[by David Van Thournout]
I slept on the floor of the rotunda last night. I Intend the same this evening.
It is do or die for the Democratic party, and ground zero is in Wisconsin where unions fought for and won things like weekends, workers compensation, the 40 hour work week, workplace safety, this list goes on. Rights that were paid for by the blood, sweat and tears of American workers who organized and won these rights.
Most important in this is the right to collectively bargain.
This is what Governor Scott Walker wants: no more collective bargaining rights for American workers. None. He’s lying about a budget deficit that he himself manufactured by giving big tax breaks to large corporations. Now he wants us to believe that if the people only give up their right to collectively bargain the budget will be fixed. These are the people who teach our children, who we call when we’re in trouble and the people who do the everyday seemingly thankless job of making sure we live in a society that is there for each other when the chips are down.
The people of Wisconsin are coming out in great numbers to say NO to Scott Walker and his manufactured deficit and in solidarity with workers protesting the silencing of their voices in American politics.
14 democratic senators have fled Wisconsin denying a quorum vote on this draconian bill. A bill that literally turns American workers back into the wage slaves we were to the moneyed elite in the time of the robber barons.
This is also about the ability that workers have to put money behind liberal democrats. Once labor is killed in Wisconsin, the conservative theory goes, the rest of the states will fall like dominoes. They may be right. We can’t let this happen.
There were 70,000 people surrounding the capitol building today. The rotunda is filled with yet more people who have come from all over to testify before the senate on behalf of family members and fellow workers this evening regarding the importance of collective bargaining rights. It’s been going on for almost a week now.
And it isn’t getting any smaller.
(crossposted at qcmississippimud.com)
VanThournout lives on the Mississippi river in Rock Island. He plays
guitar, writes poetry and music, designs websites, and organizes for a
more just and peaceful world. More than a decade ago David began
demanding meaningful employment rather than mindless work making
widgets. David now requires that he loves what he does and that it
actually makes the world a better place in a way that is sustainable. Follow David on Twitter at twitter.com/badweatherrr. E-mail David Van Thournout.