Sunday, February 27, 2011

"Union forever, defending our rights. Down with the blackleg, all workers unite!"

This past Thursday around 3:00 PM I posted a note on Facebook to see if anyone was interested in having a pro teacher, pro union, pro working people demonstration here in Johnson City on Saturday afternoon. I wanted to do this to show people around here that not all of us support the union busting teabaggers who hate government and working people. I also wanted to do it to show support for and to build on the the great stuff the citizens of Wisconsin are doing in Madison. A few minutes after I posted the note a bunch of my friends said they'd be willing to hit the streets with me and would I make a Facebook event to be shared with their friends, so I did that as well.

Much to my astonishment people started signing up left and right for the demonstration. I figured we'd get maybe 30 people, by Friday afternoon we were over 50. I was over the moon, because you see, this area I live in is one of the most politically conservative areas of the country and the media around here likes to only give the side of the majority in all things so only the side of the conservatives gets out there and people think that that's all there is in this area.

So, happy with the thought of 50 people showing up I took off Saturday morning to make my way to the protest site. Then something miraculous happened. Something amazing. Something so fucking unbelievable, that I still have a hard time believing it. When I got out of the car and got my signs out, there were already people there. The demonstration started at noon and by the time 12:30 rolled around we had over a hundred people show up to support our cause. By the time the clock hit 1:00 PM, we were over 150 strong. By the time all was said and done, we had over 200 people show up to support unions, working people, and our beleaguered teaching professionals. 200 people in an area that is supposedly only amenable to conservative causes. Over 200 people in an area that would not elect Jesus Christ to office if he ran on the Democratic party ticket.

I was, and still am amazed. And I am humbled and gratified by the support we got, not only from the folks who stood out with signs and those who waved and held flags, but also by those who showed their support when driving by.

Our teachers here are facing the same kind of union busting thuggery as those in Wisconsin are. And our legislature, who's Republican members will only listen to those who voted for them, wants to do away with the requirement that teachers in this state be licensed, which is a clear ploy to pack the schools with their friends and cronies who will do the bidding of the teabaggers who want to whitewash history, destroy the move to teach critical thinking, and to make intelligent design dominant over evolution in the science classrooms. Teachers, who make so little, are being beaten up by people who refuse to tax the wealthy or big business to pay for our schools. Politicians in TN use teachers and unions as a punching bag and we're fucking tired of it. So our demonstration yesterday was our way of telling them that we're not going to stand for it anymore.

We're going to fight back. When Wal Mart gets tax breaks and our teachers get their right to collectively bargain taken away from them, then we say we've had enough. When the rich get obscenely richer and our kids get less and less because teachers get less and less, then it's time to make a change. This is our moment, our line in the sand. We choose our battle here. We are now in the fight to save what's left of the middle class, to fight for the working poor. And that's what today's demonstration was about.

Here' some photos I took at our demonstration, which by the was was on the front page of Raw Story (Warning, the TV report on our demonstration in that link is pretty shitty. In fact, all the TV coverage of our demonstration was crap, they all tried to make it look like the event was a protest, it wasn't it was in support of not in protest of teachers and unions. They tried to make it seem the teabaggers who showed up to protest us were as numerous as us, they were not, we had over 200, they had a dozen at best. The tried to make the facts fit their pre conceived corporate story line and therefore their reports sucked.):

This gal was one of the first people at the demonstration and she stayed through the whole thing.

My friend and fellow blogger Rev. John Shuck was at our rabble rousing demonstration. He was our token heretic.
This as my friend Celeste's first demonstration!
My young friend and neighbor K was the youth MVP of the day because he brought his homemade sign and two boxes of Girl Scout cookies.

Recognize this hottie? It's my friend Terri who's also in my graphic novel Hip Deep, Mountain High.

Drink in the cleverness.

Our side had the best looking gals.

Did I mention we had a bunch of great looking gals on our side? I did? Oh, okay then...

This fella's sign was sad because it was true.

We had our share of slackers in our group too. This young boy ate a doughnut while his sister pranced around barefoot. Damn socialists...

Here's a shot of the dozen or so teabaggers who showed up to show how much they hated teachers, unions, the USA, apple pie, your mom, and the flag.

My favorite sign of the day.

Another great sign held by another great demonstrator.

Post modern humor, it's your friend.

We took a page right out of the right wing's playbook by playing the religion card,
wrapping ourselves in the flag,
and using child labor to drive home our point.

