Local labor lends hand to Wis.

In a show of solidarity with workers battling to save collective bargaining rights in Wisconsin, local union workers and officials jammed the Municipal Services Building courtyard for a lunchtime rally Thursday. Mirroring similar gatherings across the country, the event centered on the message that workers didn’t create the financial mess that the country faces.

Building Trades Council President Pat Gillespie said a “goofy governor” vilifying public workers could turn peaceful rallies “into Cairo or Libya in a New York minute.”

“We need to stop this nonsense,” Gillespie said as the crowd started dispersing.

U.S. Rep. Bob Brady likened Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker to someone who thinks he was “ordained by God to come down” and do battle. The end result, said speakers, was a declaration of a “class war.”

“Everybody’s got a deficit,” Brady said, but the way its being handled in Wisconsin has galvanized organized labor. “This is a hell of a showing. It’s getting a lot of people’s attention.”

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