• Monthly
  • $25
  • $50
  • $100
  • $other
  • use PayPal

SPRING FUNDRAISER

Is it time for our Spring fundraiser already? If you enjoy what we offer, and have the means, please consider donating. The sooner we reach our modest goal, the faster we can get back to business as (un)usual. Please, stay safe and we’ll see you down the road.
FacebookTwitterRedditEmail

Prairie Fire in Madison

From grudging complacency to thousands on the streets, Wisconsin’s protests are spreading like a prairie fire.  With notable work over the years done by small numbers of committed activists aside, widespread political activism has been dormant in Wisconsin.

Wisconsin is the state where Fighting Bob La Follette led the progressive movement a century back and was the first state where public employees secured the right to collectively bargain in 1959. Wisconsites have enjoyed the equity of this past activism for decades, yet 30 years after Ronald Reagan launched his class war against workers, labor is finally taking a stand.

After a series of cascading factory closings, longer work weeks, shortened leisure, lowered expectations and heightened insecurity Wisconsin labor is saying “enough.”

Enter Governor Scott Walker to drop a match to the parched prairie and start the flames of resistance.

Early this week labor unions called for the usual lobbying, protests, rallies, and vigils against Walker’s aggressive move to eliminate collective bargaining rights and cut benefits in order to pay for his larding up the budget with tax breaks for the rich. Except this time it was different.  Walker’s attack was not the usual administration of slow bleeding, but a move to go in for the final kill.  This time, workers across the state realized it was time to fight or see themselves sacrificed on the altar of Scott Walker’s political ambitions.

This week, with each passing hour, demonstrations grew and communication among workers left the incubator of organized labor tops and went into a high energy transformation iinto a mass movement.  On the ground, the Republican strategy to railroad the bill through in special session was confounded by protestors, abetted by progressive legislators, which halted its rapid passage in small hearing rooms and moved it into the halls of the capitol rotunda. An all night peoples’ discussion of the bill ensued.  This brought out students and trade unionists to sleep overnight at the state capitol building.

The following day saw the crowd swell to near 15,000, with a walkout by Madison area students, which was followed by the Madison teachers’ union call for a walkout on Wednesday, which continues.  The upbeat mood was further elevated by the firefighters, whom Walker tried to split off from labor by exempting them the cuts. Instead, the firefighters came in support of the people and entered the crowd as heroes. Meanwhile, Governor Walker remained rigid, but with some Republican State Senators beginning to bend and urge compromise. At this point, the largest union in the state, the teachers union (WEAC) had enough. With the vote pending on Thursday, they implored all Wisconsinites to come to Madison and get as close to the capitol rotunda as possible and sit. This call spread across with state, with 35 school districts either canceling or delaying classes today.

More to come!

CHRISTOPHER FONS is a Social Studies teacher in Milwaukee and a member of the Milwaukee Teacher’s Education Association (MTEA). He can be reached at fonsca@gmail.com

 

 

More articles by:
June 02, 2020
Zoltan Grossman
Deploying Federal Troops in a War at Home Would Make a Bad Situation Worse
Nicholas Buccola
Amy Cooper is Christian Cooper’s Lost, Younger Sister 
Manuel García, Jr.
Global Warming is Nuclear War
Patrick Cockburn
An Unavoidable Recognition of Failure: Trump’s Withdrawal From Afghanistan
John Feffer
Is It Time to Boycott the USA?
Kathy Kelly
Beating Swords to Plowshares
Lawrence Davidson
U.S. Urban Riots Revisited
Sam Pizzigati
“Failed State” Status Here We Come
Ron Jacobs
In Defense of Antifa
Cesar Chelala
Bolsonaro and Trump: Separated at Birth
George Wuerthner
The BLM’s License to Destroy Sagebrush Ecosystems
Danny Antonelli
The Absurdity of Hope
Binoy Kampmark
Sinister Flatulence: Trump Versus Twitter
John Stanton
How Much Violence and Destruction is Enough for Depraved American Leaders and Their Subjects?
Richard C. Gross
The Enemy Within
Thomas Knapp
Trump’s “Free Speech:” Doctrine: Never, Ever, Ever Mention He’s a Liar
John W. Whitehead
This Is Not a Revolution. It’s a Blueprint for Locking Down the Nation
June 01, 2020
Joshua Frank
It’s a Class War Now Too
Richard D. Wolff
Why the Neoliberal Agenda is a Failure at Fighting Coronavirus
Henry Giroux
Racial Domestic Terrorism and the Legacy of State Violence
Ron Jacobs
The Second Longest War in the United States
Kanishka Chowdhury
The Return of the “Outside Agitator”
Lee Hall
“You Loot; We Shoot”
Dave Lindorff
Eruptions of Rage
Jake Johnston
An Impending Crisis: COVID-19 in Haiti, Ongoing Instability, and the Dangers of Continued U.S. Deportations
Nick Pemberton
What is Capitalism?
Linda G. Ford
“Do Not Resuscitate”: My Experience with Hospice, Inc.
Medea Benjamin - Nicolas J. S. Davies
Who Are the Secret Puppet-Masters Behind Trump’s War on Iran?
Manuel García, Jr.
A Simple Model for Global Warming
Howard Lisnoff
Is the Pandemic Creating a Resurgence of Unionism? 
Frances Madeson
Federal Prisons Should Not be Death Chambers
Hayley Brown – Dean Baker
The Impact of Upward Redistribution on Social Security Solvency
Raúl Carrillo
We Need a Public Option for Banking
Kathy Kelly
Our Disaster: Why the United States Bears Responsibility for Yemen’s Humanitarian Crisis
Sonali Kolhatkar
An Open Letter to Joe Biden on Race
Scott Owen
On Sheep, Shepherds, Wolves and Other Political Creatures
John Kendall Hawkins
All Night Jazz All The Time
Weekend Edition
May 29, 2020
Friday - Sunday
Tim Wise
Protest, Uprisings, and Race War
Nick Pemberton
White Supremacy is the Virus; Police are the Vector
T.J. Coles
What’s NATO Up to These Days? Provoking Russia, Draining Healthcare Budgets and Protecting Its Own from COVID
Benjamin Dangl
Bibles at the Barricades: How the Right Seized Power in Bolivia
Kevin Alexander Gray - Jeffrey St. Clair - JoAnn Wypijewski
There is No Peace: an Incitement to Justice
Jeffrey St. Clair
A Few Good Sadists
Jeff Mackler
The Plague of Racist Cop Murders: Ahmaud Arbery, George Floyd and the COVID-19 Pandemic
Joshua Frank
In Search of a Lost Socialism
FacebookTwitterRedditEmail