HOT TOPICS ▶ Climate Change     Undoing The New Deal     The Real Baltimore     Reality Asserts Itself     United Kingdom    

  April 6, 2011

Thousands Across USA Rally in Support of Workers' Rights

In hundreds of cities, thousands rally to show support for public sector workers
Members don't see ads. If you are a member, and you're seeing this appeal, click here


Share to Facebook Share to Twitter

I support the real news because they deal with real issues, not meaningless articles and sound bites - Gary
Log in and tell us why you support TRNN


DAVID DOUGHERTY: On Monday, March 4, hundreds of rallies were held across the United States in support of justice for workers and the right to collective bargaining. Thousands of people are reported to have attended demonstrations, teach-ins, and vigils planned to take place in all 50 states as part of the "We Are One" campaign organized by unions and activist groups. The event was scheduled on the 43rd anniversary of Martin Luther King Jr.'s death. Organizers note that he was struggling for many of the same rights as workers today, including the right to collective bargaining.

MARTIN LUTHER KING JR.: One thousand three hundred sanitation workers are on strike, and Memphis is not being fair to them.


KING: It is my hope that power for poor people will really mean having the ability and the aggressiveness to make the power structure of this nation say "yes" when they may be desirous of saying "no".

DOUGHERTY: The civil rights leader was assassinated on April 4, 1968, in Memphis, Tennessee, where he had been participating in an ongoing public sanitary workers strike. Demonstrators gathered across the country in both small towns and large cities. Some 5,000 workers belonging to miners unions traveled from various states to participate in a rally held in Waynesburg, Pennsylvania. Thousands more participated in rallies in New York and New Jersey. In Florida, one of many states facing proposals to weaken public workers rights, more than a dozen cities participated. Public sector workers also rallied at Hawaii's state capital in Honolulu. In Washington, DC, an estimated 2,000 demonstrators marched on the DC offices of Koch Industries, a company whose billionaire CEO brothers, David and Charles Koch, have been accused of bankrolling a number of right-wing initiatives, including Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker's campaign against public workers and collective bargaining. Boston, Philadelphia, Los Angeles, Detroit, Dallas, Phoenix, and many other cities also had sizable turnouts in Monday's demonstrations. Across the country in recent months, numerous state governors and representatives have launched a legislative attack against public sector workers, with bills aimed at reducing or eliminating collective bargaining rights. Union workers aren't the only people feeling the pressure of the reforms. Public education and health spending are also the targets of a number of bills that proponents assert are necessary for balancing the budget. However, more people are now asking why it is that working families are being told to bear the brunt of state and federal deficit costs, while large private corporations and high-earning individuals are proportionately paying significantly less. Thousands of demonstrators also gathered across Wisconsin in preparation for a state supreme court justice election to be held the next day, on Tuesday, April 5. The outcome of the vote will determine the political composition of the court, which could play an important role in future litigation between Wisconsin's Republican governor and public sector unions. Republican leaders in Wisconsin continue to spar with a Dane County circuit court judge over a ruling that placed a temporary restraining order on the anti-collective bargaining bill that Governor Scott Walker signed into law on March 11. A movement to recall the senators who voted the provision into law is also getting popular support in Wisconsin, with state Democrats claiming that enough signatures have already been collected to begin recalling some Republican senators. On March 31, Ohio Governor John Kasich signed Senate Bill 5 into law, essentially eliminating collective bargaining rights for public workers. In response, a referendum movement seeking to reverse the decision in November elections later this year has been gaining momentum. As more states continue to introduce similar anti-labor legislation, unions and social movements are stepping up their organizing efforts and actions in order to protect workers' rights and hold wealthy elites socially accountable. This is David Dougherty with The Real News Network.

End of Transcript

DISCLAIMER: Please note that transcripts for The Real News Network are typed from a recording of the program. TRNN cannot guarantee their complete accuracy.


Our automatic spam filter blocks comments with multiple links and multiple users using the same IP address. Please make thoughtful comments with minimal links using only one user name. If you think your comment has been mistakenly removed please email us at

latest stories

Corbyn Allies in Labour Attacked For Supporting Palestinian Struggle
Are Oil Billionaires Trying to Undermine Our First Amendment Rights?
Chief in Charge of Internal Affairs To Retire from Baltimore Police
Paul Jay: Threats facing Humanity, Russiagate & the Role of Independent Media
Corbyn Smeared as 'Russian Stooge' for Requesting Evidence on Poisoned Spy
West's Anti-Russian Fervor Will Help Putin Win Election On Sunday
Corbyn Calls for Evidence in Escalating Poison Row
Expressions of Afro-Asian Solidarity during the Cold War
Sanders Resolution Against War in Yemen Challenged by Mattis
Senate Expands 'Lobbyist Bill' to Deregulate Real Estate
Economic Benefits of Tax Cuts Should Have Arrived - Where Are They?
Stephen Hawking: Fighter for Progressive Politics
Trump's Tariff Travesty Will Not Re-Industrialize the US
Is Another World Possible? - Leo Panitch on RAI (4/4)
Students Demand Leaders Address the Root Causes of Gun Violence
Far-Right Ministers in Chile's New Government Placed in Sensitive Positions
Israeli Military Strangles Its Own Weapons Manufacturer to Privatize It
Not Without Black Women
Newly Tapped Sec of State Mike Pompeo Comes with Deep Ties to the Koch Brothers
The CIA's New Torturer-in-Chief
Anti-Pipeline Indigenous 'Mass Mobilization' Has Begun
UN Rapporteur: US Sanctions Cause Death in Venezuela
Colombia's Conservatives Make Gains in Congress Vote Amid Fraud Allegations
Wilkerson: Trump Won't Make Peace with North Korea
The Rise of Jeremy Corbyn and Class Struggle in the UK Labour Party - RAI with Leo Panitch (3/4)
Western Governments Whitewash Saudi Dictator MBS as 'Reformer'
US Cowardice Prevents Middle East Peace
Should China Maintain its Non-interference Policy toward Africa?
Bills to Ban Styrofoam and Crude Oil Terminals Pass Baltimore City Council
Elites Impose Education Policies They Would Never Accept for their Children,, The Real News Network, Real News Network, The Real News, Real News, Real News For Real People, IWT are trademarks and service marks of Independent World Television inc. "The Real News" is the flagship show of IWT and The Real News Network.

All original content on this site is copyright of The Real News Network. Click here for more

Problems with this site? Please let us know

Web Design, Web Development and Managed Hosting