Is Wisconsin Our Egypt? 30,000 Demonstrate in Madison
(detailed coverage, video links, resources of actions in
Wisconsin and Around the Country (long)
1. Wisconsin and Other Actions Around the Country
Is Wisconsin Our Egypt? 15,000 Protest Off-the-Wall Right-
Wing Governor's Policies (Rose Aguilar in AlterNet)
2. Video - Inside the Wisconsin Capitol Today
AFL-CIO being there and reporting on the spot
3. Video - Ed Schultz Hammers Home the Importance of
4. Video - As Wisconsin Protests Continue, Obama Sides With
5. Wisconsin Worker Rallies Grow (AFL-CIO Blog News)
6. Crowd Swells in Madison -- Audio - Coverage of
Wisconsin's Rally for State Worker Rights (Workers
Independent News - WIN)
7. Inspired by Waves of Protests Across World, America's
Nurses Launch "Protest in the USA"
Is Wisconsin Our Egypt? 15,000 Protest Off-the-Wall Right-
Wing Governor's Policies
'I've never seen anything like it... there were
Steelworkers, Teamsters, Pipefitters, building
trades unions and more -- unions I've never seen at
a rally in 10 years.'
By Rose Aguilar
February 17, 2011
The people power in Wisconsin has become too big for the
local and national media to ignore. Just a few weeks ago,
Milwaukee Labor Press editor Dominique Paul North told me
that workers' rights rallies receive very little media
coverage compared to Tea Party rallies. Last month, over 700
people gathered outside the Wisconsin State Capitol to the
hold the state's first ever anti-inauguration rally, but it
got very little coverage in the local media. Numbers clearly
On February 15, an estimated 15,000 citizens, including
union and non-union workers, surrounded the state capitol to
express opposition to Republican Governor Scott Walker's
plan to strip the state's 175,000 public employees of almost
all of their collective bargaining rights and require them
to make larger contributions to their pensions and health
"In Wisconsin we're smart enough to know the truth. We know
what this is all about. It's about breaking the back of the
middle class," AFSCME International president Gerald McEntee
told the crowd. [Watch WBAY-TV's coverage.]
Mike Imbrogno, a shop steward in AFSCME Local 171, told the
Socialist Worker's Aongus O'Murchadha how union members
surged inside the capital building, chanting their demands.
"I've never seen anything like it. It wasn't just teachers
and union members from the University of Wisconsin (UW),
where I work. There were Steelworkers, Teamsters,
Pipefitters, building trades unions and more--unions I've
never seen at a rally in 10 years," he said. "The most
amazing thing is when the firefighters came in a delegation.
Along with police, Walker has exempted firefighters from the
legislation, but they came with signs that said,
'Firefighters for workers' rights.' People were crying."
Nearly 800 Madison East High School students walked out of
class to join the demonstration. "Last time I checked
Madison was the new Cairo," said senior Riley Moore, whose
mother is a Madison teacher and father works for UW-Madison.
Viroqua high school students walked out of class and marched
to the Vernon County Courthouse where they gave speeches and
were joined by business owners and city employees. "If
teachers are willing to stand by us when we need them, we as
students need to stand by teachers when they need us," said
student organizer Luke Cleiber, in an interview with WXOW.
They were back in class by 11am.
That night, about 1,000 citizens, including teachers, nurses
and other public employees, gathered outside of Governor
Walker's home in Wauwatosa chanting, "Kill the bill," and
carrying signs saying, "Stop the attack on workers' rights."
On February 16, Madison public schools were closed because
40 percent of teachers and staff called in sick to protest
On February 13, at least 100 union workers in Horicon
marched in front of the home of Republican State Speaker
Jeff Fitzgerald to protest the plan. "I've got a message for
Scott Walker. This is my union card and you can pry it from
my cold dead hand," organizer Colin Millard said to the
crowd once they reached Fitzgerald's home.
The AP reports that Fitzgerald wasn't home and he declined
an interview request from WTMJ.
On February 14, more than 1,000 people, including students,
teaching assistants and professors from the University of
Wisconsin-Milwaukee marched to the governor's door to
express their opposition. "I have two pre-existing
conditions and cannot buy health care on the open market,"
Karen Outzen, a research associate who joined UWM in July,
told the crowd. In an interview with JSOnline, Outzen said
her health insurance, the only source of coverage for her
husband, an electrician who was laid off last year, and her
children, would be eliminated under Governor Walker's
In a separate rally that same day, a coalition of groups
presented the governor with the "heartless award" for his
proposed plan to rollback the state's Family and Medical
Leave Act. Under the plan, employees working less than 25
hours a week would lose access to family leave.
