An Occupy Miami protester (Pic by Ashley Lopez)

Occupy Miami garnered public support from local unions today.

South Florida Jobs for Justice, together with local labor unions, held a press conference this morning announcing their support for Occupy Miami.

Occupy Miami, a local group protesting in solidarity with the Occupy Wall Street movement, is currently occupying government center in Miami. The group held a rally this Saturday that drew more than 1,000 supporters.

Kit Rafferty, executive director of South Florida Jobs with Justice, tells The Florida Independent that, together with multiple labor unions, the group is supporting the occupiers and their “right to peacefully assemble and to build power for the 99 percent.”

South Florida Jobs With Justice is a “is a membership network” with affiliates that “includes small and minority businesses, community service groups and labor unions,” the group’s website says.

Rafferty says that the AFL-CIO, SEIU and the painters union, to name a few, are standing behind the protesters. She says that even the president of the national chapter of the AFL-CIO has expressed his support for the group.

“There is huge disparity in this town,” Rafferty says, describing a city where extreme poverty exists side by side with extreme wealth. ”Anything we can do to support them, we will do,” she says.

Rafferty says that labor unions are fighting for fairness and working families, just like the occupiers, and that at least six different unions were represented at Saturday’s rally.

“We are really happy that we are seeing people committed to change,” she says.

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