The protesters were engaged in civil disobedience in the nonviolent act
of sitting down in a city intersection:
"As the janitors began to sit down peacefully in the intersection, Houston Police Department mounted police charged violently into the intersection to break up the demonstration, endangering workers' lives and using their horses to physically intimidate the peaceful protestors."
At least one person is hospitalized from the police attack on 50 protesting strikers:
So far it has been confirmed that Hazel Ingram, an 83 year-old janitor from New York City, was rushed to Ben Taub Hospital for an injury sustained on her arm. Ms. Ingram is a 52-year member of SEIU Local 32BJ. She works for the cleaning firm Pritchard and is paid $19 an hour. There is an unconfirmed report that a second protestor also was taken to the hospital."
An unknown number of workers sustained injuries and bruises from horses stepping on them.
The janitors are in their 4th week of a strike to protest their poor working conditions of $20 a day with no health insurance. The janitors were "challenging Houston's real estate industry to settle the strike and provide 5,300 janitors in Houston with higher wages and affordable health insurance."
Bush's "compassionate conservatism" clearly has not trickled down to police"
People in the crowd reported that police officers seized one of the janitors' signs reading "Stand Up for the American Dream," threw it to the ground and stepped on it. The police officers were seen giving each other high fives after the incident.
Nor has it trickled down to corporate America that refuses to pay living wages to people responsible for the profits they reap on the backs of their workers:
"More than 1,700 SEIU janitors in Houston have been on strike since October 23 over civil rights abuses and a failure to bargain in good faith by their employers, the five national cleaning companies ABM, OneSource, GCA, Sanitors, and Pritchard. With five of the most influential players in Houston's commercial real estate industry refusing to intervene in the dispute, the workers' strike against five national cleaning firms is increasing in scope and intensity. In the highly competitive market of contract cleaning, it the building landlords that hire the cleaning firms that negotiate and set rates for janitors' wages and benefits. These five major landlords, Hines, Transwestern, Crescent, Brookfield Properties, and the oil giant Chevron, have the power to settle the strike by directing the cleaning contractors they hire to provide higher wages and health insurance all workers need to support their families."
It may just be the poor and abused workers of America who are our new civil rights leaders. We all need to listen ... and then take action...
Patriot Daily: News of the day, just a click away!
UPDATE ON RELATED ISSUE OF BAIL FOR STRIKERS ARRESTED:
In an effort to limit free speech rights, the DA set an unprecedented high bail of hundreds of thousands of dollars for the nonviolent strikers arrested while in past set lower bail for violent offenses and the standard bail for nonviolent protests by janitors was $500:
"In an unprecedented transparent attempt to severely limit the right to peaceful protest and freedom of speech of low-wage Houston janitors and their supporters, a Harris County District Attorney has set an extraordinarily high bond of $888,888 cash for each of the 44 peaceful protestors arrested last night."
"The combined $39.1 million bond for the workers and their supporters is far and above the normal amount of bail set for people accused of even violent crimes in Harris County. While each of the non-violent protestors is being held on $888,888 bail."
Sample of past amounts required for bail:
For a woman charged with beating her granddaughter to death with a sledgehammer, bail was set at $100,000;
For a woman accused of disconnecting her quadriplegic mother's breathing machine, bail was set at $30,000;
For a man charged with murder for stabbing another man to death in a bar brawl, bail was set at $30,000;
For janitors and protesters charged with Class B misdemeanors for past non-violent protests, standard bail has been set at $500 each.
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