Thursday, March 8, 2012

Be very, very afraid. Your rights are being chipped away. Fast.

Monday's protest against SB469
Our brothers and sisters in Georgia are angry and disappointed that last night the state Senate passed SB469, which criminalizes free speech and makes it a crime to picket outside a person's home. Tweeted Eric Robertson, Local 728's political director,
I don't think movement realize the gravity of these attacks or the level of energy and mobilization needed to beat them back. (Follow him @erictheteamster.)
The bill is aimed at crippling unions and the rights of workers. As Zaid Jilani wrote in the Republic Report,
State Senator Don Balfour of Snellville, Georgia — a Waffle House vice president who serves on the board of the Georgia Chamber of Commerce — is pushing a bill in his state’s legislature that would effectively outlaw picketing outside of private homes. Although the bill is aimed at suppressing union protests at the “private residences” of business executives, its scope is actually much further reaching.
The bill is written to make it illegal for picketers to take part in actions that would be “interfering with the resident’s right to quiet enjoyment.” But historically, one group of activists took part in protests aimed at private residences intended exactly to disrupt the peace to make their point: the Founding Fathers.
Prior to the Revolutionary War, Sam Adams and other Founding Fathers formed a group called the Sons of Liberty to protest the Stamp Act and similar oppressive legislation. The Sons of Liberty regularly protested outside of the homes of British colonial officials, including the homes of tax collectors. If Balfour and Georgia’s Big Business titans have their way, these protests would be illegal, and Adams and many of the other Founding Fathers would’ve been arrested.
Georgia isn't the only state where extremist, corporate-funded politicians aim to weaken working families.All over the country, state legislatures are busy disenfranchising the poor and the elderly who might, you know, need some help. They're doing it by requiring ID cards that are hard to get.

In Ohio's primary election this week a World War II veteran was denied the right to vote because his veteran's ID card wasn't good enough for the poll worker. In Tennessee, a former U.S. congressman wasn't given a ballot because he was inadvertently taken off the voter rolls.

As many as 5 million people could be disenfranchised this fall because of the assault on voting rights.

Just turns your stomach.