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.
We took a page right out of the right wing's playbook by playing the religion card,
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.