All in all, our demonstration was a huge success and even if I have to say it, I'm now two for two on putting together well attended progressive/liberal demonstrations because I was after all on the team who organized the biggest anti war protest this area had seen in decades. So, I'm just putting this out there, don't fuck with me or I'll whip up a protest on your ass and you'll never be the same after me and my minions get done with you.

Non violent constructive demonstrations, hell yeah.

You can see all the photos I took of the demonstration by clicking here.

25 comments:

Ed said...

That is so cool. Keep it up. I am getting the feeling that people are fed up with the current political climate and it has reached a breaking point. There seems to be momentum building. We all have to maintain the pressure. What started out with a handful of protesters here in Madison has grown every day. Today we had anywhere from 100,000 - 250,000 people at the capitol building. I'm not sure which number is closest to reality, but no matter which figure you go with, that's a heck of a lot of people. I'd love to see this movement spread across the entire country, and it's great to see people like you making it happen where you live. Kudos to you and your friends!

Jim said...

Great job Doctor!
There was a rally as well here in Chicago and I was there along with 3,000 + others in a small (gathering) area in the downtown section.
But it was a success and even our ONE GOOD U.S. Senator (Democrat) Dick Durbin showed up and spoke to the people from the podium.
God Bless America's working men & women.

Big Ern said...

nice

K.Line said...

What an awesome experience. So happy that this went so well for you. And I love the messages on those picket signs...

PENolan said...

High Fives all around.

Flannery Alden said...

This is so terrific!

intelliwench said...

Wow - 200 people! Sorry I wasn't in town to participate & show my support.

jadedj said...

MM, this made my morning. Great job!

Nan said...

Way cool.

The MSM has done its usual "let's pretend this isn't happening" with the demonstrations of support -- minimal news coverage, and trying to downplay the numbers everywhere.

Dr. Monkey said...

Our local media downplayed our numbers too Nan. It's disgraceful.

Kulkuri said...

Glad your demonstration worked out better than expected.

In these days of the Intratubes, when is the Corporate Media going to learn that their "Fool all the people all the time" policy isn't going to work?? Oh, wait, their corporate masters still think it'll work!!

beatgrl said...

That is so flippin awesome! What a great story to read with my breakfast. Congratulations, Dr. Monkey!

R. Dees said...

Inspirational, your numbers and support! We here in Charlotte were happy with 25+ people in our Peaceful Protest of Corporate Tax Evasion, in front of a Bank of America branch. There were 5 police cars and a dozen police officers when we got there, but of course we didn't do anything to cause any problems. Except: it got us fired up for next time!

tnlib said...

Fantastic. Love the pics and your enthusiasm. Nice blog, too. ; )

Dr. Monkey Hussein Monkerstein said...

Glad we could inspire you good folks in Charlotte R. Dees! A short sighted person from the Asheville area told me our demonstration was 'slacktivist' and crap.

Dr. Monkey Hussein Monkerstein said...

Thanks for stopping by tnlib.

Kal said...

Look at you, you magnificent Kenyan, Marxist, Socialist, Gay, French, Muslim Community Organizer. You are my hero.

Lacey said...

It sounds like your demonstration went well, and I loved all the hand made signs. It gave it a "local" feel.

Not meaning to pull thorns, but you got one point a bit wrong. it is not what the "citizens of Wisconsin are doing in Madison," it is what the Public Sector Unions are doing in Wisconsin.

The "citizens" are paying the union workers who are currently off the job. The "citizens" are budgeting their future to guarantee the pensions of the public service union members who are currently off the job, but still receiving a salary.

The heartless, cold, greedy corporate monsters the Public Sector union is demonstrating against IS the citizenry of the state.

Snad said...

Lacey - does your last name happen to be Koch?

Lsamsa said...

Way to go Dr. Monkey!! Wonderful how well your organized demonstration worked out.
I'm so in awe of the people in Wisconsin who've given up their work, their families & their comforts to stand up to that idiot who thinks he got elected 'king'.
That you have taken up this fight & done so well with it...bravo!!!
I do believe this is a turning point for the U.S. & the spread of demonstrations & protests are what just might wake people up & pay attention.

Barbara Bruederlin said...

Awesome Dr M! Keep up the good fight!

Dr. Monkey Hussein Monkerstein said...

Now now Snad, be nice, even corporate shills and private sector thugs who have to have Fox Propaganda Channel tell them what to think are allowed to comment once here on my blog. Too bad Lacey wasted his/her one chance on attacking the good citizens of Madison.

okjimm said...

keep the word going out... I have some links at my blog... you are free to steal/share/borrow.... please please keep going.

Snad said...

Oh, Doc M. You know me. I WAS being nice!

John Shuck said...

Doctor, YOU are the Monkey! Go team!