Rep. Kucinich on the Attack on the Public Sphere

Rep. Dennis Kucinich in an interview on Democracy Now said the following concerning the various attacks on public sphere unions, collective bargaining rights and attempts to privatize state owner facilities:

“Well, there’s two things that are happening here, at least. One is the attack on public employees. But the attack on public employees really presages an attack on the entire public sphere. So what’s happening here is it’s a destructive undermining of the principle of government of the people and that people have a right to have schools they can call their own, energy systems they can call their own, public services they can call their own. The attack on public servants opens the door to a broad-scale theft of the public domain. And so, this is about privatization, writ large. It’s about attempting to create circumstances where the physical assets of the state, that were purchased through people’s tax dollars over many generations, are about to be auctioned off, you know, often to a lower bidder, in order for the private sector to profit.

And the attack on workers here is fundamentally anti-American. In a democratic society, workers have to have a right to organize, a right to collective bargaining, a right to strike, a right to decent wages and benefits, a right to a secure retirement, a right to safe workplace. These are all things that should be guaranteed in a democratic society. And Governor Kasich has unfortunately joined the ranks of other Republican governors who are involved in this broad attack on workers’ rights, which is profoundly anti-democratic.”

Further on in the interview, he says:

“I think that we have a right to expect a president who was elected with the help of working men and women not to say, “I stand behind you,” but to stand at the forefront to defend workers’ rights. …
I mean, this is a moment where we have to decide if we have a democracy and if we have a president who’s going to defend it.”

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