Saturday, February 26, 2011

1,500 in Sacramento Rally for Wisconsin Workers

Over 1500  union members and supporters rallied again  at the State Capitol in Sacramento  on Feb.26,  called by Move-, and Jobs with Justice to support the working people in Wisconsin in their struggle to defend their  union rights.  Speakers described the financial crisis that began  2007  as  an assault on organized  labor, working people, and our democracy.   A retired teacher from Wisconsin detailed many of the events occurring in Madison in an effort to end the demonstrations by public employees and families there.  For example, Wisconsin teachers and public employees have agree to all of the demanded salary and benefit cuts, but insist that their union rights to negotiate be protected.  This defense of union rights is not acceptable to Governor Walker and the Koch Brothers who fund him.
 Several speakers, and several signs noted that the assault in Wisconsin is class war- by the rich against working people.

While Wall Street has recovered and returned to profitability, working people continue to suffer  15 million unemployed with at least 10 million more under employed.   It is more than a crisis - the reality is that the financial class has looted the U.S. economy.  The Oligarchs  took 13 trillion dollars  out of the economy and caused 4 million people to lose their homes and  another 4.5 million to fall into foreclosure.   Now they want you and I to pay for their greed by forcing budget cuts on the states. 
            In 2010-2011 the crisis is hitting state and local governments hard.  The AFL-CIO is tracking this assault at   
In November of 2010 Republicans and the Tea Party  won a majority in the House of Representatives, took control of several state houses including Wisconsin , elected governors, and now dominate the main steam media with their messages.  Conservative forces, the Republicans, the Tea Party, and others use the economic  crisis in the states to launch aggressive campaigns against public sector unions and the salaries and pensions of public sector workers.

            The Sacramento response, like rallies in other states condemned the anti union campaigns of Republican governors and legislators.  In Wisconsin Governor Walker's immediate attack is aimed directly at some 200,000 public workers in Wisconsin.
As Rose Ann DeMoro Executive Director,  California Nurses Association said in a well distributed letter,
“Working people did not create the recession or the budgetary crisis facing federal, state and local governments, and there can be no more concessions, period.
It should be apparent that the right wants to scapegoat workers and their unions, and is trying to exploit the economic crisis for an all-out assault on unions, public employees, and all working people in a campaign that is funded by right-wing, corporate billionaires like the Koch brothers.
Who caused the economic crisis? Banks, Wall Street speculators, mortgage lenders, global corporations shifting jobs from the U.S. overseas.
Who is profiting in the recession? Corporate profits, third quarter of 2010, were $1.6 trillion, 28 percent higher than the year before, the biggest one-year jump in history.”
         At the Saturday rally in Sacramento Jim Hard of SEIU 1000 said that if the Republicans are able to break unions in Wisconsin and the Mid West, next they will be attacking social security.
         John Reiger of Veterans for Peace said that over 50% of the federal budget went to war and defense.  If we had these billions here, we could hire the teachers, fire fighters, police, nurses and social workers we need to take care of our own communities.
            The Sacramento rally was organized by as one of over 50 rallies nationwide today, one in each of the state capitols plus rallies in major cities including Chicago and New York City.  Each rally united unions and citizens groups to  oppose the attacks on union rights  of  Wisconsin Governor  Walker  and the Republican majorities in Wisconsin, Indiana, Ohio and other states.  
     The turn out on Saturday was impressive since labor had held a similar rally on Tues and turned out over 2,500 on the same issues.  Some 75 Tea Party supporters rallied  to support Governor Walker and state budget cuts at the other end of the Capitol Plaza.
The Sacramento Bee has  a photo essay on their web page.
Reported by Duane Campbell .

The fight in Wisconsin is just downstream from the Wall Street swindle. It isn’t really about deficits. And it certainly isn’t about teachers or civil servants being too well paid! It’s about power. The corporate right is trying to exploit the economic crisis to make the rich still richer. It’s time to say “No” -- time to make Wall Street pay its fair share.

With taxes on corporations and the wealthy falling, they expect the rest of us to make up the difference -- from Wisconsin to Ohio to the nation as a whole. It’s time to flip the script.

We have a modest proposal:  Pass a Robin Hood tax on Wall Street traders.
  • A tiny tax on Wall Street transactions would raise $100 billion per year in revenue and $1 trillion in ten years.
  • This “Financial Transaction Tax” would rein in the footloose market speculators.
  • It would put Wall Street to work for Main Street.
Please sign our petition demanding that Congress pass a Robin Hood tax on Wall Street traders.

The super-rich players played us when they pushed to deregulate Wall Street. They caused the global economic collapse with their “greed is good” ethic. The financial crisis in the states is a direct result of these Wall Street manipulations.

Is it any surprise that before he became Ohio’s anti-union governor, John Kasich was a high-paid executive at the now-defunct Lehman Brothers pushing Ohio’s pension fund into the kinds of risky investments that nearly tanked our nation’s economy?

There’s plenty of wealth in Wisconsin, in Ohio, in our country. The problem? Most of it is at the top. We can’t have democracy when the top one percent in our nation have more assets than the bottom 95 percent.  And we can’t allow state deficits to become a conversation about which group of workers gets cut the most.

We call on Congress to pass a Robin Hood tax on Wall Street now. It’s time Wall Street paid for for the mess they made.

And it’s time for the Congressional Progressive Caucus to boldly promote this powerful legislation.

Sign here and we will deliver your message loud and clear to the Congressional Progressive Caucus, which has the potential to be a major force for flipping the script on Capitol Hill.


Aimee, Sarah and the RootsAction team


mmcnamee said...

Thanks for the posting. Channel 10 posted a report on the rally that was so factually wrong that it was almost laughable. At Jon Steward is honest when he says that he makes up the news. Channel 10 reports are just corporate propaganda.

Maggie Beddow said...

I hope folks listened to Diane Ravitch's interview on NPR this morning. As teachers continue to be unfairly bashed, do you think teacher prep programs will be the next target? I'm sure we are all in agreement that we need effective teachers, but taking away their rights to collective bargaining, along with a lack of resources and support, does not make a better teacher. Holding teachers accountable according to their students' test scores is unfair. Fixing the schools and respecting teachers as professionals will improve education -- not bashing them.

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