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One Long Island take on Wisconsin

An estimated 70 to 100 thousand demonstrators rally

An estimated 70 to 100 thousand demonstrators rally outside the capitol building protesting the proposed Budget Repair bill on February 26, 2011 in Madison, Wisconsin. Demonstrators have occupied the building's interior for the past 12 days protesting Governor Scott Walker's attempt to push through the bill that would restrict collective bargaining for most government workers. Today's rally was the largest since the protest began. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images) Credit: Getty Images

Charlene Obernauer, leader of the Long Island chapter of the not-for-profit Jobs With Justice organization, says in her blog that workers in New York -- and on Long Island — are “inspired” to avoid a Wisconsin-style labor relations meltdown.

“In all of New York, and especially on Long Island, which has the fourth largest labor movement in the country and is arguably the most powerful legislative district of New York State, workers are inspired,” Obernauer writes. The Long Island group is based in Hauppauge.

“Protests that were once despair-ridden with the fear of inevitable layoffs are reinvigorated with new hope.

“But this time, hope isn't being placed in politicians. This time, hope is coming from the power of the people and their willingness to fight.”

Obernauer says, “In Wisconsin and all across the country, the middle class is under attack.”

The result, for workers, might be “to go back to the 1920s and get rid of weekends, sick days, and vacation.”

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