Sunday, February 27, 2011

Workers rally on a Wyoming Saturday

Unnamed blogger at WY rally
A few words about yesterday's rally at the Wyoming State Capitol supporting public workers in Wisconsin...

About 100 people were there. Teachers, state employees (me and others), railroaders (among them Rep. Ken Esquibel, D-Cheyenne), many teachers, members of CWA, military veterans turned union members, Postal Service workers, a Wisconsin couple who had been in on the early days of the protests in Madison, peaceniks, a former Democratic candidate for Wyoming governor, artists, at least one filmmaker, and so on.

We started with the Pledge of Allegiance and a recitation (by memory) of the preamble to the U.S. Constitution.

"We the People!"

Many people spoke. We did call-and-response, not always in unison. But we were unified.

Rep. Ken Esquibel spoke about how his employer contributed money to his Republican candidate during his run for the Wyoming Legislature. It was something he used in his campaign. Barbara the teacher spoke about how her principal asked her, as a newbie to the red-state school and to the red-state town, how she was going to be involved in the community. He recoiled in horror when she said, "Join a union." She also mentioned something about being a Democrat. A double whammy!

I spoke about my union, the Wyoming Public Employees Association and its mission (written about in yesterday's post) and our mission to stop the the Corporate Right's war against the middle class. I also talked about social justice and quoted a refrain from Daniel Berrigan's poem he wrote from the picket line. "Love. In the end, love." And as the Egyptians said during their protests to bring down a despot: "Peaceful, peaceful, peaceful!"

Scott followed up by noting that Dan Berrigan had been arrested many times in support of workers, peace and justice.

We got honks and waves from motorists. No one-fingered salutes that I saw, but we did get a thumb's down. A guy in a truck kept driving by waving a big American flag from his driver's side window. We didn't know if he was fer us or agin' us. I appreciated his dedication to the cause, whatever that may be. It was a bit cold for waving things out of car windows.

All in all, a great day for a solidarity rally. Getting 100 of anyone out for a February rally is an accomplishment.

NOTE: TV, Radio and newspaper reporters were not there. There were assorted citizen bloggers.

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