The Washington Post's Harold Meyerson writes, "In Egypt,
workers are having a revolutionary February. In the United
States, by contrast, February is shaping up as the cruelest
month workers have known in decades."
Other actions you may have missed this month
-On February 1, just minutes before 250 citizens, including
nurses, patients, and health advocates, gathered outside of
Blue Shield's corporate headquarters in San Francisco, the
company announced plans to delay raising health insurance
rates by 59 percent for two more months. The announcement
comes a week after Pacific Care, Anthem, and Aetna also
agreed to postpone rate hikes for two months. California's
insurance commissioner Dave Jones is currently reviewing the
increases to determine whether they are necessary, but he
doesn't have the authority to stop them.
"We are here because this is the scene of corporate crime.
The bean counters upstairs don't sit at the bedside and hold
the hands of our patients," said DeeAnn McEwen, co-president
of the California Nurses Association/National Nurses United
(CNA/NNU). "A 60-day delay is a small victory, but it won't
alleviate the pain experienced by patients every day who
must endure callous price increases and care denials by an
industry that cares more about its bottom line than the
patients it purports to serve."
"Blue Shield's announcement today won't stop protests
against Blue Shield or other insurance corporations," said
CNA/NNU executive director Rose Ann DeMoro. "We can learn a
lesson from the streets of Egypt and other Arab countries.
Public pressure is essential to confront tyranny, whether
you are faced with political repression or corporate control
of our health. There are lives in the balance. We can't
count on legislators, regulators, courts or the lobbyists.
We have to rely on the mobilization of people to stop these
insurance abuses and step up the call for genuine reform,
expanding Medicare to cover everyone."
At the rally, a number of people with Blue Shield insurance
said they can no longer afford the premiums. Kerry Abukhalaf
said her family's monthly rate increased from $420 to $540
in January. Before the delay was announced, she was notified
that her rate would increase to $640 in March. "Our
insurance is completely not worth the price. We pay almost
half what we pay for rent," she said with her son in her
arms. "It's just a big rip-off. We may just throw our
chances to the wind and find insurance for our son and pay
out of pocket for my husband and myself."
Members of groups including Healthcare Now, the San
Francisco Labor Council, Consumer Watchdog, and Physicians
for a National Health Program, also attended the rally.
According to a new CNA/NNU report, seven of California's
main insurers rejected almost 13 million claims, or 26
percent of claims submitted in the first three quarters of
"These rejection rates demonstrate one reason medical bills
are a prime source of personal bankruptcies as doctors and
hospitals will push patients and their families to make up
what the insurer denies," said McEwen. The national reform
law signed by President Obama last spring has, to date, had
no impact on the high pace of insurance denials."
WellPoint, the parent company of Blue Shield of California
and Anthem Blue Cross beat Wall Street's expectations after
it reported revenue of $14.42 billion. Fourth-quarter net
income was $548 million. Aetna's fourth quarter net income
increased to $215 million from 165 million last year. "It is
a very good time for profits in the health-insurance
industry," Robert Laszewski, president of consulting firm
Health Policy and Strategy Associates LLC, said in an
interview with the Wall Street Journal.
The Blue Shield action received local TV and print coverage.
Watch video and hear from people who can no longer afford
--On February 7, a few dozen citizens, including consumer
advocate and presidential candidate Ralph Nader, greeted
President Obama with chants as he walked across Lafayette
Square to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce where he told the
CEOs of multi-national corporations that he's convinced "we
can and must work together." Members of National Nurses
United and Single Payer Action shouted, "What about single
payer, Mr. President? Stop caving to the corporations. What
about your pledge for single payer? Stop buckling to the
"I don't think a U.S. president has ever walked from the
White House to pay homage to the business barons. Usually, a
president has enough character to say to the corporate
barons, 'Would you come and meet in the White House?' So
symbolically, it's like a transfer of overt power to the
corporate barons who've been opposing almost everything he's
proposing," said Nader. "The fact that he snubbed the AFL-
CIO headquarters which is right around the corner, whose
member unions represent 13 million workers all over the
country, sends us a message - that he'll pay homage to his
adversaries and continue to turn his back on his supporters
because he knows his supporters have no where to go. They
are not going to vote Republican in 2012, so that's
disrespect for his supporters."
"We're protesting the fact that we want our President to pay
more attention to what's happening to working people in this
county and to not kowtow to the Chamber," said Donna Smith,
community organizer and legislative advocate with the
California Nurses Association/National Nurses United.
