. Protesters Plan Big Day in New Haven

NEW HAVEN, Conn. – Occupy Wall Street protestors are joining forces Thursday with the AFL-CIO and other groups in New Haven, Hartford and around the country for a national "Day of Action, We are The 99 Percent."

To commemorate the two-month anniversary of its Occupy Wall Street movement, protestors will declare an economic emergency at locations that need infrastructure repair and work that would create jobs that meet community needs.

They will demand Congress approve President Barack Obama's $447 billion jobs and infrastructure proposal. So far, several bills in the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives stemming from the president's proposal have failed, mostly as a result of opposition from Republican and Tea Party legislators.

The protests will include members of labor unions, "MoveOn.Org, "We Are One" and numerous other groups.

As part of the nationwide rallies, "Occupy New Haven" committee member Art Perlo is leading a 5 p.m. protest and news conference at the long-shuttered Dixwell Q Community House, 197 Dixwell Avenue in New Haven, to support infrastructure repair and job creation.

"The Dixwell Community House Needs Work and So Do We!" event will support federal investment in infrastructure repair and community programs that benefit youth and the unemployed, he said.

"The Q House, which had been a symbol of successful youth programming for several generations, has been closed for nearly a decade," said Perlo, who will also be representing the New Haven Council of Move.On.Org, New Elm City Dream and the Jobs & Unemployed Center of New Haven Peoples Center, all co-sponsors of the event.

"For decades the Q House had been a place for youth to gather, and the call to re-open it is a symbol for the need to approve legislation in the American Jobs Act that would create jobs and restore infrastructure in urban communities," Perlo said.

Perlo said those at the gathering will sign an oversized postcard to U.S. Sen. Joseph Lieberman protesting his votes against provisions of the Jobs for America Act.

Lieberman voted against bills that would put more teachers and police officers to work by providing grants to retain, recall, rehire or hire early childhood, elementary and secondary education workers and more police.

In Hartford, an ad-hoc coalition of labor and community groups is sponsoring the Connecticut Bridge action, set to get underway at 3 p.m. at the Aetna Insurance Company, 151 Farmington Ave.

Protestors will march to the bridge entrance at I-84, across from the Hartford Courant, 285 Broad St. Civil disobedience will take place there, organizers said.

Last month about 100 protesters, including a busload of about 30 from New York City, brought the Occupy Wall Street movement to New Canaan in a loud but peaceful rally outside the home of General Electric CEO Jeff Immelt.

Amaya Tune, a spokeswoman for the AFL-CIO in Washinton, D.C, said the nationwide protests Thursday will highlight the need to create jobs by making vital repairs to roads and bridges.

"An investment in infrastructure will not only fix deficient roads and bridges, it will employ millions of jobless Americans and rebuild the middle class," she said.

She said the protests are part of the "America Wants to Work" campaign, which not only calls for investment in infrastructure, but also the extension of unemployment benefits, revival of U.S. manufacturing, an end to the export of good jobs and Wall Street reform.

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