CROCKETT and SAN FRANCISCO, CA 4/4/11 -- Over a thousand events took place across the U.S. on April 4 to support the workers and unions in Wisconsin and the Midwest, where Republican-dominated state governments are trying to eliminate collective bargaining for public workers, and cut their healthcare and pensions.
In California alone, almost every central labor council organized a rally or march. Two of them took place in Crockett and San Francisco. The events were all called "We Are One" to draw attention to the solidarity of workers and unions nationally in facing this attack.
In Crockett, unions and their supporters marched from each side of the Zampa Memorial Bridge. Union members from the central labor and building trades councils of Contra Costa County marched from one side, and from the Napa/Solano and North Bay councils from the other. As big rig trucks thundered past across the bridge, they blew their horns, while people in cars waved and cheered. One sign summed up the spirit of the march and the connections made by U.S. workers to those around the world: "Fight Like an Egyptian!
In San Francisco, unions, centers for domestic workers, and civil rights and other community organizations marched through downtown San Francisco. As the march stopped in front of several banks, teachers from United Educators of San Francisco, longshoremen from the International Longshore and Warehouse Union and hotel housekeepers from UNITE HERE Local 2 were three among the many unions who condemned budget priorities favoring bailouts for banks and cutbacks in public services.
Civil rights attorney Eva Paterson joined Stephanie Bloomingdale, secretary-treasurer of the Wisconsin State AFL-CIO in recalling that April 4 marked the anniversary of the assassination of Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., who was killed while supporting a strike of public employees - garbage workers in Memphis, Tennessee.
(All photos by David Bacon)