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Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Love the show, hate the smell.

The "union people" were in the legislature today toooo...... I am not sure what. I guess yell and scream. They started to yell and scream pro union chants and wander around the capitol yelling and screaming at people but for the life of me I never heard a specific issue. They came by my office and started to yell and chant outside my door. I went out and cheered them on. It was sort of laughable. I always have an open door policy for any and all people who want to come in and discuss an issue but they did not.

Honestly they all looked like a bunch of college kids (if that). I asked one what "union" they were a part of. She said she supports a lot of unions. I asked what specific union she was a part of and she said the same thing again. I asked if anyone in the crowd was an actual union member. A bunch of them looked around at each other and said there were several union members there. I think I was pretty clear that I wanted to talk to one if there was one but none stepped forward. They soon wandered off to yell and scream someone else (I guess).

Later, they came back for whatever reason. I was again in my office with the door open. I heard some chanting and yelling then someone say something like "No violence! Stop the violence!" I went out to see what was going on and the police were hand cuffing two protesters.

Again the chanting, yelling and screaming started back up. I was in the doorway and asked "What are you protesting?" They said the fact that no "Anti union bills" were brought forward today. I asked if they really wanted them to move forward.... Blank stares came back.

One person asked why didn't I come of my office doorway, so I did. I said I was willing to listen to anyone who had an issue. One woman said to talk to her. So I went over. She said, "Are you hear to listen?" I said "Yes, what do you want to talk about?"

She asked again "Are you hear to listen?" Again I said "Yes, What issue do you want to talk about?"

Third time I got the same question "Are you here to listen?". I decided to change track. "Who are you with? What do you want?"

She finally fumbled out she was with the person in the other room being arrested and wanted jobs with justice. I asked what that meant to her and she started to bring up nonviolence, Mississippi, MLK and asked If I supported the person being arrested. I said I don't know what happened so I couldn't speak to if they deserved being arrested or not. It sort of went down hill from there and the conversation wondered around with no real point. To be honest I never heard a real issue all day. The closest I got was one bearded kid asked if I supported unions. I said I support peoples right to legally unionize. He didn't know what to do with that but seemed satisfied. It never seemed to go beyond that.

I had to go to committee shortly there after. I don't know what happened to the people getting cuffed. While I support their right to protest they could get a little farther if they actually had a clear idea of what they were protesting for or asked to talk to legislators about it. That and a shower might not hurt either. I understand people sweat but there was some serious old school funk going on in that hall. Water and soap will not kill you. I promise.


  1. What a hoot! I really did LOL! Thanks for posting. Sorry you had to endure the nonsense.

  2. I am so glad you are representing us. You don't put up with bull**** and you are always willing to listen and discuss issues. And yes, your door is always open.

  3. If these kids would get some soap and then get a job, maybe they would start to pay some serious taxes like other middle class folks do.

    Soon they'd see why only people who act like teenagers believe what these people believe.

  4. "Blank stairs (sic) came back."

    I had to stare at this a while to understand.

    The post is very funny, IMNSHO. Keep them coming.

  5. Hi, there.

    I thought maybe I'd introduce myself -- my name is Ashley. I've lived in Middle Tennessee my entire life. I graduated at the top of my public high school class and participated in several public and private leadership programs (Youth Leadership, Governor's School for International Studies, and Girls' State, among others) before moving on to college where I graduated Magna Cum Laude with a degree in (*gasp*) social justice. I work two jobs, shower at least once a day, and have a very healthy respect for English grammar (perhaps that New York schooling could learn a thing or two from our Tennessee public school teachers?). I am also one of the protesters who stood up for Tennessee worker rights last Tuesday.

    I am indeed not a part of any union. But you know who is? My favorite high school teacher, my neighbor, several of my friends' parents, and the thousand or so workers who came together on Legislative Plaza last Tuesday to rally to protect workers' rights. So, I'm not quite sure what my union membership status has to do with my ability as a citizen to support my community, but I feel a personal responsibility to support those who have devoted their professions to making me who I am today.

    I realize that you may have found our tactics a bit confusing, but finding no recourse with a House clearly out of touch with its own constituency (you should have heard the disparity in the applause for and against HB130 in the Education Committee meeting today), we were moved to take drastic and vocal measures. While I do not agree with some of the more derogatory comments you received from individuals outside your office, I think it is awfully petty, disrespectful, and irresponsible for you to publicly deride Tennessee residents who at least care enough to give up personal time to support their communities.

    So, then, let's talk about the issues. If a few "dirty hippy" jokes is the best you've got to offer as a retort, I feel fairly confident that I can hold my own in a respectful discussion.

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