Over 3000 working people across Ohio and neighboring states descended on Columbus, Ohio to rally and march because corporate CEOs like the Billionaire Koch brothers have put out economy out of balance.
Tagged the #DefendTheDream rally, average people assembled not to hear from politicians, but from everyday workers who understand the policies put forth by corporate front groups like Americans For Prosperity are trying to buy the American Dream one election at a time.
“My American Dream is not for sale,” said electrician and member of IBEW 683 J.D. Groves from Columbus, OH to the crowd. “Let’s defend our American Dream through a unified call to speak up together, take on the corporate CEO’s who are rigging the system for their benefit and let working people share in the wealth that they are creating.”
Other speakers included Cleveland’s Artheta Peters, a home care worker and SEIU/1199 member, retired Urbana, Ohio teacher Mary Binegar, the Reverend Susan Smith of Columbus, Ohio State student Lainie Rini and UAW member Rick Ward of Kokomo, Indiana who was seen the fall out affects of a state adopting “Right To Work” Is Wrong policy.
“Right to work is bad for your communities,” Ward said during the rally. “I’m telling you sisters and brothers ‘right to work’ does nothing but lower wages. It lowers wages and then you don’t got any money to spend. And if you ain’t got any money to spend, you ain’t got any money to buy. And if you ain’t got money to buy, then you ain’t got no legislators getting no tax money so these find policemen here aren’t getting a raise; firefighters aren’t getting a raise …and they’re abusing our school system and our teachers. They’re overworked and underpaid — that’s what ‘right to work’ is.”
I’m telling you sisters and brothers ‘right to work’ does nothing but lower wages. – Rick Ward, Indiana UAW member
From McFerson Commons, the thousands of working people then marched the half-mile to the convention center where Americans For Prosperity was holding their annual Summit. With chants like. “Everywhere we go, Koch brothers want to know, who we are , so we tell them, We are the Workers, the mighty, mighty workers,” average Ohioans let extremists know that policies like “Right To Work” is Wrong, voter suppression and bad trade policies that drive down wages are not what average Americans want from their elected officials.
“Their idea of the American dream is we do all the work and they sit in the high-life,” said AFL-CIO President Tim Burga
“Well that’s wrong, sisters and brothers,” Burga said. “Let’s look at their plan to move America forward. Their plan is more tax breaks for the rich, golden parachutes for Wall Street, offshoring of our jobs. They want to take away collective bargaining. They want to take away prevailing wage. They don’t want us to have a defined retirement benefit. They have no empathy for others. Does this sound like the American dream to you?”