LiUNA (Laborers’ International Union of North America) sponsored a “Build Minnesota,” rally yesterday on the historic Stone Arch Bridge that crosses the Mississippi River between St. Anthony Falls and the new I-35W bridge built to replace the bridge that fell into the river Aug. 1, 2007. This rally was part of Netroots Nation 2011 in Minneapolis.
The union and supporters focused on the necessity of rebuilding Minnesota infrastructure and the availability of skilled workers to accomplish the task. Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak described the community infrastructure built upon the Falls of St. Anthony that spawned the flour milling capitol of the world, and contrasted that with the collapse of an interstate highway bridge because of government neglect. Some 400 rallied on the bridge to hear Mayor Rybak and Saint Paul Mayor Chris Coleman, Congressman Keith Ellison and others pleading for action now to rebuild Minnesota. The rally closed with a fire-breathing speech by Terry O’Sullivan, LiUNA General President.