Monday, February 28, 2011

Teamster rally recaps from IL, SD, VA

Williamsburg, Va.
 They're coming in so fast we can't keep up with them -- the photos, videos and stories from dozens of rallies over the weekend that thousands of Teamsters attended.

Pierre, S.D.
One of our Teamster brothers took this photo in Pierre, S.D. Brother Joe Kraljic, state legislative director for the BMWED, was asked to co-host, agreed and then became the host. The crowd was enthusiastic but small, as the weather was extremely cold, the state capital is in the center of the state and far from union concentrations. We're glad and grateful they were able to do it.

Teamsters from Local 627 and from the local unions of Joint Council 65 joined more than a thousand workers Thursday, February 24 at a rally in Peoria, Ill., to stand up against the nationwide attacks on workers.
The rally took place outside the Peoria County Courthouse. Brother Keith Gleason, president of Local 627 in Peoria and president of Joint Council 65 in Springfield, Ill., said,
This is an attack on worker rights across the country—it has absolutely nothing to do with budgetary problems facing the states. The attempt to limit workers in Wisconsin and elsewhere to collectively bargain is not designed to be able to address the budget. In fact, it is apparent it is only designed to bust the union. Otherwise, those governors and legislators would be sitting down with the unions and negotiating.
Peoria, Ill.
Gleason is also director of the Teamsters Tankhaul Division.

Our brother Kevin J. Sullivan, political director for Teamsters Joint Council 83, sends us this report:
A rally to support the public sector workers fighting for their rights in Wisconsin took place at Teamsters Local 95 in Williamsburg, Va. About 150 people showed up to voice their support. Unions represented included Steelworkers, Carpenters, UAW, CWA, NEA, Painters, IAFF and SEIU, among others.

Another battle won: Walker can't clear the Capitol

We held the building
 Koch whore Wisconsin Gov. Walker and Republican senators said yesterday that by 4:00 pm people had to clear the Capitol building.

The brought in state troopers because many police are standing with the workers inside the building in the midst of the protests.

At 4:00 pm, protesters were told to leave.  Some did, but many others -- clergy, students and union members -- said they would not leave and would engage in peaceful civil disobedience if they tried to remove them. Firefighters and police officers showed tremendous courage in their willingness to be arrested.

They were not removed.  They will not be removed.  The people of Wisconsin held their capital building against the Governor.

AP reports:

A few hundred pro-union protesters left the Wisconsin Capitol peacefully on Sunday, but police stood by as hundreds more remained in defiance of a deadline state officials set for clearing the building after a nearly two-week-long sit-in.

The state agency that oversees the Capitol asked the throngs of demonstrators who have camped out at the Capitol since Feb. 15 to leave by 4 p.m., saying the building was in dire need of a cleaning.

But in the hours before the deadline came and after it passed, it was clear most protesters did not intend to leave voluntarily and police had no immediate intention of forcing them to go...

At 4 p.m., organizers who commanded a microphone on the ground floor urged people to remain until police physically tapped them on the shoulder and asked them to leave. Some individuals left in groups of 10 or 20, while most remained behind. Hundreds of other protesters watched from one floor above, the informal gathering place for those who expected to be arrested.

As the deadline passed, hundreds of protesters on the Capitol's upper floors picked up their energy level, chanting "peaceful protest," and "Whose house is this? Our house." At one point, the crowd sang the national anthem. Many said they were prepared to be arrested.

Today's Teamster News 02.28.11

About 600 stalwart protesters allowed to stay in Capitol overnight  Wisconsin State Journal   ...Hundreds of protesters remained at the state Capitol overnight without incident and were not arrested, after police spent most of Sunday meeting with union leaders...
Police stop short of evicting demonstrators from Wisconsin capitol  Washington Post   ...the impassioned standoff over Gov. Scott Walker's effort to reduce the pay and curb the collective-bargaining rights of public workers continued with no end in sight...
Rallies in 50 states support Wis. protesters  CBS   ...Protests kicked off around the country today as the group organized noontime rallies in all 50 state capitals as a sign of solidarity for union workers in Wisconsin...
Rally Held Outside City Hall in Solidarity With Wis. Workers  NBC   ...Keith Henderson, a New Yorker and member of the Teamsters, said he was there to support his brothers and sisters in any way he can...(Great video of interview with Brother Henderson)
Local Teachers Rally In Support Of Wis. Unions   ...From teamsters to military vets to teachers, Oklahoma locals are worried what's happening across the country could happen here...
Thousands rally in St. Paul to support Wisconsin workers  Fight Back News   ...The noon rally brought out a broad spectrum of trade unions, including the American Federation of State County and Municipal Employees and Teamsters...
Attack on the middle class?  The Herald-News   ...Rich Gierut, president and business manager of Joliet-based Teamsters Local 179, fears the movement will affect all unions eventually...
Legislators speak at Public Square rally supporting collective bargaining rights
(Local  507, 436)  The Plain Dealer   ...Union members and politicians marched in Public Square in downtown Cleveland on Thursday to protest Senate Bill 5 which is before the Ohio legislature...
If we don't fight Senate Bill 5, we all will feel its effects (Opinion)  Lancaster Eagle-Gazette   ...If we stand by and don't fight against SB 5 as Mr. Ben Bryant, of the Teamsters union 285, said, we will all see and feel the effect of unemployment across this country done by the Republican Party...
SB 5: Political power play?  FOX Toledo   ..."This is big, real big," said Mark Sobczak, vice president of Teamsters Local #20. "That’s really what this is, a fight for political power.”
Giant food workers worry about job losses at Jessup facility  Baltimore Sun   ...The company, C&S Wholesale Grocers, laid off 1,100 workers at a subsidiary in New Jersey earlier this month when it shut down six food distribution centers...

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Teamsters by the 000s stand with Wisconsin

Teamsters in Madison Saturday

Thousands of Teamsters across America showed their solidarity with workers in Wisconsin on Saturday after a long week of protests in the Midwest. Hundreds of our brothers and sisters from locals in Ohio, Indiana, Northern Kentucky and Wisconsin swelled the ranks of statehouse protesters all week.  Saturday was not a day off for them.

Labor unions organized rallies across the country on Saturday, while brought people to all 50 state capitals and the District of Columbia. The Teamsters red and blue "Stop the War on Workers" signs were visible from Miami to San Diego, from Olympia to Atlanta, in South Bend, Ind., and Madison, Wisc.

Brother Steven Nelson sent photos from Madison, where it was 15 degrees and sunny. Local 200 had new signs made for Saturday's protest that said, "1.4 Million Teamsters Support Public Service Workers." We estimate at least 300 Teamsters marched toward the Statehouse for the historic rally, which drew 100,000 people.
Washington, DC
At 1:33 p.m., Brother Nelson emailed us: The inside of the Capitol is full we can't get in. This is fantastic!
(We expect to hear more from our brothers and sisters in Wisconsin when they get take a break from demonstrating.)

