Sunday, February 20, 2011

Teamsters stay spirited and peaceful in Madison

Photo taken by Local 344.
Every Wisconsin Teamster local was back for a sixth day of protest in Madison, we're told, and Teamsters are continuing to make the long trek from around the country. Our brother Rick Smith drove all the way from Harrisburg, Penn., and just arrived. He'll broadcast his radio show from Madison next week. You can listen to the show by downloading it here.

Wet, cold weather drove the protest inside the Rotunda of the Statehouse, according to NPR.  If you want to watch what's happening live, go to

We're starting to hear stories about yesterday's massive rally. Local 344 had a few encounters with the Tea Partiers yesterday. Here's what we learned from their Facebook page:
  • Tens of thousands at the rally! A few tea party activists are trying their best to cause a disturbance but have thus far been unsuccessful!! We're better than that!
  • There was one tea party guy wearing a leather jacket with body armor underneath marching along with us shouting anti union sentiments through a bull horn. A Koch brothers camera team was only inches away hoping for a fight to capture on film for their media outlets but they were denied!!! We are spirited and peaceful!
  • One other tea party dude in the march was carrying a sign that said "stand with walker". Inches away was one of ours with a sign that said "Fall With Walker". The dude had a boat cushion strapped to his back for protection. Hilarious!!! Nobody touched him!
Green Bay Packers cornerback Charles Woodson became the eighth member or former member of the team to back the union cause. He issued a statement that said
It is an honor for me to play for the Super Bowl Champion Green Bay Packers and be a part of the Green Bay and Wisconsin communities. I am also honored as a member of the NFL Players Association to stand together with working families of Wisconsin and organized labor in their fight against this attempt to hurt them by targeting unions.
We also learn there was a Wisconsin Solidarity rally in New York City on Thursday. Watch the video here.

Teamsters in dozens of cities throughout the U.S. are gearing up for solidarity rallies next week.  Here's a fresh list of Wisconsin Solidarity rallies. They're spreading beyond state capitals to smaller cities like Scranton, Penn., and Colorado Springs, and there's even one in Puerto Rico. If you live in Pennsylvania, show your solidarity on Tuesday by wearing red.