Last Tuesday, 3/8, was touted as Gov. Kasich’s State of the State address, compete was huge speakers outside the statehouse to broadcast his speech to a huge expected crowd.
This day, however, belonged to the workers!

The walls of the statehouse literally shook, as thousands of workers, in hard hats & gear, marched to the capital grounds following a delegation of bagpipes and drums. They were there protesting the attempt by Gov. Kasich and Republicans to take bargaining rights aways from public workers in Ohio. Chants of “Kill the Bill,” & “We Are What Democracy Looks Like,” swept the crowd. Union flags and banners, many dating from the founding of the locals, spotted the entire march.

Diana Jackson, who formerly worked for the soon to be privatized Ohio Development Commission, said that she had “no idea how strong we are, together.”

“I just cannot believe that the people of Ohio will sit ultimately let this happen. We’ve worked too long and too hard to develop decent living standards for our people. This guy just wants to give it all away to billionaires!”

Signs included “Hitler Broke the Unions in 1933, Kasich Wants to do it in 2011,” “Collective Bargaining Brought You the Middle Class,” “Kasich is Makin’ Me Sick,” & the now popular “Walk Like an Egyptian!”

Nine year old Mike Hunley and his friend Ty were on the stage with the speakers. “We’re here for our teacher,” Mike said. “And not just for the rich,” Ty added. “They want us all to grow up poor,” they added.

Dawn Hunley, a teacher in Nelsonville and Mike’s mom, added that “they’re here making history!” She added that she “didn’t have to drag them here, they really know that this is an attack on us all.”

Democratic state reps Mike Foley and Nickie Antonio were circulating in the huge crowd, shaking hands and wishing the protestors well.

“This is an outrage,” said Foley. “We have the greatest redistribution of wealth in history, up to the rich, & they want to break unions and destroy the middle class. We will defeat this power grab, no matter how long it takes!!”

“Let people know that the Democratic caucus stands with them,” stated.

Rev. Tim Ahrens, 1st Congregational Church, Columbus, was speaking as Kasich’s rambling, mind-flow of a speech begin. It was greeted by thundering chants of “Recall, Recall,” & “Kill the Bill,” completely drowning out the speech. Finally, to the pleasure of the crowd, the huge speakers were cut off and Rev. Ahrens returned.

“Kasich wrote a book in which he states that the people are a great symphony, but later he states in the same book that he doesn’t listen to crowds,” Ahrens stated. “Well, Mr. Kasich, this is a huge symphony of the people. This is what democracy is! Kasich only wants to listen to certain notes, and then only the ones played by the wealthy. We are the symphony of the people, “ he stated to huge cheers, “and we WILL be heard!”