Egyptian revolution inspires United States workers

This video from the USA says about itself:

Bill Fletcher Jr. at the Western NY Area Labor Federation

1 March 2014

On International Women’s Day (March 8, 2014), the Western New York Area Labor Federation, AFL-CIO, had special guest Bill Fletcher Jr. speak at their 2014 annual meeting.

According to, “Bill Fletcher Jr has been an activist since his teen years. Upon graduating from college he went to work as a welder in a shipyard, thereby entering the labor movement. Over the years he has been active in workplace and community struggles as well as electoral campaigns. He has worked for several labor unions in addition to serving as a senior staffperson in the national AFL-CIO.

“Fletcher is the immediate past president of TransAfrica Forum; a Senior Scholar with the Institute for Policy Studies; an editorial board member of; and in the leadership of several other projects. Fletcher is the co-author (with Peter Agard) of “The Indispensable Ally: Black Workers and the Formation of the Congress of Industrial Organizations, 1934-1941″; the co-author (with Dr. Fernando Gapasin) of “Solidarity Divided: The crisis in organized labor and a new path toward social justice”; and the author of “‘They’re Bankrupting Us’ — And Twenty other myths about unions.” Fletcher is a syndicated columnist and a regular media commentator on television, radio and the Web.”

The event took place at the UAW Region 9 union hall in Buffalo, NY.

By Laura Flanders in the USA:

Bill Fletcher Jr., Solidarity in Wisconsin and the Welfare Connection

Thursday 24 February 2011

“This could be the kind of social justice moment that many of us have been waiting for,” says Bill Fletcher, Jr. of the Center for Labor Renewal. He points out that the revolutions in Egypt and Tunisia are not just spreading to Libya, locked in a deadly struggle with its own dictator, but in Ohio, Wisconsin, and around the US. “People are picking up on the energy and the audacity of the democratic revolt,” he notes.

Bill joins Laura in studio to discuss the fight in Libya, the connections to labor uprisings in Wisconsin, Ohio, and Indiana, and why progressives have an opportunity now that can’t be let slide.

The lower house of the Wisconsin state legislature voted overwhelmingly early Friday morning to approve legislation demanded by Republican Governor Scott Walker that will slash wages and benefits and effectively abolish collective bargaining for public employees throughout the state: here.

Slideshow: The demonstrations in Madison, Wisconsin: here.

Voices of the Protest: Delivering Moral Support in a Steady Stream of Pizzas: here.

More than 100,000 Rally in Wisconsin. AFL-CIO NOW BLOG: here.

Rupert Murdoch and David Koch Collude Against Wisconsin Workers: here.

3 thoughts on “Egyptian revolution inspires United States workers


    The infamous billionaire Koch brothers founded “Americans for Prosperity,” but cut off the part about it being “prosperity for the few.”

    This came to mind as I was reading an article in The New York Times this morning and saw a banner ad inviting readers to support Scott Walker. I clicked through and, of course, the web site was sponsored by Americans for Prosperity, which the Koch brothers still generously support.

    In fact, you might call the Koch brothers the backers of Walker’s campaign for governor in Wisconsin, just as GE invested in Ronald Reagan in grooming him as a political spokesman for corporatism. The prank phone call in which Walker was as responsive as a lapdog to the fake David Koch proved his obeisance to the billionaire brothers.

    Yet, today the Kochs are fighting back, claiming that they are being besmirched and that Walker is acting on his own. That’s kind of odd, since Americans for Prosperity, the right-wing Club for Economic Growth and FreedomWorks have all been playing a role in spreading propaganda on behalf of Walker’s effort to break the backs of unions.

    According to TPM, a spokesman for the Kochs defiantly asserted that the:

    Koch brothers were not “involved” with Walker’s controversial bill, but did say it is “clear Scott Walker is trying to do the right thing for Wisconsin.” He also said that while he and the Koch brothers founded and “support” Americans for Prosperity, which has been active in pro-Walker efforts, they are not involved in the group’s day to day activities.

    For eight years under Bush, the Koch brothers and their oligarchical comrades had a chance to bring prosperity to America – and, instead, helped drive our economy into the ground, leave millions jobless and erode the earning power of what’s left of the middle class.

    The real name of “Americans for Prosperity” should be “Billionaires for Control of the Government by the Wealthy.”

    That is an oligarchy. Technically, it’s really a plutocracy.

    But anyway you look at it, it’s a form of government that is a throw back to the European models of rule by the privileged few against which America rebelled.

