Drum Major Institute
On April 4, 2011, in Trenton New Jersey, the AFL-CIO sponsored rally on the 43rd anniversary of Martin Luther King, Jr.'s assassination. The rally was at the IBEW local hall. The Rutgers AAUP-AFT was a cosponsor. The purpose was to connect the struggles of the labor movement with the struggles for civil rights in the U.S.
According to Communist Party USA member Norman Markowitz, at the rally was an educational roundtable involving Nobel Prize winning economist and New York Times columnist Paul Krugman, Randi Weingarten, president of the AFT nationally, James Harris, president of the New Jersey NAACP, Rahaman Muhammad, SEIU New Jersey State Council President, and representative Rush Holt, Jr. and Senator Robert Menendez, among others.
Most of the speakers were upbeat "even in these times of crisis". Most saw Wisconsin as an example to be emulated. Most stressed the need to "educate citizens who have been fed a steady diet of lies by rightwing media".
Congressman Rush Holt, Senator Menendez and others made the point clearly that this is about union busting, not budget balancing in any of the states in question. The case of Professor William Cronon was raised as an example of the policy of intimidation which the Republican right has launched--if Cronon, "with his scholarly achievements and academic protections, can be attacked in such a way and university officials forced to turn over emails, then no one is safe in their basic civil liberties and rights".