Wisconsin Protests

Boing Boing has called it the Midwest Tahrir. The Wisconsin governor, a Tea Partier, is attempting to push through an enormous attack on public sector workers, the most appalling of which is the attempt to end their collective bargaining rights. But they ARE not just accepting it. The protests have been massive, and the Democratic legislators needed for a quorum have gone into hiding, refusing to return until the governor agrees to negotiate. And some think this is just the beginning.

Inspiring stuff. To thank the Democrats in hiding, go here. To clear up some misconceptions, go here. (Thanks, Kitchen-Chick!)

9 thoughts on “Wisconsin Protests

  1. I’m completely in favor of the protests, but is it really the midwest Tahrir? The officials in this case were democratically elected. Our problem is the tyranny of the majority.

  2. I hate to say it but it’s not the tyranny of the majority–it’s the dictatorship of the proletariat. That’s why I’m for obliterating the working class–through socio-economic mobility.

  3. The bill is even worse than what the link suggests. Not only does it basically eliminate collective bargaining (there is a nominal version left which says a) only about wages, b) only at rate of inflation c) if there is a raise above inflation there has to be a community wide referendum. It guts Medicaid by allowing for unspecified co-pays and the ability to refuse to treat if the co-pay cannot be met. It allows for the non-enforcement of the discrimination laws against sexual orientation. It makes department heads at government agencies political appointments (as opposed to working up from the ranks) and further has a clause that every employee “shall comply with every request of the secretary relating to his or her function” So environmental laws good-bye because the politically appointed secretary knows more about engineering than the professional engineers?! It makes the pharmacies use generic (not a bad idea) but then kicks the savings back to the manufacturers. It strips municipalities of any right to enforce their rules on State funded projects. I live in Wisconsin (and have been protesting.) The Koch brothers bought all but the naming rights to this mess-legislation. OH, and it doesn’t even balance the what we are projected to have as a deficit. The part of the bill that did the bulk of that work (over $100 million of it) was in the refinancing or restructuring of existing debt.
    Sorry for the long post. I think it is an exaggeration to compare it with Egypt, but if passed it would be another step in corporate-run government in our state.

  4. Amy Goodman’s (always excellent) coverage on Democracy Now!

    Protesters Expect 100,000 in Madison as Assembly OKs Anti-Union Bill
    with The Nation magazine’s Jon Nichols


    “Until We Throw This Bill Out, We Can’t Come Back:” Wisconsin State Senator Chris Larson Remains in Illinois


    Policing & Protesting: Wisconsin Officers Patrol Capitol, But Join in Demonstrations


    “Gov. Walker Needs to Get Over His Koch Addiction”: Labor Activists Protest Koch Brothers’ Madison Office

    with Elizabeth DiNovella, culture editor for The Progressive magazine


    Teachers, Students Among First to Protest at Wisconsin Capitol


    Wisconsin’s Uprising: A Guided Tour of the 11-Day Protest Encampment Inside the State Capitol in Madison


  5. Reading comments in blogs and such it’s remarkable how compelling the leveling-down intuition seems to be. Conservatives are spinning it as a matter of fairness: public sector workers have union representation, decent pay, job security, benefits and good pensions which most American workers now don’t have. Unfair! They should be just as miserable as every one else!

    And the conservative white working class buys this. They can’t believe that their wages, working conditions or job security can be improved. And they’re convinced that they’re being impoverished by taxes that go to support the lavish lifestyles of school teachers and cops.

    There’s a demonstration outside the county administration building here in San Diego at noon. Unfortunately it’s pouring rain, something to which Southern Californians are averse.

Comments are closed.