Pennsylvania Hundreds rally in Love Park for Wisconsin unions

Hundreds of union workers from our region gathered at Love Park Saturday to support the protestors in Wisconsin.

Teachers, factory workers, and others stood shoulder to shoulder voicing their anger over what's going on in Madison.

They say America was built on the backs of its workers and to take away their right to fight for a better life isn't the way the save money.

Hundreds of people rallied in Pennsylvania's state capital on Saturday to support union members in Wisconsin, where Republicans are seeking to reduce the collective bargaining rights of government workers.

Participants, who included auto workers, teachers, electricians, postal workers and railroad workers, chanted and carried signs while the civil rights anthem "We Shall Overcome" played over a loudspeaker.

Michael Morrill of Keystone Progress, an advocacy group that organized the rally, which was part of a nationwide effort, said those taking part wanted to "stand in solidarity with Wisconsin workers and American families everywhere."

"Right now the American dream is slipping away for millions of us, and we're here today to say enough is enough," Morrill said. "It's time for our government to work for us, and not just corporations and millionaires."

Morrill and some others told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette that participants also hoped to deter Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett from any such effort in the commonwealth. Most, however, said they were there to show support for unionized workers in Wisconsin.

"People need to stand up together for one another. That's why we're here," said Boh Wittle, a postal worker from Perry County, who attended with his wife.

One woman carried a "Wisconsylvania" sign, and others chanted, "We are Wisconsin," a play on the football rally cry "We are Penn State."

Meanwhile, several dozen people across the street sounded whistles and bullhorns in a counter-protest.

Kurt A. Snavely of Hershey said GOP officials in Wisconsin were trying to balance their state budget.

"There's no more money to pay the bills. There's just no more money," he said. "You can't run up debt forever."

Eileen Connelly, who chairs Keystone Progress, told the opponents that some basic things now relied upon by every worker, such as weekends and paid holidays, were the produce of union organizing.

"We need to stand up for our fellow citizens, whether they're union members or not," she told the cheering crowd, The (Harrisburg) Patriot-News reported. "It's not `what I have, to hell with you' but `what I have, you should, too.'

Protesters across US decry Wis. anti-union efforts

By PATRICK CONDON and TODD RICHMOND Associated Press

MADISON, Wis. (AP) - Rallies were held across the country Saturday to support thousands of protesters holding steady at the Wisconsin Capitol in their fight against Republican-backed legislation aimed at weakening unions.

Union supporters organized rallies from New York to Los Angeles in a show of solidarity as the protest in Madison entered its 12th straight day and attracted its largest crowd yet: more than 70,000 people. Hundreds banged on drums and screamed into bullhorns inside, while others braved frigid weather and snowfall during a rally that spilled into city streets.

"I want to thank you for coming out here today to exercise those pesky First Amendment rights," actor Bradley Whitford, who starred in television's "The West Wing," told his hometown crowd. "This governor has to understand Wisconsin is a stubborn constituency. We fish through ice!"

Republican Gov. Scott Walker has introduced a bill that includes stripping almost all public workers, from librarians to snow plow drivers, of their right to collectively bargain on benefits and work conditions. Walker has said the bill would help close a projected $3.6 billion deficit in the 2011-13 budget. He also argues that freeing local governments from collective bargaining would give them flexibility amid deep budget cuts.

The bill has sent Democrats and unions into an outrage nationwide. They see it as trampling on workers' rights and as an attempt to destroy Democrats' strongest campaign allies.

"Wisconsin is opening up people's eyes a little bit," said Jay Van Loenen, a teacher who attended a rally in Denver that attracted about 1,000 people. "So I think that the move is to try to get people more involved in their unions and create a stronger front so that if something happens here, we are prepared."

Several thousand people gathered for a rally in Columbus, Ohio, where lawmakers are considering a similar bill. Indiana Democrats successfully blocked a Republican bill last week that would have prohibited union membership from being a condition of employment.

