First They Came for the Unions

houston PD
(from here)
Because if janitors get healthcare, then the terrorists win
Last night, Houston police used horses to break up a peaceful demonstration by unionized janitors, who on average, make $5.35/hr and have no health care. You know, if the Houston police were civilized they would have tasered them. One janitor described the scene thusly:

The horses came all of a sudden. They started jumping on top of people. I heard the women screaming. A horse stomped on top of me. I fell to the ground and hurt my arm. The horses just kept coming at us. I was terrified. I never thought the police would do something so aggressive, so violent.

Here’s some of the available footage:

SEIU president Tom Balanoff said:

Houston has to make a decision whether they are going to use their power to grind workers deeper into poverty or use their power to lift workers out of poverty.

I’ve said this before: there is no ‘natural law’ of wages. Workers are paid what they can force employers to pay. We won’t fix this economy until we strengthen wages–just how much more personal debt can we realistically float? How much more working poverty can our social services support? Why are our tax dollars for social services being used to subsidize Chevron’s and the Hines Interest Group’s shitty wages? Pay a living wage.

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7 Responses to First They Came for the Unions

  1. khan says:

    Shades of Selma?

  2. justawriter says:

    Yep. My first thought was “Bull Connor lives!”

  3. justawriter says:

    Yep. My first thought was “Bull Connor lives!”

  4. Joshua says:

    It’s infuriating that the people who are most against welfare are also against the simple measures like a living wage that would make welfare almost unnecessary.

  5. Chris says:

    I’m no fan of police brutality and sympathize with these workers’ plight. However, I don’t think there was anything wrong with the way the cops handled this one. What you don’t see is that the strikers were trying to block a busy intersection. The police intervened, keeping them on the sidewalks by herding them in with horses and officers. No one was trampled or smashed to the ground by horses.
    Bottom line here – the workers were trying to endanger themselves and others by blocking an intersection. Do I think they should get paid more? Yes. Do I think they have the right to protest peacefully? Yes. They don’t, however, have the right to endanger people and impede others’ rights to use the streets.

  6. Chris says:

    Your link’s not working, but I look forward to reading it. If those allegations are true, then I’ll gladly join you in condemning this.

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