Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Revolution in Wisconsin

Read about our governor Scott Walker and his terrible budget plan? You should.

This was the scene on Monday at the capitol when the TA union, the TAA, held a rally. It doesn't look like a lot of people, but the TAA is one tenacious union, and lots of members were inside and outside the capitol chanting and waving signs.

On Tuesday, buses of union members and public workers started to flood the square

A neighboring town's firefighters marched in solidarity, even though Walker's bill allows firefighters and police officers to keep their collective bargaining rights.

This town is always prepared for a nonviolent demonstration.

Yesterday afternoon, the joint finance committee held a public hearing on Walker's budget "repair" bill where members of the public could testify about the bill. The hearing lasted from 10:00 am on Tuesday -3:30 am on Wednesday reconvening a few hours later, and my Facebook feed assured me that no one spoke in favor of the bill after 1:15 pm on Tuesday. A citizen's filibuster.

Today, 30,000 people crowded the square, playing music, holding signs, chanting, marching. We joined them.

Right now, there are TAs sleeping in the Capitol rotunda. A teach out/walk out is planned for tomorrow, and our local schools may be shut down for the second day in a row while teachers protest the threat of an 8% pay cut and a busted union.

On Wisconsin!


  1. This made public radio all the way down here and I thought of you guys. What an incredible thing to be a part of. I love the citizen's filibuster. Amazing! And hopefully the system will work as it's supposed to.

  2. So amazing, Sarah. Wish I could be there with everyone! SOLIDARITY! Fight the good fight, and know that all of us who are expats are thinking of you.

  3. Thank God for Fiber! (I was laughing when I saw Jack's picture.)

    I just don't get it -- all these people protesting. Who the hell elected this guy???? Maybe he'll be the fastest recalled gov ever?

  4. I love the clever signage. Best of luck, Wisconsin!

  5. Thanks for the pictures - appreciate all the footage that I am getting from blogs and Facebook.


    Go Wisconsin! Sending support from Milwaukee. Be safe!

  6. your union needs to come visit with the people in Lincoln who are proposing to allow teachers to carry guns to school. Try and mess with the union when they're armed!

    Good luck overturning that jackhole! you were certainly the cutest protesters there!

  7. Anonymous3:27 PM

    Great post! So glad you took your boys! I've seen so many kids there, experiencing democracy.

    What a proud moment!

  8. So torn on so many things...

    Unions - some times they help and some times they hurt. Ours has been ineffective in negotiating so badly that our contracts expired over a year ago and no progress seems to be happening. And, states like Texas pay teachers/educators better than where I live, and they don't have unions. But, it sounds a little drastic to totally do away with them all at once...

    Budget - I could see maybe making part of one of the changes they are proposing (slight increase in what you pay for things or a slight decrease in pay), but they are being too drastic. And our state is almost as bad - trying to pass an 11% funding cut for my school as well as increase what we have to pay into retirement. I know states are hurting, but really they need to try and do things SLOWLY and across the board equally...

  9. Is it crazy that this is one of the things I miss about Madison? My sister was there yesterday and today to help with crowd control (she's unemployed now since the Democrats lost in the last election). Funny (sort of) thing is that her boyfriend works for the State Assembly Speaker (or whatever his title is) so he was inside listening to the chants. It's pretty amazing. Dane101 has a lot of great coverage (and a friend of my sis's takes a lot of the photos). Two weeks ago when we were visiting my parents my mom (a teacher) was FREAKING OUT about this so now I know she's just crazy over it. Is it even possible to have a recall???

  10. Anonymous11:22 PM

    Hi! I wanted to thank you for this post! So well written and great pictures! I am a mother of a pre-schooler and a fellow UW-employee (public employee) and my health insurance and retirement are very much impacted by this "budget repair bill." ...not to mention my bargaining rights through a union.

    The proposed changes will really hurt families as you know. So, thank you so much for taking your kids there and for blogging about it! :)