The entire plaza at the State of Illinois building, 100 W. Randolph was packed as people stood shoulder to shoulder.
Most people were in good spirits; they were receptive to jokes, and very willing to talk to about anyone with a camera. Everyone had a message and most importantly, everyone was ready for a fight.
The crowd even began chanting “fight, fight, fight” at several points. According to Ryan Lee Williams, a Columbia College journalism alumni, the boiling point came when a woman he was photographed speaking, began to address progressive politics
and the labor movement.
At one point she shouted “You are all part of the labor movement,” according to Williams, eliciting loud cheers and boisterous sign waving from the crowd.
According to Williams, who was surrounded by people, the crowd was probably 1,000 people.
MoveOn.org had about 1,600 sign-ups prior to the rally, but many people were attracted by the scene and joined as passerbys. Most folks brought a friend.
One man with four young daughters explained to Williams that he had only signed up but had brought four other individuals along with him to the State of Illinois plaza.
[END OF UPDATE]
More than 40 local progressive groups, aiming to activate 2,000 protesters, are sponsoring
a local rally to “Save the American Dream” on Saturday, Feb 26, at the State of Illinois building, 100 W. Randolph at 12 noon.
Chicagotalks.org will post your live reports, if you call 312 436-1820 and give us your name and tell us what you see. You can send your photos to Chicagotalks flickr.com group and we will post those, too.
Rallies are planned across the country. On Friday afternoon, a search for “Save American Dream” yielded nearly 1000 entries, though there were several speaking against the protest, an unstatistical count showed them running about 5 to 1 in favor of the nationwide rallies.
The plan is to bring crowds to each state house in the nation to stand in solidarity with the people of Wisconsin. According to invitations, the idea is to “demand an end to the attacks on workers’ rights and public services across the country. Instead of tax breaks to corporations and the very rich who can avoid paying their fair share, these gathering are asking for adequate funding for education, police, emergency response and vital human services.”
To show solidarity, protesters are being urged to wear “Badger colors”, red and white, to confirm their identity with Wisconsin workers, the teachers, nurses, fire fighters, students, police officers and other public servants whose jobs, salaries and financial assistance are under the knife. The University of Wisconsin football team is know as the Badgers.
Sponsoring groups include MoveOn.Org, the AFL-CIO, Democracy for America, Jobs for Justice, the Energy Action Coalition, Media Matters, the Sierra Club, Common Cause, SEIU and 34 other local and national public interest groups.
If you are interested in attending, come out on SATURDAY, FEB. 25, at noon by State of Illnois building at100 W. RANDOLPH.
- Wisconsin Assembly Votes to Strip Unions of Collective Bargaining Power (chicagoist.com)
- Nation-Wide Rally to Save the American Dream Planned in Solidarity with Wisconsin (alternet.org)
- Robert Creamer: We Are All Part of the Labor Movement Now (huffingtonpost.com)