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Labor ralliers begin to gather at state capitol for “We Are One! Put People First!” event

Post by Peter Callaghan / The News Tribune on April 8, 2011 at 11:58 am with 32 Comments »
April 8, 2011 12:14 pm
Union members begin gathering on the steps of Legislative Building for today's rally

“Moses was a strike leader,” read the sign held by Anacortes electrical worker Nicholas Petrish.

It was just one of hundreds waved by those attending the rally that organizers predict will attract up to 5,000 people. Both before and after the rally, union members were asked to make visits to their legislators.

While there is a bit more of a State Patrol presence than a normal day, it seems security is taking a less obvious approach despite Thursday protests that led to 17 arrests.

Buses of union members ranging from the Longshoreman to the Screen Actors Guild began arriving in mid-morning. They filled the stone steps leading up to the domed Legislative Building and those in front of the Temple of Justice.

Greg Devereux, exec director of the Washington State Federal of State Employees said he expect the steps and the space between known as the oval to be filled before the noon rally gets under way.

Inside the Legislative Building, the scene was pretty normal. Protesters who had spent two nights in the rotunda to protest cuts to social services and call for closing business tax preferences were gone. And the House and Senate were either in closed-door caucus or acting on non-controversial bills.

The House, however, may take up the budget later today. And that could be a target for protesters who object to the level of cuts being proposed.

Many of the signs held by ralliers talked about a perception that some cuts could be avoided if loopholes were closed.

 

“We are fighting corporate greed,” read one sign. And a large, inflatable balloon featured a “fat cat” with its fist around the neck of another figure.

Democrats, however, say they don’t have the two-thirds majorities needed to do that.

Shannon Ergun, an english language learner teacher at Tacoma's Lincoln High School, posed with an inflated "fat cat" at today's labor rally
Leave a comment Comments → 32
  1. BlaineCGarver says:

    IMO, it’s shameful in this age of much reduced wherewithal to act like this…I’ll bet there are tens of thousands that would give the shirt off their back for a job like that, and not ***ch about it.

  2. SideWalk_Hawk says:

    I would want my union to handle contract negtiations in good faith, and take cuts that are proportional to amount of money the state has lost. Union greed is a real issue as well.

    That said, what is happening in Wisconsin makes my blood boil. I’m an independant voter; but if Repulicans start taking away workers rights to negotiate, I’ll start nocking on doors for the Democrats. w

    Why are Republicans wed to big business? You’de think people who value family would actually do something good for those families they care about.

  3. GiveItaRest says:

    “Put People First!”

    The me generation. it’s all about what they can get for themselves, instead of what in the best interest of the state.

  4. robrob13 says:

    Any one who is out of work would love a union job- great pay and benefits. Personally, i’d take a pay cut and a non-union job any day over the bureaucracy of a union. I guess all this means is that these union members failed basic math class in high school. NEWSFLASH to union members: 100 dollar bills actually do NOT grow on trees.

  5. anyone else getting tired of politicians running government……..entitled?

  6. I got one question in the picture above ,which one is shannon and which one is the blowup fatcat ?

  7. Alison7613 says:

    I just wish the SEIU had signs indicating they cared about the safety and well being of our most vulnerable versus their own salaries and hours being cut. Caregivers are mandatory reporters of abuse and neglect, but they frequently do not follow the law because they are more concerned about their own paychecks.

  8. “BlaineCGarver says:
    April 8, 2011 at 12:18 pm
    IMO, it’s shameful in this age of much reduced wherewithal to act like this…I’ll bet there are tens of thousands that would give the shirt off their back for a job like that, and not ***ch about it.
    —————————————————————

    Wanna bet that Blaine applauded the TEA Party disruptions of Town Hall Meetings?

  9. dbreneman says:

    “We are fighting corporate greed,” read one sign. And a large, inflatable balloon featured a “fat cat” with its fist around the neck of another figure.