Single Payer Action reports that the President walked within
a couple hundred feet of the protesters and waved to them.
National media outlets reported that the President was
hoping to ">"mend ties" with the Chamber even though the
administration's economic team is filled with Wall Street
executives and most multi-nationals have posted better-than-
expected fourth-quarter profits, but none of the reporters
who covered the speech bothered to interview the protesters
Watch video from Stop the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.
--On February 8, some 2,000 teachers and public school
supporters packed the Indiana statehouse to oppose
Republican Governor Mitch Daniels' proposal to drastically
change the state's education system. His plan includes
restrictions on collective bargaining, performance-based pay
for teachers, and a publicly funded voucher system that
could be used to send students to charter schools. The South
Bend Tribune reports that teachers jeered when the
Republican-controlled House approved a bill that would
expand charter schools.
The Indiana State Teachers Association's Nate
Schnellenberger told WLFI-TV that the political debate is
not about education reform. "It's much more about
diminishing our rights as educators to do what we know is
right in the classroom and to share our expertise with our
administrators," he said.
Democratic Representative Craig Fry told the South Bend
Tribune that collective bargaining is really at the root of
the push for education reform. "The bottom line in this
whole thing is the Republicans want to destroy the teachers
unions," he said. "They can say whatever they want, but the
bottom line is they want to destroy the teachers unions
because of politics."
Teachers from across the state traveled to Indianapolis to
attend the rally, which was organized by state unions and
the PTA, and express their frustrations. "We are very
concerned they are trying to destroy public education
without having a working knowledge of what is going on in
public education," said Sande Bemis, an English teacher at
Riverton Parke Junior-Senior High School, in an interview
with The Tribune-Star. "I think it's critically important we
take a stand and let them know teachers aren't just going to
roll over and accept this."
Hundreds of teachers rallied across the street from the
courthouse in Martinsville on February 14 to keep the
momentum going and show their support for public education.
"Today's event is to get a positive message out, that our
schools do work," said Justin Oakley, an eighth-grade
teacher, in an interview with WRTV.
More than 600 steelworkers gathered in the Indianapolis
Statehouse on February 15 to oppose what they called the
Republican's "anti-worker agenda."
"Our people have worked hard and long," said steelworker
Terie Creal in an interview with the AP. "We don't want to
give back our rights." --Also on February 8, hundreds of
citizens gathered in Frankfort, Kentucky to express
opposition to Senate Bill 6, which would allow law
enforcement to check anyone they "suspect" is undocumented.
"There are many of us in the House of Representatives who
will not sit quietly and let this Senate Bill 6 see the
light of day," said Democratic Representative Reginald
Meeks. "We will not stand by and promote racism and
inequality and injustice being done to you, the citizens of
the commonwealth of Kentucky."
Check out photos and a video from the Stop SB6 Rally.
--And 200 people with disabilities, their family members,
and caregivers demonstrated outside the gates of Northern
California's San Quentin State Prison to protest a plan to
build a new $356 million death row facility, while cutting
services for the disabled.
"If they keep cutting, the day centers and group homes won't
be able to afford to keep their doors open, and there is
nowhere for these people to go," said Denise Scussel of
Tamalpais Valley, in an interview with the San Jose Mercury
Scussel's daughter Christina, 27, is neurologically impaired
and spends her days at Marin Ventures. "Really and truly, my
daughter loves this program," Scussel said. "It's her life."
--On February 9, 400 immigrants and their supporters from 41
legislative districts in Washington gathered at the state
Capitol in Olympia to call on the legislature to oppose
budget cuts and anti-immigration legislation. According to
The News Tribune, Democratic Governor Chris Gregoire's
proposed budget would cut health insurance for 27,000
undocumented children, eliminate state funding for medical
interpreters, cut job preparation programs for refugees, and
eliminate state-funded services that help immigrants and
low-income refugees apply for citizenship. Those attending
the rally also expressed opposition to legislation that
would require people to verify their immigration status
before they could get a driver's license.
