‘We Are Wisconsin’ Rally on Capitol Steps Draws 1,000
By LARA BRENCKLE
Feb 26, 2001
Carla Crawford of Pittsburgh yells towards protesters during a We Are Wisconsin rally to show support for the state’s workers. Wisconsin’s governor and Republican legislature are seeking to end collective bargaining for state employees.
Tom Banks of Lemoyne (with flag) shows his support during a "We Are Wisconsin" rally to show support for the state’s unionized workers. Wisconsin’s governor and Republican legislature are seeking to end collective bargaining for state employees.
Saying they’re sending an SOS for the American Dream, a thousand people gathered on the steps of the State Capitol this afternoon in support of union workers and the middle class.
Organized by Keystone Progress and dozens of other organizations, the event was part of a nationwide day of action against efforts in Wisconsin and other states to eliminate collective bargaining for unionized state employees.
Across North Third Street, a group of roughly 50 protesters rallied against what they said was intrusive government, socialist union policies and the demise of the rights of Americans.
Jim Denlinger, of Ephrata, carried an American flag and a "Don’t Tread On Me" flag.
A cabinet-maker, he said he’s seen his income drop 40 percent to 50 percent in the last few years and was appalled union workers complain about small cuts.
"I consider unions to be backing fundamental socialism and communism," Denlinger said.
Eileen Connelly, chair of Keystone Progress, addressed demonstrators across the street, saying some of the basic things every worker considered a "right," such as weekends and paid holidays, were generated through union organizing.
"We need to stand up for our fellow citizens, whether they’re union members or not," she told the cheering crowd. "It’s not ‘what I have, to hell with you’ but ‘what I have, you should, too.’"
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