    Are these people really so out of touch? Fat cats? Corporate greed? They are the fat cats, bleeding the taxpayers to death with their demands for ever more lucrative benefits.

    These people are protesting you, dear reader. Whose side are you on, theirs… or yous?

  10. tacomajoe says:

    Fire all of these beggars!

  11. *** It’s Years and years past due to cut welfare state in every way. From gross union ‘packages’ to citzens who breed irresponsibly, to corporate favoritism, and at the top immigrants, both illegal and legal. Did you know immigrants are there too, showing their ‘solidarity’. Immigrants, both legals and illegals are sucking the life out of our schools, welfare, criminal justice systems, and stealing voting/votes on top of it. I can’t wait to throw out our useless legislature in 2012. A legislature who failed to even vote to protect citizen voting from illegals, so big business farmers keep their huge profits while we pick up the welfare tab. Until we can throw them out, check out Respect Washington .us and help stop the scourge of irresponsible sellout Wa state government today.

  12. ltkeffer says:

    the tax cuts for the corporations, even Boeing, have not helped out state at all.

  13. tree_guy says:

    “Put people first”

    I’m pretty sure the overtaxed private sector workers and struggling business owners are people too.

  14. kanajune says:

    It is absolutely heartless and absurd to further cut programs for basic services to people. Kids are sitting in classrooms unable to focus on the whiteboard because the state will no longer help them with glasses……….their mothers have been cut off from access to medical care, too, because the income thresholds have been lowered……..I can go on and on til it breaks my heart.

    There has to be a better plan than this……..poor kids and families have no powerful lobbies to protect them. I applaud the unions and dems for trying to help, but I fear that BIG BIZ will continue to protect their big profits and perks because their legislators are in their hip pockets.

    Does anyone still believe in the Trickle Down model? Ha!

  15. fbergford says:

    What I find ironic is that yesterday 17 of these protesters were arrested. They tried pushing pass state patrol officers to gain entrance into the Governor’s office, blah blah blah I’m sure you have seen the video evidence and the chaos that soon followed on various news sites. Well these same people who got arrested and are at this protest claim that Tea Party members are racists, violent jerks, but yet they (Tea Partiers) are the ones that pay taxes, don’t break the law while protesting, and just want accountability of all of our tax dollars. They want to government to live within their budget. Why is that SO hard to grasp? Why is that a bad thing? I don’t understand these people, and I don’t think I ever will.

  16. “robrob13 says:
    April 8, 2011 at 12:35 pm
    Any one who is out of work would love a union job- great pay and benefits. Personally, i’d take a pay cut and a non-union job any day over the bureaucracy of a union. I guess all this means is that these union members failed basic math class in high school. NEWSFLASH to union members: 100 dollar bills actually do NOT grow on trees.”

    Newsflash to the undereducated. “Unions” are workers UNITED. It’s not a 3rd party entity. You are welcome to take a pay cut and a non-union job any time you’d like. This is a free country.

  17. “Well these same people who got arrested and are at this protest claim that Tea Party members are racists, violent jerks, but yet they (Tea Partiers) are the ones that pay taxes, don’t break the law while protesting, and just want accountability of all of our tax dollars.”

    Arrested? I’m sure it was quite symbolic.

    As to the TEA Party, they have demonstrated their racism. Violence? Yep, there has been violence at their rallies as well as their baiting of a disabled man, which was really worse than a scuffle between protestors. Ever seen an openly carried weapon at a union rally?.

    Now, if the TEA Party wants an accountability of our tax dollars, all they need to do is plow through the millions of pages of public information documents that anyone has the right to.

    The TEA Party has demonstrated to be nothing other than an ultra-conservative branch of the Republican Party that is focused on their social agenda as opposed to balancing budgets. Save the rhetoric for the rubes.

  18. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6ik4f1dRbP8

    Some people deserve a punch in the nose.

