Upwards of 75 union members and sympathizers gathered at the Woodstock Square at noon to condemn Governor Bruce Rauner, billionaires and Republicans.
The 60-70 union members marched to the Square where a sign was placed in front of those standing more or less in the shade.
They were addressed by Carlos Acosta, AFSCME Union Steward in Local 2833.
He explained that a hundred different events were being held over a three-day period.
“The Governor has basically asking AFSCME to commit organizational suicide.”
Acosta thanked other unions who sent representatives, mentioning the American Federation of Teachers and the Firefighters and maybe others I didn’t jot down.
“Whatever comes out of these contract talks will set the tone for all others,” he said.
The next speaker was Oakwood Hills Village Trustee Kristina Zahorik, although she introduced herself as a 14th Congressional District Democratic Party State Central Committeewoman and Vice Chair of the McHenry County Democratic Party.
A former staffer of U.S. Senator Paul Simon, she characterized herself as a “stay at home Mom of five.”
Reading from a prepared speech, Zahorik said,
“I’m here because I’m with you.
“What I don’t see are the leeches our Governor talks about.”I don’t see the billionaires taking over our country.”
She reference Minnesota where the Democratic Party Governor has raised taxes and the economy is fine.
Referring to Rauner, she explained,
“He’s traveling the state being a bully, I mean, using his bully pulpit.
“Bullying is not governing.
“We are at war.
“We can no longer be shy,” she continued, as she urged people to get involved with elections.
He revealed he had taught math at Woodstock High School for 38 1/2 years. The Illinois Federation of Teachers represents Woodstock teachers.
“Unions changed our families.
“My Dad lived until he was 91 years old.
“Unions kept him [and my mother] alive.”
A mention was made of President Barack Obama, but there was no applause.
“When you win, Illinois wins,” Thompson said.
“You are fighting for the American dream.”
The next speaker was Marlin (didn’t get his last name), who said he was an AFSCME negotiator for on the team meeting with the Governor’s people.
“This is not a fight of us against them.
“We just want a fair contract.”
Not everyone who attended was from Woodstock.
Some heard Algonquin and Elgin mentioned.
And the retired teacher holding this sign, Marti Swanson, is a Democratic Party Precinct Committeeman in Ringwood.
There were two other messages that I haven’t seen in McHenry County before.
One supported Socialist U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders campaign for the Democratic Party nomination for President against Hillary Clinton.
The other was on a young man wearing a pretty heavy sweatshirt with Industrial Workers of the World embroidery on the back.
It must have meant a lot to him, because the temperature was approaching 90 degrees.