Solidarity in Madison

A page containing information on the efforts of workers, unions and supporters in opposing the union-busting Budget Repair Bill offered in the 2011 Wisconsin State Senate in February 2011. Gov. Walker signed the bill into law, basically stripping public employee unions of collective bargaining rights and removing such union security clauses as dues check-off while requiring annual representational elections.  The law has already caused many teachers to leave the profession and severely damaged the work standards of public employees. Nonetheless the struggle to oppose the law in the winter of 2011 is indeed historic. Scroll down to view and hear the potpourri of videos, music and photographs used in the February and March 2011 demonstrations.

Videos:

  • Michael Moore’s memorable speech from Capitol on ‘America Is NOT Broke.’  Film Producer Michael Moore captivated the thousands of protesters at the State Capitol Saturday March 5 with his speech, “America Is Not Broke.” He said the “country is awash in cash, it’s just that it’s not in your hands” with 400 of the uber-rich, whom he called “little Mubaraks,” now have more cash, stock and assets of more than 155 million Americans combined.  View the entire speech by clicking here.

Articles:

  • Item from the AlterNet website, telling how the Billionaire Koch Brothers could be influencing this assault on unions in Wisconsin.  Click here.
  • Wisconsin’s rich labor history has come to the forefront as workers and their supporters gather in Madison to hold off the possibility of legislation that would destroy workers’ rights.  For a quick summary of important milestones in Wisconsin labor, click here.

Books:

  • Buhle, Mari Jo and Paul (ed.), “It Started in Wisconsin,” Verso Press, New York and London, 2011.
  • Nichols, John, “Uprising: How Wisconsin Renewed the Politics of Protest, from Madison to Wall Street,” Nation
    Books, 2012.

Selected videos and other ‘entertainments
from Madison protests

A Song Tells it All!

WLHS President Steve Cupery, who is also a area director for the Wisconsin Education Association Council has sent along this interesting song written by Ken Lonnquist, a teacher, and sung on the radio within an hour after he wrote it.

Click here to hear it on You Tube

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Using rap to tell the story in Madison
MC, Activist and Entrepreneur, Jasiri X offers a new rap video that provides an entertaining and colorful view as to what is at stake in Madison.  View it here.For weeks Jasiri X has provided a rapidly growing internet audience with a creative and interesting delivery of the weekly news. Using lyrical skills, controversial subject matter, and phat beats, Jasiri X shows and proves that real Hip-hop is not in the least bit dead.   He recently became the first Hip-Hop artist to receive the August Wilson Center for African American Culture Fellowship.
Another video tells the story The Transport Workers Union has completed a 5 minute video that summarizes the  events in Wisconsin with interviews of workers, speeches and music.  View it here.  Our friends at the Transport Workers (TWU)have produced this great five-minute recap of the action in Madison, Wis., during the past several days where tens of thousands of workers are battling back against Gov. Scott Walker’s (R) attack on middle-class jobs.  There are worker interviews, rallies, marches, solidarity supporter interviews and performances from The Street Dogs, Tom Morello from Rage Against the Machine and others. Click on and take a look. It’s definitely suitable for work, unless you’re one of our deep-cover moles in Walker’s office.  It’ll give you away.  View the five-minute recap.

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Video captures the spirit of protesters in Madison

This video by a teacher at the Milwaukee Area Technical College shows the signs and symbols of the campaign in Madison.  It’s the second in a series of videos trying to capture the spirit and urgency of the protests currently ongoing in Madison, WI during February of 2011 in defense of public workers and America’s middle class.  Watch it by clicking here.

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Hip Hop for Wisconsin & Worker’s Rights!

Melissa Czarnik (Zar-nik) is a Milwaukee-based singer and composer who offers a mix of potent poetry, soulful hip hop and improvisatory jazz. After receiving critical acclaim for her debut album Strawberry Cadillac (2008), she recently released her sophomore albumRaspberry Jesus (2010) on Hyperdrive Motivator Productions out of Milwaukee.  Listen to her “Jump Start” that memorializes the Protests in Madison.

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See, hear, view some great music and pictures . . .

Even the snow can’t stop the spirit. One Wisconsin Now has produced a stirring video of Saturday’s rally outside the capitol as the snow flew.  This is an eagle eye’s view of the massive crowds.  View it here.

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Another singer highlights the cause. “You Can’t Get Away With That!” Bob Orwig of Marinette sings new lyrics he wrote to an old Focal Point song. STOP Walker from taking workers rights!  This supplied courtesy of Tony Vanderbloemen, president of the Greater Green Bay Labor Council. View it here.

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Many music videos emerge supporting workers in Madison

There are many quality music videos appearing and we will list and few and their links here for both your information and enjoyment.  These often provide us with a chuckle, always welcome during this serious business.  We hope you like them.

“Wake Up Scotty Walker.” Here’s a protest song written by an out of state Badger, in solidarity with the workers in Wisconsin, and across the country, whose bargaining rights are being threatened by Republican governors. Keep the Faith, Brothers and Sisters! Galactic Packer, identified on his You Tube profile as “Lee, a Wisconsin-born actor and playwright.”  Click here to view video.

“Take ’em Down.” by Dropkick Murphys Click here to view video.

“We Are Wisconsin.” Another self-produced video stating the case succinctly and with musical background.  Click here to view video.

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Videos show more action, humor in Madison protests

Kathy McElroy linked us to a video of Firefighters marching in a protest parade, including the President of the State Firefighters Union. What makes all this significant is that fire and police unions (also joining in the protests) are both exempted in the Budget Repair Bill from losing collective bargaining rights.  Click here.

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A former Madison Area Technical College AFT local leader has linked us to a video showing “Darth Vader” as he begins his career as a Fox News correspondent by looking into the “violent” protests in Wisconsin.    Click here.

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Photos, videos tell story of huge rally

More and more photo proof of the spirit of the crowds at Saturday’s rally:

Chick here for a potpourri of pictures from the camera of Sue Ruggles, of AFT Local 212 at Milwaukee Area Technical College.

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WLHS President Steve Cupery sends this note, along with a video:

“Check out this video – it’s got the manure spreader in it!  OK.  This is fun.  I suggest you send it on to your members who were not able to attend the rallies in Madison or who did and want it as a memento.   For those of you who have not worked on a farm, it has a sign on it that says “Walker’s bill belongs here.”   From the rally this past weekend.  I ask you, who is having more fun??? The brown shirts that crammed this bill through the legislature or the people here at the Capitol.  Enjoy.”  Click here to view video.

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Con Carbon (pseudonym) sent this video of the Flint Sitdown Strike of 1937, with music and song accompaniment by folksinger Dan Hall.  See it here.

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‘The Winter was Yours but the Spring will be Ours!’

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This short video with text about the ongoing budget struggle in Wisconsin states that there are many more reasons to stand up for Wisconsin public workers right now.  Music is from the movie “Gladiator;” composers are Hans Zimmer and Lisa Gerrard. All photos by “Badger Mom” at protests at what she describes as “our beautiful capitol building” in Madison, Wisconsin. Solidarity!From ‘Badger Mom.’

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More music to the ears: songs of protest from Madison

The band, Kissers, is singing away during the Madison protests.  Here they sing “Scotty We’re Coming for You,” at the Malt House in Madison, WI on Mar. 14, 2011. View and hear here

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From Oakland CA comes a really talented group, paying tribute to the protesters in Madison.  View their song ‘Madison’ here.

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Video traces events in Madison, points to Supreme Court vote

The Greater Wisconsin Committee has produced at 2:28 minute video, depicting the six weeks of debate and protests in Madison, all of which lead up to the importance of the April 5 election.  View it here.