“We Used Every Tactic Imaginable”

On my home page I have posted the video of executive director John Stocks’ fiery speech to the 2012 NEA Representative Assembly, and I have also posted a speech he gave in May to the Washington Education Association representative assembly. I was struck by the difference in emotion and delivery, but the content was quite different, too.

I’ve cued up the May speech to the point where he describes union efforts in Wisconsin last year. Stocks told the WEA delegates, “On February 11, 2011, when Gov. Scott Walker introduced his legislation, I was asked by the NEA president and the international union presidents of the largest unions in the country to return to Wisconsin to help organize the uprising.”

He said, “We ended up organizing the occupation of the Capitol” and “We urged legislators to flee the state.” He also admits to organizing the demonstrations at legislators’ homes.

“We used every tactic imaginable,” he said.

Near the end of his remarks, Stocks said, “This is a most serious moment. It is, in fact, the future – in my belief – of whether or not there will be unions in this country.”