Ohio, Wisconsin, Indiana protesters: 'Kill the bill!'
Tens of thousands of protesters are rallying in Wisconsin.
February 23rd, 2011
11:25 AM ET

Ohio, Wisconsin, Indiana protesters: 'Kill the bill!'

Thousands of protesters are chanting, drumming, singing, locking arms and waging campaigns against bills that would affect union rights in Ohio, Wisconsin and Indiana. CNN's iReporters are there, capturing the demonstrations from within the crowds.

Wisconsin: Facebook, Twitter and e-mail are playing a huge role in student involvement in the massive protests outside the state Capitol building in Madison. Watch protesters chant, "Kill the bill!" Three student walkouts were reportedly sparked by Facebook invitations that were sent across the University of Wisconsin-Madison Facebook page. Thousands are now standing, shouting and chanting in the city Wednesday, voicing their opposition to what Republican Gov. Scott Wilson calls a "Budget Repair" bill that would force state workers to increase their contributions to their pensions and health insurance benefits. Wilson said the bill must pass to head off a $3.6 billion budget gap by 2013 - and layoffs.

University of Wisconsin students have protested alongside teachers. Health care workers have shown up to rally, and dozens of other state employees are literally beating drums to express their opposition to the bill that would eliminate collective bargaining rights. Even Rage Against the Machine's guitarist is there. He wrote about why he's joined the demonstrators for CNN.com. And CNN's Tom Foreman penned this note to President Barack Obama about the protests. All-but-declared presidential candidate Rick Santorum compared protesters to drug addicts.

Indiana: Democratic members of the state House walked out yesterday on a Republican-supported bill that would reduce private-sector union rights and prevent unions from requiring workers to pay dues. Labor unions shouted, "You're fired!" at Republicans on Tuesday, according to the Indianpolis Star-Tribune. The paper filed a Q & A about the bill. The battle in this state is all about politics at this point - a political standstill.

Ohio: For the second week, crowds of teachers gathered in Columbus, shouting and chanting "Kill the bill!" Ohio is facing an $8 billion budget shortfall, and Republican Gov. John Kasich says that it has to pass to restore "balance" to the budget. Demonstrators have been yelling, "Teachers, yes! Kasich, no!" The measure is not about destroying unions, Kasich has repeatedly said. The legislation would allow school administrators to be able to ignore tenure when considering whether to lay someone off. The bill would also mandate that workers pay at least 20 percent of their health insurance premiums. Merit-based pay - though it's unclear how merit would be measured - would be given to some public employees.

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Filed under: Indiana • Ohio • Protest • Wisconsin
soundoff (84 Responses)
  1. banasy

    “Those who would destroy or further limit the rights of organized labor – those who would cripple collective bargaining or prevent organization of the unorganized – do a disservice to the cause of democracy.” -John F. Kennedy (1960)

    February 23, 2011 at 11:29 am | Report abuse |
    • RoadRunner, Albuquerque, NM

      BREAKING NEWS: AN AUDIO TAPE, CONFIRMED BY INDEPENDENT SOURCES, IS BEING AIRED ON TALK RADIO FEATURING GOV. WALKER IN WISCONSING TALKING BY PHONE TO SOMEONE WHO HE BELIEVES TO BE ONE OF THE KOCH BROTHERS, AND IN IT WALKER TALKS ABOUT ONE OF THE DEMOCRAT SENATORS WHO HE IS TRYING TO WIN OVER TO HIS STANCE, BUT HE ADVISES THE STAGED KOCH BROTHER CALLER NOT TO CONTACT THIS SENATOR, BECAUSE "HE IS NOT ONE OF US." WALKER FURTHER DISCLOSES THAT HE CONSIDERED PLANTING OPERATIVES IN THE CROWD OF UNION PROTESTORS, BUT DECIDED AGAINST IT BECAUSE IT HAD A RISK OF BACKFIRING ON HIM. THE TAPE IS PROOF BEYOND A DOUBT OF THE ANTI-AMERICAN SENTIMENTS OF GOV. WALKER, AND HIS COLLUSION WITH BIG MONEY FAT CAT INTERESTS BEING USED AGAINST THE PEOPLE OF WISCONSIN. THE MAINSTREAM, CORPORATE CONTROLLED MEDIA WILL PROBABLY TRY TO KILL THIS STORY, SINCE IT IS A BIG ONE.

