Union violence of little interest to media

Over 500 people “storm” private property, break windows and vandalize other property, wield baseball bats and crowbars, make death threats, and allegedly hold six guards hostage. Fifty law enforcement officers respond. U.S. Marshalls are placed on standby to enforce a related injunction issued by a federal judge.

It happened yesterday at a grain terminal at Port of Longview in southwest Washington State. The perpetrators? Members of the International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU). The local police chief was quoted as saying, “A lot of the protesters were telling us this is only the start.”

Not surprisingly, the incident didn’t garner much national attention. Imagine how the coverage by the so-called mainstream media would have differed had anything even remotely similar occurred at a gathering of people of a different political persuasion, say those Tea Party SOBs.

Union violence is not rare. The National Institute for Labor Relations (NILR) has collected over 9,000 reports of union violence since 1975 and the actual number is much higher–by as much as a factor of ten. Only a fraction of such offenses result in arrest and conviction.

On Monday, Teamsters Union president James Hoffa proudly declared, “The one thing about working people is we like a good fight.” (Fight, not good, being the operative word.). Echoing Hoffa, ILWU President Bob McEllrath said “It shouldn’t be a crime to fight for good jobs in America.”

The fight crowd has certain federal legal precedent on its side of the ring. According to NILR, the U.S. Supreme Court’s 1973 Enmons decision, among other factors, makes prosecution of union violence difficult. According to the Cato Institute, violence “deemed to be in furtherance of “legitimate” union objectives” is exempt from prosecution under federal anti-extortion laws. Offenders can be charged and prosecuted under state and other federal laws, but the scales of “justice” in such instances, just like our federal government’s overall pro-union rather than union-neutral stance, are tipped in favor of organized labor. Until that changes, we’ll get more of the rot such laws and regulations have wrought.

Wis. Police Defy Orders: Is It Anarchy?

An occupation of the Wisconsin Capitol by protesters fighting efforts to strip public workers of union bargaining rights carried on Sunday after police decided not to forcibly remove demonstrators and end a nearly two-week-long sit-in.

The state agency that oversees the Capitol asked the throngs of demonstrators who have camped out inside the building since Feb. 15 to leave by 4 p.m., saying the building was in dire need of a cleaning.

But in the hours before the deadline came and after it passed, it was clear most protesters did not intend to leave voluntarily and police had no immediate intention of forcing them to go.

Late Sunday night, Wisconsin Capitol Police Chief Charles Tubbs said no demonstrators would be arrested as long as they continue to obey the law.

“People here have acted lawfully and responsibly,” Tubbs said. “There’s no reason to consider arrests.”

Tubbs said demonstrators who have occupied all three floors of the Capitol will have to relocate to the ground floor. He added that anyone who leaves the building will not be allowed back in, although police will allow union officials to bring food into the building for the protesters.

Demonstrators began camping out inside the normally immaculate Capitol two weeks ago in an effort to fight legislation proposed by Wisconsin’s new Republican governor, Scott Walker, that would strip most of the state’s public employees of the right to collectively bargain.

Labor leaders and Democratic lawmakers say the bill is intended to undermine the unions and weaken a key base of Democratic Party voters.

Read more here.

Democrats Call for the Blood of American Citizens

An elected official has called for blood in the streets. At a pro-union rally in Boston on Tuesday, Rep. Michael Capuano called for workers protesting in the streets to “get a little bloody when necessary.” This isn’t just rhetoric, it’s plain incitement to riot. Where is the FBI? The Civility Police?

From the Dorchester Reporter:

“This is going to be a struggle at least for the next two years. Let’s be serious about this. They’re not going to back down and we’re not going to back down. This is a struggle for the hearts and minds of America,” Capuano said, referring to the Tea Party counter-protestors as a “couple of nuts in the background.”

“I’m proud to be here with people who understand that it’s more than just sending an email to get you going. Every once and awhile you need to get out on the streets and get a little bloody when necessary,” he continued.

Nobody said grappling power away from labor unions with 80 years of entrenchment behind them would be easy. Another of the speakers at the rally was Rep. Stephen Lynch, a South Boston Democrat and former local iron workers’ union president. He compared the Tea Party, who by the way has every right to speak its mind in the public square, to “Alice in Wonderland.”

“There’s a difference between compromise and surrender, and the governor of Wisconsin wants us to surrender….,” Lynch said. “There are two visions of America here. There’s the Tea Party vision and the vision of the American worker.”

Who comprises the Tea Party, Mr. Lynch? Only managers, bosses, wealthy elites? I think not. The Left consistently uses hate speech to rile up its supporters. Just this morning Glenn Beck played a cute little country tune from the SEIU. The words sound a lot like Capuano’s. “We got to smash them [bosses] to the ground.”

Californians Attack Journalists

An angry mob attacked a reporter and a photojournalist Sunday, but it wasn’t in the Middle East, it was in California.

The journalists were hit and pushed by family and friends of a young man who had been gunned down the night before outside an International House of Pancakes restaurant in Sacramento.

FOX 40 News reporter John Lobertini and his cameraperson, Rebecca Little, were assaulted after approaching a group of people standing near a memorial for 27-year-old Chester Jackson set up on the sidewalk outside the restaurant.

“This is one of the hazards of the business, but I’ve gotta tell you we didn’t expect what we encountered here,” Lobertini said during his broadcast after the attack.

Several local news outlets were present at the time and captured the incident on video from different points of view.

In the footage, Lobertini can be seen approaching a handful of people standing by the memorial as Little recorded the encounter. A woman in glasses and a hoodie quickly begins yelling at the journalists, the video shows, as another in a white cap calmly asks the reporters to “just back off.”

Within moments, however, several people approach from further down the sidewalk. A man in a purple t-shirt shoves Little’s camera away; then a woman in a white button-down sweater is seen in the video screaming at the photojournalist. Little is forced backwards as the woman stomps towards her.

Read more here.