The Central Oklahoma Labor Federation (COLF) and allies gathered a few hundred demonstrators to protest the speech Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker delivered this week at the National Cowboy Museum.
COLF President Tim O'Connor, in a release sent to CapitolBeatOK, explained what he said was the purpose and framework of the demonstration. He said the goal was “to create greater awareness of Oklahoma’s working class and to build more Oklahoma public awareness of bad Wisconsin state policies pushed by Governor Walker and rejected by the citizens of that state.
“Oklahoma citizens should know Governor Walker was invited here to speak about his failed policies and how Oklahoma can push those same failed policies. Governor Walker’s extreme attacks on public sector workers has, in part, been reversed by a court of law and found in violation of the U.S. Constitution. This proves that Governor Walker rammed through his radical agenda without regard to the U.S. Constitution, the rule of law, or to what is right and fair for Wisconsin families.”
O’Connor continued, “Unfortunately, some organizations in Oklahoma think the harm Governor W alker has done to nurses, teachers and other public workers is a good model for our state.” O'Connor said the union members set out “to demonstrate loud and clear we will fight against any anti-working family agenda similar to those attempted in Wisconsin.”
Working with COLF on the anti-Walker demonstration were the International Brotherhood of Teamsters Local 886, and other members of the Central Oklahoma Labor Federation..
The Labor Affinity Group also supported the rally and demonstration. The group staged its effort from the Knight's Inn, 1400 N.E. 63rd Street. Activists first heard a prayer from
Rev. Lance Schmitz, then marched the short distance to the National Cowboy Museum. After making their feelings known for nearly two hours, the group marked back to the Knight's Inn for what organizers said was “a Cornbread and Bean Banquet for the 99 percent.”
The group promised to share money raised from its activities to purchase eyeglasses for
students at Capitol Hill High School who are unable to make such purchases themselves.
Governor Walker spoke on Wednesday (April 11) to a large and supportive crowd at the annual Citizenship Dinner of the Oklahoma Council of Public Affairs (OCPA).