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Local Unions Rally In Support Of Wisconsin Workers

By Alana Gomez, WBZ-TV

BOSTON (CBS) – Union supporters rallied at the Statehouse to support Wisconsin public workers Saturday afternoon.

The demonstration was a part of a larger movement to rally in every state capital throughout the country.

Several speakers addressed a large crowd that blocked off Beacon Street. A brass band played music and protesters chanted “Union!”

The cheering crowd meant a lot to Elizabeth Staudt and her husband Lowell Brower. The Cambridge couple is originally from Wisconsin and still has family there.

WBZ-TV’s Alana Gomez reports.

“Both of my parents are teachers and they’re being directly affected by it,” said Brower. “I’m worried about their job security.”

“It is a nationwide movement and even if the heart is in Wisconsin it’s definitely relevant everywhere,” said Staudt. “Seeing people here is inspiring and gives me hope.”

Wisconsin Republicans want to eliminate most collective bargaining rights for public sector workers.

State senate Democrats have fled to Illinois to block the bill from going any further.

Saturday’s rally in Boston was the second pro-union demonstration in a week.

A crowd gathered at the Statehouse Tuesday and clashed with a smaller number of anti-union activists.

Counter-protesters did not demonstrate at Saturday’s rally. Some local tea party members said they chose not to come out because of Tuesday’s confrontations.

“Everything started getting a little rowdy” said Carlos Hernandez, a member of the North Shore Tea Party. “We didn’t feel like we needed to be here because I think we made a statement.”

Tom Reynolds, A union elevator constructor showed up with his wife and two teenage sons.

“One of these days they may turn out to be union workers themselves,” said Reynolds.

Reynolds believes passing the bill in Wisconsin would endanger all unions. “It starts in one spot and then you got a little piece and it’s a slippery slope.”

Organizers said they are planning a series of future protests.


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