Indiana Democratic Representative Clyde Kersey Appears on University of Illinois Campus

*****UC-IMC Exclusive*****

In a surprise visit, Indiana Democratic Representative Clyde Kersey gave a talk in Latzer Hall at the University YMCA on Wednesday, February 24, 2011. He and the entire Democratic caucus have fled the state. About 35 of them have taken refuge in Urbana where they are holding out on two bills which would destroy public education and undermine unions in Indiana.

“How long will we be out?” Rep. Kersey said. “As long as it takes.”

The Indiana Democrats are opposing two bills, HB 1468, the so-called “right to work” bill, a union-busting piece of legislation. According to Kersey, in 22 states where similar bills have been passed, salaries have gone down an average of $5,500.

What has received less media coverage is the “voucher bill,” HB 1479, which will dismantle the public school system and eliminate teacher bargaining units.

“It’s an attack on teachers. It’s an attack on working men and women,” Kersey said.

Today, there are 10,000 people demonstrating at the state capitol in Indianapolis. According to Kersey, teachers and unions have typically been independent of one another, but these two bills have brought them together.

Kersey said that Indiana Democrats have been in contact with their counterparts in Wisconsin. “What Wisconsin did set the state for what we did,” he told a room of about 50 students and campus workers. “They made it easier for us.”

According to Kersey, this is the first time the entire Democratic caucus has left the state. “These issues are too important to go back on,” he said. 

The talk was organized by the Graduate Employees Organization (GEO).

Run them out over the river

The Republicans have been trying to run Democrats out of Indiana for many years now.

The only bi-partisan measure noteworthy in their history was their attempt to legislate the value of "pi" -

It was a good thing a professor from Purdue happen to stroll by just before they did.

I'm happy to hear the Democrats have for a safe haven to wait this out.

It's not as bad as fleeing from El Salvador, and tell me, will Pat Quinn

allow them to be extradited?

 

Kudos on getting the scoop, UCIMC! Do you need any emergency lunches?

David Roknich

Galesburg

Jobs with Justice: Battleground Update

 

 

 

 

February 24th, 2011

Across the country, the corporate-driven campaign against workers and communities is meeting stiff and growing resistance.  Republican lawmakers are attacking workers as political payback to the Wall Street and Corporate CEOs that financed their elections – the very people that created the economic crisis in the first place.  JwJ activists will not let them continue to amass record cash reserves and bonuses while leaving the rest of us in a permanent “jobless recovery.” 

 

Sparked in Wisconsin and gaining intensity in Indiana, Ohio and elsewhere, community, interfaith, student, LGBT, labor and other groups are determined to preserve basic human rights and economic dignity, good jobs and strong communities, a fair economy and retirement security.  Supporters from as far away as Egypt have delivered free pizzas to protesters occupying the Wisconsin Capitol.

 

Jobs with Justice coalitions have been mobilizing in Indiana, Ohio and Wisconsin.  At this writing, Democratic lawmakers in Wisconsin and Indiana are boycotting their legislative sessions, to prevent radical undermining of worker rights.

In Indiana, JwJ activists led a sit-in

Tuesday.  On Wednesday, the 3rd straight day of rallies, JwJ members were among 10,000 supporters who packed the halls of government.  “Hall of Fame’ banners, featuring House Democrats that have boycotted the session in protest, were dropped from balconies, followed by “Hall of Shame” banners listing the anti-worker bills. 

Two of the 11 anti-worker bills have been killed (for now).  Unfortunately, Gov. Mitch Daniels just signed into law a plan to reduce unemployment benefits by 25% -- but give tax breaks to businesses.

 

Ohio JwJ activists were among the crowd that swamped the statehouse two weeks in a row.  Tuesday, JwJ helped coordinate student groups; GESO, Free the Planet, Defend Ohio, and Ohio Student Environmental Coalition.  See www.jwjblog.org for more press coverage and updates.

 

JwJ and allies are organizing support rallies across the country, e.g.: 

In Boston, over 2000 people mobilized in solidarity with Wisconsin yesterday. 

Wednesday in Washington, DC, JwJ helped mobilize 1,000 people for the “We Are One” rally in front of the Wisconsin Governor’s DC office. 

  Workers, students, immigrant rights activists, community leaders, and individual activists gathered in solidarity with Wisconsin workers and all who are under attack by governors and state legislatures.  Chicago JwJ and the Chicago Federation of Labor sent 2 busloads of people to Madison on Monday.

 

See a sampling of photos from protests:    here,   here

 

The corporate-funded effort to undermine worker justice is long-term.  Our mobilization must continue and grow.  Get involved:

 

·                    Join the “Save the American Dream” day of action, Saturday, February 26, led by Move-On and sponsored by JwJ and other groups. 

o       Contact your local JwJ coalition or Move-On to find an event near you.

·                    Get your friends to sign up for the JwJ “I’ll Be There” pledge

·                    You can Plan a solidarity action and let us know by emailing naomi@jwj.org .

Indy Dems at College of Law on Tuesday

 
Two Indiana Democratic Representatives, Ed DeLaney and Matt Pierce, will speak at the College of Law Auditorium from noon till one on Tuesday, March 1.  They will give a short speech on why they are here and what they hope to accomplish.  They will also take questions from law students.

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