First Wisconsin where union-busting won -- for the moment. Now it's breaking out all over the US.
The Ohio Senate has passed a bill that takes Wisconsin union-busting one step further, Reuters reports. The bill prohibits collective bargaining for nearly 62,000 workers and blocks 300,000 others (including firefighters, police, and public school teachers) from striking or negotiating about health care benefits. In Indiana, House Democrats, taking a cue from Wisconsin legislators, have left the state to prevent a vote on a bill that limits collective bargaining rights. Idaho has approved a measure to limit public school teachers' right to bargain collectively. Michigan is on track to approve a law that would allow the state to break union contracts. And union dues or collective bargaining are also on the line in Iowa, New Hampshire, Kansas, Tennessee, Colorado, Nebraska, Nevada, Oklahoma, New Hampshire, New Mexico, Washington, Alaska, and Arizona.
And you probably won't hear a peep about it from the corporate media.
So, while other bloggers are on important stories about Japan, Libya, Bahrain, Yemen, and Canadian politics, I'm trying to follow events in the US. It's not easy, but now that the action has moved to Michigan, Michael Moore is helping a lot.
A couple of days ago, he published an open letter to his fellow Michiganders. It's titled: Do Something.
Friends and neighbors,
The call has gone out and I'm asking everyone who can to take Wednesday off and head to the State Capitol in Lansing to protest the cruel and downright frightening legislation currently being jammed down our throats.
What is most shocking to many is that the new governor, who ran against the Tea Party and defeated the right wing of his party in the primaries -- and then ran in the general election as "just a nerd from Ann Arbor" who was a moderate, not an ideologue -- has pulled off one of the biggest Jekyll and Hyde ruses I've ever seen in electoral politics.
Governor Snyder, once elected, yanked off his nice-guy mask to reveal that he is in fact a multi-millionaire hell-bent on destroying our state and turning it over to his buddies from Wall Street.
He lists what Snyder has done in the past eight weeks. Then calls for a rally today.
Yesterday, however, AARP, American Association of Retired People, bussed in about 1,000 seniors to protest at the state capitol.
Tuesday's rally organizers said Snyder wants to provide a $1.8 billion tax cut for businesses and make up the lost revenue at the expense of seniors, low-income workers and children. They don't like his idea to end a tax break for the working poor or to deeply cut services such as public education.
I mean, really, you do not piss off the wrinklies.
Last night, some people tried to occupy the building, but left peacefully when they were asked.
Today's rally has just begun. And of course the corporate media is lalalala-ing its ass off. But you can watch a shitty live feed here.
On Twitter, I'm following the hashtags #MIUnion #MadMI #MadNation and #1u (one union).
The speaker now just said: 'This is just one battle in a very long war.'
Yup. And it may get scary fast if it spreads further.
UPDATE: Oh dear. I didn't know they were going to do this. They are going to try to get into the building. Numbers range from 2,000 to 5,000. Speaker warning about provocateurs, telling people to take photos with their phones.
UPPERDATE: It's still going on. More and more people. They go outside and listen to speeches for a while. Then they come back into the building. Amazing energy.