--On February 10, 23 workers, clergy, and community
supporters were arrested for blocking the front entrance to
the Hyatt Regency hotel in downtown San Francisco. Over 350
workers picketed the hotel for refusing to settle a contract
with 700 of its San Francisco hotel workers. According to
Unite Here! Local 2, it's been over a year and a half since
the last contract expired, but Hyatt management continues to
propose contracts that would increase health care costs for
workers by hundreds of dollars a month, freeze pensions, and
increase workloads. All three Hyatts in San Francisco are
According to Labor Notes, workers in seven cities, from
Chicago to Honolulu held similar actions. "In San Antonio,
Texas, workers put the focus on excessive workloads that
cause injuries. They marched into the Hyatt Regency lobby,
carrying nine-foot-tall "body maps"-posters of room
attendants dotted with "Ouch" stickers where workers report
common injuries. Arm, shoulder, and back injuries due to a
speedup are the most often reported," writes Jenny Brown.
In Los Angeles, 550 hotel workers and their supporters
surrounded the doors of the Hyatt Regency Century Plaza,
while protesters dropped a banner from a hotel room reading,
"Hyatt--Stop Hurting Housekeepers."
In Honolulu, 400 union workers marched outside the Hyatt
Regency Waikiki and occupied the lobby to highlight safety
concerns. KITV reports that last November, Hyatt
housekeepers in Honolulu and seven other cities on the
mainland filed injury complaints with the U.S. Occupational
Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), reporting
repetitive motion, back injuries and other ailments suffered
on the job. OSHA logs recorded 750 injuries at 12 Hyatt
hotels in eight different cities between 2007-2009.
According to UNITE-HERE, the union representing over 100,000
workers in more than 900 hotels in North America, at some
Hyatt hotels, room attendants are required to clean as many
as 30 rooms a day, nearly double what is commonly required
in the industry.
--Also on February 10, two dozen members of the Black
Economic Council, the Latino Business Chamber of Greater Los
Angeles, and the National Asian American Coalition gathered
outside of Google's Mountain View, California headquarters
to call on technology companies to do a better job of hiring
people of color. The group also criticized Google, Apple,
and 20 other Silicon Valley companies for refusing to share
their work force diversity data with them. According to a
report in the San Jose Mercury News, the groups are asking
the government to force the companies to disclose their
A report in the Mercury News last year, based on the
combined work force date from 10 of Silicon Valley's largest
corporations--including Intel, Hewlett-Packard, and eBay--
found that Hispanics and blacks made up a smaller share of
high-tech workers in 2008 than they did in 2000, even as
their share grew across the country. By 2005, only about
2,200 of the 30,000 Silicon Valley-based workers at those 10
companies were black or Hispanic. The share of women at
those 10 companies declined to 33 percent in 2005, from 37
percent in 1999.
According to the report, of the 5,907 top managers and
officials in the Silicon Valley offices of the 10 large
companies in 2005, 296 were black or Hispanic, a 20 percent
decline from 2000, according to U.S. Department of Labor
work-force data obtained by the Mercury News through a
Freedom of Information request.
--On February 12, thousands of North Carolinians marched
through downtown Raleigh to protest state budget cuts and
rally for a 14-point progressive agenda, including universal
health care, affordable housing, immigrations rights,
educational equality, jobs, and equal protection under the
law. According to the News & Observer, the NAACP and a
coalition of more than 100 organizations from across the
state met for the Historic Thousands on Jones Street rally,
which also commemorated the 102nd anniversary of the NAACP.
"We will challenge Democrats who are not progressive, and we
will challenge Republicans who attempt to revise history,
saying that you are back in power after 100 years of
absence," said North Carolina NAACP President Rev. William
Barber. "This is the people's house. It's not their house.
And it's so important we hear from all the people."
"Look at Egypt. That's a perfect example. Talk about the
power of the people," said University of North Carolina at
Chapel Hill student Rachel Holtzman, in an interview with
--On February 14, hundreds of Kentuckians marched several
blocks to the state Capitol to take part in the "I Love
Mountains" rally and demand an end to mountain top removal.
The march took place as 14 environmental activists,
including 76-year-old Kentucky author of poet Wendell Barry,
ended a three-day sit-in at the governor's office. "We visit
with the legislators and nothing happens," said Berry.
"There at least needs to be a debate."
Environmental groups say surface mining has buried more than
2,000 miles of Appalachian streams. "The bigger issue, I
think, is that it's killing a culture. It's changing a
people's way of life," said Kentucky author and playwright
Slias House. "We identify as mountain people, and when those
are taken away, what do we have left?"
"It's about the oldest most bio diverse mountain range in
the world being destroyed," said protester Mickey McCoy.
"And it's about the cancer rates and other disease these
carcinogenic heavy metals are causing."
