Military Veterans Join the 99% on Wall Street

For Immediate Release

Military Veterans Join the 99% on Wall Street

Advocate for Veterans and Service Members in the midst of economic and democratic crises

NEW YORK, NY - Military veterans will walk in uniform to join the Occupy Wall Street protests this Wednesday (Nov. 2nd). As the 99% movement has spread across the United States, the presence of veterans at rallies, marches, and occupations is becoming increasingly visible.  Veterans who served in Iraq, Afghanistan, Vietnam, and even World War II have participated in the movement, speaking out for the 99%, and raising the movement’s visibility in the process.  Most recently, the unconscionable treatment of Marine veteran Scott Olsen in Oakland has drawn national attention to veterans’ participation in the Occupy Wall Street movement. 

‘Veterans of the 99%’ hope to draw attention to the ways veterans have been impacted by the economic and social issues raised by Occupy Wall Street.  They hope to help make veterans’ and service members’ participation in this movement more visible and deliberate. 

“As veterans who have served our country in the military, we now have a unique opportunity to continue serving here at home through our participation in this civic movement for change,” said Andrew Johnson, president of the New York City chapter of Iraq Veterans Against the War. “We want to connect with other veterans, to advocate for veterans, and to spotlight veterans’ involvement in this movement."

On Wednesday morning starting at 11:00am, members of the New York City Chapter of Iraq Veterans Against the War and other veterans will come together at Wall Street with other Veterans of the 99%.  They will march in uniform from Vietnam Veterans Plaza to Liberty Square (Zuccotti Park)—the heart of the Occupy Wall Street movement—and hold a press conference to discuss reasons why a growing number of veterans are supporting the 99% movement. They will tell their stories and talk about issues that are important to them as veterans, within the larger economic and democratic crises. These issues include the challenges of veterans re-entering civilian life after war and trauma and during economic recession, and looming cuts to veterans’ health care and VA services.  They will talk about their outrage at the treatment of Marine veteran Scott Olsen last week in Oakland. And they will call on other veterans and service members to join the Veterans of the 99%. 

Veterans who would like to participate should contact veteransofthe99@gmail.com

Interviews with participating veterans available by request.

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Iraq Veterans Against the War (IVAW) is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) advocacy group of veterans and active-duty U.S. military personnel who have served since September 11, 2001. IVAW’s Right to Heal Initiative is focused on holding the U.S. government accountable for human right violations of the health of Iraqis, Afghans and U.S. veterans. IVAW currently has over 2,500 members in fifty states, as well as in Canada, Europe, and Afghanistan.

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