SEIU to protest in Oklahoma City

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The Service Employees International Union has sent an email calling members and sympathizers to rally at the Oklahoma State Capitol at noon today (Saturday, February 26, 2011).

Here's the email from SEIU president Mary Kay Henry. Note that the signup links are directed to moveon.org:

SEIU brothers and sisters, Join us at a solidarity rally in your state capitol this Saturday

Over 13,000 people signed up to attend a solidarity action this weekend. We've partnered with dozens of great organizations and it promises to be a day you won't soon forget. Sign-up to join today.

It's been almost two weeks since SEIU members in Wisconsin joined with other public employees, students and allies to fight back against Governor Walker's attempt to take away their rights.

And we're winning.

You've seen the scenes from Madison by now, tens of thousands in the streets and thousands more inside the capitol inspiring a nation that has had enough of attempts to slash public services and hurt workers for the profit of billionaire campaign contributors.

But this weekend we've joined with allies across the country to organize solidarity rallies in major cities - including every state capital - this Saturday at noon.

We'll speak out to demand an end to the attacks on workers' rights and public services across the country. We'll demand investment to create decent jobs. And we'll demand that the rich and powerful pay their fair share.

In short, we'll turn Oklahoma into Wisconsin.

Will you join us Saturday at noon? Sign up to join your local rally here:

http://pol.moveon.org/event/events/index.html?rc=rsad_seiu&action_id=238&search_distance=40

Did you see the big news this week?

The Wisconsin Legislature shut down its comment line after receiving too many calls against the attempt to take away workers' rights.

But when a blogger pretended to be Kansas oil magnate David Koch, Republican Governor Scott Walker took his call and stayed on the line for 20 minutes!

The two talked about how to use tricks to defeat Democratic State Senators, Walker's plans to tell thousands of workers they will lose their jobs, and even talked about the billionaire's "vested interest" in the outcome of this fight.

You may not have a billion dollars like David Koch, but it's time our legislators hear our voice.

Use the tool below to find an event taking place this Saturday at noon and RSVP to join the fight.

http://pol.moveon.org/event/events/index.html?rc=rsad_seiu&action_id=238&search_distance=40

The outpouring of support for our members has been overwhelming.

Over 20,000 people sent in messages supporting them and our website has seen record traffic over the past week.

Workers in Wisconsin are very well aware the nation stands with them and they look forward to hearing the news about our successful events across the country on Saturday.

In solidarity,

Mary Kay Henry
President, SEIU

The leftist meme is that the Koch brothers are pushing budget cuts for their own personal profit. It's hard to see how the Kochs could be harmed or helped by Wisconsin or Oklahoma tax policy. But it's easy to see how a currency trader (moveon.org sponsor and billionaire George Soros is a currency trader) could profit if America's currency collapses under the weight of massive amounts of debt and higher taxes. Someone with a history of betting against currencies and profiting from the economic collapse of other nations' currencies might have a strong motivation to incite pressure against getting America's fiscal house in order.

Voters in Oklahoma and in Wisconsin overwhelmingly elected conservative Republicans to office who promised to rein in spending, maintaining services without raising taxes. These newly elected officials are keeping their promises.

For decades, politicians, particularly Democrats, have bought the support of public employee unions by promising benefits somewhere off in the future (pensions with minimal employee contributions, retirement health coverage), while avoiding the tough fiscal choices to fully fund those promises. These politicians could make these future commitments without raising taxes, without cutting services in other areas, without ensuring that the state would have the means to fulfill IOUs that would conveniently come due long after they left office.

The day of reckoning is here. Massive public debt is devaluing our currency, driving energy prices through the roof, pushing food prices up as well. The higher prices and, if the public sector unions have their way, higher taxes fall on the family, friends, and neighbors of the same SEIU members who will gather on the capitol steps later today.

I hope that the vast majority of Oklahomans who want and need more efficient government services at a lower cost will show up at the Capitol today as well and make their voices heard.

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8 Comments

Heh. They said, In short, we'll turn Oklahoma into Wisconsin.

I won't be surprised if they draw a crowd, but on balance, I'm pretty sure that Oklahomans would rather eat dirt than turn into Wisconsin.

This is a state where--well, about eleven or twelve years ago I had just given my notice at a factory where I was operating a CNC laser cutter (to go to a CNC machine shop), and right at the same time, some union or other tried to organize the factory. One of my most vivid memories is of a forklift operator who looked like something out of Lynyrd Skynyrd--we all called him "Longhair"--marking, in big letters, "Longhair says 'Unions suck! Vote no!'" on the side of his forklift prior to the vote. He wasn't afraid at all, and my understanding is that the union went down in flames.

I have a hard time believing that SEIU's get-together will intimidate Oklahomans very much.

Molly Jenkins said:

This Patriot will be there! Go to freedomconnector.org and sign up for more information

mark said:

Michael –

Why does everything have to be so partisan? The fundamental challenges of this era go well beyond the petty squabbles between elephants and donkeys.

I would hope that ordinary citizens of good will (regardless of party affiliation) could agree that disproportionate political power in the hands of a few hyper-wealthy individuals is not supportive of participatory democracy. It is demoralizing for the rest of us and, I believe, one of the principal reasons that voter participation rates in the U.S. are so shockingly low. The general mindset is that one’s political participation is immaterial because the process is controlled by the Kochs and Soroses of this world.

