JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) -- Hundreds of union supporters and Tea Party members have held small but raucous demonstrations at the Missouri statehouse.
The union rally on Saturday was part of a nationwide effort by labor groups and political groups to show solidarity with protesters in Wisconsin, where Gov. Scott Walker is backing legislation that would strip unions of most of their collective bargaining rights.
About 300 union supporters held signs, chanted and sang songs in support of Wisconsin groups on the Capitol's north side.
About 200 Tea Party supporters held a counter protest on the Capitol's south side. Republican Congressman Todd Aiken told the crowd that the sharp differences in opinion on government spending are similar to debates before the Civil War about whether the country should stay united.
(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)