Union rally in Asheville

I spoke at our Wisconsin solidarity rally today in Asheville. We had a great crowd. I was/am honored that I had an opportunity to address the crowd. (I’ll have a rough transcript of my speech here later on.)

There was a rally in Raleigh, NC.

From News Observer:

Wisconsin’s battle over collective bargaining rights spilled over into Raleigh’s streets today.

Hundreds of supporters of Wisconsin public employees in their dispute with Gov. Scott Walker waved signs and heard speeches on the south lawn of the Capitol, while a smaller, but loudly outspoken group of opponents shouted their own slogans from the other side of Fayetteville Street.

The pro-union rally was organized by the State Employees Association of North Carolina. SEANC doesn’t have formal negotiating rights, because North Carolina is one of two states that ban collective bargaining for public workers.

From FDL:

In what has been billed the largest rally in the history of Madison, over 100,000 people packed the Capitol Square for a “Rally for Workers’ Rights” to protest the budget repair bill and the proposed stripping of collective bargaining rights from public employees. Madison Police told AFL-CIO spokesman Eddie Vale that they estimated the crowd at 100,000 30 minutes before the 3pm rally. As Peter Yarrow of Peter, Paul and Mary, who graced the stage, said, it’s 40% of the March on Washington, which he attended.

Yarrow told me before going on stage that he was proud to see the spirit of the past resuscitated. “If they persist, they will prevail,” he said.

The peaceful crowd spanned age ranges, comprised of public and private workers, union and non-union, high school and retired. And it included Madison East High School’s Bradley Whitford, also known as White House Chief of Staff Josh Lyman of The West Wing. He told the assembled, among other things, that “Wisconsin is a stubborn constituency, we fish through ice!”

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Errington C. Thompson, MD

Dr. Thompson is a surgeon, scholar, full-time sports fan and part-time political activist. He is active in a number of community projects and initiatives. Through medicine, he strives to improve the physical health of all he treats.


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