Neither Republicans nor Democrats were safe as speakers at a rally held Tuesday evening to express solidarity for unions and the working class, sponsored by Moveon.org, had crowds riled over proposed teacher cuts and Republican support of federal budgets aimed at slicing social programs in Colorado and nationally.
“Are we going to stand by quietly while a Democratic governor–of all things–proposes draconian cuts to funding for K-12 education just because he is afraid to propose a modest tax increase?” Stephen Justino, an attorney serving on the steering committee for Colorado Move to Amend, asked a crowd who responded in vehement opposition to Gov. John Hickenlooper’s proposed cuts to K-12 education of more than $300 million.
Close to 150 people responded to speakers with cheers of support for suggestions that they back a short-term tax increase initiative being brought forward by Colorado Sen. Rollie Heath, D-Boulder, and called on Colorado Republican U.S. Reps. Doug Lamborn, Mike Coffman, Scott Tipton and Cory Gardner to vote against Republican budget proposals that would cut $61 billion in federal spending, including funding for programs that include Planned Parenthood, EPA regulation enforcement and health care reform.
“We want to make it clear that by supporting the Republicans’ incredibly dangerous budget proposal that they are launching an assault on our families,” MoveOn.org’s Ken Connell told the crowd.
However, Connell did not stop there. He went on to call on the Colorado Democratic delegation to lead Congress to defend workers rights.
Other speakers spoke to a desire to end corporate personhood and reverse the Supreme Court’s Citizen’s United decision, end the practice of outsourcing, and called for unions to stand strong in the face of what speakers saw as government oppression of the working class in states such as Wisconsin.
“The millionaires and billionaires and the CEO class aided by the Republican Party have been waging class warfare on the rest of us, on the middle class ever since Ronald Reagan decertified [the Professional Air Traffic Controllers Organization] in 1980. We should have stopped them then, we have to stop them now,” Justino said.