The Courier-Journal reports that in an impromptu 20-minute
meeting with Berry and the other protesters on February 11,
Democratic Governor Steve Beshear said he believes "surface
mining can be done in a responsible way." At the group's
request, the governor has agreed to meet with people who are
affected by strip mining, but he declined a request to
withdraw from a lawsuit against the Environmental Protection
Agency over the Clean Water Act.
--On February 14, 300 victims of domestic abuse and sexual
assault and their supporters marched on the Texas Capitol to
urge lawmakers to continue funding family violence programs
and crisis centers across the state. Members of the Texas
Council on Family Violence and the Texas Association Against
Sexual Assault said the programs and centers save lives and
can't survive if their budgets are cut. One rape occurs
every hours in Texas, reports KVUE.
--Affordable housing advocates in 19 cities, including San
Francisco, California, Dallas, Texas, New Orleans,
Louisiana, and Portland, Maine, gathered to demand an end to
drastic cuts to Section 8 and public housing, and to ask
lawmakers to "Have a Heart, Save Our Homes." According to
the National Alliance of HUD Tenants, the new Republican-led
House leadership has proposed to cut as much as $100 billion
from the 2011 budget. This could cut off 750,000 Section 8
tenants from federal assistance, according to the Center for
Budget and Policy Priorities. The Obama administration's new
budget calls for an additional 5 percent cut to HUD and a $1
billion reduction from the $4 billion Community Development
Block Grant program, which funds local housing programs.
The actions in the larger cities received some media
attention, but overall, they failed to receive the coverage
--On February 15, 45 NARAL Pro-Choice California supporters
gathered outside of Republican Representative Dan Lungren's
district office in Gold River, California to oppose his
support of the current anti-choice, anti-women agenda in
Congress. Rep. Lungren is co-sponsor of three anti-choice
measures that would severely limit women's access to
reproductive health services, cut funding to family planning
and allow hospitals to deny a woman abortion care even if
her life is in danger.
"Instead of focusing on jobs and the economy, Dan Lungren
has chosen to back an extreme anti-choice agenda that is an
assault on the personal, private decisions of women in
California," said Amy Everitt, state director of NARAL Pro-
Choice California. "Lungren, whose priorities are wildly out
of touch with his district and with California, needs to be
held accountable for his support of these outrageous bills."
NARAL supporters were met by abortion opponents who held
signs perpetuating the lie that abortion causes breast
cancer. [Watch video from the Sacramento Bee.]
In Seattle, Washington, 90 people lined the streets in front
of Planned Parenthood to support the health center and
oppose a Republican amendment to cut all of its federal
funding. The Seattle rally was one of eight statewide,
according to the Seattle Times.
The House is scheduled to vote on the amendment this week.
A number of pro-choice organizations including Planned
Parenthood and NARAL Pro-Choice NY have called for a mass
rally for women's health in New York City on Saturday,
If you know of any future planned actions and rallies, email
[log in to unmask]
[Rose Aguilar is the host of Your Call, a daily call-in
radio show on KALW 91.7 FM in San Francisco and KUSP 88.9 FM
in Santa Cruz, and author of Red Highways: A Liberal's
Journey into the Heartland.]
* Inside the Wisconsin Capitol Today
If you want some inspiration from what is happening in WI
check out a little youtube from one of our young WI staff
who is inside the capitol today.
AFL-CIO Leadership Institute
[log in to unmask]
* Ed Schultz Hammers Home the Importance of Wisconsin
Last night MSNBC host Ed Schultz spent his show's hour
focusing on the unprecedented people power being
demonstrated in Wisconsin. He covered every angle from the
media's ignoring domestic left-wing protests, to the over-
hyping of the "financial crisis" in the State of Wisconsin,
to the absence of Democratic "fire" and leadership on the
issue of labor.
Schultz says that this is a fight for the "soul of America."
Watch the first segment below, and the rest of the show at
* As Wisconsin Protests Continue, Obama Sides With Workers
Sarah Seltzer | Sourced from AlterNet
Posted at February 17, 2011, 7:28 am
In a video posted by local Wisconsin radio station WTMJ,
President Obama firmly sided with striking public-sector
workers in Wisconsin who are protesting the heinous proposal
from the Governor's office to strip their collective
bargaining rights. Today, as the first votes on this
proposal were scheduled, another march of tens of thousands
of employees was planned--and schools were again closed as
teachers called in sick en masse to lobby.
While the President acknowledged that pay-freezes and
adjustments were necessary to avoid layoffs, he said:
Some of what I've heard coming out of Wisconsin, where
you're just making it harder for public employees to
collectively bargain generally seems like more of an
assault on unions. And I think it's very important for
us to understand that public employees, they're our
neighbors, they're our friends. These are folks who are
teachers and they're firefighters and they're social
workers and they're police officers.
