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Transcript: Mayor de Blasio Delivers Remarks at the Working People's Day of Action Rally

February 23, 2018

Mayor Bill de Blasio: Brothers and sisters, you look beautiful today. You are out in strong numbers, and I can feel the passion in this crowd because we will not let our city or our country be taken over by the one percent.

[Cheers]

That is what we are fighting against here today. I want to thank the Central Labor Council, the biggest union town in New York City – thank you Vinny Alvarez and the CLC.

This is the biggest union town in America, and we are proud of that.

[Cheers]

I want to thank – boy, did you hear Lee Saunders?

[Cheers]

I want you to know during his speech I called the Fire Department over because Lee Saunders was on fire.

[Cheers]

Thank you, Lee. Thank you to all the labor leaders and the elected officials who are here in solidarity.

My friends, let me tell you something. In this city, we believe in fairness. We believe working people deserve fairness. We want to be the fairest big city in America. We want to be a place where everyone who works hard is treated with dignity and lives a decent life. But meanwhile in Washington DC, they have literally the opposite agenda. President Trump and his cabinet of millionaires and billionaires are trying to take away your rights.

[Boos]

The Republican Congress is trying to take away your hard-won rights.

[Boos]

The Koch Brothers are trying to buy elections, so they can strip you of your rights.

[Boos]

It’s this simple – are we going to let them do it?

Crowd: No!

Mayor: Are there more of us than there are of them?

Crowd: Yes!

Mayor: So now we fight. The one percent has gotten away with it for too long, but all over this country, including all these rallies happening today, people will not stand for it anymore. So here’s what I say – we are going to join in this effort to sway the Supreme Court.

Now, I’ve got no illusions about the Supreme Court – not a single one. But New York City will stand with labor and demand the Supreme Court respect the rights of labor all over this country.

[Cheers]

And if anyone asks you what has labor meant to New York City, we are a city today – we are the strongest we’ve ever been. We have the most jobs we’ve ever had. We are the safest in our entire history because of working men and women who made this city great.

[Cheers]

So we’ve got the evidence that a union town is a better town for everybody.

[Cheers]

But now we have a fight ahead, and this year 2018 is going to be one of the most momentous in the history of our country. Not just because of a Supreme Court decision – we’re going to fight either way. Whatever the Supreme Court does, we’re going to fight.

We’re going to fight for change all over this country, but let me tell you something – we see the change happening already. We saw it in Virginia. We saw it in Alabama, brothers and sisters.

[Cheers]

We saw it in the Women’s March, the biggest demonstration in the history of this country.

[Cheers]

And if you want hope for the future, think about these high school students who are taking the lead in Florida and all over the country.

[Cheers]

Brothers and sisters, our young people are leading the way to a safer country for all.

[Cheers]

So I want to say this to conclude [inaudible] one percent. This is as good as it’s going to get for you because now the people are taking back what’s theirs.

[Cheers]

And this fight will grow and grow, and the fairness that we want to build in this city, we’re going to build all over this country because working men and women will demand it.

[Cheers]

I’m going to say it really quick en Espanol.

[Mayor speaks in Spanish]

No one – no one will silence the voice of working men and women.

Thank you, and God bless you all.

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