Protests converge at Missouri Capitol

Tea Party, union groups rally on opposite sides of building

"Tea Party" supporters gather on the south side of the Missouri Capitol in Jefferson City on Saturday to rally together. Several hundred people attended to support the group, one of two factions gathering to rally on Saturday.

"Tea Party" supporters gather on the south side of the Missouri Capitol in Jefferson City on Saturday to rally together. Several hundred people attended to support the group, one of two factions gathering to rally on Saturday. Photo by Deborah Cote.

It was the tale of two rallies Saturday at the foot of the Missouri Capitol.

In response to the growing tension regarding the fight over unions’ right to collective bargaining in Wisconsin, Missourians took to the seat of state government to either show support or outrage at the debate.

Depending on what side of the building you were on during the cold, dreary afternoon in Jefferson City, there were either cries of “Pass the bill!” and “Show them the boot!” or “Solidarity!” and “Workers’ rights!”

The first rally of the day, which involved the conglomeration of tea party groups from around the state, garnered a crowd of approximately 150 people.

An hour after the tea party’s rally began, members of MoveOn.org — flanked by teachers, members of several different unions and representatives of groups like the Sierra Club — gathered around the fountains on the north side of the Capitol to address a crowd of more than 200 supporters.

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