In Kansas: ‘Stand up! Fight back!’

By on February 21, 2013
‘People’s Rally’ Jan. 14 at the state Capitol in Topeka on first day of the 2013 Kansas legislative session.

‘People’s Rally’ Jan. 14 at the state Capitol in Topeka on first day of the 2013 Kansas legislative session.

Members of numerous organizations are mobilizing statewide and beyond for a “Stand Up! Fight Back!” Feb. 23 rally at the state Capitol in Topeka, Kan.

Sponsored by a labor-community coalition, the Working Kansas Alliance, the rally will feature a diverse range of speakers including members of public and private sector unions; women; the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer communities; students; faith-based organizations; and communities of color. (www.workingkansans.com)

The 2013 Kansas Legislature is made up of some of the most right-wing racist politicians in recent memory. Similar to other governors, such as Scott Walker of Wisconsin and Rick Snyder of Michigan, Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback and other anti-worker, anti-community politicians in the Legislature are attempting to implement deep austerity and union busting, with public sector workers such as teachers a primary target. These politicians are using model legislation by organizations such as the American Legislative Exchange Council and other Wall Street interests to further their agenda. The Kansas Chamber of Commerce is a supporter of ALEC, and many Kansas legislators are leading members of the organization.

Resistance to these Wall Street servants and interests is growing across Kansas, as previously enacted austerity cuts and attacks on unions become more severe daily. On Feb. 9 in Manhattan, Kan., a community forum sponsored by the American Federation of Teachers Kansas Local 6400 brought together a broad base of progressive individuals and organizations, including students, faculty and workers from Kansas State University, and community and faith-based organizations. In the packed fellowship hall of the College Avenue United Methodist Church, participants were excited and encouraged to see that many others were fighting back against the 1% and mobilizing for the Feb. 23 rally.

For more Feb. 23 rally information and flyers, visit ks.aft.org/events.

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