Monday, March 7, 2011

Day 19 of the Great Labor Uprising in Wisconsin...











I finally made it up to Madison last Saturday. I was concerned that Day 19 might be a let down. I have been receiving reports from others who had made the trip north over the last two weeks and the reports were filled with excitement over what is clearly one of the most significant labor battles of the last 50 years. Could such energy still persist in week three? Certainly the numbers were smaller Saturday than in previous weeks. The number of protestors has peaked at around 100,000 and has numbered in the tens of thousands on numerous occasions. On Saturday I would estimate there were around 5,000 people marching through the streets and listening to speeches on the capitol lawn. But after 19 days, 5,000 people is an awfully impressive number. And the enthusiasm of the protestors seemed to be as high as ever. Perhaps the excitement has only increased as it is increasingly clear that the protests have found broad public support across the country.

My most lasting impression of the protests was the incredibly politeness of the protestors. After nearly 25 years of activism I have attended rallies on hundreds of occasions across the nation and in two other countries. I can’t remember another rally where folks were quite so friendly and concerned over their neighbors safety. At one point I tried to climb a top a snow pile to take photos of the crowd. The snow was quite slippery and I was having trouble with my footing. Instantly four sets of hands were supporting me to ensure that I didn’t tumble over. When I broke for lunch at a restaurant near the capitol, the place was crowded with union activist and their supporters. Individuals like my self dining alone sat with other single diners and quickly struck up conversations. My lunch companion Kathie Free was the subject of one of the interviews I aired on today’s episode of Labor Express. I like labor uprisings Wisconsin style, and its not just because of my love for good chesse.

You can hear more from the Great Wisconsin Labor Uprising on today’s episode of Labor Express Radio…
http://www.archive.org/details/LaborExpressFor3-7-11

You can see pics from Saturday here…
https://picasaweb.google.com/jerrymeadlucero/WisconsinStateCapitolDay19?feat=directlink

On Thursday there will be a major mobilization to support public sector workers in Indianapolis. You can find out more here…
https://spreadsheets0.google.com/viewform?formkey=dFJqTXVONDlYSzkyQnBOWDhURGlIUUE6MQ

And on Saturday a massive protest is planned for Madison, including tractors this time! You got to be there…
http://www.defendwisconsin.org/

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