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Union thugs protesting outside the homes of their targets has become a weapon more and more unions have added to their already-large arsenal. Now that the State of Georgia may become the first state to outlaw the offensive tactic, oddly enough, unions are getting support from an unlikely source–the Tea Party Patriots.
Last year, when 45,000 union members struck telephone carrier Verizon, IBEW union radicals showed up outside the home of Verizon CEO Lowell McAdam’s House causing a disturbance in McAdam’s neighborhood (see video below). In another incident, up to 3,000 CWA protesters conducted a mock funeral outside the home of Verizon’s chairman.
Though it shouldn’t be necessary for any legislature to even have to consider the protection of private residences from protesters, these incidents (and others like it) have drawn the attention of Georgia’s legislature, which has moved to pass Senate Bill 469 to prohibit the targeting of individuals at their private residences.
While the original bill was aimed at prohibiting unions from protesting outside private residences, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution’s Jim Galloway, the Georgia House altered the bill last night to include all private residences:
The change doesn’t show up on the Internet version of the bill yet, but we’re told that the House Rules Committee last night altered SB 469 so that it would ban demonstrations at or near all private residences in Georgia.
Pickets targeted at any home – whether belonging to corporate CEO, union executive, crack dealer, child molester, or even newspaper columnist – would be off-limits under the latest version of the bill. Which, according to one constitutional scholar we talked to, has a much better chance of surviving a court challenge.
As usual, however, union bosses view their collective rights as superior than individual rights and have been protesting the bill with rhetorical fury reminiscent of last year’s Madison madness.
What makes this issue more interesting is the fact that unions have found an ally in the Tea Party Patriots:
Julianne Thompson, Georgia state director for Tea Party Patriots, told The Huffington Post that she and her fellow organizers don’t see SB 469 as a political issue so much as a free-speech issue. Thompson spoke out against the bill at the state capitol Monday.
“When we’re talking about the first amendment of the U.S. Constitution, we’re not talking about political right-versus-left. We’re talking about right versus wrong,” Thompson said. “If it’s a violation of free speech we’re going to be on the side of the Constitution. I’m happy that we’ve reached across party lines with regard to this issue.”
Charlie Flemming, president of the Georgia AFL-CIO, told HuffPost that the state’s unions are happy to see Tea Party activists coming down on the same side as them.
Apparently, the Tea Party Patriots believe, as do their new collectivist union allies, that targeting the homes of their opponents is something that falls under the guise of Constitutionally-protected activity.
By those standards, noise ordinances should be stricken, anti-harassment laws erased, and the ability of municipalities to allow parades, marches or protests by permit only should be done away with.
Then, every American can enjoy this spectacle outside their front doors:
“Socialism has no place in the hearts of those who would secure the fight for freedom and preserve democracy.” Samuel Gompers, American Federation of Labor, 1918
Cross-posted at LaborUnionReport.com