Thousands mob Ohio Statehouse to defend collective bargaining

Crowd descends on Ohio Statehouse to protest changes to collective bargaining
By Reginald Fields, The Plain Dealer

COLUMBUS, Ohio – As many as 3,800 boisterous public workers from across the state descended on the Ohio Statehouse on Thursday, rocking the normally sleepy Capitol to protest a far-reaching bill that would restrict collective bargaining rights.

The union workers filled the Statehouse’s atrium, rotunda areas and adjacent stairwells as they listened to testimony on Senate Bill 5 being piped in over speakers from a heavily guarded second-floor hearing room. A smaller group of tea party activists were also in the crowd to support the bill.

Security was stepped up in and around the Statehouse where the public is normally allowed to move about freely. Highway Patrol troopers blocked access to hallways leading to the Senate room and turned people away as they stepped off elevators. Columbus police cruisers, typically absent at the Statehouse, lined each side of the Capitol, occasionally circling the building.

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