Solidarity With the Wisconsin Labor Rights Movement


February 20, 2011 by tristan savage

I’m sure most of us have heard about the enormous protests in Wisconsin, where the new Republican governor, Scott Walker, is trying to take away workers’ right to collective bargaining. The protests, which have regularly turned out tens of thousands of students, teachers, police, firefighters, and other neighbors, which have sparked massive strikes and student walkouts, are shaping up to be the epicenter of the new battle for workers’ rights in this latest Great Recession.

Twin Cities Indymedia has a good round-up of recent events, as well as Friday’s Democracy Now interviews about why tax cuts for corporations in Wisconsin have been used to manufacture a budget crisis and an excuse for the ruling class to attack workers’ rights. Students for a Democratic Society is mobilizing to connect student movements to the struggle of the workers, and even the Democrats in the state legislature have joined the barricades- in this case, fleeing the state to deprive the government a quorum, blocking the anti-union bill.

Here’s a wonderful video showing the energy in the protests, and what kind of power youth, workers, and oppressed communities could have everywhere in America if we unite and organize:

2 thoughts on “Solidarity With the Wisconsin Labor Rights Movement

  1. Brooks W. Wilson says:

    It the GOPhonies were as good at governing as they were at getting elected the country would be much better shape; and make no mistake, the GOP is responsible for the shape it is in. What they are best at is making people vote against their own vital best interests.

    From the Revolutionary war on through history, with the exception of 1929 to 1980, the party that has always represented the aristocracy has controlled the economic and social stratification of America. Their mantra has been throughout history the admonishment that the USA is a republic, not a democracy. They claim that democracy is bad because it is a situation where the mindless, soulless majority oppresses the individual and the spirit of God; their natural antithesis of that is a Republic which exists to protect the individual against this oppression. This is more of their sleight of hand used to obfuscate facts. Their view of government is that it’s function should be to ensure the ability of the of the ruling class to exploit the working class and consumers. Since the working class and consumers represents the bulk of the populace they have had to:

    suppress their suffrage
    convince them that voting against their own best interests is in fact voting for their own best interest, or
    obfusctate the social issues to the point where the public ignores their best interests
    They have been successful in doing all three. Minorities are still being denied the right to vote in some states. Another way is to gerrymander voting districts as they did in Texas and other states. The third way has been the most successful, although all three have worked and still work. They have done this by:

    creating strawman issues,
    introducing the fear factor and blaming the majority party; communism, socialism, terrorism, etc.,
    introducing emotional wedge issues such as gun rights, abortion, gay rights, etc.
    exploiting the fact that many Americans think they will “win the lottery,” ignoring the fact that nearly everyone ends up in the same social class to which they were born. The chance of someone born in the lower class ending up in the upper class is less than the chance of winning the lottery. In fact, their only chance of ending up in there is by winning the lottery. It’s lower than the chance of a little league baseball player ending up in the majors. Contrary to the belief by many, George Bush and the Donald Trumps of the world aren’t on 3rd base because the hit a triple, they were born on 3rd base.

    Their purpose in getting the people who they are exploiting to vote for them is simply so they can continue to exploit them. They want to retain and even increase their slice of the pie. Never mind that their bottom line can, and has done so, increase with a smaller slice of a larger pie, they want their slice to be bigger even if it means a smaller pie. It would seem irrational if you didn’t consider the social aspects. They want to be elite. They despise the people who they exploit.

    Income inequality to the extent that we see it now is not sustainable. Forget about fairness or Christian benevolence, it hasn’t worked in the past and it will not work today. Concentration at the top decreases consumption and increases speculative investment. The lesson of 1929 and the recent housing bubble has been forgotten or is being ignored in the interest of getting a larger piece of a shrinking pie.

    What we’re seeing in Wisconsin is only the beginning. The Koch Brothers, atmosphere and social polluters nonpareil, have managed to create the Teaparty combining all four of the above factors with a healthy infusion of racial hatred. Make no mistake, the Koch Brothers’, and other corporations’, target is the middle class and the unions that created the middle class. The middle class resulted from the New Deal legislation which gave the unions the right to bargain and from the regulation which prohibited investment banking. The New Deal created the longest period of sustained growth in history; and even though the upper income levels slice of the pie continued to grow in absolutes, it was not growing as a percentage. Ronald Reagan and his successful attack on regulations and the union through his amnesty legislation brought about the Great Recession of 08, and may yet, if the GOPhonies are successful in job-killing faux austerity plan. The Koch Brothers and multi national corporations aim to continue Reagan’s supply side economics and Friedman’s disaster capitalism and were aided and abetted in their power grab by the Citizens United decision and the no longer controlled infusion of campaign funds.

    Americans continue to fuel the weapon of their own destruction. If Wisconsin fails, so will America.

    • Joseph says:

      Good points, Brooks. It is not looking good, unfortunately, but hopefully things will turn against the corporations and their cronies soon. This is definitely a big deal.

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