Union Thuggery in Outstate Wisconsin
In the latest attempt to put pressure on those who don’t agree with them, a pro union protester threatened Friday to put a local restaurant “out of business” because the business owner refused to put a pro-union sign in the business’s window.Of course, we want to be clear that there is nothing inherently wrong with using boycotts as a political weapon. Liberals have done it, and conservatives have done it.
Friday members of a group called Americans for Prosperity held a rally Friday at Wolff’s Log Cabin Restaurant in Rhinelander. We learned that someone representing one of the unions was also there to protest against Gov. Walker and the pro-Walker group. We were told, and the owners, Dave and Barb Wolff confirmed this, that when the group went into the building the anti-Walker protesters followed and blocked the parking lot. The owner, Dave, went out and asked them to leave room for customers and that’s when someone came up to he and his wife, Barb, and presented them with a union sign and told them to display it in their window. Dave refused and then they were threatened.
Barb asked if they were being blackmailed and the guy told them, “you can call it what you want, but we’re putting you out of business.”
We had this incident confirmed by four other people who were in attendance at the rally and personally witnessed this incident.
Some of these witnesses also told us that after the anti-Walker protesters left, one of those protesters apologized to Dave and Barb for the comments of the other anti-Walker protester.
We’ve heard and seen the signs that pro-union forces want businesses to display in their window “or else.” The “or else” being as the one protester said Friday “or we’re putting you out of business.” They are attempting this all over the state. Part of that effort is also, what can only be taken as a threat, is for union members to shop only at the businesses that have the pro-union signs and leave those who do not have the signs a little card that says something to the effect that union money was being spent there.
This is just another example, as I have said in an earlier column, where the bullies in this area are used to getting their way and they will use whatever force they can to do so even if it means putting a local couple out of business who were merely using their freedom of speech and who even allowed the anti-Walker protesters to be on the business’s property.
But one is allowed to believe that one sort of boycott (say, by the civil rights movement against businesses that discriminated against blacks) was justified, and another (against businesses that have a difference of opinion about Scott Walker’s policies) isn’t.
There are differences of opinion about this, and we are stating ours, in the same way we might say there is a right to free speech, and then condemn some particularly noxious things that some bigot might say.