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Posted at 09:40 AM ET, 10/13/2006

Orioles Fans Unionize

So, like everyone else in the world, I've been waiting and waiting to see what would happen next with the FreeBirds, those angry, chanting, beer-loving Orioles fans who walked out of a game last month in a moment of goose-bump inspiring solidarity. Unlike everyone else in the world, I've been keeping in touch with the FreeBirds' leader, "Nasty" Nestor Aparicio, with hopes of landing some breaking news.

Well, Nasty can parry media members with the best of them, but he finally e-mailed me to tell me that the new plan is out. I couldn't wait. You can read it here. All, um, 6,796 words of it. (Nasty, brother, brevity is the soul of wit, or whatever. Newspaper reader surveys consistently show that people like shorter stories. Also, that people don't like newspapers.)

Anyhow, the important points, most of which don't appear until about 5,000 words in.

1) Nasty says his biological clock revolved around baseball. Now, I wasn't a biology major, but aren't biological clocks usually used to figure out when women can have children?

2) More importantly, Orioles fans are unionizing! Read all about it here. It's called "The Union of Baltimore Baseball Fans," and the initiation rites tell inductees to "prepare to march." (I told you this fit right in with the history of American protest movements!!!! I called that!!!!! My history major paid off!!!!!)

3) They even have a manifesto, which refers to Siberia. Paging Eugene V. Debs; Eugene V. Debs, please report to Will Call to pick up your Orioles tickets.

4) The Union will have its first meeting on Oct. 21. Expect Pinkertons. Remember; non-violence wins in the end.

5) I'll grant Nasty this; it's a stroke of brilliance to form a union against a man (Peter Angelos) who's spent his life representing labor groups. Plus, the Union's a non-profit that will benefit Little Leagues and stuff, so all those claims of profiteering from the reactionaries should die down. Well done, Nasty, well done.

6) And he again blasts the mainstream media for blowing it on the protest's crowd count, which they did, as I've also noted.

7) But Brother Nasty, explain this: "You will not be hearing about this website on any of the major media outlets (or at least I don't believe you will)." What am I? I'm not major? I get it; you just want the labor press covering this event, huh? Major media outlets. I'll join your union, but jeez.

8) Listen here.

When the Union's inspiration through the workers' blood shall run,
There can be no power greater anywhere beneath the sun.
Yet what force on earth is weaker than the feeble strength of one?
But the Union makes us strong.

Solidarity forever!
Solidarity forever!
Solidarity forever!
For the Union makes us strong.

By  |  09:40 AM ET, 10/13/2006

Categories:  Orioles

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