      February 23, 2011 at 2:40 pm | Report abuse |
    • johnson707

      Government union workers are destroying state budgets all across the US. They should pay for their own benefits and pensions. The taxpayer won't do it anymore.

      February 23, 2011 at 5:20 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Lerie Taylor

    Who is making that democratic money while all these people are protesting?

    February 23, 2011 at 11:41 am | Report abuse |
  3. banasy

    They're protesting on their own time. The republic can't see anything wrong with *that*!

    February 23, 2011 at 11:47 am | Report abuse |
    • Eric

      Yes sir! Let it spread! Union workers built this country to watch be torn apart be greed and over aggressive deregulation. This is about maintain pride, respect and dignity, the laborers of America did not cause this crisis (we have never controlled enough of the capital to make such bad choices) and we shouldn't bare the burden of it's full weight.

      February 23, 2011 at 4:32 pm | Report abuse |
    • Non Union Eric

      Poor union members bearing the burden of employment for life, guaranteed pensions, and huge benefit packages on the backs of taxpayers.

      February 23, 2011 at 8:49 pm | Report abuse |
    • WINat

      Sorry, banasy but Wisconsin teachers and other State employees have been calling in sick to attend these rallies, so it is on the taxpayers dime. Schools have been closed because the there were not enough teachers to hold class.

      I read the story of the Indiana Prosecutor who lost his job over some live ammunition comment, meanwhile here in Wisconsin we had a Democrat State Senator, on record, threatening a female republican State Senator with "Your F–ing dead!" He later apologized but faces no discipline.

      Now we have Jesse Jackson, Michael Moore and every other nut case showing up here to support the unions. Why don't you all go to Washington and protest? The federal government does not allow collective bargaining for it's unions?
      Double standard?

      I agree with D Smith, only allow contributions from individual citizens and this argument would not happen. Big business and the Unions run this country with their money. Think how much these teachers would get paid without having to contribute to union dues.

      March 6, 2011 at 9:25 pm | Report abuse |
  4. ??

    February 23, 2011 at 11:48 am | Report abuse |
  5. King abdulla shopping gifts

    The bieber has a new haircut. The king has a gift for all and each american. Good times are guaranteed. Everyone loves free downloaded vaporware and truly talented artists of conviction. Good times and invest in the new stock market surge. Support america.. Down with the naysayers and pundits of gloom. Cnn is better than all the roadway overpriced cellphones that cause your driving to be a more hazardous experience.

    February 23, 2011 at 11:49 am | Report abuse |
  6. ??

    Lol!

    February 23, 2011 at 12:14 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Tired of Tyranny

    Santorum and Moammar Gadhafi have something in common: They think protesters are on drugs.

    February 23, 2011 at 12:35 pm | Report abuse |
  8. banasy

    Well, I hope we can safely cross him of the list of potential candidates for POTUS!

    February 23, 2011 at 12:48 pm | Report abuse |
    • Tired of Tyranny

      Timed to weed out the narrow minded.

      February 23, 2011 at 12:49 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Lynn

    Sure they want to ignore tenure. That way they can lay off the older, more experienced teachers and keep the ones that are less experienced and are lower on the pay scale. And then there's the gool ole boys club to consider. If you're a family member or friend etc your job is safe regardless of what kind of teacher you are. Merit will have nothing to do with anything...it will be even more of who you know than it already is.

    February 23, 2011 at 1:04 pm | Report abuse |
    • bds

      You refuse to look at the private sector, since when did Madison become the demographic population of the rest of Wisconsin? Where were you when the corporations where monopolizing the milk and beef industry? Look at other states who barley pay their teachers a decent wage. In shawno county, you have teachers making 70k. Right next to laid off laborer who made 22k on an average pay scale and had to pay for his benefits on top of that. What are you going to do when governor walker lays you off because The Wisconsin People can't afford you?? Go to Ohio or Michigan maybe?

      February 23, 2011 at 2:07 pm | Report abuse |
    • Eric

      Good for you in not looking to the private sector, because this is not a this is not a minimalist, walmart-esk, over trimmed cooperate driven system, this is our children's eduction. We want well funded public educational systems, and those people who work in our school are good teachers, with good hearts and they deserve the dignity and respect of collected bargaining.

