Tennessee’s legislature is considering a bill to take collective bargaining rights away from teachers. That brought out the usual pro-union protesters, but Tennessee responded a little differently from Wisconsin. (Admittedly, the cases were different in that these protesters were disrupting a Senate committee hearing, rather than just trashing the Capitol and threatening Republicans.) Seven of the protesters were arrested:
The seven arrested were among those who stood up during the hearing and began chants about “union busting” by the Legislature.
Most demonstrators left the hearing room after a half-hour, but a small group tried to lock arms to keep from being removed.
Troopers pulled the holdouts out of the room one by one, while lawmakers, lobbyists and other observers looked on. Several fellow protesters shouted: “Shame!” …
Republican Senate Speaker Ron Ramsey of Blountville in a statement said he supports the right to protest and assemble peacefully in Tennessee. But he said the protesters went too far.
“This General Assembly will not be intimidated by nomadic bands of professional agitators on spring break bent on disruption,” he said. “We talk through our differences here. Tennessee is not Wisconsin.”
Regardless of the intentions, Tennessee Highway Patrol Col. Tracy Trott said such behavior will not be tolerated in the Legislature.
“We’re going to make sure that the Legislature has an opportunity to conduct their business in a safe and secure way,” he later told reporters. “And whatever we have to do to ensure that we will.”
This one makes me laugh out loud:
Tamara Henderson of Chattanooga witnessed troopers handcuff her 25-year-old daughter, Ash-Lee Henderson, and drag her down the hallway of the Legislative Plaza. She likened it to “people in Mississippi and Alabama who were hosed'” during the Civil Rights Movement.
“That’s how I felt,” said elder Henderson, who became emotional as she spoke. “Any of you guys got kids? You ever seen your child in shackles?”
Right. Just like Selma. This is the second time around, at least, for the labor movement, and this time it’s farce.