Monday, February 21, 2011

Madison Wisconsin & Solidarity Protests

Two Student Insurgent Correspondents reports back, with eye witness accounts on the vigil for economic justice in Madison:

The Situation, "Basically the governor is using the current economic downturn to justify the removal of 'collective bargaining' rights. Simply put the governor want to take away the public employee Unions. Then you have jackasses like Limbagh, saying this is the battleground to end unions. The whole nation is watching because union rights here will determine union rights everywhere and the other states are considering this move. The timing and nature of the protest has the whole world watching, because this could be the United State's Tahrir square"- KC, reporting from Madison.

But the situation is nothing like Tahrir and is a remarkable show of solidarity, between unions and even states. The state democrats have fled the state to prevent quorum in the state legislature, preventing a vote and there is some danger that the state may railroad some legislation and disregard its citizens. But for now the profound demonstration for solidarity continues.

Another native Wisconsin citizen and solidarity demonstrator, Mindy Preston describes the situation this way. "I have a very hard time justifying doing anything besides standing in solidarity with our sisters and brothers. The teachers and University of Wisconsin at Madison are all in walkout and will sustain this". Many of the nation's celebrities are appearing to demonstrate support as well, Jesse jackson and others have come to give speeches and call and assure everyone that this is the right action "The crowd at the capital is small right now, because Rage Against the Machine is playing a concert nearby". The temperatures are expected to drop to 18 degrees F and it may get to a balmy, 27 degrees tomorrow. This is freezing, before wind chill. that's a little cold out there, eh? "We go between shivering and shouting in joy. But tonight we may rest easy, because the steel workers union and the Madison Firefighters union are out in a honor guard with us".

One would think the chill, the republican majority might drive the people home. Instead there is real solidarity. But the situation might not be so bad Preston explains "There are 14 senators needed to vote and the vote wont happen. We sang Kumbayah earlier and they may do some drumming now. We are getting ready to settle in for a night. For regular updates check the TAA on Facebook, they are the Teachers Assistant Association [University of Wisconsin's version of the 'GTFF' at the UO]". Remember when just a few months ago they scoffed at sitting around singing songs, now look at the power of song, strength and solidarity.

The Student Insurgent wishes Madison, WI, a good night and stands in solidarity.

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