Large crowds of teachers, firefighters and public workers also gathered for rallies - holding American flags, wearing pro-union clothing and holding signs - in other capital cities including Topeka, Kan.; Harrisburg, Pa.; and Olympia, Wash.

In Los Angeles, public sector workers and others held signs that read "We are all Wisconsin." Some wore foam "cheeseheads," the familiar hats worn by Green Bay Packers fans.

Covered in layers of coats, scarves, hats and gloves, about 1,000 rally goers outside the Minnesota Capitol chanted "Workers' rights are human rights" and waved signs, some reading "United we bargain, divided we beg."

"The right to collectively bargain is an American right," Eliot Seide, a local union leader, told the crowd in St. Paul. "You can't have American democracy if you don't have a strong trade union movement."

The rallies were part of a campaign by the liberal online group MoveOn.org to hold demonstrations supporting Wisconsin workers in major cities across the country. Some of the demonstrations attracted counter-protests, though the pro-union rallies were larger.

Madison Police spokesman Joel DeSpain said he didn't have a firm estimate on the Wisconsin capital's crowd, but said it was larger than last weekend when nearly 70,000 people descended on the Capitol.

The crowd cheered as pilot Jeff Skiles, the first officer on the US Airways Flight that landed in New York City's Hudson River in January 2009, told them that "justice and righteousness will always win out." Skiles helped pilot Chesley "Sully" Sullenberger land the plane, whose 155 passengers and crew members were safely rescued.

Protesters jammed the Wisconsin Capitol steps, packed the ice-covered lawn - some sat in trees - and filled surrounding streets. Several thousand counter-protesters came out last Saturday to support Walker, but they were hardly visible this time.

Capitol police planned to let protesters stay overnight Saturday into Sunday, but plan to finally close the building Sunday afternoon to let crews clean it.

People held signs that called Walker a parasite and a dictator and demanded voters recall him. Michael Janairo, a 4-year-old of Sheboygan, held a sign that showed Green Bay Packers star linebacker Clay Matthews tackling Walker. Michael's mother, Lisa Janairo, is not a public worker but drove to Madison to show support.

"For him to dictate and not negotiate is just wrong and we won't stand for it," the 45-year-old said.

 


 

Associated Press writers Tara Bannow in St. Paul, Minn.; Sheila V. Kumar in Denver; Beth Fouhy in New York City; Michael Virtanen in Albany, N.Y.; and Kantele Franko in Columbus, Ohio contributed to this report.

Link to Original Article

(Copyright ©2011 WPVI-TV/DT. All Rights Reserved.)

 


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States - Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania Articles

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PA Republicans Appeal to Racism

PA Republicans Appeal to Racism

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Pennsylvania refuses to release route info on oil trains

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Protesters Order Fitzpatrick to Help End Shutdown

Protesters Order Fitzpatrick to Help End Shutdown

Bucks County activists hung a cease and desist order outside Congressman Mike Fitzpatrick's Langhorne office. In the hours leading up to a rally outside Congressman Mike Fitzpatrick's Langhorne office, it appeared that a deal was close to tend the 15-day shutdown of the federal government. It would have been good news for the protesters that want to see the thousands of federal employees back to work and earning paychecks, even if it stole their thunder a bit. "We would have held the protest anyway," said Robin Stelly of Keystone Progress, one of the...

James Boyle| Levittown Patch 16 Oct 2013 Hits:516 Pennsylvania

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Harrisburg group to target GOP over government shutdown

A liberal group based in Harrisburg will fan out across the state and into the Philadelphia suburbs Tuesday to try to put pressure on Republicans in Congress toward ending the federal government shutdown. Michael Morrill, executive director of Keystone Progress, said hundreds of people will place "cease and desist" posters outside the district offices of House Republicans, placing the blame on them. The National Republican Congressional Committee has called the protest a partisan stunt that ignores efforts by Pennsylvania's GOP House members to end the impasse. While Keystone Progress prepared for the...

