The event featured a collection of people, including farmers, who showed up with
People of all stripes attended with signs and costumes and banners too numerous to catalog, but I was able to document at least a sample of what was out there.
The Fab 14 were in attendance, the returning state senators who had been in Illinois to give the people time to illuminate some of the nightmare that Walker and his puppetmasters have wrought for the state (more on that from "Wisconsin Death Trip" in COUNTERPUNCH). Earlier in the day on the opposite side of the capitol, democratic assembly members spoke, including Peter Barca, the one who read out the law that the republican senators were breaking as they brazenly voted on the bill last Wednesday. The republican assembly passed it Thursday, and Walker signed it into law Friday. Lawsuits are pending on several counts. Firstly, that the republican senators used an illegal procedure to pass the bill. Secondly, that the logic used for dividing the bill in the first place, separating the stripping of union bargaining from
what was considered "fiscal," thereby not requiring a quorum, which is what the democrats denied the senate by exiting the state, was in fact false, since stripping unions of bargaining has fiscal implications. Plus, Walker still insists that the purpose of stripping unions of rights is to balance the budget. You can't call it nonfiscal and claim that it has fiscal implications. Therefore, all this might go away in the courts.
above: union cab (cooperatively owned taxi company) procession up State St
One of the most important messages in Saturday's protest was to elect a Wisconsin supreme court judge on April 5th, Joanne Kloppenburg, to replace a hideous conservative, which would throw the balance away from a 5-4 conservative majority.
All-in-all, the protest was packed, passionate, and peaceful. Fixed News insists that Union Thugs were imported for the protests, and of course this is nonsense. Here are their thugs:
My greatest pleasure was marching with Kristine and her union from the library mall on campus, up State Street, and around the capitol. Empowering is the word for it, shouting "Union Power!" and "How do we fix the deficit? TAX, TAX, TAX THE RICH!" You could see the excitement spread to others as we marched past.
And no, half the people were not tea baggers. Every person was anti-Walker. Every one. If your news is telling you otherwise, you are watching propaganda.
At 7 pm, we went to the Barrymore to hear a very fiery Dennis Kucinich, Jim Hightower ("I'm as pleased to be here as a flee at a dog show"), union organizer Bill Franks, Laura Flanders of Grittv.org, our fed rep Tammy Baldwin, and others. What a crowd. I'll attempt to embed the Kucinich speech below. Definitely worth your time:
Carl & Kristine