Efforts of workers, unions and supporters in opposing the union-busting Budget Repair Bill offered in the 2011 Wisconsin State Senate in February 2011. (“Act 10”)
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 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. Experience the potpourri of videos, music and photographs used in the February and March 2011 demonstrations.
Michael Moore’s memorable speech from Wisconsin State 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.
- 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. Gather a quick summary of important milestones in Wisconsin labor.
- 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
Many music videos emerge supporting workers in Madison. These often provide us with a chuckle, always welcome during this serious business. We hope you like them.
A Song Tells it All!
WLHS President and area director for the Wisconsin Education Association Council, Steve Cupery, sent along this interesting song written by Ken Lonnquist, a teacher, and sung on the radio within an hour after he wrote it.
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.
Using rap to tell the story in Madison:
MC, Activist and Entrepreneur, Jasiri X offers a rap video that provides an entertaining view as to what is at stake in Madison. For weeks Jasiri X provided a rapidly growing internet audience with creative, interesting delivery of weekly news. Using lyrical skills, controversial subject matter, and phat beats, Jasiri X proved that real Hip-hop was not in the least bit dead. He became the first Hip-Hop artist to receive the August Wilson Center for African American Culture Fellowship.
Video Captures the Spirit of Protesters in Madison
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 album, Raspberry Jesus (2010), on Hyperdrive Motivator Productions out of Milwaukee. Listen to “Jump Start,” which memorializes the Protests in Madison.
Even the snow could not stop the spirit.
One Wisconsin Now produced a stirring video of Saturday’s rally outside the capitol as the snow flew. Above is an eagle eye’s view of the massive crowds.
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.
“Wake Up Scotty Walker,” a protest song written by an out of state Badger, rings in solidarity with the workers in Wisconsin, and across the country, whose bargaining rights are 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.”
“Take ’em Down.” by Dropkick Murphys
“We Are Wisconsin.” Another self-produced video stating the case succinctly and with musical background. Kathy McElroy linked us to the above 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.
A former Madison Area Technical College AFT local union leader 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.
Photos, videos tell story of huge rally
More and more photo proof of the spirit of the crowds at Saturday’s rally:
Sue Ruggles, of AFT Local 212, at Milwaukee Area Technical College captured this historic and important event for the people of Wisconsin and the United States with her beautiful photos
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.
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.
‘The Winter was Yours but the Spring will be Ours!’
This short video with text about the historic Act 10 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.’
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
From Oakland CA comes a really talented group, paying tribute to the protesters in Madison. Listen to their song, ‘Madison’
Video traces events in Madison, points to Supreme Court vote
The Greater Wisconsin Committee has produced a 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.