On July 12th, Miami OBBers delegated three different recruitment centers accompanied by 25 supporters drawn from Local 355 membership, community leaders of womens’, LGBTQ, and immigrant rights groups, and Episcopal priest, Father Aguilar of Unite Here Local 355. We met with different reactions at each location. At the first, we were told that we had to conduct our delegation outside of the office. We all introduced ourselves individually and expressed why we personally felt that the Marines should withdraw their sponsorship. The officer listened patiently, and watched the USMC recruitment commercial and the compilation video of UFC fighters’ and Dana White’s crude comments and behavior. Finally, he stated that he couldn’t express any opinions of his own because he was in uniform and therefore couldn’t make any comments on behalf of the Marine Corps. He also refused to take the stack of 5,000 petitions. We left the stack outside the office door before leaving. Our second delegation was similar, with the recruiter refusing to take the petitions, and saying that he couldn’t respond.
The delegation at the third location had a bit more success with speaking to the officers who watched the videos, spoke about the issue, and agreed to talk to their superior officers on the matter. Overall, we were successful in delivering our message at all three locations and everyone felt really great about expressing our concerns and having our voices heard. We hope that the delegations in the other cities were successes as well, and we’re looking forward to any news regarding the U.S. Marine Corps’ involvement with the UFC.
Shannon, 2012 Summer Organizer, Miami
Top Photo to the Left: The man in front holding the petitions is Winston Garvey, a Unite Here member from the Fort Lauderdale Airport. To his left is Bianka Salomon from Student Labor Action Project (at the University of Central Florida) and to his right is Unite Here Member Maurice from the Marlins stadium. To Bianka’s left is Mackenson Massenat, a Unite Here member from Fort Lauderdale Airport.
Top Photo to the Right: Dylan, Miami OBB Intern, speaking directly to the recruiting officer with the petitions in hand, was joined by Unite Here Member Maurice from the Marlins stadium, Coveannda a student from the Florida International University’s Women Studies program, Nick Wulff from Students Working for Equal Rights (at Florida International University’s Kendall campus) and Father Richard Aguilar, an Episcopalian priest who is now working for Unite Here doing community outreach.
Bottom Photo to the Left: The Miami OBB Interns speaking with a recruiting officer, were joined by Marie from the Dream Defenders, Coveannda from the Florida International University’s Women Studies program, and Carmen and Alice who volunteered to join to show their support.