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. MichaelCorleone

    I actually support Unions, but think union dues are used to pay the salary of lazy union bosses who would otherwise not be making so much money. I also think people should pay a share of their own health care LIKE I DO. When it's taxpayer money footing the bill then government employees think it's free or something. If the budget is so tight then perhaps the senators and legislators should cut their pay and benefits too. Fair is fair. These elected and appointed clowns never take a pay cut. Whether it's a retardican or dumbocrat politician it's always everyone else's belt that needs tightening.

    February 23, 2011 at 9:32 pm | Report abuse |
  2. banasy

    How like the GOP to try to cut education expenses further to try to fix a budget that they themselves have created. If they succeed, and nobody wants to become a teacher because they won't be able to make a living wage, the first ones who will be complaining that their kid can't read are the very ones who want to see the teachers fail. Watch and see.

    February 23, 2011 at 9:43 pm | Report abuse |
  3. anonymouse

    There you go CNN.

    Ian Murphy calls Walker, posing as archconservative moneybags David Koch, and they casually discuss crushing all public unions


    Weird that the mainstream media isn't interested. At least Gov Walker didn't want to go down the hired agent provocateur in the Union crowd road but he did show his conservative credentials by at least thinking about it....LOL...Poor choice really as it would have at least giving someone a short term contract job in the state of Wisconsin.

    February 23, 2011 at 9:49 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Blt502

    Rep. Michael Capuano, D-Mass., he was quoted telling union workers in Boston that "every once in a while" they need to "get a little bloody."
    He apologized today saying “I strongly believe in standing up for worker rights and my passion for preserving those rights may have gotten the best of me yesterday in an unscripted speech. I wish I had used different language to express my passion and I regret my choice of words,"
    A number of Twitter users, apparently unhappy with the budget plan, have publicly pleaded for somebody to kill Walker. "Someone please shoot him?!" one user Tweeted. "Crazy people wanted!!!! Please have sniper skills," another wrote, later adding: "Some one please take out the governor Scott Walker."
    Democratic lawmaker, state Sen. Lena Taylor compared Gov. Walker to Hitler and ex-Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak
    Man, these union protesters and politicians have very offensive signs. I mean the governors picture in the likeness of Hitler? Come on, where is the civil discourse? The vitriol and inflammatory rhetoric needs to be toned down! I can count on CNN reporting on this problem and I know the president will soon come out and publically ask that union protestors tone down it down. I recall the right getting chastised, just want some fairness doctrine up in here!

    February 23, 2011 at 10:28 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Blt502

    Oh why didn’t the republicans think of walking out of congress when the healthcare bill was up for a vote! They could have walked out and forced congress to drop the bill or force Democrats to change it to what the republicans wanted! Progressive Democrats have shown Americans that we do not have to win an election to get our way! Thank you Wisconsin and Indiana state democrats!
    Some say that when this kind of thing happens, then the republic's days are numbered. Maybe, but then again, it should stop the growth of the Federal and State governments, thus reducing the debt for both. Gridlock is good and thanks to some very smart Democrats in WI. and IN. apparently its going to be “the new normal” !
    Some say that the Dems have opened Pandora's box; a new precedent has been set for the minority party. ( a Filibuster on steroids) If the minority can prevent passage of a bill they oppose, there is no longer an incentive to compromise. If the minority walks out before losing a vote on a bill they oppose, then they have just as much power as the majority. Indeed, one might argue that the minority has more power, since the majority will be blamed for not compromising and will be blamed for shutting down the government.
    The new rules to the game have been set, Republicans can now start walking out of congress before voting on a bill that they do not like. It’s the ultimate filibuster and if Democrats can do it, then Republicans can walk out when/if they are in the minority as well.
    The day of the majority rule is OVER!
    Long live the new 'Republic'!

    February 23, 2011 at 10:29 pm | Report abuse |
  6. JC

    I think that regardless of the decision of the bill, we have more concern about getting a better education and motivate everyone to go back to schools. I came across this page http://www.portaleducativo.us where I learned step by step about getting an education and with that education help people to pursue their dreams. I got mine,.... what are you waiting,.. no more strikes

    February 24, 2011 at 1:52 am | Report abuse |
  7. phoenix

    The ignorance in the world is startling. Does anyone even realize how long it takes to even become a tenured teacher? 5 years in most cases. That's after graduating with a minimum of a bachelors degree, and very likely tens of thousands of dollars in student loans... Only to get out in to the working world making,if you're lucky, 30,000. If after several years of classroom observation and being mentored, you might get called back,with the eventual goal of becoming tenured. Additionally, becoming tenured doesn't make one untouchable, just more difficult to fire. It is strongly encouraged that teachers continue their education. Sometimes, tenure can't be achieved unless you earn a mastea degree from an approved PRogram. In most cases, it takes an additional 2 years, and More student loans to achieve this. As a new teacher, the climb to the top is slow and expensive. Additionally, another misunderstood fact is that teacher's are contracted to work a certain number of days per school year. That,is exactlly what they are paid for. So, the next time you want to bash a teacher, remember that the teachers out there on average are making maybe 50,000 with a master's degree education. Tutoring kids before and after school. Coping with behavioral problems and iep's. Not having adequate supplies at times. Kids and parents not taking responsibility. Too many students per class... Etc. Try thanking a teacher instead. It truly is a labor of love.

