Sunday, February 27, 2011

labor rally, virginia state capitol

it was a fine day for a rally, and being a saturday, working people like me could check it out. turnout was a couple of hundred people.

forgive me if i didn't get names and affiliations. this gentleman seemed to be the master of ceremonies.

there was what appeared to me to be an outsized police presence, and this and some of the following images will attest. this crowd of mostly middle-aged and older folks seemed hardly a threat to the state -- nobody was going to storm the capitol!

the general assembly photographer for the local newspaper is greeted by the security apparatus -- an official member of the corporate consensus-making machine.

more rousing, but not much of a rabble...

the richmond police mounted squad was a nice touch. reminds me of the counter demonstrators in egypt riding through through the protestors with their truncheons...

a couple of times i listened in on some of the police chatter, and apparently someone -- probably in the bell tower -- was serving as a spotter, and pointing out "suspicious" individuals in the crowd

more speakers...

bless these old timers' hearts. it was truly striking at the demographic of the crowd. my group -- the over 50 set -- far outnumbered the under-25 people.

nice shot, but not very representative of what's going on in our culture, where children are force-fed disney corporate pabulum

ver good advice: google the koch brothers and their astroturf front groups for their corporatist agenda. it used to be a man owned a town, or an industry owned a state. now these billionaires want to own the entire country.

the corporate state has discovered that all that's needed to maintain its grip on power is to set working people in conflict with one another. it's a jungle out there, and you're competing against your neighbor for that job and those few crumbs that fall off the table of the oligarchs.

it's cast as self-reliance and rugged individualism, but what it really comes down to is a scramble for disappearing jobs and a place in the withering middle class...

people are totally expendable in this economy, if you're running one of these mega corporations. jobs can be sent overseas if workers demand "too much," so instead of being defenders of working people, unions are seen as a threat.

wisconsin is the current battleground between corporate interests and workers' rights. the only thing that stands between the monopoly corporate money has over the political process are the unions, as battered and diminished as they are. when that voice is gone, rupert murdoch mercenary army of corporate shills will fill the void.

this is what was missing from the rally -- young people.  they are still asleep. i just wonder, for how long?

let's make some noise!

these are working people who know what's at stake. too bad they aren't here in the thousands, instead of a couple of hundred. it isn't as if a lot of folks aren't feeling the squeeze, but we have it made in virginia.we're the sixth richest state in the union, but we're heavily dependent on uncle sam for our prosperity -- primarily the military-industrial complex.

workers in other parts of the world are way ahead of us here in the USA. it's not because of the lies we tell ourselves, because when push comes to shove, we'll find that being an american ain't all that exceptional any more.

people still have power, but it's gradually draining away. we're still allowed to gather and have our say, because so far it isn't seen as a threat. when gov. walker thought he was talking to one of the koch brothers, he admitted to considering all sorts of extreme and illegal methods to respond to the protesters in wisconsin. it hasn't come to that... yet.

we have to be aware that in our enlightened era, where america continues to promote the delusional notion that it is a beacon of freedom and democracy to the rest of the world, the US is primarily interested in maintaining and consolidating its hold on power -- both directly and by proxy -- wherever it perceives its "interests"

the US has been late to the party in tunisia, in egypt and now libya, and everyone in these countries knows that the US is always on the side of the winners, always jockeying for position, always using its money and military to keep a tight grip on the things the oligarchs care about.

don't think for a minute that even small gatherings like this don't make the oligarchs nervous. they may laugh and brush them off in public, but in private they are monomaniacal in their pursuit of wealth and power -- and in their intent to destroy all those who stand in their way.

this is just a sideshow today. the real action was a couple of blocks away, at the downtown convention center, where thousands of people gathered for a wine-tasting exhibition. wine tasting! we are still asleep...

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