Friday, August 30, 2013

Wisconsin rebels against the Walker/ALEC agenda

Teamsters at a recent rally at Wisconsin's Capitol. 
Wisconsin activists are stirring again even as North Carolina's Moral Monday movement gathers steam.

No one should be surprised. Both states have governors backed by radical billionaires. In Wisconsin, Job-killer Gov. Scott Walker is a stooge for the Benedict Arnold Koch brothers. North Carolina Gov. Art Pope Pat McCrory is a puppet for greedy billionaire Art Pope.

Both governors are pursuing the same agenda, which was handed to them by ALEC, the corporate escort service for state politicians. ALEC's aims are to crush unions, eradicate public education, impoverish government workers, suppress voting rights and marginalize women.

On Monday, “Women’s Equality Day,” Wisconsin Teamsters attended a rally in Madison to stand with Wisconsin women who are at the mercy of Walker's agenda.

“Equal pay for women and the right to organize and join a Union are just a few of the reasons we are here today,” said Tom Millonzi, secretary-treasurer of Teamsters Local 200 in Milwaukee.

Joining Millonzi at the rally were Local 200 President Tom Bennett and Business Representatives Steve Nelson and Randy Monroe.

The rally came in the midst of turmoil caused by Walker's heavy-handed crackdown on a group that comes to the Capitol every weekday to sing songs of protest against his union busting. More than a hundred people have been arrested on dubious charges and are insisting on jury trials to demonstrate the absurdity of their arrest.

The arrests include people who just watch, according to the Wisconsin Citizens Media Cooperative.
As the arrests at the Solidarity Sing Along continued, the Capitol Police began warning people on the 1st and 2nd floors overlooking the ground floor rotunda that they were subject to arrest if they did not disperse, even when the individuals were not singing or clapping or participating in any way. When news started to spread that simply observing the unlawful assembly was cause for arrest and citation, outrage spread over the Capitol Police assertion that “spectators are considered participants,” many citizen journalists reported on these warnings, with one video of the warning getting over 60,000 views on youtube.
The crackdowns are re-energizing dissenters in Wisconsin.

Walker, who took away most collective bargaining rights for government workers, now says he'll go after police and firefighters' collective bargaining rights. A firefighter has been arrested at the Capitol and off-duty Madison police have joined the protest, the Cap Times reports.

Normal Stockwell wrote in The Cap Times that the Wisconsin protesters who are getting arrested in the Capitol are honoring the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, who was assassinated while supporting Memphis sanitation workers striking for the right to join AFSCME:
Today there is another struggle to recognize the rights and dignity of labor in the state of Wisconsin. Many of the workers who lost collective bargaining rights under Act 10 in 2011 were AFSCME workers, too. Since March of 2011, a loose group calling itself the Solidarity Sing Along has gathered inside or outside the Capitol to sing in solidarity with those workers who lost rights through the passage of Act 10. In recent weeks, arrests of those singers, their supporters and others simply observing have increased. Notable labor activists arrested have included David Newby, former president of the Wisconsin AFL-CIO.