Feb 18, 2011

Roundup: Fighting back against attacks on workers and the middle class in Wisconsin, Ohio, and Indiana

The middle class is under attack in statehouses across the country, but this week we saw working families rise up in Wisconsin and Ohio to fight back against harmful anti-worker legislation. The fight is spreading quickly, including to Indiana, where the state legislature has scheduled hearings on more harmful legislation for next week. Here's a roundup of what's been going on:

Wisconsin:

UFCW members were among some 30,000 Cheeseheads to protest Governor Scott Walker's anti-worker agenda for four straight days in Madison this week
  • Video: tens of thousands of people have been rallying at the Capitol every day since Tuesday to protest Governor Scott Walker's anti-worker Budget Repair Bill and his threats to call out the National Guard on public employees.
  • Now the word is out, via a report by TPM, that the Governor himself ginned up this budget shortfall specifically in order to undercut worker rights.
  • Yesterday, Democratic State Senators fled the state in order to prevent a vote on the bill. Without a quorum, the Senate cannot move forward on the bill, and Dems have vowed to stay MIA until their Republican colleagues drop their assault on workers' rights. In the words of State Senator Mark Miller, "Our job, and the role of the legislature, is to expand rights, not deny them.”
  • The protests have been gaining media national attention, including live broadcasts taking place on the ground from MSNBC and other networks.
  • The White House and the DNC are now dispatching help to Wisconsin, and AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka was on hand for a noon rally today.
  • Police are exempt from the Governor's bill to strip public employees of their bargaining rights, but they're joining in the protests in solidarity anyway!
  • Even if you can't make it to Madison, you can show your support via solidarity actions taking place across the country, including a twitter petition, a virtual vigil, a Progressive Change Campaign Committee petition, a Cheesehead solidarity rally in New York, and a rally this coming Tuesday at 4PM at the Minnesota state capitol. If you know of more solidarity actions taking place today, let us know in the comments!
  • The protests are trending on Twitter, so be sure to use the hashtags #WIunion #NotMyWI and #StateSOS (this one's for all state fights to protect workers) as you tweet your support.
  • You can stay up to date on everything going on in Madison by liking the "Protect Wisconsin Families" page on Facebook.
Ohio
  • On Wednesday and Thursday, crowds of nearly 5,000 workers and supporters, including former Ohio Governor Ted Strickland, flooded the Ohio statehouse in opposition to Governor Kashich's and SB5, a harmful anti-worker bill currently being considered by the Ohio state legislature.
  • Yesterday, four UFCW members testified in opposition to SB5 in front of the Senate Insurance, Commerce and Labor Committee.
  • For more in depth testimony from a real expert, check out the testimony submitted by former Hamilton County Commission President David Pepper.
  • You can show your solidarity with Ohio working families by signing this Twitter petition, liking the "Stand Up for Ohio" Facebook page, and tweeting messages of support using the #StandUpOH and #StateSOS hashtags.
  • Stay tuned for more news on Ohio, as hearings on SB5 are scheduled to resume next week
Up Next: Indiana
  • A hearing on HB 1468, Indiana's very own anti-worker bill, is scheduled for this coming Monday at 9 a.m. in the Indiana House Employment, Labor and Pensions Committee (Statehouse room 156).
  • Hoosier workers and allies will be gathering at the statehouse in Indianapolis Monday morning to voice their opposition to the bill. If you're planning to join in the demonstrations, plan to arrive by 8:30 to allow time for parking and security.
  • Protests will continue Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday beginning at 10 a.m. each day.
  • Right Now: Hoosiers can call their representatives at 1-800-382-9842 and email them to tell them to vote NO on HB 1468.

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