Democracy breaking out on Markham | Arkansas Blog

Democracy breaking out on Markham

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Ruthie Mahone, Laura Young, Phyllis Johnson and Cindy Ante protest at City Hall.
  • Ruthie Mahone, Laura Young, Phyllis Johnson and Cindy Ante protest at City Hall.

Along with all the boosters campaigning for their candidates outside the Pulaski County Regional Building at 501 W. Markham, the "We Shall Not Be Moved" group and members of Occupy Little Rock are holding signs in front of City Hall protesting the Little Rock Technology Park Authority's decision to level a residential area for the park.

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(Occupy Little Rock joined up with "We Shall Not Be Moved" yesterday). One of those demonstrating, Ruthie Mahone, who's lived at 823 Abigail for 26 years and has "raised my kids and everybody else's" at the home she owns there, told a reporter she does not believe it's God's plan for her to have to move.

East down Markham, in front of the Capital Hotel, a sea of red-shirted Windstream employees — members of the Communications Workers of America — were marching and holding signs with such slogans as "Thieving Bastards" and "Retirees Got the Shaft" as the Windstream stockholders met in the hotel. The union is protesting Windstream's severe cutback in company contributions to employees' health insurance premiums. Once paying as much as 90 percent of the premiums, Windstream now contributes only $80 no matter how long a worker has been with the company. Employees — including retired workers, whose contribution was once only 10 percent — now are picking up premiums ranging from $700 to $1,100, spokesperson Linda James said. There were about 75 to 80 Windstream protesters, many of whom had ridden six hours on a bus from Dallas to participate in the protest.

Communications Workers of America, protesting at the Capital Hotel
  • Communications Workers of America, protesting at the Capital Hotel

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