[UPDATE] 'Fighting For Florida's Future' Rally

[UPDATE] Tallahassee, Florida -- March 29, 2011 6:35pm

After a surprise visit at the Capitol, protesting members of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) marched across the street to join another rally in progress at the Leon County Courthouse.

The front lawn was overflowing with protesters.

Protesters chanted, "When they say cutbacks, we say fight back."

The protesters say they are fighting against proposed Florida legislation, and fighting for their futures.

FSU student Patrick Shephard, said, "I want to be a teacher. But, with the teacher Merit pay Bill and all the other attacks on teachers and the organizations that represent them, I don't know if I have that future in Florida anymore."

Several hundred people filled the Leon County Courthouse yard Tuesday.

The protesters say their focus is students, teachers, public workers, law enforcement officers, health care workers, families and children, which they say are the very people Governor Rick Scott's policy proposals work against.

Protester Maria Machin said, "You have the top making all this much money. But, the people below are just barely surviving. You can't feed any family on what people make, especially minimum wage."

Shartanay Smith is standing up for her mom and eight siblings.

She said, "If she lose her job then how are we going to eat? How are the bills going to get paid? So, we're out here rallying."

The international vice president of Amalgamated Transit Union, Gary Rauen, said, "This mass rally is about people and it's about making improvements in people's lives. None of those bills do that. They, as a matter of fact, just attack on the working class people in the State of Florida and we're opposed to it."

The MLK Foundation of Florida, among many other local organizations were in full force.

Different speakers addressed the crowd and lunch was served.

The protesters say they hope their "Fight for Florida's Future" really makes a difference.


[UPDATE] Tallahassee, Florida -- March 29, 2011 -- Noon --

More than one thousand people from across Florida fill the courthouse lawn in Leon County today. Protesters say they are fighting for Florida's Future.

Many held signs that said "Let's Work Together" as protesters gathered around the Leon County courthouse. People from across the state came together to focus on protecting population groups including students, teachers, public workers, and law enforcement officers.

Stay with WCTV for more on this story.


Tallahassee, Florida -- March 29, 2011 --

Leon County Commissioner Bill Proctor Release:

The MLK Foundation of Florida, Inc., invites you to the “Fighting For Florida’s Future” Rally on Tuesday, March 29, in front of the Leon County Courthouse, 301 South Monroe Street. The event will occur from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Lunch will be served from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.

The Rally’s purpose is to focus on protecting population groups including students, teachers, public workers, law enforcement officers, healthcare workers, families and children.

For more information, contact Regina Glee, Aide to Commissioner Bill Proctor, at (850) 606-5371 or GleeR@leoncountyfl.gov.

Stay with WCTV for more on this event.

