It is an amazing time in American history and this citizen vlogger feels fortunate to be in Madison. Having lived in other parts of the country during times where political events erupted and shocked the psyche of the people, these times here are like none of the others in intensity.
Whether it was seeing tens of thousands of people in the streets marching against wars based on blood for oil or for women’s reproductive rights or against hatred vomiting from the extreme right in other places, being part of the Wisconsin Uprising was by far the most meaningful and the most inspirational.
To see my wonderful hard-working neighbors with their beautiful families and their friends and just about every kind of person out there in the hard midwestern winter wind and snow peacefully marching for working families, the poor, seniors, students, the disabled and the essential right to vote in the streets could not make me more proud. We sang with all our heart. We chanted for democracy. We cheered for each other. We hugged each other. We kept each other warm if we could. We saw and knew that we were on the correct side of history. So many of those I met and those who gave unforgettable speeches at the rallies will never be forgotten. Many times, all of us were brought to tears and then brought to cheers and our joyful noise thundered down to our bones. We are vigilant and resilient.
However, if you turned on Hate Radio or any of the Murdoch Propaganda channels like Fox News, we were called “union thugs”, “socialists”, “communists” and demonized as some kind of “un-American” enemy, even though we were doing the most American thing an American can do and what our Founding Mothers and Fathers fought for. The reasons to protest and march were much more than about unions. It was about respect, truth and decency over hapless arrogance and puritanical disregard for all of us, not just the luckiest of us.
My neighbors and all of those who protested Walker and his ilk actually are willing to forgive them for their sins. We know they know they are wrong.
Granted, Scott Walker and his lock-stepping Republicans performed in the most un-American of ways with breaking Wisconsin constitutional laws and the basic American rights for citizens to vote and for their bodies not to be controlled by some theocratic regime. Walker, a substandard college dropout who was kicked out of Marquette University, was full of narcissistic schemes and bloviated self-aggrandizement and looking to sneak through extremist neo-John Birch Society fanatical zealotry. He had the Koch Brothers’ billions and the plans written by the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC). He had the Fitzgerald Brothers to make sure that both the House and Senate slammed through the ALEC-prepared extremist legislation even if they broke the laws of this state. They changed the rules as they went along hoping no one would catch on. We did.
Being familiar with the Capitol Square on a nearly daily basis, I saw and heard all of what happened during the time starting in January 2011 and it reminded me of what it must have been like in the beginnings of other times where the people would not just let the power-drunk partisans owned by plutocratic masters run them over. I could hear my brothers and sisters marching by on their way to the Capitol. I sang and chanted in the stunning chambers of the Capitol Rotunda many times with hundreds of people of all stripes who would not be silenced. We have all been for each other with a common bond that is hard to describe the emotions, except that they were intense. It’s as if we were all soldiers in a war.
Actually, it has been like being in a war. It’s a war for the soul of the American dream and for the destiny of democracy that is not bought by rapaciously calculating billionaires and tycoons of treachery. They don’t care for the working people unless they can buy them like cheap toys. They also buy politicians like Scott Walker for their amusement to be their personal puppets that they will eventually throw away. Walker just hasn’t figured that out yet.
So June 5 has finally arrived. The people of Wisconsin will decide. Those with the memories of being out there in the cold winter wind marching for their and their future generation’s future can rest assured that it has been a noble fight. Victory is deserved.
There have been over a million people who have visited this site since it started in November 2010 and my hand virtually goes out to shake yours even of you disagree with what I believe. Hopefully, if you are planning to vote for Walker, you will reconsider and join those of us who think this important election needs to send a message that teachers aren’t evil, the environment should be passed down to future generations responsibly, that women deserve to be able to make their own decisions concerning their health and have an equal level for wages, that seniors and the poor deserve assistance to survive, that science is respected and so much more. Hopefully, you don’t think Wisconsin can be bought by the highest bidder. Yes, even protecting collective bargaining is part of the cause, which was defined perfectly by the Supreme Court of Canada, who defined collective bargaining as a human right in the 2007 case of Facilities Subsector Bargaining Association v. British Columbia:
The right to bargain collectively with an employer enhances the human dignity, liberty and autonomy of workers by giving them the opportunity to influence the establishment of workplace rules and thereby gain some control over a major aspect of their lives, namely their work… Collective bargaining is not simply an instrument for pursuing external ends…rather [it] is intrinsically valuable as an experience in self-government… Collective bargaining permits workers to achieve a form of workplace democracy and to ensure the rule of law in the workplace. Workers gain a voice to influence the establishment of rules that control a major aspect of their lives.
Perhaps this video will give a nice overview of what the Recall Movement means:
By all means necessary, get out the vote. It’s time to turn the page.