Will retirees greet the pension session with street protests?

Looking through our photo gallery of the late Bruce Sundlun’s life and times last week, I was struck by this photo showing protesters angrily criticizing the former governor for freezing their accounts during the banking crisis.

Here’s how The New York Times described the outcry in a January 1992 article:

Tonight hundreds of depositors still waiting for their money held a candlelight vigil outside the Statehouse here to mark the anniversary of the crisis.

With their arms around each other, depositors lined the steps of the marble-domed Capitol and waved signs demanding, “We Want Our Money Back Now.” …

Last August, in a protest with symbolic links to the Boston Tea Party in 1773, depositors dropped 3,000 teabags in front of the Governor’s office. “We wanted the Governor to know how close we have come to a citizens’ revolt,” Mr. McKenna said.

Seeing and reading all this leaves me wondering whether we may see something similar this fall if state leaders move to make major cuts in the pensions currently being collected by state and local workers. How will they respond? Would there be demonstrations in the streets or in the Statehouse? Maybe a better question is, what are the odds there wouldn’t be protests?

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