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When the year began, the Koch boys and the radical right-wing Republicans in the Pennsylvania state legislature had a plan to quick hit the labor movement with their legislation to deny dues deduction to public employee unions, destroy those unions, and much of Pennsylvania unions’ political muscle.

The Right-wingers intended to strike quickly, move the proposed legislation by threatening moderate Republicans with primary opposition, and promising unlimited funds to their supporters.

It was a strategy made possible by the Citizens United Supreme Court decision, which held that corporations are people and money is speech; therefore corporations can spend any amount of money they want to in any election.

Surely the worst Supreme Court decision since the Dred Scott decision that helped to start the Civil War, Citizens United appeared to be a super highway to plutocracy, government by, for and of the uber rich with nothing but poverty for the rest of us.

But 1199 President Henry Nicholas called for a news conference warning of the legislation at the state Capitol to be turned into a mass mobilization, and on January 28th 3000 union members and allies flooded the state Capitol and Capitol grounds. We overflowed the Capitol, and caused Capitol police to lock the doors, business to stop, the halls to ring with chants and shouts, and the Koch boys surprise move to be busted. 300 of the 3000 people at the Capitol had come from 1199, but union members from every economic sector were there.

The Koch boys were stopped.

Don’t ever let anyone tell you that righteous mobilizations and demonstrations don’t work. They just worked in Pennsylvania with multiple rallies going on simultaneously in the Rotunda, downstairs, and outside. Union members in their work clothes filled every hall and corner. The Koch boys were defeated by people power in the first battle of Pennsylvania.

The Koch boys obviously wanted to cripple the political power of unions in the key presidential swing state of Pennsylvania on their way to recreating the Presidential electoral map. They knew that a map favoring Republicans would allow them to guide a right-wing puppet through the Republican nominating process, and make a mockery or a tragedy of democracy in America.

The first battle is won, but now both sides are hunkering down for the long legislative maneuvering in an election year. The Koch boys don’t have the votes yet, but they aren’t finished and neither is the labor movement. With a constant barrage of phone calls, legislative meetings, leaflets at every worksite, letters, and deep education, the labor movement is pushing throughout the session this year to stop this awful anti-democratic legislation. And we’re pushing to elect a state legislature that won’t pass union-crippling legislation and a Governor who would never sign it.

Stay tuned to this site for the news on this incredibly important fight.

Photo by DonkeyHotey on Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

Originally posted to StewartAcuff on Mon Mar 03, 2014 at 06:04 AM PST.

Also republished by DKos Pennsylvania.

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