Rally Girl reports from our nation's capital:
Today, Teamsters in Washington, D.C., stood united with the people of Wisconsin, joining more than 3,000 residents who poured into the city’s historic Dupont Circle. Holdings signs, singing and chanting, citizens of the nation’s capital vowed to never give up or back down. Said our Teamster brother Eustace Mann:
Today, we are not D.C. We are not Maryland or Virginia, Democratic or Republican. We are one with Wisconsin.
Protestors peacefully marched through the streets of D.C. to the White House where they continued to gain support.
Teamsters Local 61 organized a large and energetic rally in Asheville, N.C. One message was heard loud and clear: "Labor is United!"

Buffalo, N.Y.

Olympia, Wash.
Teamsters from Joint Council 46 in Buffalo, N.Y., showed their solidarity for union members in Wisconsin and other states by taking part in two rallies on Saturday, in Cheektowaga and Buffalo. Hundreds of people attended both rallies. Richard Lipsitz, JC 46's political action coordinator, was a main speaker.
Teamsters marched through the snow with a crowd of 2,500 in Olympia, Wash.,  holding "Stop the War on Workers" signs. (Check out the youtube video.)

Us, 150,000; Them, maybe 300?

Today in West Bend., Wisc.
We didn't expect the corporate-owned media to pay much mind to the tens of thousands of Americans in at least a hundred cities and towns who came out on Saturday to stand up for workers in Wisconsin. So we combed through youtube videos, local news reports, twitter feeds and blogs and finally concluded: yes, there were at least 150,000 people out yesterday in an amazing show of solidarity across the country.

We saw Teamsters everywhere as we pored over the images on Facebook and flickr, on youtube and twitter, on and Raw Story. We saw pictures of the red and blue "Stop the War on Workers" signs in Asheville, N.C., in Olympia, Wash., in Washington, D.C., in Miami, in Madison (of course), in South Bend, Ind., and elsewhere. We saw twitter feeds announcing the Teamster truck arriving in San Diego. We saw youtube videos of our brothers and sisters on the steps of the capitol in Atlanta and marching in Sacramento. 

Thousands came to rallies yesterday in New York, Chicago, San Francisco, Boston, Denver -- and in smaller cities like Columbus, Hartford, Lansing, Salem and Olympia. Hundreds came to small towns like Cheektowaga, N.Y., Lancaster, Ohio and Green Bay, Wisc. In tiny Portsmouth, N.H., (pop. 25,000) 800 people rallied in Market Square.  (Oh, and we heard reports of a handful of Tea Partiers here and there.)

Right now, Teamsters are marching in the snow with a crowd of a thousand people in West Bend, Wisc. They were there with the 100,000 who came to the biggest rally ever in Madison yesterday, even as workers marched elsewhere in Wisconsin -- in Green Bay, Eau Claire, Appleton, Oshkosh, Waupaca, Elkhorn, Milwaukee, Platteville, Racine and Kenosha.

We'll try to get you stories about your Teamsters brothers and sisters over the weekend as they come in from the field. Remember that this revolution is not being televised. It's up to you to take pictures and videos and send them to so we can report back to all our brothers and sisters.

Below is an updated list of the rally attendance (in some cases, our best guess) throughout the country, with additions from yesterday in red.

Albany The event brought some 500 people and representatives of at least 50 unions (Albany Times-Union)
Annapolis, Md. 200, judging by the
Asheville, N.C. About 400 people from all over Western North Carolina were here in Pack Square, including Teamsters from Local 61 (WLOS ABC News)
Atlanta 300 maybe, judging by video (which had lots of Teamsters "Stop the War on Workers" signs)
Augusta, Me.  More than 500 people rallied Saturday outside the State House to support state workers and their union...(Kennebec Journal)
Austin, Texas @convergecollide it's cloudy in Austin but the crowd at the capital is on fire! #WeAreWI
@pamelaoldham Unofficial count at #wearewi Austin is more than 1,000
Baton Rouge, La. The crowd of about 200 replaced Walker's name with Jindal's.  The Advocate
Bismarck, N.D. 160 people came out in 3 degree weather, according to youtube, in a gesture of support and solidarity for workers across the country
Boise, Idaho At least 100, judging by the Raw Story photo
Boston, Mass. Just got back from the Boston rally. Heard one policeman say that there were at least 1000 people there today. It's our second rally this week of over 1000 people. (
Buffalo, N.Y. least 500 strong on the snowy steps of city hall. ( Richard Lipsitz, JC 46's political action coordinator, was a main speaker.
Burlington, Vt. 100? photo from @all_a_twitt Burlington, VT Save the American Dream #weareWI #WIunion ~ #WI @msnbc @foxnews
Carson City, Nev. About 300 people came together today in front of the Nevada Legislature to rally in support of labor unions and in solidarity with protesters in Wisconsin.
Charleston, W.Va. About 250 people gathered Saturday afternoon at the Capitol to support public employees in Wisconsin. Sunday Gazette-Mail
Cheektowaga, N.Y.  350 people showed up, including Teamsters from JC 46 and Richard Lipsitz, Teamster political action coordinator, was a main speaker. (JC 46 reports) 
Cheyenne, Wyo.  At the WY State Capitol with 100 of my closest friends (hummingbirdminds)
Chicago 2000 people in Chicago fired up (
Columbia, S.C.  About 125 turn our for rally at S.C. Statehouse, according to The State
Columbus, Ohio 2000 people in Columbus, OH, (NEA) another state facing crazy attacks on workers by a new Republican governor. (
Concord, N.H. I would guess 100-200 on the steps of the state house in Concord, NH - lots of Badger red and white, including a flag! (
Denver, Colo. Just got home from the Denver Rally. Over 3000 people who were very vocal and stand with Wisconsin! (
Des Moines, Iowa We're guesstimating 300 based on this flickr slideshow
Dover, Del. We're guesstimating 100, judging by this twitpic
Frankfort, Ky. About 400 rallied in Frankfort KY ( ])
Green Bay, Wisc. We're guessing 100, judging by the Raw Story photo
Harrisburg,Pa. At 2:46 EST: 1000 people gathered in Harrisburg, PA today for a "We Are Wisconsin" rally. (Raw Story)
Hartford, Conn. At 2:54 EST: Reader Robert reports, "I just returned from a spirited rally in support of Wisconsin (and other state) public worker unions at the Connecticut State House. My estimate is 1000 people attended. There was a counter rally of about 6 people." (Raw Story)
Helena, Mont. 500, according to the NEA
Honolulu, Hawaii 50, based on this
Indianapolis We saw between 500-1000 people on this youtube video
Jackson, Miss. We're guessing 100, based on coverage by
Jefferson City, Mo. At 2:46, the rally there is over, but we're getting reports of 300-400 people in Jefferson City. (
Juneau, Alaska  We saw 100 people in this Raw Story photo
Lancaster, Ohio 300 showed up in this tiny town
Lansing, Mich. @PhoenixWomanMN RT @ddayen: From MoveOn livechat: Apparently there are 1,000 people in Lansing, Michigan. LANSING, folks! #weareWI
Lincoln, Neb. 250 according to the Omaha World-Herald
"Lincoln NE here, undeterred by the cold. It was a rare occasion to hear Husker fans cheer for the Badgers." (
Little Rock, Arkansas is reporting 400 folks attending and they were covered by CBS, NBC and ABC. (
Los Angeles @sephiroth144 tweets bout 800-1000 at the #wearewi rally in Los Angeles today- photos coming... but could they have spelled Wisconsin out? C'mon
Madison, Wisc. Police reporting 100,000
Montgomery, Ala. 125, according to LeftinAlabama. Crowd sang "We Shall Overcome."
Montpelier, Vt. Maybe 300 in Montpelier, at the capitol building. (
Nashville, Tenn. Just got home from the Nashville rally. About 400 to 500 people, very vocal. Lets keep this going strong. (
New York City Police report 3,000, according to CBS.
Oklahoma City, Okla. We'd say 100, judging by this Facebook page. reports
From teamsters to military vets to teachers, Oklahoma locals are worried what's happening across the country could happen here.
Olympia, Wash. 2500 marched in the snow. Plenty of Teamsters "Stop the War on Workers" signs. Great youtube video.
Philadelphia   "Twice as big as Harrisburg," according to Lancaster Online. Saturday's rally was the second in three days, after 1,000 people showed solidarity with workers in Wisconsin in downtown Philadelphia on Thursday
Phoenix, Ariz.  Democratic Underground reports pictures because of the glare on my cell phone and my eyes but I would estimate 700-1000 people.
Pittsburgh, Pa. Perhaps 500 workers and supporters from most of Pittsburgh’s labor movement turned out on short notice for this afternoon’s rally. (Democratic Underground)

