The war on unions which began in Wisconsin has spread. Lawmakers fled Indiana yesterday and laws breaking unions are being introduced in rust belt states which recently elected Republican Governors. On Wisconsin is the fight song of the University of Wisconsin Badgers, so we all stand united behind the people and sing together.
The right wing is now excoriating us for using the term “class war” to describe their actions. I saw a sign which said “it’s only called class war when we fight back.” How true. Conservatives have been waging class war upon the people for thirty years. The decline of the middle class, the ever widening disparity in wealth and incomes, the increasing numbers of people in poverty, those who go hungry and homeless and the insane, indecent amounts of wealth being accumulated by the rich are proof. This is a class war and the fringe of the GOP has awakened a sleeping giant with this over reach. Rank and file working Americans screwed by the a system which has negated democracy for oligarchy are angry, frustrated and revolting. Its about time. Just keep things peaceful folks. Let’s take a page from Egypt where their refusal to rsort to force and violence won the day.
Don’t think this won’t happen right here in Pennsylvania. Gov. Corbett rules over a legislature dominated now by fellow Republicans. The Senate has a 30-19 Republican advantage with the remaining seat up for grabs on March 15th here in Reading. Regardless of that outcome however, the GOP could ram a similar bill down our throats because the Democrats cannot kill a quorum call by leaving the Commonwealth.
This doesn’t mean we’re powerless. Three major rallies in support of organized labor are scheduled, in Philadelphia and Pittsburgh tomorrow and on the steps of the Capitol building at noon on Saturday. This is the first step. The Wisconsin AFL-CIO has called a general strike which will likely shut down that state’s economy. We must do the same thing here. Businesses fomenting this class warfare must see what the true fruits of their efforts are: the crippling of their businesses. I see Teamsters shutting down every major highway in Pennsylvania, blocking all access to Harrisburg while thousands upon thousands of union members, supporters and their families besiege the Capitol building. If no one can get in or out we’ll get their attention. If transit systems across the state cease, mills, factories and retail centers go dark, airlines stop flying and so forth we’ll win the day.
This may have begun with attacks upon teachers but it will not end there. Success breaking that union will only embolden these fringe lunatics to go after everyone else. Once we lose all of our progressive institutions there will be no opposition to rolling back, not only child labor laws, but minimum wages, overtime, workplace safety, work rules, grievance procedures and all of our wages and benefits. It will roll America back to the dark days of the nineteenth century with company towns, stores, slave wages, locked factories which are fire traps and everything which gave rise to the union movement.
A revolution is brewing in America. The richest 1% now control the vast majority of our wealth. We could take the annual income from the top 3, three, hedge fund managers and pay 300,000 teachers. What is wrong when teachers average $46,000/year and golfers earn 60 million? Wall Street bankers earn in the billions every year and pay little to no taxes. 57% of corporations in this country pay no income tax. Bankers can destroy our economy through fraud, not be prosecuted then take food from your mouth to balance our budgets.
The Stimulus Bill provided revenue sharing (a Nixon concept) to states which helped balance their budgets the past two years. While Republicans keep repeating the lie that the ARRA was a failure (its only failure was that it was too small and gave GOP tax cuts instead of creating more jobs) we now can see the impact it had on state employees. While states are facing hundreds of billions in budget shortfalls now that the funds have expired we know, for sure, the bill was successful. What we need now is a new bill, sufficient in size and scope, to return job creation and revenue sharing to save millions more jobs.
Meanwhile attend one of the rallies this week and insure your voice is heard…singing On Wisconsin!
Update: Details about the rallies just came in:
>> PLEASE JOIN US as we rally in support of American working familes and the American Dream
>> Today working familes will be standing up in solidarity with Wisconsin workers in
>> WHAT: Solidarity Rally for Wisconsin Workers
>> WHEN: 12:00 Noon to 12:30
>> WHERE: Labor Leader John Mitchell Statue
>> Lackawanna Courthouse (Adams Avenue Side)
>> CONTACT: Roxie Pauline Roxiep9@aol.com 570-840-1650
>> On Thursday, 2/24, working Americans will be rallying in Philadelphia and Pittsburgh. Details are:
>> WHAT: Solidarity Rally for the Wisconsin Workers
>> WHEN: 11:30am
>> WHERE: Municipal Services Bldg PlazaAcross from City Hall
>> CONTACT: Robin Stelly, 203.216.9719, firstname.lastname@example.org
>> WHAT: Solidarity Rally for the Wisconsin Workers
>> WHEN: 12:00 pm Noon
>> WHERE: United Steelworkers Headquarters
>> 5 Gateway Center, 60 Blvd of the Allies
>> (Lunch will be provided)
>> On Saturday, 2/26, working Americans will be rallying to save the American Dream in Harrisburg. Details are:
> SATURDAY, 2/26 IN HARRISBURG
> WHAT: Rally to Save the American Dream
> WHEN: Saturday, 2/26 at NOON
> WHERE: Capitol Steps, Harrisburg