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Georgia. Red, red Georgia. A state where, just days ago, a constituent asked a United States Congressman who would shoot the President of the United States.

Georgia. One of those 5 states you see retweeted over and over: "SAT/ACT ranks of 5 states that prohibit teacher collective bargaining: TX (47), GA (48), SC (50), NC (49), VA (44)." (edit: I have absolutely no idea if those ranks are accurate, and both NC and VA being that low would surprise me, but it's about reputation as much as anything.)

Georgia. Hardest of hardcore right to work states.

I wandered out to the Georgia State Capitol - the Gold Dome, apparently, though today was the first time I'd heard it called that - to see what kind of protest MoveOn could put together in support of unions, collective bargaining, and the people of Wisconsin. When I arrived, there were a few folks there. And this guy:


Oh. Sigh.

And, you know, a few of these folks:


But there were also a few of these folks in front of the Capitol:



A few of us:


And a few of them:


And a few of us:

IMG_3685 IMG_3687 IMG_3689 IMG_3696

And a few more of us:

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We had a few oopsies:


And this one, which scores a few sardonic points, but loses a few for the typo:


But Georgians kept showing up:

IMG_3737 IMG_3738

Along with Godwin:


And plenty who celebrate Atlanta as the home of Martin Luther King, Jr.


But mostly middle class Georgians, showing their support for Wisconsin:

IMG_3763 IMG_3766 IMG_3771 IMG_3776


IMG_3781 IMG_3782



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And, of course, This Guy, who always manages to make it:


I laugh, but this is what it's about:


Not this (over there, pretty much hidden by that truck):






I will say one thing about the Tea Party representatives. Well, I'll say a couple of things. First, they were dickish, but there were no guns, there was no violence or intimidation. Partial credit to the public safety officers working on the scene, but I'll also credit the Tea Party people who showed up to protest and not to fight. The most startling thing to me, though, was how few there were:

IMG_3891 IMG_3899

This is Georgia. But I'm starting to wonder if the assault on unions - not demands that we share equally in the present suffering but an outright assault on their existence - might be a step too far. There were, you might say, a lot of Joe the Plumbers in front of the Gold Dome with the pro-labor protestors.

And then there was this guy, who heckled the Tea Party group with what some might consider to be a politically incorrect sign:


But mostly it was these folks:

IMG_3902 IMG_3934

IMG_3942 IMG_3943


Georgia. America. Us.

PS. It's worth mentioning that in an hour and a half, there was only one camera crew and reporter, almost certainly local news. Keep in mind that you could toss a reasonably aerodynamic cat from where I was standing and hit CNN's HQ. This on a beautiful, spring-like day.

Originally posted to socratic on Sat Feb 26, 2011 at 02:55 PM PST.

Also republished by Pink Clubhouse and Kos Georgia.

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