By Steve Buckstein
Cascade Policy Institute
Attendees and Speaker Harassed at Northwest Employee Freedom Event
Several dozen union protesters marched outside Clark College’s Columbia Tech Center in Vancouver on Thursday evening. The hostile group tried to block attendees from entering the event venue scheduled to hold the first Northwest Employee Freedom One Night Event, jointly sponsored by Cascade Policy Institute of Portland, Oregon and The Freedom Foundation of Olympia, Washington.
After yelling, harassing, and shoving event attendees and organizers, protesters entered the venue and began shouting and using bullhorns to disrupt the event. The keynote speaker, Mackinac Center for Public Policy’s labor expert Vincent Vernuccio, was also spat on by a protester. The Vancouver Police Department was called and escorted protesters out of the event center. The two who refused to leave were arrested for trespassing.
This peaceful gathering of Washingtonians and Oregonians was meant to educate them on the story of how Michigan secured the freedom for all of its public and private sector employees to choose whether or not they want to be represented by a union without financial consequences.
“This kind of behavior is most saddening because it shows a real lack of understanding of what Cascade Policy Institute wants for Oregon,” said Cascade founder Steve Buckstein.
“We do not seek to end unions or union representation. We simply want all Oregonians to have the right to choose whether or not union membership and representation is something they desire for themselves,” he said. “All Oregonians deserve that right, even those who reject our efforts.”
“At the end of the day, this is a fight for freedom and justice. No amount of harassment or intimidation will change that fact,” he ended.
Photos from the event, including images of protesters and arrests, can be found here: http://on.fb.me/1aUbH2C