Pierre, S.D. Guessing 50.
Portsmouth, N.H. WMUR reports ...Organizers estimated about 800 people attended the rally sponsored by Seacoast for Change.Providence, R.I.  At least 200, according to WPRI
Raleigh, N.C.: Several hundred people rallied, according to
Richmond, Va. About 250, according to WTOP
Sacramento, Calif. Sacramento #WeAreWI rally from back of crowd. I'm guessing 2,500 here. (@sjdorst) @brettlemke offers this tweet:
I'm amazed and proud at the amount of #wiunion workers & Teamsters that showed up in Sac to protest the disgraceful WI Budget bill. #WeAreWi
Salem, Ore.  About a thousand, according to KOINlocal6
Salt Lake City, Utah We're guessing at least 200, judging by this twitpic
San Diego @lucasoconnor Art Pulaski addressing 1000+ in San Diego #weareWI
@jasminepw San Diego Teamsters making their presence known (honking) in support of Unions and Wisconsin! #WeAreWI
San Francisco there were about 3,000 people there, very spirited, very vocal. That rally started at noon, with only 48 hours' notice. (Democratic Underground)
Santa Fe 5:57 EST: Santa Fe, New Mexico's turnout of "several thousand" by one reader's estimation (Raw Story)South Bend, Ind. At least 100, judging by the Facebook photos
Springfield, Ill. About 200, judging by the Raw Story photo
St. Paul, Minn. 1:48 EST: Crowd of 3500 reported in St. Paul. (Raw Story)
Tallahassee, Fla. At least 100, judging by this
Topeka, Kanas @jakelowen 1200+ strong rally in Kansas for #WeareWI
Trenton, N.J. ... happened yesterday ... State Police estimated there were 3100 people there. (, Ariz. Well over 500 people, judging by this youtube video

Walker to clear Capitol at 4 CST; 00s to be arrested

3 of our brothers in Madison
We bring you this awesome video to show how the Wisconsin police are siding with the protesters, even as Koch whore Gov. Scott Walker has ordered the building cleared. (Note the Teamster banner hanging from the balcony. Teamsters Local 200 represents these police officers from Bayside, Wisc.)

The AFL-CIO has issued a statement:

MADISON— Continuing his unprecedented power grab Governor Walker ordered the State Capitol cleared on Sunday, closing the building to Wisconsinites protesting his plan to gut civil rights for tens of thousands of Wisconsin's citizens. Dozens of ministers, rabbis, and priests joined workers and students from across the state, risking arrest to protest the closing of the State Capitol to the public.

“First Governor Walker tried to take away workers’ rights, now he is trying to take away our Constitutional right as Americans to peacefully assemble,” said Steelworker Roy Vandenberg. “I have a message for Governor Walker, your plan to silence us won't work. We are not going away, and we will not be silenced.”

“This is a critical moment for Wisconsin and for so many states,” said Rev. Leah Lonsbury of Memorial United Church of Christ.

“Clearly, this is about far more than a budget. It's a moral issue, and the rights at stake here are so basic to our common good and our common humanity, to the very idea of justice, that we are willing to risk arrest to protect them and have our voices be heard. Our faith calls us to stand with the vulnerable and speak truth to power. This is what we are called to do.”

Wisconsinites from all walks of life—nurses, firefighters, snowplow drivers, police officers, students, teachers, and others—have been in the State Capitol building for 14 days. During that time, they set up an elaborate community called “Capitol City” to keep the capitol building clean, protesters safe and fed, and most importantly to keep up pressure on Governor Walker to come to the table and open up a dialogue to get Wisconsin moving forward again.

“Law enforcement working at the Capitol has been impressed with how peaceful and courteous everyone has been,” said Wisconsin Professional Police Association Executive Director Jim Palmer. “As has been reported in the media, the protesters are cleaning up after themselves and have not caused any problems. The fact of that matter is that Wisconsin’s law enforcement community opposes Governor Walker’s effort to eliminate collective bargaining in this state, and we implore him to not do anything to increase the risk to officers or the public. Security cannot come at the cost of conflict.”
“The police have been our allies throughout this struggle and we commend them for their professionalism and for joining us on the line during this crisis. Scott Walker hoped to drive a wedge between Wisconsin’s workers and the police. He failed,” said Peter Rickman, a student at University of Wisconsin, Madison.

Today's Teamster News 02.27.11

Protesters out in force nationwide to oppose Wisconsin's anti-union bill  Los Angeles Times   ...Nearly two weeks into a political standoff, tens of thousands rallied in Madison and in dozens of cities around the nation...
100,000-Plus in Madison for Rally for Workers’ Rights  ... Madison Police told AFL-CIO spokesman Eddie Vale that they estimated the crowd at 100,000 30 minutes before the 3pm rally...
Scott Walker's ruthless ambition  The Guardian   ...It may become not the first domino, but the place where the onslaught against workers rights finally was brought to a halt...
In Indiana, Clues to Future of Wisconsin Labor  New York Times   ...Mr. Daniels said that after he banned bargaining, membership in the unions for state workers nosedived by 90 percent...
Pro-union sympathizers from out of state arrive in Madison   ...and Teamsters leader Jim Hoffa addressed a crowd of thousands in the Capitol rotunda Wednesday....
Clallam County prison officers protest safety conditions  (Local 117) Peninsula Daily News  ...Teamsters union picketers from Clallam County's two prison facilities will demonstrate... as part of a statewide protest over safety conditions...
More Civilians Killed Last Year in One Mexican Border Town Than All Afghanistan  CNS   ...There were 3,111 civilians murdered in the city of Juarez in 2010 and 2,421 in the entire country of Afghanistan...
Waiting Seven Years for Two Answers  New York Times   ...THE whole episode makes you wonder, yet again, how many of the millions of foreclosures in recent years might have been based on questionable accounting or improper practices by loan servicers...