    It was the basis of our revolution.

    Mark Karlin
    Editor, BuzzFlash at Truthout



    We Are Public Employees Too!

    “Iraq Veterans Against the War (IVAW) calls on all U.S. military service members to refuse and resist any mobilization against workers organizing to protect their basic rights. IVAW stands in solidarity with the multitude gathered in Madison, Wisconsin and many other cities to defend their unions.”

    Iraq Veterans Against the War to Troops: “We Are Public Employees Too!”

    We believe military service members are public employees too. It is dishonorable to suggest that military personnel should be deployed against teachers, health care providers, firefighters, police officers, and other government employees, many of whom are themselves serving in the National Guard.

    Workers with prior military service often seek jobs in the public sector because government agencies are the only employers that follow hiring preferences for veterans as a matter of law. According to the Army Times, veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan are unemployed at a rate of 15.2%, higher than the national average. The picture is even worse for African American veterans who face nearly double the rate of unemployment. Protecting the rights of workers in public sector unions ensures that veterans have a chance to secure a decent job, earning a living wage and good benefits.

    Madison, WI is ground zero for a fight that will likely define the relationship between public sector unions and the governments that employ them for decades to come. Similar to the federal government’s defeat of the 1980 Professional Air Traffic Controllers Organization (PATCO) strike, which signaled the beginning of a thirty-year decline of real wages, benefits, and union membership for private sector workers. What happens in Madison today is likely to affect whether governments across the country can destroy a decent standard of living for public sector workers in the future.

    Governor Scott Walker recently stated that he was preparing the National Guard to respond to “labor unrest” following the introduction of union-busting legislation in Wisconsin. Governor Walker has attempted to justify this attack on collective bargaining by pointing to state budget shortfalls. Missing from this explanation is an acknowledgment that these deficits have been created and exacerbated by the ongoing trillion dollar wars and occupations in Iraq and Afghanistan. Meanwhile, federal and local governments across the U.S. are cutting back on the public sector.

    Troops have been called out in the past against worker strikes, campus protests, and urban uprisings. However, recent events in Egypt and numerous examples from U.S. history have shown that service members have the power to side with the people and refuse to use violence against their fellow citizens. Troops activated for duty in Madison, WI will have to decide if public sector workers are really the enemy. IVAW says they are not and that troops should support workers fighting for decent jobs, wages, and benefits.

    We know firsthand that the U.S. military is already overextended from a decade at war. Through our Operation Recovery campaign, we have been fighting for the right of our troops to heal, rather than being involuntarily redeployed with severe physical and psychological injuries. Adding another mission to an already overburdened military for the purposes of suppressing the rights of workers is irresponsible and not worthy of our service.

    If you are a service member facing mobilization or know someone in the military who is you can contact IVAW via email at or by phone at (646) 723-0989, M-F 10am-6pm EST.


  3. The Whole World is Watching!

    The Capitol Belongs to the People!

    Urgent: Protesters Inside Wisconsin Capitol Need Your Support

    Gov. Starts Punitive and Restrictive Measures

    The Wisconsin Finance Committee Announces Plans to Eject Protesters this Sunday at 4 P.M.

    Tell Gov. Walker, the Wisconsin Legislature and the Obama administration:

    For 12 straight days peaceful protesters: high school and college students, families with children, workers from all of the unions including teachers, state workers, nurses and firefighters have continued a 24 hour presence at the Capitol.

    The presence of the people inside is the only way to insure that the politicians and the bought and paid for Governor Walker heed the democratic will of the people.

    The Capitol belongs to the people! We built it: we paid for it.

    On Friday night, police were ordered to lock doors at 9 P.M. and to restrict people from bringing in bedrolls, blankets and air mattresses to make it more difficult for people to maintain their 24 hour people’s lobby.

    Prior to this, loudspeaker systems boomed all night long forcing people including the police to wear ear plugs.

    None of this has daunted the spirit of those who are participating in the occupation.

    But they need your support.

    Many inside are prepared to go to jail if need be.

    The time is critical-let Governor Walker, the Koch brothers and his rich cronies and all the politicians know that the whole world is watching!

    Stop punitive measures! Defend the democratic right of protesters to stay in the Capitol! Eject Walker instead! Defend workers rights! Kill the bill!

    In solidarity,

    Bail Out the People Movement

    Please donate! Go to

    Sign-up for updates at

    Bail Out the People Movement

    Solidarity Center
    55 W. 17th St. #5C
    New York, NY 10011


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