What do you do if you spend tens of thousands to plan hundreds of rallies on the same day and you get ignored? Did you see the thousands of union protesters yesterday? Surely you saw the several million workers that CWA President Larry Cohen said “were going to stop business as usual at work or after work to join vigils, community rallies or marches at statehouses.” You didn’t see them either? Well, that may be because the day of solidarity that the AFL-CIO had been promoting for weeks, to co-opt coincide with the anniversary of Martin Luther King’s assassination was a flop.
Now, it could be that the student protesters that unions have been relying on in Madison actually went to class for once—the rallies were planned for a Monday after all. Or, it could be that people just had better things to do. However, a quick glance through the news from around the country reveals that the unions’ massive rallies planned for yesterday weren’t so massive. In fact, for all the hype for the rallies, most were quite small.
Detroit, MI: Protesters were in the “hundreds”…In Lansing: 200…
Denver, CO: “…several hundred Colorado teachers, firefighters and pipe-fitters gathered…”
New Bedford, MA: “…upwards of 300 union workers filled City Hall Square Monday evening to shout loudly…”
Seattle, WA: “…about 400 labor-union members and supporters looked to him [MLK] for inspiration from the Pacific Northwest…”
Madison, WI: A bit more raucous with Jesse Jackson hanging around all day “for a series of union rallies leading up to the largest of more than 1,000 “We Are One” marches, rallies, demonstrations and teach-ins…”
Oklahoma, OK: The local AFSCME boss was “joined at the rally by dozens of other public and private sector unions…”
And, finally, judging by this video, New York may have had the largest crowd:
While there are other reports, you sort of get the picture.
With all the pushing for the rallies that the AFL-CIO and its unions did, instead of calling it “We Are One,” perhaps they should have called it “We Are None.”
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