Ben Finley | Philadelphia Inquirer 16 Oct 2013 Hits:467 Pennsylvania

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Perry's Adams office gets 'cease and desist' order

Perry's Adams office gets 'cease and desist' order

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Pennsylvania’s Voter ID Law Will Not Be Enforced While Trial Judge Deliberates

Pennsylvania’s Voter ID Law Will Not Be Enforced While Trial Judge Deliberates

Pennsylvania voters will not have to show photo identification at the polls until the Commonwealth Court makes a final decision in the lawsuit challenging the controversial law. Commonwealth Court Judge Bernard L. McGinley issued an order on August 16th extending the preliminary injunction of the voter ID law until the trial court makes a decision on a permanent injunction. That decision, which is separate from today’s ruling, is not expected until later this year. “We are very pleased that hundreds of thousands of eligible voters will be able to cast...

Sara Mullen | PA ACLU 16 Aug 2013 Hits:596 Pennsylvania

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Pennsylvania Court Deals Blow to Secrecy-Obsessed Fracking Industry: Corporations Not The …

Pennsylvania Court Deals Blow to Secrecy-Obsessed Fracking Industry: Corporations Not The Same As Persons With Privacy Rights

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Steven Rosenfeld | AlterNet 12 Apr 2013 Hits:615 Pennsylvania

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Pa. Republicans have a Plan B to steal the 2016 presidential election

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They just won't quit, will they? The New Castle News (where I get most of my information these days*) is reporting that Harrisburg legislative powerhouse Sen. Dominic Pileggi has yet another scheme in which Pennsylvania would award a number of electoral votes to the losing candidate under a system not used in any of the other 49 states. As you may know, the losing candidate in every presidential election in Pennsylvania since 1988 has been a Republican. In 2012, President Obama got just under 52 percent of the popular vote and...

Will Bunch | Philly.com 05 Feb 2013 Hits:749 Pennsylvania

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Pennsylvania Republicans To Introduce New Election-Rigging Plan

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Ian Milhiser | Think Progress - Justice 04 Feb 2013 Hits:923 Pennsylvania

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Hershey's Charity for Children Became GOP Slush Fund

Hershey's Charity for Children Became GOP Slush Fund

Milton and Catherine Hershey signed the deed of trust establishing the Milton Hershey School as an orphanage in 1909, funding it with revenue from the famous candy company. Since then, the school has officially been dedicated to “the purpose of nurturing and educating children in need.” Because its founder gave MHS Trust a controlling interest in the Hershey Company, today it boasts a massive $8.5 billion in assets and also owns Hershey Entertainment & Resorts (operating hotels and an amusement park). In keeping...

F Frederic Fouad | The Nation 20 Oct 2012 Hits:1392 Pennsylvania

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On the Road With Working America

On the Road With Working America

One September night in the western Pennsylvania borough of Monaca, a disillusioned resident told a labor canvasser that he’d once “backed all of the Democrats all the way through,” only to realize “both sides” were “really full of shit.” Then he said something I heard often during my week in the region: “If all these factories were still running here, we’d all still have jobs.” In the mostly white, once unionized, postindustrial towns around Pittsburgh, outsourcing casts a long shadow over undecided or uninspired ...

Josh Eidelson | The Nation 11 Oct 2012 Hits:694 Pennsylvania

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Judge blocks enforcement of portion of Pa. voter ID law

 Judge blocks enforcement of portion of Pa. voter ID law

HARRISBURG -- A judge has blocked the state from discounting ballots cast next month by voters who lack the photo identification required under the new voter ID law. Voters will be asked for their identification at the polls, but will vote by normal procedures and their vote will count regardless of whether they have an ID, according to officials on both sides of the case. Commonwealth Court Judge Robert Simpson wrote in an order released this morning that the injunction would have the effect of...

