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When Will PA Stand Up?

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On Saturday, Febraury 8, somewhere between 80 thousand and 100 thousand people gathered in Raleigh, North Carolina for the "Moral March". This was the continuation of a movement that began in April. 2013 against the hard right policies of the North Carolina Legislature.

The ideas of the "Moral Mondays" are spreading across the South, much like the Civil Rights movement. There is probably an influence of 'Occupy' and the Wisconsin workers as well.

But when is such a movement going to come to Pennsylvania? Like many other states; Wisconsin, Michigan, Indiana, Ohio, etc, Pennsylvania has see a rightward shift. The role of what Bill Moyers and others call "Dark Money" in this process can not be ignored. Governor Corbett may not have an Art Pope acting as a kingmaker. But there is likely a cadre on corporations and corporate interests; the natural gas and possibly the convenience store industry come to mind.

We've seen flashes of resistance; the Voter ID law, liquor privatization, and recently the opposition to the "Paycheck Protection" bill. But I haven't see the type of sustained, public, opposition that we're seeing in North Carolina.

One thing that may be holding Pennsylvania back is the lack of a clear leader. The "Moral Mondays" have William Barber, the head of the North Carolina NAACP. Could a leader come from the Pennsylvania legislature, labor itself, or from another group?

A second issue might be something Bill Moyers brought up in a piece on Democracy Now. That there may be a distinction between progressives and the Democratic party. Many Democrats in Pennsylvania are likley from districts where a full embrace of a progressive agenda would spell disaster. A strong public, progressive, presence might give Democrats more assurance that support of a progressive agenda is not going to cost a Senator or Representative their seat.

Such a movement could also provide a source of the all important 'boots on the ground'. As Bill Moyers put in, "The answer to organized money is organized people.' At the press conference in opposition to the paycheck protection bill brought up, labor is ready to come out in force behind those who stand with them and against those who follow the %1 money.

So when might we see a "Workers Wednesday" in Pennsylvania? Wouldn't that send a message to Governor Corbett and the legislature?

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