      February 23, 2011 at 4:38 pm | Report abuse |
    • Non Union Eric

      Doesn't matter whether the teachers are good or bad. Crappy old teachers stay. Good young ones get excessed. Union's watching out for the welfare of the children.

      February 23, 2011 at 8:52 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Lynn

    And another thing....this is not just about teachers-we're talking about police, firefighters, nurses, people who drive the snowplows etc, and many others. Yes they are saying firefighters and police are basically exempt....but how long before they go after them too. What's next? Who's next. Think about it people.

    February 23, 2011 at 1:09 pm | Report abuse |
    • Expedition

      If anyone truly believes that collective bargaining by unions in THIS DAY & AGE is an effective way of setting a proper wage and benefits package, they should study what the UAW did to the US car industry. There are numerous examples of positions in the private sector with responsibilities analogous to the field of education. From individuals who do product & marketing training all the way up & down the management ladder equivalent responsibilities can be found. It is very unfair to burden the taxpayer working in the private sector with the expense of far more favorable medical & retirement benefits for public service workers. We are quickly going the way of the most debt-ridden European countries. We need to wake up and start living within our means as a society and a country. I for one as a retiree, who contributed heavily to my pension nest egg and who now pays a substantial amount monthly for Medicare + supplemental insurance, am very resentful of the arrogance of many in the public sector workers who believe that the country (taxpayers) owe them a privileged life!

      February 23, 2011 at 5:16 pm | Report abuse |
  11. banasy

    Look at this and tell me Wisconsin's government isn't for sale...because it sure as h3ll wouldn't be to the highest bidder!!!
    http://www.todaystmj4.com/news/local/116633848.html

    February 23, 2011 at 1:11 pm | Report abuse |
  12. King abdulla rules you

    hail to your king abdulla america. Everyone else is fighting for the freedoms you have never had as those are all just vaporware of trickle up and trickle down. Lol

    February 23, 2011 at 1:11 pm | Report abuse |
  13. banasy

    You make no sense. As usual, king.

    February 23, 2011 at 1:14 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Sherri W.W.#1~ILLinois

    1St we start with the Recall of Gov.Scott Walker,then move on to Indiana and Ohio Govenors. And,Gov Christie [NJ]sounds more like them every single day![what about those NJ cities without Police&Fire protection now?] For a Guy that was supposed to be one of the new"Darlings"of the Repubs,well the Tea Party has obviously taken him over,just like the rest of the Repubs` so~called"Darlings"! Whether its Santorum,Rommey,Newt G,Haley Barbour,Pense,Walker,Kasich,Palin.Bachman,it doesnt matter because there isnt a dimes woth of difference in all of them put together.All extreme,and an all Believing THEIR way is the ONLY WAY~NO DISCUSSION NEEDED~Nuts!~every one of them! Pres.Obama in 2012 !~if we"normal folks" want to keep OUR Country going,because all the others put together,dont give one damn about us,No Doubt of That!

    February 23, 2011 at 1:19 pm | Report abuse |
    • Non Union Eric

      1st we recall Obama. Good start. Funny how GWBs budget deficits were unbearable, but Obama borrowing more in two years than GWB did in 8 is good governance.

      February 23, 2011 at 8:56 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Sherri W.W.#1~ILLinois

    I have a child that has lived in Wisconsin,and worked for the Univ.of WI.for 20yrs,and loves it up there. BUT,Normal people cant figure out WHO Voted for this guy,Walker? Must be a LOT of people who wont admit to it NOW,because they dont know ANYONE who does *NOT* WANT WALKER OUT YESTERDAY! Oh,and I forgot to add that Florida govenor to my previous list of "do nothings"~Rick Scott,I believe ~Lord,they all even have NAMES alike! I still dont see HOW a man could get elected GOV.OF Anything,after they pay a Billion$ Fine to the Fed Govt,for defrauding Medicare/Medicaid? HOW is that possible? Just because they pay the fine and make a deal Not to Admit anything,what does that say about the Voters of America??? Voters better WAKE up by 2012 and kick all these guys OUT ON THEIR Behinds! Pres.Obama and Dems ONLY IN 2012.

    February 23, 2011 at 1:40 pm | Report abuse |
    • Non Union Eric

      What are the chances of a Republican being disliked on a college campus. Ask at a place without tenure and you'll get a different answer.

      February 23, 2011 at 8:54 pm | Report abuse |
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