Karen Langley | Pittsburgh Post-Gazette 02 Oct 2012 Hits:660 Pennsylvania

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Pennsylvania Voter ID Law Ruling: Judge Halts Enforcement Of Law For Election

Pennsylvania Voter ID Law Ruling: Judge Halts Enforcement Of Law For Election

A Pennsylvania judge on Tuesday postponed the enforcement of the state's new strict voter ID requirement until after the November presidential election. In a much-anticipated ruling, Commonwealth Court Judge Robert E. Simpson Jr. ordered that voters without government-issued photo ID should be allowed to cast regular ballots. "That's a huge win," said Witold J. Walczak, an attorney with the ACLU of Pennsylvania, "because last week the judge was suggesting that he was going to have every [voter without ID] vote provisionally." At the same time, the...

Dan Froomkin | Huffington Post 02 Oct 2012 Hits:768 Pennsylvania

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PA Voter ID Hearing Report

PA Voter ID Hearing Report

Commonwealth promises that this time they really, really mean it when they say every voter will be able to get ID. Today’s hearing was déjà vu all over again, as the saying goes. Once again the Commonwealth produced a last-minute new ID procedure right before trial – this time literally the night before. And once again the Commonwealth asked the court to rely solely on its assurances that the new IDs would ensure that all eligible voters will get to vote in November. The biggest news of the trial (also announced in...

Sara Mullen, Associate Director, ACLU of Pennsylvania 26 Sep 2012 Hits:821 Pennsylvania

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Tea Party Threatens Revenge Against Pennsylvania Justices For Not Upholding Voter ID Law

Tea  Party Threatens Revenge Against Pennsylvania Justices For Not Upholding Voter ID Law

Earlier this week, every single sitting Pennsylvania Supreme Court justice rejected a lower court decision allowing that state’s voter ID law to take effect. Four justices joined a majority opinion requiring the lower court judge to look at the case again due to concerns that voters were unable to obtain the IDs they were supposed to have easy access to as a matter of law, and two more justices joined a dissent arguing that the law should simply be suspended right away. Three of the justices in...

Ian Millhiser | Think Progress Justice 22 Sep 2012 Hits:1121 Pennsylvania

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Pennsylvania Voter ID Law Hits Roadblock as Court Orders Review of Decision

Pennsylvania Voter ID Law Hits Roadblock as Court Orders Review of Decision

State Supreme Court sends decision back to lower court The Pennsylvania Supreme Court on Tuesday has ordered the lower court to revisit its decision in the controversial voter ID law, which voting rights advocates have said would have disenfranchised as many as 750,000. The ruling stated: The court is to consider whether the procedures being used for deployment of the cards comport with the requirement of liberal access which the General Assembly attached to the issuance of PennDOT identification cards. If they do not, or if the Commonwealth Court is not still convinced in...

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What I Spent to Comply With Pennsylvania’s New Voter ID Law

What I Spent to Comply With Pennsylvania’s New Voter ID Law

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Matt Bevilacqua | Next American City 12 Sep 2012 Hits:4014 Pennsylvania

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Pa. Voter ID Law Leads to DMV Trips from 'Hell'

Pa. Voter ID Law Leads to DMV Trips from 'Hell'

Two government offices, three hour-long lines, two 78-mile trips, two week-long waiting periods, four forms of identity and two signed affidavits later, Pennsylvanians will be allowed to vote. Under the state's new voter ID laws,, which require every voter to show a government-issued photo ID at the polls, that is the epic process thousands of native Pennsylvanians have to go through to get the ID required to cast their ballots in November. And they now have just 56 days to complete it before the...

Amy Bingham | ABC News 12 Sep 2012 Hits:1276 Pennsylvania

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LIVE on Sept. 13: Supreme Court Redistricting and Voter ID arguments

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The Supreme Court of Pennsylvania today announced that its entire Sept. 13 oral argument session, which includes hearings on the state’s second legislative redistricting plan and the voter ID law, will be televised live on PCN. The hearings are being held in the court’s Philadelphia City Hall courtroom. Oral arguments will begin at 9:30 a.m. in the Supreme Court’s Philadelphia courtroom, room 456 of City Hall. Strict decorum will be observed. Because of limited seating, observers will be admitted on a first come, first...