Saturday, February 26, 2011

At least 150K rally across the US

San Diego. As usual, the truck was a big hit

Hundreds of people spent their day off rallying in solidarity with Wisconsin's workers in Jefferson City, Mo., Lancaster, Ohio, and Raleigh, N.C. There were thousands in Denver, D.C., Los Angeles, Boston, Chicago, New York.

As we expected, the mainstream media missed the story -- probably because there weren't more than a few dozen Tea Partiers at any of these rallies. So TeamsterNation is making a valiant effort to count the number of protesters through twitter feeds, field reports, blogs and the occasional local radio report. So far, we estimate there were 145,00 people attending rallies. We still need to hear from more places, including some that we think attracted thousands. We can't imagine that there were fewer than 150,000 people out on the streets today, fighting for the middle class.

Albany  The event brought some 500 people and representatives of at least 50 unions (Albany Times-Union)
Annapolis, Md.  200, judging by the 
Asheville, N.C.  About 250 people from all over Western North Carolina were here in Pack Square  (WLOS ABC News)
Atlanta 300 maybe, judging by video (which had lots of Teamsters "Stop the War on Workers" signs
Not sure where this is yet, but they're handsome
Augusta, Me. @kittiegirl  Augusta #maine solidarity rally: hundreds of patriotic working Americans, 20 or so tea partiers ready 2 sell out 2 plutocrats. #wearewi
Austin, Texas @convergecollide  it's cloudy in Austin but the crowd at the capital is on fire! #WeAreWI
@pamelaoldham  Unofficial count at #wearewi Austin is more than 1,000
Baton Rouge, La. TBD
Bismarck, N.D. TBD
Boise, Idaho  At least 100, judging by the Raw Story photo
Boston, Mass.  Just got back from the Boston rally. Heard one policeman say that there were at least 1000 people there today. It's our second rally this week of over 1000 people. (
Buffalo, N.Y. least 500 strong on the snowy steps of city hall. (
Burlington, Vt. photo from @all_a_twitt Burlington, VT  Save the American Dream #weareWI #WIunion ~ #WI @msnbc @foxnews 
Carson City, Nev. TBD
Charleston, W.Va. TBD
Cheyenne, Wyo. TBD

Chicago  2000 people in Chicago fired up (
Columbia, S.C.
Columbus, Ohio  1500 people in Columbus, OH, another state facing crazy attacks on workers by a new Republican governor. (
Concord, N.H.  I would guess 100-200 on the steps of the state house in Concord, NH - lots of Badger red and white, including a flag! (

Denver, Colo.  Just got home from the Denver Rally. Over 3000 people who were very vocal and stand with Wisconsin! (
Des Moines, Iowa TBD Dover, Del. TBD
Frankfort, Ky.  About 400 rallied in Frankfort KY ( ])
Green Bay, Wisc.  We're guessing 100, judging by the Raw Story photo

Harrisburg,Pa.  At 2:46 EST: 1000 people gathered in Harrisburg, PA today for a "We Are Wisconsin" rally. (Raw Story)
Hartford, Conn. At 2:54 EST: Reader Robert reports, "I just returned from a spirited rally in support of Wisconsin (and other state) public worker unions at the Connecticut State House. My estimate is 1000 people attended. There was a counter rally of about 6 people." (Raw Story)

Helena, Mont. TBD
Honolulu, Hawaii TBD
Indianapolis, Ind.  TBD
Jackson, Miss. TBD
Jefferson City, Mo.  At 2:46, the rally there is over, but we're getting reports of 300-400 people in Jefferson City. (
Juneau, Alaska TBD
Lancaster, Ohio  300 showed up in this tiny town
Lansing, Mich. @PhoenixWomanMN  RT @ddayen: From MoveOn livechat: Apparently there are 1,000 people in Lansing, Michigan. LANSING, folks! #weareWI
Lincoln, Neb. "Lincoln NE here, undeterred by the cold. It was a rare occasion to hear Husker fans cheer for the Badgers." (
Little Rock, Ark.  Little Rock, Arkansas is reporting 400 folks attending and they were covered by CBS, NBC and ABC. (
Los Angeles  @sephiroth144 tweets bout 800-1000 at the #wearewi rally in Los Angeles today- photos coming... but could they have spelled Wisconsin out? C'mon
Madison, Wisc. Police reporting 100,000
Montgomery, Ala. TBD
Montpelier, Vt.  Maybe 300 in Montpelier, at the capitol building. (
Nashville, Tenn.  Just got home from the Nashville rally. About 400 to 500 people, very vocal. Lets keep this going strong. (
New York City  Police report 3,000. CBS reports 
Oklahoma City, Okla. TBD
Olympia, Wash. TBD
Phoenix, Ariz. TBD
Pierre, S.D. TBD
Portsmouth, N.H.  WMUR reports ...Organizers estimated about 800 people attended the rally sponsored by Seacoast for Change.
Providence, R.I. TBD
Raleigh, N.C.: Several hundred people rallied, according to
Richmond, Va.  About 250, according to WTOP
Sacramento, Calif.  Sacramento #WeAreWI rally from back of crowd. I'm guessing 2,500 here. (@sjdorst) @brettlemke offers this tweet:
I'm amazed and proud at the amount of #wiunion workers & Teamsters that showed up in Sac to protest the disgraceful WI Budget bill. #WeAreWi
Salem, Ore.  About a thousand, according to KOINlocal6
Salt Lake City, Utah  We're guessing at least 200, judging by this twitpic
San Diego @lucasoconnor  Art Pulaski addressing 1000+ in San Diego #weareWI
@jasminepw  San Diego Teamsters making their presence known (honking) in support of Unions and Wisconsin! #WeAreWI
San Francisco We're guessing at least 1,000, judging by tweets and twitpic by @multuletta
Santa Fe  5:57 EST: Santa Fe, New Mexico's turnout of "several thousand" by one reader's estimation (Raw Story)
Springfield, Ill.  About 200, judging by the Raw Story photo
St. Paul, Minn.  1:48 EST: Crowd of 3500 reported in St. Paul. (Raw Story)
Florida Tallahassee
Topeka, Kanas. @jakelowen  1200+ strong rally in Kansas for #WeareWI
Trenton, N.J.  ... happened yesterday ... State Police estimated there were 3100 people there. (
Washington, D.C.  Rally Girl reports 3,000

00s of 000s rally across America

Madison, todayl
 Reports are starting to come in from our Teamster brothers and sisters at rallies all over the country. So many, in fact, we're having a hard time keeping up.

At Ground Zero (Madison), it's 15 degrees and snowing but the rally is huge. The tweet traffic says there are 100,000 people (that may be a little high).  The crowd is the largest yet, we're told by Steven Nelson, our brother from Teamsters Local 200. Reports Nelson:
The inside of the Capital is so full we can't get in! This is fantastic.
If they'd gotten in, they would have seen police joining the protest with a huge Teamster banner hanging from a balcony in the Rotunda. Local 200 represents police officers from Bayside. They had new signs made for today's rally that say "1.4 million Teamsters Support Public Sector Unions."

