They filled up Foley Square in Lower Manhattan and the sidewalks along Centre, Lafayette and Worth streets. They were a mix of union members, students, politicians and people who just couldn’t take it anymore. They called themselves the 99 percent and they wanted answers. They wanted change. These people gave new life to the Occupy Wall Street protesters.

“We stand with those around the world, like Athens, Egypt and Madrid, who realize that things can be better,” said Domingas Derogeiro-Cahango, an Angola native now living in Inwood who came to show solidarity. “It’s time that they listen to us.”

Who are “they”? It depended on who you were talking to. For some, they are corporations on Wall Street. For others, they are the American government and President Barack Obama. But they all share one thing in common: power. And speaking truth to power was the theme Wednesday afternoon.

“We are not here to defend the rich,” said 1199 SEIU President George Gresham to a loud audience. “Being that we are near Wall Street, we know that this is a low-tax zone. We’re gonna change all that.”

“Tax the rich,” screamed State Sen. Bill Perkins repeatedly.

“We’re the ones who need the bailout,” said Gresham. “We need bailouts in health care. We need bailouts in education.”

New York State Democratic Committee member Ronald Savage spoke to the AmNews one-on-one about a resolution that demonstrates what Wednesday’s demonstrations were all about. “We just drew up a resolution to raise taxes on the rich,” he said. “I hope it makes it to the floor. The mayor and the governor need to be more egalitarian toward the poor and the working class. This protest and protests from around the world show strength in numbers. It’s global. The people are tired.”

Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer was also on hand. As a man in a position of power, he told the AmNews that he only had one mission while down at Foley Square.

“I’m here to watch and to listen,” he said. “I think peaceful protest has always helped change along, whether it was the Civil Rights Movement or the anti-Vietnam War protests.”

As the crowd of thousands took to the streets to walk to Wall Street, it was clear that this was more than just a bunch of angry “lefties.” This was a battle in a war for the soul of America.

“It’s time for us to wake up and realize that this situation affects our daily life,” Derogeiro-Cahango told the AmNews. “Obama is not a warrior of the middle class. He is the opposite.”

Wednesday afternoon, unions and other groups including the United Federation of Teachers, 32BJ SEIU, 1199 SEIU, Workers United, Transport Workers Union (TWU) Local 100, Coalition for the Homeless, DC 37 and MoveOn.org joined the Occupy Wall Street protesters in a show of solidarity with a movement that advocates on behalf of those who are struggling in today’s America.

In a statement on the Working Family Party’s (WFP) website that has been widely circulated in emails, the WFP expresses its approval of the disruption and the attention the protesters are bringing to the cause of the poor and working class.

“Over the past two weeks, we’ve seen something unusual and promising: a gathering of people-mostly young-who are protesting the corporate power and coarse inequality that characterizes our society and economy,” read the statement.

“For two weeks, these inspired and inspiring young people, under the banner of Occupy Wall Street, have occupied our attention and camped out in Liberty Plaza. WFP staff have brought back exciting reports from a demonstration that gets more interesting every day.

“We stand with them in their call for a more just and equitable society,” the statement continued.

TWU Local 100 is also throwing its support behind the Occupy Wall Street protesters. The union even issued a statement detailing just how much they stand with them.

“The Transport Workers Union Local 100 applauds the courage of the young people on Wall Street who are dramatically demonstrating for what our position has been for some time: The shared sacrifice preached by government officials looks awfully like a one-way street,” read the statement.

“Workers and ordinary citizens are putting up all the sacrifice, and the financiers who imploded our economy are getting away scot-free, increasing their holdings and bonuses.

“Young people face a bleak future with high unemployment and minimum wage jobs,” continued the TWU statement. “Public sector workers face mayors and governors who demand massive wage and benefits givebacks or face thousands of layoffs. That’s not bargaining. That’s blackmail.”

In another development from the protests, the TWU is also suing the New York Police Department for allegedly forcing bus drivers to transport arrested protesters. According to TWU President John Samuelsen, officers even ordered regular passengers off of a bus and told them to wait for the next one while they filled the bus with arrestees.

“The government may only compel a citizen to assist in law enforcement when there is imminent danger,” Samuelsen said in a statement. “There was no imminent danger here, and therefore the [bus] operator’s Fourth Amendment rights were violated.”

Charles Jenkins, director of special projects and second vice chair of TWU Local 100, further supported Samuelsen’s statements.

“It’s clear that our drivers are hired to transport the riding public,” Jenkins said to the AmNews. “We understand that these buses were commandeered, not through the proper channels but through stopping and seizing. It had operators at a disadvantage, not knowing what was going on and why they were transporting protesters that the union had endorsed the day before.”

Jenkins told the AmNews that the union is seeking an injunction against the “commandeering and utilizing of our operators to transport people are arrested.”

“Our position is that people were unjustly arrested,” Jenkins said. “They put our bus operators in a very stressful and untrained situation.”

Some organizations have gone further than just showing support and are providing the protesters with financial support and other sustenance.

“1199 SEIU is in official solidarity with us. They’re giving us food for a week and medical training. This is huge!” read a tweet from Occupy Wall Street’s official Twitter account. In an email to the AmNews, the union expressed its solidarity with group.

“On Friday, Sept. 30, 1199 SEIU’s executive leadership voted unanimously to support the Wall Street protesters’ demands that corporate America be held accountable for the current economic crisis,” read the statement issued by 1199 SEIU spokesperson Leah Gonzalez.

“Corporations and the wealthy should pay the fair share in taxes they owe to middle-class Americans so this country can get back to work. We need jobs, not cuts.”