The fact is that billionaire ideologues of ANY stripe – be they Soros or Koch – should not be permitted to drown out the political voices of their fellow citizens. If we stand on equal footing in any context, it must be in the realm of political rights and power. I simply do not believe that the Founders intended or considered that their guaranty of free “speech” to citizens would be equated by 20th and 21st century Supreme Courts with free “spending” by individuals AND corporations. The Founders simply could not have anticipated either the power of the media tools of our age or the staggering disparity in wealth in our present society.

I fear that we and/or our children will soon live in an era of violent revolution or corporately-programmed complacency. I’m not sure which is worse.

The A Team said:

The Unions agreed to the Walker wage and benefit concessions.

This isn't about balancing budgets, it is about busting unions, plain and simple. The Koch Brothers are out to destroy collective bargaining rights for workers, case closed.

It is purely disingenuous spin that blindly parrots patently false Club for Greed and Chamber of Corruption talking points to suggest it's about balancing budgets or any other Trojan Horse they might wheel out for that matter.

At least have enough intellectual integrity and honesty to support this for what it really is, instead of trying to spin it into something it is not, in an attempt to rally support.

What is the Koch brothers' interest in busting public-sector unions? How do they benefit any more than the rest of us do?

Aaron, I'm disappointed to learn that you don't think I have intellectual integrity or honesty. I'll keep that in mind the next time we're on the same side of an issue.

Mark, the only attempt at drowning I see is the attempt by SEIU, AFSCME, etc., to drown out the voices of the voters of Wisconsin, who voted in overwhelming numbers for candidates who promised to cut budgets dramatically.

I agree that this shouldn't be a partisan issue, but as things have evolved, the taxpayers are aligned with the Republican Party and the tax consumers are aligned with the Democratic Party.

In my lifetime, the quality of government services has declined, while the cost has skyrocketed. Why is that?

mark said:

Michael –

You ask, “What is the Koch brothers' interest in busting public-sector unions? How do they benefit any more than the rest of us do?”

I do not believe that the Koch Brothers have any pecuniary interest in busting public sector unions. They (and George Soros) have plenty of money at this point. As I said in my first comment, they and Soros are ideologues. They believe passionately in certain principles and they want them validated on a national or international stage. These men are megalomaniacs It’s all about them, and their own attempts at psychological catharsis.

Perhaps for the Kochs it’s a desire to validate a system in which unimaginable inherited wealth such as theirs can be viewed as moral or even admirable. For Soros I believe his leftist philanthropy is probably an attempt to assuage the guilt he feels for having made so much money in such a socially unproductive and morally bankrupt industry as finance and currency trading.

You also say, “Mark, the only attempt at drowning I see is the attempt by SEIU, AFSCME, etc., to drown out the voices of the voters of Wisconsin, who voted in overwhelming numbers for candidates who promised to cut budgets dramatically.”

The protesters in Madison are not acting vis-à-vis the VOTERS of Wisconsin. They are merely petitioning their government. However, I’ll acknowledge that your comment may be apt with regard to the 14 AWOL State Senators – they are indeed thwarting the processes of Wisconsin’s particular republican form of government.

That said, I simply do not believe that there was a union-busting mandate in Wisconsin’s last election. Budget cutting? Certainly. Demanding shared sacrifice from public employee unions? Sure. But a permanent dismantling of collective bargaining rights? I don’t think so. If that were the mandate, then counter- demonstrators would by now far outnumber the original union-friendly crowds. But quite the opposite is true.

The bottom line is that the voters gave Gov. Walker a generous hand of cards; but he has overplayed it. And we now know how completely disingenuous he has been in the process. He says publicly that it’s all about the budget; but when he’s on a private call with “Koch”, not a word is spoken about the Budget. It’s all about dirty tricks, union-busting, Walker as the next Reagan, sparking a national movement, and other self-aggrandizement.

You also say, “I agree that this shouldn't be a partisan issue, but as things have evolved, the taxpayers are aligned with the Republican Party and the tax consumers are aligned with the Democratic Party.”

Michael, there are many “taxpayers” not aligned with the Republican Party. Are you suggesting that Democrats, or Independents like myself, do not contribute to government revenue? How absurd. Also, are you suggesting that the principal tax consumers – the Pentagon and SS and Medicare recipients – are largely supporters of Democrats? That doesn’t ring true either.

Finally, you ask -- “In my lifetime, the quality of government services has declined, while the cost has skyrocketed. Why is that?”

I suppose for many of the same reasons that NEARLY EVERYTHING (except electronic calculators) has become more expensive and/or less reliable in our lifetimes.

route66news said:

A few points that are being overlooked:

-- Gov. Walker never campaigned on getting rid of collective bargaining -- which, I suspect, is the reason why Wisconsinites in several polls do not support his plan by a substantial margin.

-- If ending collective bargaining will close a deficit hole, I'd like to see the evidence presented that it will do so. To date, I've seen none.

-- A goodly portion of the deficit in Wisconsin was created by Walker's own budget plan.

Shadow6 said:

Well, there is NOTHING about this event in the Tulsa or OKC papers, so the event must have been a flop, similar to the massive crowds of six or seven hard-core liberals that gather at 41st and Yale sometimes

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This page contains a single entry by Michael Bates published on February 26, 2011 3:28 AM.

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