Local 769 in Miami came out in force to a demonstration on Biscayne Blvd. We have a tweet and a twitpic from the rally. The tweet:
Out on Biscayne Blvd. Showing the colors at this excellent rally in Miami!

We're seeing crowds in Tallahassee, Seattle, Harrisburg, Atlanta, Asheville, N.C. A huge crowd is gathering in Phoenix.

At 12:45 pm EST: Police estimated over 3,000 turned out to a rally in New York City.

In Omaha, Neb., @Ben3 tweets
In Helena, Mont., we're seeing a crowd with signs that say "End Cuts, Tax Corporate Profits." There are a thousand people in Denver and the crowd is growing.

We're hearing a thousand people are in Lansing, Mich. Another thousand in front of the Boston Statehouse, where we see signs, "Cut Bonuses, Not Teachers."  (There was another rally in Boston to protest Bank of America's failure to pay its fair share of taxes. One twitterer claims to have hugged a police officer in front of the bank.)
It looks like thousands in Chicago, where we have this tweet: 
Two teamsters from Chicago think divide between public and private sector workers is bullshit.
Another 3,000 marched peacefully in Washington D.C. Rally Girl promises a report (and pictures) soon. "You say cutbacks, we say fight back"

Several hundred people rallied in Harrisburg, Pa. In Minneapolis, 3,500 chanted "Workers' rights are human rights." In tiny Lancaster, Ohio, 300 people rallied to protest SB 5.

@emliana tells us
People are coming out in droves to Olympia,
@Muthaphukkin_G tweets

richmond rally was great. great vibe and fantastic speakers. There IS POWER IN A UNION. 
Here's a cool tweet: Poland’s Solidarity Tells Wisconsin: Your Victory is Our Victory as Well
In a remarkable expression of international solidarity among working men and women, the president of Solidarność (Solidarity) – the Polish trade union whose determination and courage led to the fall of the Iron Curtain – has written an open letter in support of the public employees of Wisconsin. Piotr Duda, president of Solidarność, said the 700,000 members of the Polish union wished “to express our solidarity and support for your struggle against the recent assault on trade unions and trade union rights unleashed by Governor Scott Walker.”
 Way more to come.

It's Solidarity Saturday: What to do

That would be today, when tens and probably hundreds of thousands of American workers will join rallies in all 50 states to hold the line in the war against workers. (If you haven't found a rally yet, go here, here or here.)

Teamsters have the whole protest drill down: show up sober, dress for the weather, bring water and keep your hands in your pockets so they can't accuse you of violence.

But we do have some more advice:

1. Bring a camera, still or video. If it isn't captured in video or photographs, it didn't happen. And make sure you send the results to us (

2. Don't use vulgarities, either written or verbal. The Tea Party is just dying to call us racist, uncivil "union thugs."

3. Remember the message: We're protesting anti-worker (not "anti-union") legislation that would weaken protections for middle-class families.

4. Share fun facts with each other and any reporters who show up:
  • Total compensation (including benefits) is 6.8 percent lower for state employees and 7.4 percent lower for local workers with comparable education and experience (EPI).
  • Wages are more than $5,000 a year higher in states that have maintained protections for unions.
  • You are 52 percent more likely to die on the job in states that weakened union protections.
  • There is no relationship at all between job creation and laws that weaken unions.
  • Nevada has weak union protections and the highest unemployment in the country.
  • Arizona has laws that weaken unions and the second-highest poverty rate in the U.S.
  • Fewer than 20 percent of Texas's public-sector workers are covered by union contracts, but the state has a $25 billion deficit over the next two years.
  • Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker received $43,000 from the Koch brothers, in addition to $5 million from the Republican Governors Association, which in turn received $1 million from the Kochs and another $1 million from billionaire Fox News owner Rupert Murdoch.

NYT's huge boo-boo on Wisco

We were especially amused by Koch whore Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker's description of a recent New York Times story. It was about a "union man" who agreed with Walker's plan to strip government workers of collective bargaining rights. Walker, speaking to a man he thought was David Koch,  praised the story as "objective" journalism because, well, it wasn't objective. (We're presuming Walker is too dumb to know what "objective" journalism is.)

We don't exactly revere the New York Times here at TeamsterNation. Its reporting is often sloppy and biased against unions. (Though we do revere Times columnist Bob Herbert and some Times reporters are good.) Recently a not-so-good Times reporter wrote a hideous story about Mexican trucks in which he managed to contact many people in favor of opening the border. Somehow he couldn't find a single Teamster (there are 1.4 million of us) to present an opposing view. The Times refused to print a letter of complaint to the editor from Jim Hoffa, though they did condescend to correct the most glaring factual error.

Which brings us to the latest Times' howler: Turns out the "union man" who supported Scott Walker wasn't a union guy at all. The Times' reporters didn't even spell his name right. This was not a minor error, as "Ric Hahn" was central to the story's premise that a "simmering resentment" over lost jobs is the reason Wisconsin "has set off a debate that is spreading to other states over public workers, unions and budget woes."

The real reason Wisconsin set off the debate was because groups funded by the Koch brothers and other reactionary billionaires financed his political campaign, and Walker needed to pay back his political patrons. That, of course, didn't make it into the newspaper.

It's truly poetic justice that the Times' anti-union bias and gullibility was praised by an anti-union and gullible politician, and that both were ultimately exposed. Did they learn their lesson? Of course not.  But it feels good to read the Times' correction. See below:
A front-page article on Tuesday about reaction among private-sector workers in Wisconsin to Gov. Scott Walker’s effort to cut benefits and collective-bargaining rights for unionized public employees referred incorrectly to the work history of one person quoted, and also misspelled his surname. While the man, Rich Hahn (not Hahan) described himself to a reporter as a "union guy," he now says that he has worked at unionized factories, but was not himself a union member. (The Times contacted Mr. Hahn again to review his background after a United Auto Workers official said the union had no record of his membership.) (Go to Article)

Today's Teamster News 02.26.11

Corporate Profits Soaring Thanks to Record Unemployment  Economic Populist   ...Leading into the recession, the US had the weakest worker protections against individual and collective dismissals in the world...
Protests unite public, private union workers  Los Angeles Times   ...Legislation in Wisconsin, Ohio and elsewhere has ignited a sense of solidarity within organized labor...
NBAPA Exec. Director Billy Hunter & Milwaukee Buck Keyon Dooling Stand w/Wisconsin Workers  The Nation   ...Unions across the country are standing with the workers of Wisconsin ... Count the National Basketball Association's Player's Association among their ranks...
Rick Perry takes the fifth on Scott Walker's union-busting plan  DailyKos   ...When you've got guys like (Texas Gov.) Rick Perry refusing to defend Walker's plan, you don't need a poll to know how the politics on this one are playing out. Things are bad: for Scott Walker...
Democratic governors criticize Wisconsin's Walker  Washington Post    ...Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley, chairman of the Democratic Governors Association, said Walker's approach represents a recipe for failure and ill will...
Union Busting: The Real Call from the Koch Brothers  Huffington Post   ...
This week, Americans for Prosperity -- a right-wing political powerhouse funded by the billionaire Koch brothers -- started running anti-union TV ads in Wisconsin...
Lawmaker, Citizens File Suit to Avoid Statehouse Lock Out  ProgressOhio   ...State Rep. Teresa Fedor (D-Toledo), two Ohio citizens who were not let in to the Ohio Statehouse earlier this week, and Brian Rothenberg from ProgressOhio announced today that they are filing a suit to avoid being shut out of the statehouse in the future...
Wisconsin Capitol To Close Sunday Afternoon After Non-Stop Protests  Talking Points Memo   ...Capitol Police is anticipating that a thorough cleaning can begin at 4:00 p.m. on Sunday...
Another Day, Another Conservative Poll With Bad News For Scott Walker  Talking Points Memo   ...Fifty-four percent of the respondents to Morris' poll said they were opposed to eliminating collective bargaining...
WI State Senate Makes Budget Repair Bill Unamendable  firedoglake   ... the bill, which came from the Assembly, can no longer be amended...

