500 protest Branstad’s corporate agenda

Coalition of labor and community groups join together for a “State of the 99%” address immediately following Branstad’s pro-corporate “State of State” speech.

 

Yesterday, Gov. Branstad locked out all but “reserved guests” from the Statehouse gallery for his “State of the State” speech. It’s very telling, if not symbolic of who his administration represents, don’t you think?

But what I think is even more telling is the how many of you came together – from Iowa CCI Action, from Iowa’s largest unions, and from OccupyDSM – to push for the Iowa you want to see, an Iowa that puts the common good before corporate greed.

Here are my favorite highlights from the day:

  • Nearly 500 everyday people from more than 50 Iowa counties.
  • Broad coalition of support:  the Iowa Building and Constructions Trade Council, Iowa Federation of Labor, the South Central Fed, AFSCME, SEIU Local 199, the Des Moines Teachers Association and Occupy Des Moines.
  • Hundreds form the “People’s Hallway”: After being locked out of the galleries, hundreds lined both sides of the hallway all the way from Branstad’s ceremonial office on the 1st floor, up two flights of stairs to the House chamber forcing Branstad to walk through a guantlet of Iowans chanting “Put People First” both before and after his speech. To view the quick, powerful video of the “People’s Hallway”, click here.
  • We shook the roof! During the “State of the 99%” rally, we made our voices heard and our message known through every corner of the Capitol: We want a government that works for our communities, not corporations.
  • Reading letter to Gov. Branstad in unison: We’ve always been able to deliver a letter to the governor’s office, but this year he locked us out. Instead, the crowd read aloud – in mic-check fashion – the letter we had to deliver. To view a video of the letter reading, click here.
  • Lobbying, lobbying, lobbying: Members met with dozens of legislators and legislative committee chairs face-to-face on issues they care about – factory farms, wage theft, closing corporate tax loopholes and more.
  • The headlines: Television, radio and newspaper stories all called attention to Branstad’s misstep of locking the public out of the day. To read the Des Moines Register story, click here.
  • Good time and great people: We connected with old friends and met lots of new people from all across the state.

Lastly, there were lots to choose from, but I picked out the top 15 photos that I think best tell the story of the day. Take a look. And, if you have any highlights or photos to add, please send them our way or post them on our Facebook page.

A big thank you to everyone who came and to those of you who called your legislators yesterday in support.

It was only the second day of the session, but we made a big impression. We know there will be lots to communicate with you in the coming weeks, please know we’ll be in touch.

 

Like what you see here? Join us as a CCI Action member today!

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