Protesters from Stop The Machine greet AFL-CIO president Richard Trumka and US Chamber of Commerce president and CEO Tom Donohue Americans should urge their local chambers of commerce to disavow their connections with the policies of the US Chamber, and we should call for the firing of its CEO, Tom Donohue, said Kevin Zeese, an organizer for Stop The Machine which is one of two occupations in Washington, DC. “The Chamber of Commerce has always been conservative but it’s become right-wing, Karl- Rove- conservative since Donohue has come along.”

Those of us occupying Freedom Plaza marched several blocks to the Newseum where Donohue and AFL-CIO president Richard Trumka appeared on ABC’s Sunday morning talk show. When we ‘greeted’ them, we seemed nonexistent to Donohue.

Trumka walked to his chauffeured car, got in, and got back out to walk back across the street. He cheered us on by saying “you are all doing a great service to our country." Trumka also said the AFL-CIO would help by making their union halls available. Yesterday, a representative with a local Communication Workers of America stopped by Freedom Plaza to make showers available to Occupy DC.

Donohue recently said we need more foreclosures in this country as a way to stabilize the economy. “He’s also called for allowing foreigners to get a visa so that they can buy a house that’s worth more than $500,000-- giving our best properties to foreigners,” said Zeese.

Obama did a symbolic walk about two months ago to the US Chamber of Commerce, which is across Lafayette Park from the White House. He gave a speech which shows he likely will promote the interests of big corporations at the expense of ordinary Americans if he’s reelected,” said Zeese.

“A lot of people urged Obama to walk next door to the AFL-CIO and speak to labor which is under attack.”

Obama didn’t do it.

“Symbolically, he showed he’s not with labor. He’s very much a market-based Wall Street Democrat.”

Zeese said TARP is only the tip of the corporate welfare iceberg.

“In addition to that, the Federal Reserve provided more than our GDP--$16 trillion-- in new money they created and gave to the banks at almost no interest rate. The banks then loaned to the US and made a profit, and loaned to people and made profit.”

Zeese said even without the bailout, there are hundreds of billions of dollars in corporate welfare every year.

“It’s a combinations of tax breaks, and giveaways and access to minerals. We lease public lands to them for pennies on the dollar and then they mine minerals and make big profits.”

As another example of corporate welfare, he said the nuclear power industry would not exist without government support, given that Wall Street won’t invest in it or sell it insurance.