Welcome to Occupy Spring. The Occupy Movement has become more sophisticated, how? It now officially has big name backers like the Teamsters, Moveon.org and other groups.
Its 40 co-sponsors include big names the United Auto Workers, the International Brotherhood of Teamsters, Moveon.org, and UNITE, the hospitality industry union.
When The 99% Spring was announced in February, organizers vowed to train 100,000 people. It looks like they’ll easily make that goal when their training programs kick off next week.
There are already 918 planned around the country. All the group needs is about 10 people at each session to meet its goal, and many of the programs have dozens of participants signed up.
But just how many groups are calling for Occupy action this Spring?
Jobs With Justice, United Auto Workers,National Peoples Action, National Domestic Workers Alliance, MoveOn.org, New Organizing Institute, Movement Strategy Center, The Other 98%, Service Employees International Union, AFL-CIO, Rebuild the Dream, Color of Change, UNITE-HERE, Greenpeace, Institute for Policy Studies, PICO National Network, New Bottom Line, Veterans of the Mississippi Civil Rights Movement, SNCC Legacy Project, United Steel Workers, Working Families Party, Communications Workers of America, United States Student Association, Rainforest Action Network, American Federation of Teachers, Leadership Center for the Common Good, UNITY, National Guestworker Alliance, 350.org, The Ruckus Society, Citizen Engagement Lab, smartMeme Strategy & Training Project, Right to the City Alliance, Pushback Network, Alliance of Californians for Community Empowerment, Progressive Democrats of America, Change to Win, Grassroots Global Justice Alliance, Campaign for America's Future, Public Campaign Action Fund, Fuse Washington, Missourians Organizing for Reform and Empowerment, Citizen Action of New York, Engage, United Electrical Workers Union, National Day Laborers Organizing Network, Alliance for a Just Society, The Partnership for Working Families, United Students Against Sweatshops, Presente.org, Get Equal, American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees, Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement, Corporate Accountability International, American Federation of Government Employees, Training for Change, People Organized for Westside Renewal (POWER), Student Labor Action Project, Colorado Progressive Coalition, Green for All, DC Jobs with Justice, Midwest Academy, The Coffee Party, International Forum on Globalization, UFCW International Union, Sunflower Community Action, Illinois People's Action, Lakeview Action Coalition, Progressive Leadership Alliance of Nevada, International Brotherhood of the Teamsters, Resource Generation, Highlander Research and Education Center, TakeAction Minnesota, Energy Action Coalition.
The movement also has a professor, leftist activist Lisa Fithian, who has been training anarchists how to protest and break the law for years.
In her makeshift classroom in lower Manhattan, Lisa Fithian turns to a group of several dozen students, squares her shoulders, and issues a challenge: "Does someone want to be a cop and come get me?"
Fithian stands to deliver her lesson. "Of the two choices, running away or going limp, what does running away communicate?" she asks.
"Guilt," several people say.
She smiles and nods. "Guilt."
When it comes to civil disobedience, there's often a right and wrong way to break the law, and one of Fithian's jobs is to teach the right way to hundreds of newly minted Occupy activists.
Fasten your seat belts folks.