  19. fbergford says:

    X_6 did you personally witness any violence, racism towards anyone in the rallies the Tea Party had about six months ago at our Capitol in Olympia. NO because it was peaceful unlike what we saw yesterday in the Rotunda.

    If I am a racist for agreeing with what the Tea Party stands for you are a bigot for not having an open mind to new ideas. We can both play the name calling game but that does not get us anywhere now does it?

    I consider myself a Tea Party member but I’m not ultra conservative. I have a lot of liberal views, but I believe the individual needs to start taking personal responsibility and stop depending on tax payer money to feed and cloth them. Our tax dollars need to go to infrastructure, securing our borders, and our military that’s it. If our politicians (democrats who have controlled the house, senate and governor seat for the past 10+ years) learned how to live within a budget we would not have been in this mess! And I know, I’m sounding like a democrat right now blaming Bush…it’s pretty easy to do!

  20. fbergford says:

    Just in case you guys didn’t see the chaos and arrests yesterday by these protesters inside the Capitol building here it is….

    http://www.king5.com/news/politics/Budget-cut-protests-spill-inside-Washington-state-Capitol-119432259.html

    http://www.king5.com/video/featured-videos/RAW-Budget-protests-and-arrests-at-Washington-state-Capitol-119439849.html

    You are telling me these people aren’t violent?

  21. I didn’t personally witness the moon landing in 1969, but video tape is enough proof for me.

    Now, go back to my comment and read it slowly. I didn’t call you a racist.

    Please share some of you liberal philosophies with us. I’d love to see what you call liberal or progressive.

  22. Like I said, symbolic arrests. They chanted in the legislative building when they were supposed to be quiet. How terrible!!!

    What they did was no different than what TEA BAG supporters did during the Town Hall Meetings in August of 2009. Funny, though, no TEA BAG supporters were arrested for breach of peace.

    THAT, they would have claimed, would have been a violation of the First Amendment.

  23. “You are telling me these people aren’t violent?”

    There was no violence. There was chanting and mild resistance to the arrest. I’m sure that the State Patrol can handle a group of middle aged women.

    Now I know why a dozen state patrol cars were screaming down I-5 yesterday afternoon, lights and sirens on.

    If I were them, I’d be a bit embarrassed. They’ve had more trouble with one drunk driver.

  24. These are copies of comments I posted on the wrong thread:

    X_6zero says:
    April 8, 2011 at 4:25 pm
    “A violent brawl at one Tea Party rally Saturday laid bare the raw emotions now wrenching American society.

    Tea Partiers took to the streets Saturday to protest President Obama’s promised immigration reforms, which would offer some illegal immigrants a path to citizenship.

    In Fort Lauderdale, Fla., however, counterprotesters from ANSWER – an antiwar, pro-immigration reform group – also took to the streets, with one blaring, “Amnesty, yes. Racists, no,” from a bullhorn. When two Tea Party activists entered their protest zone, a fight erupted as Tea Party and ANSWER protesters kicked and punched one another and spilled into the middle of a busy intersection.”

    THAT, is violence

    ———————————————————————————–

    X_6zero says:
    April 8, 2011 at 4:27 pm
    “Tea Party activists have gathered on Capitol Hill today for a “Code Red” rally against health care reform. Speakers at the event included Republican Reps. Steve King (IA), Michele Bachmann (MN), and Mike Pence (IN). The gathering was organized by Tea Party Profiteer organizations like FreedomWorks and Americans for Prosperity. ThinkProgress attended today’s rally and spotted a sign threatening violence if health care passes. The sign reads: “Warning: If Brown can’t stop it, a Browning can,” referring to Sen. Scott Brown (R-MA) and a Browning firearm

    http://thinkprogress.org/2010/03/20/code-red-gun/

    (picture of poster with gun on it)

    THAT is intimidation, also known as terrorizing.
    ——————————————————————————————

    X_6zero says:
    April 8, 2011 at 4:31 pm
    Firsthand account of a Milwaukee TEA Party:

    “I hear a commotion. I looked up and saw an angry mob of angry white men chasing an older white man with a backpack. He was yelling “I have a right to free speech too.” The crowd was yelling, “You should die. You’re not an American., etc…” They started grabbing at him as he kept trying to leave the event. The crowd was growing (eventually to about 30 people) and the man clearly scared and angry and being grabbed, pushed and surrounded to impede his attempts to escape,

    The man traveled about 300 yards attempting to escape the growing crowd. The crowd was riled up and screaming en masse, continuing to chase the man down, stop his movement, push and pull on his and in general attack the guy.

