Actors Tony Shalhoub and Susan Sarandon were among those who spoke before an estimated crowd of up to 100,000 in Madison, Wis., to protest the state’s recently passed bill stripping most government unionized workers of collective bargaining rights.
“You need to know you are the heart and soul of America today,” Shalhoub said. “This is the birth of a nationwide movement. A movement destined to restore the rights of workers.”
According to the Associated Press, the protesters were joined by 50 tractors and, fittingly, one donkey.
Shalhoub (apologies for mangling the spelling of his name in an earlier post) was sent to Madison on behalf of the Screen Actors Guild, which is supporting the workers along with other industry unions.
“in essence I really just want people to know that they’re not alone here. That there is support from people all over the country from people who are union members and people who are not union workers,” Shalhoub told a local Fox affiliate. He grew up in the Green Bay area and his sister is a school teacher in the state.
“This is really a very serious movement and demonstration that really has brought together a lot of different kinds of people,” Sarandon told John Nichols, reporting for The Nation.