Two from county join Annapolis counterprotest

February 22, 2011
  • Tom Janus, who lives in south of Hagerstown, is interviewed Tuesday in Annapolis about his views on the union rights controversy in Wisconsin.
By Andrew Schotz, Staff Writer

ANNAPOLIS — Union supporters had a bigger crowd at a rally in the state capital Tuesday, but a group of counterprotesters — including two from Washington County — made their share of noise, too.

Members of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees rallied near the State House to show support for public employees in Wisconsin, who could lose their collective bargaining rights under a plan by Republican Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker.

Walker's proposal has touched off more than a week of large protests and caused Democratic senators to leave the state in an attempt to stall it.

More than 100 union supporters gathered in Lawyers Mall in Annapolis, many of them with signs and chanting slogans such as "What's disgusting? Union busting."

Across the street, about two dozen people gathered to praise Walker's idea.

One was Tom Janus, who lives near Hagerstown. He held a sign reading: "I stand with Walker. Will you? Unions must share the pain."

Ann Corcoran of Keedysville was there with a sign, too.

"We Tea Partiers have to get out and counter this," she said of the union rally.

Corcoran said plans for the counterprotest circulated through the newly formed Maryland Conservative Action Network.

Del. Neil C. Parrott, R-Washington, who founded the Hagerstown TEA (Taxed Enough Already) Party, stood with the group, too.

— Andrew Schotz

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