A mighty giant is beginning to awaken. The fighting workers and youth of Wisconsin, who are battling a right-wing offensive seeking to decimate collective bargaining in that state, have inspired and put in motion the multinational working class throughout the entire United States. Workers in unions, in non-union jobs and unemployed, along with students, youth and activists of all ages, have been galvanized by the electrifying struggle unfolding in Wisconsin where workers have taken a stand and said “Enough!”
Solidarity demonstrations involving many tens of thousands of people were held in all 50 states, in cities and towns large and small, on Feb. 26 and other dates since the Feb. 14 confrontation began in Madison. Here is a sampling of just a few of the demonstrations that occurred Feb. 26 and several days prior.
Thousands rallied at the Los Angeles City Hall. A delegation of Los Angeles union workers had just returned from Wisconsin and reported on staying inside the Capitol building in Madison. Thousands of union members, students and progressive community activists rallied in Sacramento, Calif., around the Bay Area and in San Diego.
More than 3,000 union members came out to a candlelight vigil on the steps of the Capitol building in Sacramento. Under the banner of “We Are One,” speaker after speaker expressed solidarity with their union sisters and brothers in Wisconsin. David Sanchez, president of the California Teachers Association, drew loud applause when he said, “Working people did not create this economic crisis — Wall Street did!”
A small rally by the California Tea Party also on the steps of the Capitol in Sacramento was dwarfed by the angry workers, who easily drowned them out with their rally for workers’ rights.
Hundreds of people rallied in downtown San Francisco. Even with a serious rainstorm threatening, a large assemblage of local unionists and supporters massed at the San Diego County Administration Building to proclaim their solidarity with their sister and brother workers on the front lines in Wisconsin.
Several thousand workers demonstrated in Chicago. At least 10 union buses also went from Chicago to Madison to join in the protests there. In New York City thousands demonstrated, including many members from Service Employees Union Local 1199 health care workers and janitors, Communication Workers union, American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees District Council 37 workers, and teachers’ and other educational workers’ unions, among others.
In Buffalo, N.Y., the largest grassroots, pro-union, community-organized rally in decades brought hundreds to the steps of City Hall. A militant crowd of rank-and-file union members, students, community activists and politician allies sent greetings of support to Wisconsin. Continue reading