    February 24, 2011 at 2:18 am | Report abuse |
  8. pp - Illinois

    Apparently most Republicans who are so fired up about the Democrats leaving Wisconsin to avoid having to vote have forgotten or do not know who set the stage for this kind of avoidance...... it was the Republicans in Austin, Texas. It happened a few years ago. Funny how when Republicans do just about anything reprehensible, it is pretty much ignored. Then when the Dems do the same thing, the Republicans scream bloody murder. Double standard – you think!!!

    February 24, 2011 at 8:03 am | Report abuse |
  9. Tiser

    Teachers' hefty salaries are driving up taxes, and they only work 9 or 10 months a year! It's time we put things in perspective and pay them for what they do – babysit!
    We can get that for less than minimum wage. That's right. Let's give them $3.00 an hour and only the hours they worked, not any of that silly planning time, or any time they spend before or after school. That would be $19.50 a day (7:45 to 3:00 PM with
    45 min. off for lunch and planning– that equals 6 1/2 hours). Each parent should pay $19.50 a day for these teachers to baby-sit their children. Now how many students do they teach in a day...maybe 30? So that's $19.50 x 30 = $585.00 a day.
    However, remember they only work 180 days a year!!! I am not going to pay them for any vacations. LET'S SEE.... That's $585 X 180= $105,300 per year. (Hold on! My calculator needs new batteries). What about those special education teachers and the ones with Master's degrees? Well, we could pay them minimum wage ($7.75), and just to be fair, round it off to $8.00 an hour. That would be $8 X 6 1/2 hours X 30 children X 180 days = $280,800 per year. Wait a minute - there's something wrong here! There sure is!
    The average teacher's salary (nation wide) is $50,000.
    $50,000/180 days = $277.77 / per day /30 students=$9.25/6.5 hours =
    $1.42 per hour per student–a very inexpensive baby-sitter
    (And they even EDUCATE your kids!)
    WHAT A DEAL!!!!
    Make a teacher smile; repost this to show appreciation for all educators.

    February 24, 2011 at 9:45 am | Report abuse |
  10. Greg Stacy

    If the unions are so awesome and the best thing for workers and business then why do they FORCE people to be in them. Ironic how the supporters are supporting lack of free choice saying it better for you!...sounds like more control to me...gov't & union

    February 24, 2011 at 10:34 am | Report abuse |
    • Scottilsh Mama

      You do have a choice, don't apply. Unions are for the safety of workers. If you abolish unions you abolish rights of employees, witch my grandfather fought for for rights and dignity of workers. I guess I have a hard time being able to think why workers in any middle class job would want to throw away the rights our grandparents fought for. Even if you do not belong to a union some of the rights have helped the middle class.

      February 24, 2011 at 12:13 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Greg Stacy

    Indiana resident..supporter of right to work bill..conservative!

    February 24, 2011 at 10:37 am | Report abuse |
    • Scottilsh Mama

      The right to work bill is different in each state. My state says the employer does not have to even tell you why they are firing you. That means if they think they want to cut overhead and hire a kid on the cheap they can fire you and not tell you why. It makes it hard for job security then.

      February 24, 2011 at 12:18 pm | Report abuse |
  12. DSmith

    This is a great time for people in every state to ban corporate donations, union donations, and all of these other donations in political campaigns. Funds should only be allowed from individual citizens from that state. Why is it so hard to get politicians to ban this, then the Koch Brothers, AFL/CIO, Pro-life, Anti Abortion groups would stop affecting elections. Our country has serious problems, and we elect a bunch of puppets to make laws. Let's elect true law makers not a bunch of idots.

    February 24, 2011 at 10:59 am | Report abuse |
  13. Da True Grit

    What is involved in the recall process in Wisconsin, in order to remove someone from office?

    February 24, 2011 at 11:04 am | Report abuse |
  14. Martin

    Wow, if this is wut the rep. want 2 do to my union, then ima vote leftist..

    February 24, 2011 at 3:26 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Ernie

    Advice to the govenors of said states; settle with the state employees, then start sending pink slips until you have the employ pool you can afford. If that means half of them half to go; too bad. Maybe they will find out how the rest of us live; those not feeding at the public's expense.

    February 24, 2011 at 4:00 pm | Report abuse |
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