Rally for Wisconsion Workers

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Click above to see photos from the rally in Boston yesterday. Above: members of Iron Workers Local 7 atop the Robert Gould Shaw / 54th Regiment memorial.

In Boston, thousands gathered to join in support of Wisconsin workers and their collective bargaining rights. It was an inspiring moment. And despite my concerns with mass protests it was really, really good.

This blog is supposed to be sort of meta-activism, so I won’t go too much into the substance of the event itself. I did find it helpful that people are making the larger point about the events in Wisconsin — that this is about more than just the workers demands, but the right to organize. Governor Patrick, when he spoke, said that it was even bigger than that — this fight is about what kind of society we want to live in. I like it, but then, I always like it when people makie the bigger, broader, bolder point.

I always have a lot to criticize. (Why do I hear the same chants at every rally ever? How many rounds of “This is what democracy looks like!” and “Ain’t no power like the power of the people / cuz the power of the people don’t stop!” do I have to go through before we come up with something new?) I’m going to forgo those negative thoughts until another time. For now, it was just so wonderful to see people standing up for working folks. I hope that these and other rallies around the nation are heard in Wisconsin. I hope that people across our country can settle these kind of labor disputes — to steal Governor Patrick’s choice of workds — not by turning on one another, but by turning to one another. But when those in power do turn on working people, I hope labor unions continue to organize like their lives depend on it.

P.S. Shoutout to my new friend Warren who is the guy in the second photo with the two signs (“They Only Call it Class War When We Fight Back” and “I Dreamed I Saw Joe Hill Last Night”). By ‘new friend’  I mean that we talked for maybe 3 minutes while I took his photo with my camera phone, but he seems fairly spectacular.

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February 23, 2011. Uncategorized.

3 Comments

  1. Warren Senders replied:

    Thanks for posting these — and thanks for the kind words!

  2. Brian Henchey replied:

    I found this via twitter hashtag #mapoli. Three points:

    1 – “Governor Patrick…said…this fight is about what kind of society we want to live in.” — That’s right! — BANKRUPT!!!!!!

    Do you realize this country is on the cliff of fiscal suicide? There’s talk about raising the debt limit because we’ve borrowed SO MUCH MONEY that we’re just about at the point where we can’t afford **the interest** (never mind the principle..) of what we’ve borrowed. Think about your own credit card bill — imagine if you didn’t have the money to even pay the **interest**; you then cannot ever pay down your debt.

    …but do the unions care?!? NO! It’s all about getting more money out of the taxpayers’ pockets.

    2 – I recommend you never quote Deval Patrick because he’s an idiot. He said “9/11 was a failure of people to understand one another” (paraphrase). 9/11 was a SLAUGHTER of Americans and American, pro-human, pro-freedom rights.

    3 – “I hope that people across our country can settle these kind of labor disputes — to steal Governor Patrick’s choice of [words] — not by turning on one another, but by turning to one another.”

    …see #2 and #1.

    This is nothing but a shake-down: TAKE money from taxpayers, put in union pockets.

    You and your side don’t give a CRAP about this country. If you did, you (like President Obama said) would “have some skin in the game” and take a pay CUT.

  3. strategyandpizza replied:

    First of all, welcome. Glad that you found the time to think carefully and thoughtfully about my post. I really appreciate all viewpoints.

    Of course, I naturally take issue — oh where to begin — with your comment. I would note that the unions have actually given in to all of Governor Walker’s fiscal demands, except that they maintain the right to collectively bargain. He rejected that offer of compromise. So we can safely say that this fight is not over the fiscal situation. This is actually not about taking away taxpayer money, this is about whether unions have a right to be at the table to negotiate for their interests. I’ll agree that there are instances when unions overreach, if you’ll agree that this is not one of them.

    I’m really not sure what 9/11 has to do with any of this, so I am just not going to go there.

    Again, thanks for taking the time to post. I know there are those who will simply say that you’re a troll. I am not one of them. You know why? Because I have too much free time on the weekend.

    I leave you with this: 61% oppose instituting what Scott Walker wants in their own home state.

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