    Then Joe the Plumber joined the tussle. I kid you not. I have no idea his role in it, just that he was IN THE MIDDLE of the crowd. The sheriffs get there, I turn to look at Joe the Plumber and the next thing I know the guy being assaulted by the crowd is bloody on the ground under the knee of two sheriffs and being cuffed. His face was bloody, there was something about a broken camera and I became scared of the crowd who were cheering and congratulating the sheriffs for “doing a great job”.”

    Violence. The real kind.

  25. ”Many of the signs held by ralliers talked about a perception that some cuts could be avoided if loopholes were closed.”

    Talk about your astroturf – these geniuses invented it. But you won’t read that here.

    Of course, they are smart enough to realize that what they want is illegal under I-1053… aren’t they? Betcha’ a majority of these slackers even voted for it.

    Hypocrites.

  26. the3rdpigshouse says:

    These people disgust me – go back to work – quit whining!! If you can’t be part of the solution, quit your jobs, welfare checks, etc and get out of MY country!!!

  27. jetalmanac says:

    Leeches, all of them. We’re tapped out. The liberal policies for the last 25 yrs. in this state are coming home to roost. Get real, we are all going to have to do with less…

  28. Hilarious! The ‘fat cat’ is actually a union official with it’s hands around the union rank and file member! I am writing a book about the EXTREME hypocrisy of the Local 23 Tacoma longshore officials! I have NEVER seen so much corruption, greed, back stabbing and outrageous inconsistancies of how they treat one member over another! They are MUCH, MUCH, MUCH worse than the terrible employers in the 1030’s whom unions were formed to combat in the first place! PURE EVIL!

  29. I’m a proud union member, and I was at the labor rally in Olympia today. Were any of you? Not sure what’s driving all this anger toward working people, but your anger is misdirected. The people at the rally today were firefighters, teachers, machinists, nurses, construction workers, bus drivers and carpenters. Your neighbors.

    I’ll never apologize for taking care of my family — and that’s what being a union member means to me.

  30. CrazyTed says:

    There are plenty of places to cut the budget, but look who is protesting.
    The higher paid union people with the great benifits that the state will go broke on.
    They don’t care about the rest of the people, only themselves.
    Yes some corps are getting away with murder, but you can thank congress for that.
    Yes even unions are getting away with murder, but you can thank congress and the democrates for that.
    We will never solve the budget crisis until those in polotics look out for the majority of people.
    We can’t do that because of the “me generation” and it is common sense.

  31. tree_guy says:

    I’ll never apologize for taking care of my family — and that’s what being a union member means to me.

    Read more: http://blog.thenewstribune.com/politics/2011/04/08/labor-ralliers-begin-to-gather-at-state-capitol-for-we-are-one-put-people-first-event/#ixzz1IzH2k4KU

    Clearly the union appeals to you. Is the State of Washington required to furnish you with work because of your union membership? Do union members understand that the Democratic Legislators and Governor are obligated by law to balance our budget? Someone is going to lose some pay…who should it be?

  32. uratroll says:

    I disagree with ex-six0 on what their definition of “free” is. Sure our country is the best one I’ve ever been in but it’s only free as long as you have the money to buy your way around bureaucracy and our ever-intrusive government ALLOWS you to. But I would agree that it is also “free” to those who get a “free” ride at the expense of the taxpayer and business owner.

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