Diana Robinson | PCNTV 27 Aug 2012 Hits:907 Pennsylvania

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Anti-Fracking Residents Follow and Confront Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett as He Kayaks Dow…

Anti-Fracking Residents Follow and Confront Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett as He Kayaks Down Endangered River in Tourism Photo Promo

Posted every few miles on the river's banks were groups of protestors, challenging the governor's pro-drilling policy with signs and chants. At just after  8 am on Thursday, Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett got into a blue kayak in Beach Lake, Pa  to begin a 15 mile trip south on the scenic Delaware, the nation's most pristine and ancient river. Some 30 kayakers, friends and associates, including Richard Allan, Pennsylvania's Secretary of Conservation and Natural Resources, on the misty morning, part of a two-day promotion...

Nora Eisenberg | AlterNet 24 Aug 2012 Hits:1189 Pennsylvania

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PA Legislators with ALEC Ties

House of Representatives

Senate

Full List of Legislators Who Have Cut Ties With ALEC

  • Rep. Ted Harhai (D-58) - Harhai announced in May 2012 that he is no longer an ALEC member[15]
  • Rep. Kate Harper (R-61) - Harper announced in April 2012 that she is no longer an ALEC member[16]
  • Rep. William Keller (D-184) - Keller announced in May 2012 that he is no longer an ALEC member[15]
  • Rep. Nick Kotik (D-45) - Kotik announced in May 2012 that he is no longer an ALEC member[15]
  • Rep. Sandra Major (R-111) - Major announced in April 2012 that she does not plan to renew her ALEC membership[16]
  • Rep. Joseph Markosek (D-25) - Markosek announced in May 2012 that he is no longer an ALEC member[15]
  • Rep. Nicholas Micozzie (R-163) - Micozzie announced in May 2012 that he is no longer an ALEC member[15]
  • Rep. Mark Mustio (R-44) - Mustio announced in April 2012 that he is no longer an ALEC member[16]
  • Rep. Joseph Petrarca (D-55) - Petrarca told Politics PA in May 202 that he "has no ties and has never been a member of ALEC.”[17]
  • Rep. Harry Readshaw (D-36) - Readshaw claimed in April 2012 that he was never an ALEC member[16]
  • Rep. Curtis Thomas (D-181) - Thomas announced in May 2012 that he was cutting ties to ALEC.[18]
  • Rep. Mike Turzai (R-28) - Turzai told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette in March 2012 that he is no longer an ALEC member[19]

Senate

  • Sen. Lisa Boscola (D-18) - Boscola announced in May 2012 that she is no longer an ALEC member[15]
  • Sen. Jacob Corman (R-34) - Corman announced in May 2012 that he is no longer an ALEC member[18]
  • Sen. Stewart Greenleaf (R-12) - Greenleaf told Keystone Progress in May 2012 that "I have a membership with ALEC but because of concerns that have [been] raised by my constituents I will not be renewing it."[20]
  • Sen. John Pippy (R-37) - Pippy's staff announced in April 2012 that he is no longer an ALEC member[16]
  • Sen. Leanna Washington (D-4) - Washington announced in May 2012 that she is no longer an ALEC member[15]
  • Sen. Anthony Williams (D-8) - Williams, who has used PA state funding for ALEC,[21] "vociferously protested being identified with ALEC," according to Keystone Progress. "As a staunch advocate for school choice, I’m often invited to attend and speak at myriad events, locally and nationally, held by those who share my beliefs and those who vigorously oppose them. I make no apologies for my views on choice, because a broad set of educational options is among the best hopes students have to attain the skills needed to be productive and competitive in a global, 21st century society. However, I’ve never sought membership in the American Legislative Exchange Council nor have I ever been a member,” said Williams. “Lastly, ALEC does not represent my values or beliefs.”[15]
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