Friday, February 25, 2011

50 states, 100,000 protesters?

Our latest photo. Today in Trenton, NJ

That's our guess for this weekend. We know there'll be a huge rally in Wisconsin, possibly the biggest one yet. And among the labor movement, community groups like Jobs With Justice and, and a mom in New England, there will be at least one rally in every state tomorrow.

Rally Girl reports:
Rallies are planned at every state capital, but don’t think protests and protestors will be limited to a measly 50 locations. The Teamsters and other groups are expecting hundreds of protests to draw at least 100,000 protesters this weekend.

The big rallies where we'll be looking for lots of Teamsters' signs include Madison, Miami, Asheville, N.C., Portland, Ore., Williamsburg, Va., Washington, D.C., and Boise, Idaho.

Other rallies will take place in Fargo, N.D.; Tucson, Ariz.; Frankfort, Kent.; Chicago, Ill.; San Diego, Calif; and Lincoln, Neb., just to name a few. Rallies are planned all over Wisconsin, in Milwaukee, West Bend, Tomahawk, Sheboygan, Hudson, St. Croix Falls and we expect quite a few other places.

A rally in Portsmouth, N.H., is being organized by a mom who wants to show solidarity with Wisconsin workers and stand up against reckless legislative attacks against New Hampshire's middle class. Reports Beth Dinan at The Portsmouth Herald
Judy Stradtman, a Portsmouth mother of two, is one of the organizers and said her protest sign will likely read: Protect working families and the middle class.

“There are some very dangerous things happening in the legislature and people, I think, feel really distressed,” said Stradtman, who has a local history of political activism. “We have the opportunity to make a statement and are feeling more confident in the ability to push back.”

...A Facebook page launched Monday under the name Protect NH Families announces the Feb. 26 rally and in 48 hours, 3,200 people signed on as liking it. Stradtman announced the rally on her group's Facebook page, Seacoast Solidarity...

To find a union rally nearest you, check out You can also go to a web page that lets you type in your zip code and find the closest rally. (Rally Girl is going to a protest in the District of Columbia.) You can also take the Jobs With Justice pledge.

UPDATE: A group called US Uncut is organizing rallies in 50 cities at Bank of America branches. US Uncut protests corporate tax dodgers and unnecessary budget cuts. It's targeting Bank of America because we could "uncut" $1.7 billion in Pell grants if just that one bank paid its taxes. Click here to find a rally near you.
As Brother Ed Sills of the Texas AFL-CIO said, “The battle is national and it is joined.”

First they go after unions. Then they go after your kid.

While Koch whore Gov. Scott Walker attacks the working class in Wisconsin, politicians elsewhere are not content with just stripping adult workers of their rights. Now they’re trying to gut child labor laws.

Sen. Jane Cunningham (R-Mo.) is sponsoring a bill in the Missouri legislature that would legalize the employment of children under the age of 14, remove restrictions on the number of hours children can work and eliminate inspections on workplaces that employ children.

Cunningham believes Missouri’s labor law rules are an example of “big government telling parents how to raise their children,” and says her aim is to “put back some common sense.”

This very week, in 1912, women and children textile strikers in Lawrence, Mass., were beaten by police during a 63-day walkout protesting low wages and work speedups.

In 2011, an estimated 158 million children aged 5-14 are engaged in child labor, particularly in Sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia, places that don’t have child labor laws. That’s one in six children in the world.

It took the labor movement a hundred years to guarantee protections for child workers, from 1836 when early trade unions proposed state minimum age laws to 1938 when children’s employment and hours of work were federally regulated in the Fair Labor Standards Act.

One hundred years. We just can't let wackadoodles like Cunningham roll back those hard-won rights.

Every teacher in Providence, RI fired

We're not kidding.

If you have any doubt that there is a war against workers, consider what the Providence School Board did this week.

They sent letters telling nearly all of its 2,000 teachers that they’ve been canned. The move, city officials said, gives them maximum flexibility to make budget cuts. (Note: "Flexibility" is a nice way to say "union busting.")

According to the LA Times,
The school board of Rhode Island's financially troubled capital city has voted to send termination letters to all of its nearly 2,000 teachers after city officials said the move would give them "maximum flexibility" to make budget cuts...

Providence teachers received notices of potential layoffs before the board met Thursday night and voted 4-3 on sending termination letters. The notices don't mean the teachers will lose their jobs, but the vote means some of them could at the end of the year.
More than 700 teachers packed the Providence Career and Technical Academy gymnasium Thursday to tell school officials their hearts were broken, their trust was violated and their futures as teachers were jeopardized, the Providence Journal newspaper reported.
The school district overspent its budget by $57 million last year. But the Providence teachers didn’t cause that debt. The recession did. And Wall Street's recklessness caused the recession.  We've been over that ground before, and we'll go over it again.

Under the district’s layoff policy, teachers may be recalled based on seniority. But because they were fired, there's no guarantee that seniority would be used to bring back any of the fired teachers.

It's union-busting under the guise of solving a budget problem. Now where have we seen that beforee?

Teamsters on the front line in IN

No, it's not Madison. It's Indianapolis earlier this week.
It was a wild week in Indiana, with thousands of protesters at the Statehouse all week and House Democrats fleeing the state to avoid voting on an anti-worker bill. In the end, we won this battle, though our fight is far from over in other states.
Teamster sister Rebecca Hanscom, organizer extraordinare from Gary, went to Tuesday’s rally. Here's her report:
There were at least 3,000 people at the Statehouse on Monday, and more on Tuesday after the Democrats left the state. There was a big turnout by Steelworkers and, as the week went on, more Teamsters. There was a lot of solidarity. Thursday was family day, with guitars and bagpipes and kids. It was energetic, exciting, full of hope and power – something we haven’t seen in the Indiana Statehouse in a long time. The best thing was seeing the young people there with their drums.
Aubrey Cheatham, business agent with Local 89 in Louisville, tells Rally Girl:
We’re continuing to rally the troops. Thursday we had 5,000 people at the State House. Wednesday was our biggest day with 10,000 people who came to the State House in protest of these ridiculous bills. Local 89 has been bussing people up from Kentucky and we’re going to keep it coming.
Our old friend.

