Back from Madison: No Riots, No Thugs

Okay, it’s a shoo-in for my favorite of the day, but there were plenty of others I loved:

What Would Bob Do? (reference to Fighting Bob LaFollette)

Dread Scott

I Blame Favre

In Russ We Trust (alongside Feingold for Governor)

If You Can Read This, Thank a Teacher

It’s too bad the people who could run this state are too busy teaching

You can’t scare me, I teach Middle School

Don’t refudiate our education

The Superbowl was won by a union

Unions: thanks for the weekend

This private sector bitch supports unions

. . . & for me, seeing the wildcat emblem of the IWW, a portrait of Joe Hill & calls for a General Strike = priceless. Seeing so many unions out was amazing too:  AFSCME, Iron-workers, Fire, SEIU (my grandma’s), and an immigrants rights’ group were shouting Si Se Puede until they were hoarse. My favorite chant? What’s disgusting? Union Busting! But the much more direct kill the bill was chanted to drown out the other side whenever they started trying to defend Walker’s power grab.

The attendance by Tea Partiers is greatly exaggerated. I’d say it was maybe 1:100. Really, they weren’t even a blip: a lone guy with a sign here, a group of five there, & then a kind of gauntlet on the way into the building, but that was it. The mood was peaceful, celebratory, determined, and full of joy and music. The 4PM rally started with the singing of “God Bless America”.

No riots, no thugs.

Paging Senator Kohl

I received an email response from Senator Kohl:

Thank you for sharing your concerns about Governor Scott Walker’s Budget Repair Plan.

As part of his budget approach, the Governor has proposed significant changes in how the state government will interact with some unionized public employees.  Throughout Wisconsin, citizens will continue debating the most appropriate distribution of shared sacrifice necessary to help balance our state budget. At the federal level where I serve, we are having a similar debate about budget priorities and I will continue pressing for meaningful, fair, bipartisan solutions.

Governor Walker’s proposal is a state, rather than a federal matter, and will not come before the United States Senate.  As such, I have no official role. Therefore, I encourage you to contact your Wisconsin State Representative and Senator.  There is a toll-free number you may call to leave a message for your state elected officials or to find out who represents you. The number is 1-800-362-9472.

Again, thank you for taking the time to contact me. Even though I am not directly involved in matters before the Wisconsin State legislature, I will keep your views in mind. Please contact me again about issues that concern you.

First: of course he has no official role. I wrote back:

Respectfully, I would like to suggest that any public statement made by Democratic leadership in favor of yesterday’s walk-out and in favor of collective bargaining – especially those from the state of Wisconsin – would be very valuable in this debate. I urge you to speak out for the workers and citizens of WI.

Thank you very much for your response.

Please do contact your own Senators, state and federal, to get them to make a public statement in favor of the walk-out and the protests in Madison and Ohio.