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On the Ground in Ohio

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(Thanks for the report. It’s great to see working people standing up for themselves in multiple states, I hope this spreads across America and doesn’t stop until we’ve wrested back power from the corporations and their elected lackeys. – promoted by lowkell)

cross-posted from Sum of Change

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COLUMBUS, OH: I am on the ground in Ohio, here to cover the protests for the couple days that I can afford to be away from DC. Today, despite a persistent rain, demonstrators lined the sidewalk outside of the Capitol Building in Columbus to voice their opposition to Senate Bill 5 which threatens state employees’ bargaining rights. Today’s protest was a lead up to tomorrow, when thousands are expected to descend on Columbus.

I also want to include the full interview I did with one of the teachers:

Some helpful facts about Ohio and collective bargaining (from the Examiner, not directly quoted)

• Ohio public employees make the same or less than their counterparts in the private sector (although a higher percentage of state workers have college degrees)

• In the last 9 years, state workers have taken 5 years of pay freezes (that’s with collective bargaining)

• Budget gaps are higher, on average, in states that do not allow collective bargaining

• State employee payroll in Ohio equals only 9% of the state budget

We’ll be here for part of the protest tomorrow too!

  • on “StarvingWisconsin’s Unions”:

    Let’s be clear: The high-stakes standoff in Wisconsin has nothing to do with balancing the state’s budget.

    […]

    …if Republicans wanted to weaken the Democratic Party by destroying its most important source of big-money support, they would try to crush public-sector unions at the state and local levels.

    That’s what the Wisconsin fight is really about. That’s why Walker won’t settle for budget-balancing concessions. He wants to eliminate the greatest benefit that unions can give their members – collective bargaining – and also, by the way, make it much harder to collect union dues. He wants to starve the unions to death.

    This is pure, unadulterated union-busting – not with goons and brickbats, but with the stroke of a scheming governor’s pen.

  • See here for more on what these heinous human beings are up to:

    1) Koch Brothers get their puppet Governor Walker in power

    2) Governor Walker gins up a crisis

    3) Democrats and Progressives take the bait and counter-protest on collective bargaining

    4) Governor Walker will compromise on collective bargaining if the rest of the budget is passed as is

    5) Bill passes, with trojan horse give-a-way to the Koch Brothers nested in

    6) Koch Brothers will buy Wisconsin state-owned power plants for pennies on the dollar in closed unsolicitated bids for which there will be no oversight

    7) Koch Brothers get the best vertical monopoly in a generation

    These days in America, if there’s evil afoot, it’s a pretty good likelihood the Koch brothers – and the Republicans who love them – are behind it.

  • john_brown_underground

    Has anyone heard of progressive groups trying to set up rallies in other state Capitols? Why not Richmond? There’s plenty of local issues to rally around as well.  

  • walkabout

    What has caused the deficits?  Not public employees and union members because over the years they’ve agreed to freeze salaries, pensions etc.  The deficits have been caused by wars and tax breaks for the rich.  And the financial crisis was caused by the greedy ones on Wall Street.  Let’s expand the movement to deliver the full message, which is “Let’s cut deficits by cutting wars and tax breaks for those who don’t need or deserve them.”  “Let’s support financial reforms enacted by Congress.”  “Let’s be informed.”