Rally a Fight Between "The Greedy and the Needy"

Event at Daley Plaza one of three held in Chicago on Saturday

Saturday, Apr 9, 2011  |  Updated 7:17 PM CDT
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As many as 15,000 people were estimated to have converged on Chicago's Daley Plaza on Saturday in rallies in support of unions and public employees.

As many as 15,000 people were estimated to have converged on Chicago's Daley Plaza on Saturday in rallies in support of unions and public employees.

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As many as 6,000 people were estimated to have converged on Chicago's Daley Plaza on Saturday in rallies in support of unions and public employees.

Or, as William Lucy from the Coalition of Black Trade Unionists told the crowd, "the fight between the greedy and the needy."

The event was one of three held in Chicago Saturday to show solidarity with workers in Wisconsin.

They're part of a national movement to mark the April 1968 death of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., as well as a show of solidarity for state employees in Wisconsin.

"The attack that's happening to us back in Wisconsin we know is happening everywhere," said Betsy Kippers, the Vice President of the Wisconsin Education Association.  "And we have to fight back."

Wisconsin Sen. Chris Larson spoke briefly about fleeing to Illinois for 22 days during a collective bargaining rights debate in his home state. He says the union movement "is just getting started."

"They say, ‘We should get rid of unions and blame the budget dilemma on them.'  It’s pretty obvious when you see the exact same legislation cropping up everywhere," Larson said.

"Illinois may be the next state the go after," he warned the crowd that police initially pegged at about 1,500.  That number was later revised.

Organizers for the "We Are One" rally said busloads of people from across the state attended.

"It was just a great show of solidarity," said Becca, a member of the Chicago Teachers Union.  

More than a dozen events were held this week across Illinois, including rallies in Peoria, Champaign, Bloomington and Carbondale.

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