09 March 2011

Ladies and Gentlemen of Wisconsin:

The corporate Republican representatives in our state capitol, masquerading as your state senators, have met in the dark and have stolen your rights to collectively bargain for wages and benefits.

On Tuesday, in a feint worthy of a master fencer, Wisconsin Corporate Governor Scott Walker released emails that appeared to show his stubborn stance on his budget despair bill to be weakening. Then on Wednesday evening, the Republican state senate Koch brother marionettes formed a committee to split the bill so that they could pass the union-busting measures without a quorum.

As Democratic senate minority leader Miller stated, “In 30 minutes, 18 state senators undid 50 years of civil rights in Wisconsin. Their disrespect for the people of Wisconsin and their rights is an outrage that will never be forgotten.”

Even if you are not in a union, even if you are not currently employed, this decision will affect you, your family,  all Wisconsinites, and eventually all Americans unless we take our rights back. If you ever wish to improve your standing in the workplace, if you want to earn enough to survive in the future, it is vital that you understand what unions do: they make it possible for us to band together to stand against the tide of corporate tyranny in a country that has been usurped by corporate power.

As I read on a sign wielded by an iron worker on the capitol square: “Together we bargain. Alone we beg.” They love it when we have to beg. The corporate agenda is to divide us so they can lower our wages, strip our health care benefits, and remove pensions entirely.

But it won’t stop there. They want to raze public education so they can privatize it. In Michigan, legislation is nearly passed in which municipal governments might have a good chance of being run not by democratically-elected governments, but by corporations. Naomi Klein on Wednesday’s Democracy Now! spoke about how this could occur:

“They have created, if this passes [in Michigan], the possibility for privatization of a whole town by fiat. And this is actually a trend in the contracting out of public services, where you now have whole towns, like Sandy Springs in Georgia, run by private companies. . . . It’s a kind of a corporate coup d’├ętat at the municipal level.”

The moneyed interests of this country have spoken through their Republican sock puppets of the Wisconsin senate. Wisconsin must become the third world for their benefit, even though they caused all the budget shortfalls of every state in the union, and even though the corporations and the banks that caused the 2008 crisis and the recession that followed have more capital now than ever before. They already gorged themselves on the bailout. Now they want more of what you do not have.

We must rise up to face them head-on, and we must do it immediately. There can be no division. The corporate machine that we all contribute to through our modern lifestyles and our daily jobs must stop dead for as long it takes. We must hurt them, slam into them with our great numbers. We must swarm the capitol and recall all the Koch-addicted Republican finger puppets that took part in passing this disastrous bill.

It is time for a general strike. Buy only essentials. Do not work.

Make. Them. Pay.


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