Aside from bussing people to these rallies, we’ve been asking voters throughout the state to fill out a postcard that says, “I’m a Hoosier who opposes right to work for less.” We address them to the proper legislator; so far, we’ve sent around 650. We’ll send off another 350 on Monday.
We’re getting a lot of momentum because we have a lot of new tea bagger legislators who are just plain nutty.

This is what democracy looks like.

Polls: Public is with us in Wisconsin

Koch whore Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker is under a number of delusions, one of which is that most people agree with him. During the prank call in which he was duped into revealing his inner evildoer to a man he thought was David Koch, Walker said this about Republican lawmakers:
And as long as we go back to our homes and the majority of the people are telling us we’re doing the right thing, let ’em protest all they want.
Um, wrong, Scott. Voters in Wisconsin agree strongly with workers who are standing up to your anti-worker agenda. A recent poll found
51 percent of Wisconsin voters disapprove of Walker’s job performance;

53 percent rate labor unions favorably;

58 percent oppose eliminating collective bargaining; and

67 percent side with the public employees.
Here's what the pollsters say: "Walker’s Standing is Poor, while Most Agree with the Unions and Public Employees"
Overall, a majority (51 percent) of Wisconsin voters disapprove of Walker’s job performance and give him net negative favorability ratings (39 percent favorable, 49 percent unfavorable). In contrast, 62 percent of voters offer a favorable view of public employees (only 11 percent unfavorable) and 53 percent of voters rate labor unions favorably (31 percent unfavorable). When asked if they agree or disagree with the position different groups and individuals are taking in the current situation, voters side with the public employees (67 percent agree), the protesters (62 percent agree), the unions (59 percent agree), and the Democrats in the state legislature (56 percent agree).

Gallup and USA Today also found “broad public disapproval of the idea of stripping public unions of their collective bargaining rights.” Their poll revealed 61 percent of adults nationwide oppose Walker’s plan to take away these rights from public workers.

Walker not only is trying to destroy the middle class by stripping workers of  their collective bargaining rights, but he insults our intelligence by saying,
Most people…mistakenly think worker rights come from collective bargaining. When you alter collective bargaining, it doesn’t alter workers’ rights.
Um, wrong again, Scott. As Jon Stewart put it,
Take away a union's collective bargaining rights? I believe that makes them just a bunch of people wearing identical T-shirts.

Today's Teamster News 02.25.11

Hoffa Says Rejuvenated Labor Movement Gaining Momentum   IBT   ...Teamsters General President Jim Hoffa today said the national outpouring of support for working families helped defeat a bill in Indiana that would destroy workers’ rights...
'Right to Work' Dead: GOP Leaders  Evansville Courier & Press   ...
'Scott! David Koch!"  (opinion) Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel   ...A crank call from a Buffalo blogger ... reveals something of the mind of the governor. And what it reveals isn't pretty...
Koch Executives Speak Out on Wisconsin  National Review Online   ...we have no choice but to continue to fight,” says Richard Fink, the executive vice president of Koch Industries...
Madison police chief troubled by Walker's comments on protesters  Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel   ...Wray said he was disturbed that Walker thought about planting troublemakers among peaceful protesters...
Boeing Wins $35 Billion Contract to Build Air Force Tankers New York Times ...the Air Force said on Thursday that it would award a $35 billion contract for aerial fueling tankers to Boeing rather than to a European company that builds Airbus planes...
Boeing Selects Cobham for Tanker Pods After Winning U.S. Order Bloomberg ...Cobham, based in Dorset in the U.K., will supply the 179 KC-46A tanker aircraft with a hose and drogue refueling systems, and will manufacture the equipment in Davenport, Iowa...

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Woo-hoo! Big victory for workers in IN!

We held the line in Indiana! A bill to severely weaken workers' rights has been tabled. The thousands of protesters who came to Indianapolis day after day made the difference.

Our fight is far from over, but momentum is building.

Teamsters President Hoffa said the labor movement has been rejuvenated. A national outpouring of support for working families helped defeat the bill in Indiana. Hoffa said
We’re not going to let them get away with these vicious assaults on working people. These are coordinated attacks funded by big corporations like Koch Industries, whose owners’ greed has no limits. Their goal is to drive down workers’ wages.

When working families stand together and say, ‘No, you are not going to take away our rights and our dignity and lower our standard of living,’ we can turn the tide of public opinion in our favor. That’s exactly what happened in Indiana.

I especially want to applaud the courage of the state representatives who left Indiana to prevent this anti-worker bill from passing. It wasn’t an easy decision to make and it wasn’t an easy thing to do, but it was the right thing to do.

We held the line in Indiana and we can hold the line in Wisconsin and in Ohio and in every other Statehouse where these anti-worker, anti-middle class bills are being considered.

DE Teamsters support Wisconsin

Wisco Sign of the Day, thanks to Brother Steven Nelson from Local 200.
Rally girl brings us another report from downtown Wilmington, Del., where more than 100 workers gave up their lunch hour on Wednesday to show their solidarity for workers in Wisconsin.
Len McCartney from Teamsters Local 326 in New Castle was there protesting Koch whore Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker's plan to destroy workers' rights. McCartney said Walker’s proposal is an attack on all workers, regardless of where they live.
If workers in Wisconsin don’t win this battle, we’re all going to be in trouble. I want Wisconsin workers to know that Teamsters in Delaware are standing with them in solidarity.
Teamsters today are gearing up for dozens more rallies over the next few days. Tomorrow we're expecting Teamsters at big rallies in Trenton, N.J., and Spokane, Wash.

Below are a couple of fresh photos from a rally in Las Vegas a few days ago.

Transcript: Walker's prank phone call

Just in case you can't listen to the recording of Koch tool Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker with a man he thought was David Koch (but was actually blogger Ian Murphy), you can read a transcript here.

A few choice nuggets:

Koch: Bring a baseball bat. That's what I'd do.
Walker: I got a Slugger with my name on it.

Walker: The New York Times, of all things, I don’t normally tell people to read the New York Times, but the front page of the New York Times has got a great story, one of these unbelievable moments of true journalism, what is supposed to be objective journalism. They got out of the capital and went down one county south of the capital to Janesville, to Rock County, that’s where the General Motors plant once was.

Walker: I’ve said, ‘Hey, you know, we can handle this, people can protest. This is Madison, you know, full of the ’60s liberals. Let ’em protest.’ It’s not gonna affect us. And as long as we go back to our homes and the majority of the people are telling us we’re doing the right thing, let ’em protest all they want. (Note: The majority of people believe they're doing the wrong thing.)

Walker: Came home from the Super Bowl where the Packers won, and that Monday night I had all of my cabinet over to the residence for dinner. Talked about what we were gonna do, how we were gonna do it. We’d already kinda built plans up, but it was kind of the last hurrah before we dropped the bomb. And I stood up and I pulled out a picture of Ronald Reagan, and I said, you know, this may seem a little melodramatic, but 30 years ago, Ronald Reagan, whose 100th birthday we just celebrated the day before, had one of the most defining moments of his political career, not just his presidency, when he fired the air-traffic controllers....
Koch (Murphy):  Well, I tell you what, Scott: once you crush these bastards I’ll fly you out to Cali and really show you a good time.

