Friday, February 25, 2011

Union plucking

A crowd of union members, including myself were standing freezing our asses off tonight at the Division/Ruby split.
Hey, if that was you driving by honking, giving us the thumbs up, thanks. Or perhaps you were honking because it was so frigid that my upper lip had frozen and I didn't notice the sheep's legs running out of my nose until I got to the car. If you were honking to let me know, thanks for that too.
Really, all that was missing was a megaphone and some Wobbly songs, but I intend to fix that at future rallies. You could even stop by and get a song book, and maybe sing a couple tunes. I'll be the one dressed as Elizabeth Gurley Flynn, with the chains. You'll see me.
It was a good show of about 100 people, standing in solidarity with union members in Wisconsin. Numbers at the Capital Building there are estimated to swell later in the week to an estimated hundred thousand. I saw some youtube videos today on Democracy Now that made me all verklempt.

"This is what democracy looks like!"

And now's the time to step it up a notch, since the bill denying union collective bargaining was passed today in the assembly. Spooky. This is getting spooky. I am really getting spooked out now. Okay, I'm always the one who's up-in-arms about some thing or another, but this is serious.
The Koch Brothers are buying their way towards a non-union society. And it's working. And now I'm getting a little freaked out.
Most of the feedback from drivers tonight was positive. Still,  I couldn't help but notice some of the sour looks, the middle fingers, the head shakes.
Who were these people? I try to create a little of this world just as a fun exercise for the imagination, kind of like trying to imagine a bully in their underwear in a last ditch effort to disarm their potency. I had some fun for a little while reminiscing a photo essay from a 2004 Harper's magazine:

But then I just got depressed. It seemed macabre. Why would someone not be in favor of workers unionizing? I mean, I understand if you're already filthy rich why you don't need the union, but Ford Tempo lady, why don't you need it? It seems to me that a Wobbly song book might be exactly what you need.

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