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At noon eastern today, people will gather in major cities around the country to stand in solidarity with the workers of Wisconsin, where Gov. Scott Walker is attempting to take away collective bargaining rights for public workers. As historian Michael Honey wrote earlier this week, these are the very rights Martin Luther King, Jr., died defending in Memphis in 1968. Today, public sector jobs are about the last toehold that black workers in particular have in the labor market.
And for everyone, public worker unions are among the few parts of the labor movement that the coalition of Republican lawmakers and corporate special interests haven’t busted over the past 30 years. The historic concentration of wealth that caused the global economic crisis is the result. As Van Jones wrote in a Huffington Post essay urging folks to join today’s rallies, “The truth is that we don’t live Bangladesh or Malawi. America is not a poor country. The public has just been hypnotized into believing that the richest and most creative nation on Earth has only two choices in this crisis: massive austerity (as championed by the Tea Party/Republicans) or SEMI-massive austerity (as meekly offered by too many DC Democrats). It is ridiculous.”
Indeed. Go stand up for public workers today, and send us images so we can help show the world that there remains a progressive voice for economic justice in America.