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  • by Dee Location: Tallahassee on Mar 30, 2011 at 09:43 AM
    There will always be a need for good teachers. Other workers too. If you're a good worker you don't need a union to secure your job. Unions are just taking your money, don't let them fool you!
    • reply
      by Buddy on Mar 30, 2011 at 11:49 AM in reply to Dee
      Dee I wholeheartedly concur, that is the message Union members need to understand. Finish school, work hard, share your blessings with your family, and tell Government to stick their heads back in the toilet and stay out of our business. We will fight Socialism!
  • by Buddy Location: Madison on Mar 30, 2011 at 07:55 AM
    Unions , Democrats, Muslim Obama, Harry Reid, and Nancy Pelosi, have BANKRUPT this nation and expect to kill the future for younger generations. All Liberals know is GREED-GREED-GREED and care less about the future of our younger generations, they are all self-centered, narcissistic, union members. Union are responsible for jobs sent to other country's.
    • reply
      by Boston Dave on Mar 30, 2011 at 08:21 AM in reply to Buddy
      Buddy: Let me see if i follow you on this one? Unions are responsible for jobs going to other country's? Maybe in some cases? Unions make up less than 9% of the job force in this country. Second: It's the Republican party who does not care about the youth in this counrty. The first thing Reps want to cut is education or the arts in schools. They don't care about children until they're 18 yrs old, then they think they're just right!...for the military. I'm not saying Obama is doing everything correct, but he is turning a bad situation, into one where there's light at the end of the tunnel.
      • reply
        by Buddy on Mar 30, 2011 at 09:22 AM in reply to Boston Dave
        Boston Dave: All minimum wage earners decide every month just what commodity they can live without and most are on welfare and foodstamps while Obama is spending 600 million dollars a week to blow up bombs with no sense of reason or purpose. That is an example of how mindless Democrats place their priorities. Dave, how does it feel to be a mindless Liberal Democrat?
        • reply
          by Boston Dave on Mar 30, 2011 at 10:31 AM in reply to Buddy
          Buddy: You want to talk about blowing up bombs? Ok. Our president walked into two wars and much unrest in the Middle East. Since, he's removed many troops and put others in places where they can be most effective...not Iraq. How are those WMD's coming along anyway? LOL!! One other thing, since it seems you think you know me. I've been a registered Republican for over 20yrs, although i no longer associate myself with a political party, i take one issue at a time and decide which canidate will bennefit me and my family. What's with the name calling? Can we not just agree to disagree? You want to save money? How about cutting defense? Stop giving large tax breaks to big business and stop yelling about helping other countries in need before helping our own, when YOU PEOPLE (REP) don't think the Gov't should give hand outs at all. You only want from our Gov't when you see it going elsewhere.
    • reply
      by make up your mind on Mar 30, 2011 at 12:00 PM in reply to Buddy
      Are liberals greedy or socialists??? Or are we just whatever you feel like saying at the moment?
    • reply
      by CO on Mar 30, 2011 at 05:23 PM in reply to Buddy
      Buddy you sure seem to no all of the people who run our economy in the tank. Funny how when the Bush brothers took office in FL & TX they both had the largest reserves in history, under democrats non the less. When they left both states had been plundered & ole Georgie boy left the US with the largest defacite in history. Go figure & you blame the democrats for the country being broke. At least these people you blame don't expect the middle & lower class to pay the majority of taxes while Corp America pays none..... You talk about greed, it's Corp amaerica that's greedy, not democrats!
  • by Lip Cheese on Mar 30, 2011 at 07:45 AM
    Our leaders need to stand up and initiate "purging" of all you ungrateful peons. "Rights" are a fairy tale meant to give children a working vision so they can become good little drones until they grow to old to want more. Then, they can be replaced by more "reeducated" drones to continue to provide for the elite. You have food (mostly) and water, what more do you need??? Silence and "Get To Work"!!!!!
  • by anonymous on Mar 29, 2011 at 11:04 PM
    I don't know what people who work for the government are called public servants. The taxpayers are the ones who are the servants to the government. There are people who work for the gov. who do not agree with what is going on and they pay there taxes too. It is starting to be an uncomfortable work environment.
  • by PDotwalker Location: Panhandle on Mar 29, 2011 at 08:57 PM
    Unions are not about the workers. They are about their dues and the power and lifestyle it creates for union bosses. We're not as dumb as they wish we were. Nice try though.
    • reply
      by Really? on Mar 30, 2011 at 07:02 AM in reply to PDotwalker
      Union "bosses" are democratically elected by their members.
  • by anonymous Location: Tallahassee on Mar 29, 2011 at 08:34 PM
    Unions members are not fighting for Florida's future they are fighting for themselves and their pay. They do not speak for my family!!
  • by joel Location: wpb on Mar 29, 2011 at 07:58 PM
    If we do not stick together Rick Scott will take everything that we have worked so hard for! He will set us back another forty years.We must preserve the future for ourselves and our children. You can either stand for something or fall for nothing.Lets keep M.L.K'S dream alive!!!!
    • reply
      by anonymous on Mar 29, 2011 at 08:55 PM in reply to joel
      How does MLK's dream come into the equation of people working for the state or for a company?
      • reply
        by History on Mar 30, 2011 at 06:58 AM in reply to anonymous
        MLK died rallying for AFSCME. It was his dream that all people could be empowered in the workplace and have access to employment with dignity and living wages.
  • by really? Location: Tallahassee on Mar 29, 2011 at 06:57 PM
    So let me get this straight, people who are non-union have crappy pay and benefits. Their solution? Attack union workers so that everyone has equally crappy pay and benefits. A better idea, would be to stand up to the big corporations and get everyone a union so that everyone has equally high pay instead of equally low pay.
    • reply
      by anonymous on Mar 29, 2011 at 08:51 PM in reply to really?
      Small business employers do not have the unlimited pot of tax money to provide unrealistic pay and benefits. We do the best we can.....
      • reply
        by Anon on Mar 30, 2011 at 06:22 AM in reply to anonymous
        Unrealistic pay?? Why don't you look up the salaries of state employees on the website that R.Scott just highlighted? Yeah, they are unrealistic...unrealistically LOW!
      • reply
        by really? on Mar 30, 2011 at 07:00 AM in reply to anonymous
        I agree, leave small businesses alone. The corporate leaches sucking up government subsidies while sending American jobs overseas must pay!
  • by EDT on Mar 29, 2011 at 06:22 PM
    This is NOT about Bill Proctor... its about keeping teacher, CO, police, state worker and other public servant salaries from not being cut. Tallahassee wake up! When the majority of the citizens are suffering so will business.
    • reply
      by anonymous on Mar 29, 2011 at 08:50 PM in reply to EDT
      When is the last time a police officer, firefighter, teacher, and all other public servants had a salary cut. Please don't forget to reply back the answer which is "never." I AM awake and so is the rest of the citizens working in the private sector in Tall and we are speaking up now!!
  • by Ra Location: Tally on Mar 29, 2011 at 05:18 PM
    Provide for the majority of people, of all colors and backgrounds, not for the handful that wave signs and chant because they feel they deserve more handouts and entitlements, paid for by their employed non-union neighbors. We all deserve the opportunity to a good life, but none of us are owed anything.
    • reply
      by anonymous on Mar 29, 2011 at 08:46 PM in reply to Ra
      Correct...none of us are owed anything!! Why do some state or local workers have the opinion they are owed more than a salary, vacation days, sick days, personal days, medical benefits, 401K matching contributions, retirement fund, etc ( and yes, there is more benefits). I don't get it?
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