Blair Mountain a memorial as the site of the Battle of Blair Mountain, a bloody conflict between coal miners and federal troops sent to break up the strike and break the resolve of the miners to establish a union that could fight for their rights. In this state, unions are part of our fabric; to see them threatened on other states is a threat here too.
It was a peaceful and vociferous crowd today. Speaker after speaker, many of them Democratic state legislators, expounded on the value of labor to our state, and affirmed their commitment to stand with labor in the future. A speaker from Ohio asked those present to help them in their battle with their governor who threatens the same kind of action as what happened in Wisconsin.
I am not a union member; my father was not union either. This post is not to engage in an argument about whether unions are necessary or not; what I want to remember is the peaceful gathering of hundreds of people in support of what they believe. That's the America I love, and I am so glad to know that we can still stand up and voice our opinions in peace and safety.
A few more pictures from today's gathering:
Fellow Jackson Countians at the rally. Century Aluminum retirees recently had their health benefits stripped away, benefits that were guaranteed to them when they were working as part of their retirement package.
Sam Hickman favored us with an old song about a worker in a meat-packing plant; the words were as true today as when the song was written.
A worker raises her sign, while on the boulevard, a stretch limo passes the gathering.