PI Original Josh Kalven Wednesday April 21st, 2010, 11:49am

"Save Our State" Rally Swarms Springfield (VIDEOS & PHOTOS)

Over 10,000 protesters descended on downtown Springfield on April 21 as part of the Responsible Budget Coalition's Save Our State Rally.  Below is our full coverage.

The Responsible Budget Coalition's "Save Our State" rally is underway in Springfield, where  thousands of teachers, students, state workers, health care providers, and concerned citizens have gathered in support of a sustainable solution to the state budget crisis.  We'll be uploading pictures and videos throughout the day, so check back often.

12:10 p.m: Educators of all stripes are present at the rally today, from kindergarten teachers to university professors.  Below is a brief interview with John Miller, who teaches at Western Illinois University and says that he's seeing the state budget crisis start "to impact the quality of education" at his institution:

12:25 p.m.: We also spoke with Ashley, a child care provider from Freeport, who emphasized that if the agency she works for goes under because of state funding cuts, it won't just affect her employment but also that of the parents who rely on her services:

12:40: Here are a few more pics from before the rally this morning:

(Photo credit: Heather Stone)

12:55 p.m.: We caught up with State Rep. David Miller, as he observed the growing crowd from the capitol steps.  A longtime support of House Bill 174 -- the revenue option supported by the Responsible Budget Coalition and its members -- he told us that "many legislators have not seen a rally of this magnitude," adding: "This is not just a city of Chicago problem, or a Cook County problem.  It's a statewide problem."

1:35 p.m.: After the rally, the protestors headed into the state capitol.  On their way there, they chanted "Raise our taxes! Raise our taxes!"

2:05 p.m.: Some more photographs from the rally and march, starting off with one of SEIU Healthcare IL/IN President Keith Kelleher addressing the crowd. (Full disclosure: SEIU Illinois sponsors this website.)

(Photo credit: Heather Stone)

2:25 p.m.: From the Tribune:

A spokesman for Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White estimated the rally crowd at 15,000, with more than 12,000 marching around the building. That would appear to make it the largest Capitol protest since the Equal Rights Amendment crowds a quarter-century ago.

2:40 p.m.: Before the protestors had reached the statehouse, we caught up with State Rep. Will Burns (D-Chicago) who was encouraged by the rally's geographic diversity:

3:10 p.m.: A few photos from the action inside the statehouse:

(Photo credit: Heather Stone)

3:30 p.m.: Our favorite t-shirt of the day:

3:45 p.m.: And here's some video from inside the statehouse, with protestors chanting: "Show some spine, show some guts!  Now's the time to stop the cuts!"

Towards the end of the rally, Denver Bitner, president of Lutheran Social Services of Chicago, reminded everyone that "human services are about human beings."  He then brought Deanna Martinez to the stage, who recalled how a state-subsidized addiction treatment program saved her life.  Watch her remarks:

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We can give them a good education that they can use in their life to get a better chance in this life. Im sure with a good education all of us will see the changing that all that kids can have. Clinton Blunt

The "Save Our State" made a good statement. There are many causes of back pains and inversion tables can help in many cases. They could help the thousands of teachers, students, state workers and health care providers who turned up in support.

Sounds like common sense... Raise the taxes so you don't have to make budget cuts that will hurt a lot of people. I wish they would have considered that in our state, instead of cutting programs for the needy and cutting education funding. Gary Corbett

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Sounds like an interesting interview, maybe it will get us somewhere in our fight against budget cuts.

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The legitimate object of government is to do for a community of people, whatever they need to have done, but cannot do at all, or cannot so well do for themselves, in their separate and individual capacities.
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I was in the "Save Our State rally Wednesday that was sponsored by the Coalition for Responsible Budget. I prayed with the participants. I sang with the participants. Marché with mensagens participants. I waited with the participants. And waited. And waited. And waited .. .

Here are moments from the Save Our State march & rally held Wednesday April 6, 2011. The event was organized by Texas State Employees Union and Texas Forward, an organization of more than 50 advocacy and social services organizations statewide. NJ Windows Contractor

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Raise the taxes so you don't have to make budget cuts that will hurt a lot of people. I wish they would have considered that in our state, instead of cutting programs for the needy and cutting education funding.
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i am afraid when I saw the pictures, rally can do nothing. why they don't just speak to the public in a good manner instead of doing such bad moves.

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Would You Rather have a peaceful rally or get support through social media? This is waht I thought of when I saw this story!

"Save Our State" is a collaborative effort among several organizations like Center for Public Policy Priorities,Texas State Employees Union,Texas State Teachers Association,Texas League of Young Voters and other.
The main Objective of this program was calling on state governments to prioritize Health Care,education,public safety,environment and jobs.

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Activists with Save Our State reportedly planned on making a “citizen’s arrest” of the Simi Valley mother, reports the Ventura County Star. "I'm here because I'm for the movement for the illegals to go home,” explained one protester. The protest apparently became violent, as one anti-immigrant protester allegedly pepper-sprayed a pro-immigrant counter-protester, and several neo-Nazis showed up to hold their own mini-rally. The group “Mothers Against Illegal Aliens” also apparently made an appearance.Harassment of day laborers is a common tactic of local anti-immigrant vigilantes. Rodriguez’s billboard directed viewers to go to the website of Save Our State, the group that wrote the blueprint for local immigration crackdowns in Hazleton, Pennsylvania and dozens of other cities. Two years ago, Save Our State founder Joseph Turner described his method of “saving” California from becoming a “Third World cesspool”
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The simple truth is that there will not be any further tax increases.
Government employees of which I am one will need to accept pay cuts and benifit cuts that many people have had to deal with in the private sector. We can fight and scream all day long but at the end of the day
the fiscal realitites are changing fast.

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