news editor melissa erny
friday, march 4, 2011
Photo Provided Hundreds gathered Saturday, Feb. 26 outside of city hall to support three North Country unions who wanted to warn Plattsburgh that what is happening in Wis. isn’t too far off from what could happen here.
RALLY: North Country unions stand strong together From Page One importance of supporting unions nationwide. “If it weren’t for unions, you wouldn’t have weekends,” Curry said. During his speech, Curry thanked all the teachers who taught him to speak English, both recognizing the hard work of the middle class, as well as the opportunity to now speak out against the treatment of the current labor unions. “The biggest lie is that the issue
is about money. It’s about the right of unions,” he said. Betty Lennon, NCLC president and retired PSUC employee, also attended. She said that even if you aren’t affiliated with a particular union, the cause was still worthwhile. She also said the main purpose was to come out and support employees of the middle class as a whole. “Students, teachers and firemen are leading the fight,” she said during her speech. “The fight is not about politics, but about using
strength of numbers to pursue the American dream.” Lennon’s words were met with a roar of approval. Attendee Hank Schwartz of the New York City Fireman’s Association said he was, “here for the good cause,” and joined his excited peers as passing cars honked in recognition of the rally’s purpose. Children snuggled up to their parents as the adults spoke, hoping to prove that the issue itself was in fact one of the working family, as Lennon said. Even students showed up in sup-
port of their teachers. PSUC students Amanda Ventrella and Kerry Tyrrell showed up after their gender and women’s studies professor suggested to. “It’s nice to see how small towns come together,” Tyrrell said. “It’s great seeing the solidarity,” Ventrella said. “I feel it’s what America’s about.” Lyrics were passed among the crowd as the rally sang in unison to the tune of “Glory, Glory, Hallelujah,” replacing the words with, “Solidarity forever, for the union
makes us strong.” Those in attendance agreed the rally was a success, both in numbers and attitude because people sustained an optimistic, strong animation. There were a number of boos when budget cuts were mentioned and plenty of applause when the speakers’ energy shined through. Even as the rally broke, the sound of a handful of individuals humming the tune of “Solidarity Forever” as they walked their separate ways through downtown Plattsburgh.
Gabe Dickens/Cardinal Points PSUC student Ivan Govea and his friend, Alan Brown (not pictured), enjoy the clear, but cold, weather for some skateboarding outside Hawkins Hall Thursday.
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