"They make a lot of sacrifices and make a big
contribution. And I think it's important not to vilify
them or to suggest that somehow all these budget
problems are due to public employees."
Read an update on the protests at the New York Times.
* Wisconsin Worker Rallies Grow
AFL-CIO Blog News
Feb. 17, 2011
Tens of thousands of Wisconsin workers, students and allies
are in the third day of a massive protest against Gov. Scott
Walker's (R) attempt to decimate the rights of state workers
and undermine the middle class. In state after state, we're
seeing the same strokes. Working families in Ohio will rally
today against similar legislation from Gov. John Kasich (R).
Thousands Continue Wisconsin Action for Workers' Rights
Wisconsin Rally for Workers Grows to 30,000
Kasich Calls Police Officer an 'Idiot'
Republican Budget Proposal Attacks Middle Class, Destroys
Unemployed Can't Get Jobs Because They Are...Unemployed
* Crowd Swells in Madison
Audio - Coverage of Wisconsin's Rally for State Worker Rights (Workers Independent News - WIN)
Just got off the phone with the Frank Emspak of Workers Independent News (WIN) labor radio and he says it looks like today's crowd in Madison to protest Gov. Scott Walker's attack on workers' rights could grow bigger than yesterday's. About three blocks from the main plaza by the Capitol, the streets are jammed. In fact, there are so many people, cell phone coverage is spotty at best.
Check out WIN's latest from Madison here.
* Inspired by Waves of Protests Across World,
America's Nurses Launch "Protest in the USA"
For Immediate Release
February 17, 2011
Contact: Shum Preston, 510-273-2276
or Liz Jacobs, RN, 510-273-2232
National Nurses United Aims to Draw Together Grassroots
Protests From Across Country in Support of Democracy,
Healthcare, Workers' Rights, Human Rights
Activists and Advocacy Groups Invited to Contribute via
Inspired by the surge of popular protests around the world
and in states like Wisconsin against out-of-touch corporate
and political power, America's union of registered nurses
today launches a newsline designed to help coordinate and
encourage grassroots protests in the United States.
The newsline will be live at www.Twitter.com/ProtestInTheUSA
and bring together notices, reports, and videos from
protests concerning democracy, healthcare, workers' rights,
and human rights, among other issues, the 160,000-member
National Nurses United (NNU) announces. All individuals and
groups in favor of basic democratic values are invited to
join and share protests.
Rose Ann DeMoro, executive director of NNU explained, "Now
that the people of Egypt have spoken, we can truly say
denial is too often the face of the political and media
elite in America. With so many families and working people
in America in trouble, with the recession, healthcare
crisis, staggering disparity in income, and the ongoing
corporate chokehold of our economic and political structure,
more and more people will be taking to the streets calling
for real change. If you're not protesting, you're not
paying attention. It's up to all of us to help spread the
"The time is not just right-the times are demanding this,"
said Jean Ross, RN, a co-president of NNU. "We have an
ongoing healthcare crisis, we have Social Security and
Medicare threatened by corporate lobbyists and their
Congressional allies, we have widening disparity between
rich and poor, and we have a concerted effort to strip
nurses and other workers of our collective bargaining
rights. Now's the time to stand up, speak out, and protest
in the USA."
"Some might ask, why are nurses taking this kind of
initiative to empower and publicize protests across the USA,
and the answer is simple: it is our professional and ethical
obligation. Our patients, and democracy, are under attack,
working people are hurting, and the ability of the RN to
provide appropriate levels of care for patients is
weakened," said Karen Higgins, RN, co-president of NNU.
"The Code of Ethics for Nursing tells us, 'The nurse
promotes, advocates for, and strives to protect the health,
safety, and rights of the patient...(and) is responsible for
articulating nursing values...(and) for shaping social
Deborah Burger, RN, also co-president of NNU added, "I'm
inspired in this project by the words of Dr. King: 'To cure
injustices, you must expose them before the light of human
conscience and the bar of public opinion.' So true. What
I've learned from Egypt-and from the brave workers up in
Wisconsin-is that we everyday people have far more power
than we might think, and it's time to exercise it to cure
injustices-and we can do that by pouring into the streets to
protest, exercising our power as people, together in one
voice, maintaining our commitment to lift up the least among
Lauren Reid | Communications Department
California Nurses Association/National Nurses United
2000 Franklin Street
Oakland, Ca 94612
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