Walker: All right, that would be outstanding. Thanks, thanks for all the support and helping us move the cause forward, and we appreciate it. We’re, uh, we’re doing the just and right thing for the right reasons, and it’s all about getting our freedoms back.

Teamsters take the battle to CT, OH, CA, GA

More from Rally Girl, as she continues to collect stories from the front lines.

Our Teamster brothers rally in Cleveland.
Cleveland, Ohio: For our brother Fred Crow, a Ready-Mix Driver and member of Local 436 in Cleveland, the attack on labor is, in his words, the last stand. That’s why he joined his Teamster brothers and sisters and fellow labor activists at a rally in Cleveland today. Carrying signs and belting chants of unity, the group let their voice be heard in Public Square. Said Crow

This is ground zero for the labor movement. What’s happening is an assault on working families. The good side of it is it’s causing unions to come together in a way that I haven’t seen for years. We need to keep it up.

Sacramento, Calif.: Teamsters from Local 439 kicked ass for the working class by bringing a Teamster truck to a rally in Sacramento on Tuesday.

Local 439 was joined by members of locals 150, 70, and 853—all in California—who met with nearly 1,000 labor activists and concerned citizens at the capital. They were protesting Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker’s budget proposal that would end collective bargaining for state workers.

Said brother Marty Frates, secretary-treasurer of Local 70:
We support all working people. Whatever action is being taken against public employees is action taken against us.
Atlanta, Ga.: “An injury to one of us in an injury to all of us,” said our brother Jimi Richards, Secretary-Treasurer of Local 728 in Atlanta.

Richards and five van loads of members from his local—nearly 50 in all—showed support for Wisconsin workers at a solidarity rally in Atlanta on Wednesday. Shouting pro-union slogans, hundreds of union members from across the state converged on the steps of Georgia’s capitol to protest Walker’s proposal to end collective bargaining for state employees. Richards was also showing support for his own son, who is a public school teacher. Richards said:
Unlike Georgia, Wisconsin has some of the strongest union sentiment in the country. If they can go after Wisconsin and be successful, they’re going to come after us all. We’re here to speak up not only for Wisconsin, but for every worker and every working family in this country.”
Teamsters in Atlanta

Hartford, Conn.: Teamsters throughout Connecticut rallied in Hartford today to fight for collective bargaining rights and show solidarity with Wisconsin’s workers. Our brothers and sisters from Locals 671, 1035, 559, 443 and 1150 joined with other labor activists and trade unionists at the state’s capitol building to denounce Walker's anti-union plan to strip state workers of their rights to bargain collectively.

Brother Roger Fenlason, business agent for Local 671,
What’s happening in Wisconsin, in Ohio and now in other states is atrocious. This is an attack on unions, plain and simple. Collectively bargaining is something we believe in fully and I hate to see it be infringed upon by Tea Party Republicans or any other group.

Fenlason encourages Teamsters everywhere to stand up and join the revival of the workers' movement that is sweeping across the country like wildfire. Said Fenlason:
This is about our rights and our way of life. Everyone should get on this and be involved.

That old Teamster feeling returns in 50 states

Teamsters are marching into the battle for American workers all over the country. They're showing solidarity for Wisconsin's embattled workers, opposing anti-worker legislation in their own state capitals, or both.

Solidarity rallies are planned this weekend in every U.S. state capital, and Teamsters will be there. In some cities, Teamsters are pounding the pavement in two, three, four and five days running. In Wisconsin, our Teamster brothers and sisters have been making the trek to Madison every day. Saturday's rally at the Wisconsin Statehouse is expected to be the biggest yet, and many Wisconsin Teamsters will be going to rallies in Milwaukee and in smaller cities and towns throughout the state.

Our brother Steven Nelson from Local 200 has driven to Madison all week.
Almost every day we march through the Rotunda. Every time we march in with our banner and our signs, and it's like thunder.  I'll be going by and hear people say, "The Teamsters are here." You get that old Teamster feeling. You feel the hair on the back of your neck stand up.
Nelson is thrilled that students, veterans, non-union workers and retirees are showing up as well. "Everybody's drawn back together," he said.

Yesterday in Madison, Jim Hoffa's appearance nearly sent the roof off the Rotunda. Hoffa stood on two milk cartons in the center of the hall and drew thunderous cheers. "You are turning the tide of public opinion," he said. "We have a saying in the labor movement, an injury to one is an injury to all.
Next year it's us. Next year it's everybody. We know what they're doing and we're not going to let them get away with it. ...You ain't seen nothing yet. You've hit a nerve. and what you've done you've also united all of labor. We know the battle you're fighting is all our battle.  All of labor, from California to New York, is united. We're going to make sure you have the support and we're going to be here for you.
Our brother Aubrey Cheatham from Local 89 in Louisville described a similar electricity in the crowds outside the Indianapolis Statehouse. There, thousands have protested all week against a right-to-work (for LESS) bill moving through the Legislature. Our Teamster brothers from UPS barns all around Indianapolis have been there every day. We're hearing that bill may be dead, but we're not declaring victory until we're sure it's 100 percent dead.

Teamsters stood in the rain for two hours to get in on Monday, Cheatham said. Outside, Chris Sanders, general counsel for UFCW, led the crowd in singing "We Shall Overcome."

Rally Girl here at Teamster headquarters has been keeping tabs on some of the other rallies throughout the country (though it isn't possible to keep track of them all. Here's what she reports.

Canton, Ohio: ...protestors, union members and labor activists demonstrated in front of the Canton Civic Center, where Ohio Gov. John Kasich spoke at the 97th Regional Chamber of Commerce Dinner Tuesday evening. Teamsters, teachers, firefighters and community groups are speaking out against Senate Bill 5 which, much like the Wisconsin budget proposal, would end collective bargaining for state employees.

Robert Jackson, president of Local 92, said:
Our governor is doing about the same thing to unionized workers here in Ohio. They’re using the economy as an excuse to break unions. I was thrilled to see so much support for our cause. It’s the first time I’ve seen anything like this and it’s very encouraging.
DesMoines, Iowa: Nearly 2,300 labor activists and union workers converged in Iowa Wednesday to stand in solidarity with Wisconsin public workers and fight for collective bargaining rights. Protestors spoke out against Iowa’s governor, Republican Terry Branstad, who doesn’t support unions. Among them was Dick Bacon, a retired member of Local 90 in Des Moines. Said Bacon

The state we’re in doesn’t make a difference; collective bargaining is under attack and a threat to one of us is a threat to all of us. What’s ironic about this whole thing is those who are against collective bargaining are forgetting that many of the rights and privileges they have today are because of unions.

Boston, Mass.: Showing solidarity with Wisconsin state workers, hundreds of union members and labor activists in Boston, including Teamsters, rallied Wednesday in front of the Statehouse on Beacon Street.
As reports, Boston-area Tea Partiers thought they could hold a counter protest, but they thought wrong. Pro-union protestors completely surrounded Tea Partiers, drowning out anti-union voices in an act of defiant solidarity.

Much more to come from Rally Girl. And here's a photo from Brother Nelson in Madison today: