Wisconsin Solidarity Rally
Saturday, February 26, Noon
Tomorrow, in cities across the nation, including Columbus and every state capital, people will come together to stand in solidarity with the people of Wisconsin and rally to Save the American Dream. Teachers, nurses, firefighters, students, police officers and others protesting in Wisconsin have occupied the Capitol building and streets of Madison for the past nine days, and now their protest is going national.
Issue 5 and similar bills in other states to remove collective bargaining is not at root about saving money or balancing budgets. The core issue is the right of people to organize — the Constitutional right of freedom of association — against corporate power and rights and for justice and dignity. It’s one piece of the struggle to End Corporate Rule.
The Wisconsin Wave of Resistance is making this connection.
Their Statement/Call follows. They are collecting signatures from people across the state.
CALL FOR A WISCONSIN WAVE OF RESISTANCE
the WISCONSIN WAVE Against Corporatization and Austerity and for Democracy and Shared Prosperity
We recognize the rising Wisconsin wave of resistance to corporatization and austerity and call on our fellow Wisconsinites to join it.
For more than a century Wisconsin was America’s laboratory of democracy. Big Wisconsin Ideas, like barring corporate electioneering, workers’ rights protections, and the conservation ethic, have inspired Americans everywhere to push their state governments in a more progressive direction. But Wisconsin is not immune to the forces that often threaten social progress. For every elected official who channels grassroots energy and calls us to the higher ground, there’s a politician who wants to steer us off the cliff. For every “Fighting Bob” La Follette, there’s a “Tailgunner Joe” McCarthy.
Today, Wisconsin’s democratic tradition faces the greatest threat it has ever known. Governor Scott Walker, operating at the direction of Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce (WMC), is using the financial crisis caused by Wall Street speculators as an excuse to impose devastating cuts to public services. The WMC agenda is shameless. They intend to shift the tax burden even further away from major corporations and onto the rest of us. Their agenda is undemocratic. They would protect themselves from voters by lowering Wisconsin’s voting rights guarantees to those of Alabama and Mississippi. Their agenda is heartless. It has no place in it for the needs of Wisconsin’s youth, our poor, our disabled, or our unemployed at this time when their needs are greatest. The WMC-Walker agenda would destroy everything that once made Wisconsin great: a robust educational system; safe, high paying jobs; and a clean environment available for enjoyment by all people.
But as in other grim times throughout our state’s history, concerned Wisconsinites are rising up to defend our way of life. This diverse group of individuals, which includes everyone from college students to factory workers to small farmers and businesspeople, is uniting behind the common-sense principle that the wealthy few who caused the financial crisis are the ones who should pay for it. This rising Wisconsin Wave of protest insists that:
* Our state government must guarantee a fully funded public sector including education, health care, human services, transportation, public safety, and vital regulatory agencies.
* Taxes on large corporations and wealthy individuals should be returned to reasonable levels in order to solve the state’s fiscal crisis.
* The state must respect the rights of workers to organize unions and bargain collectively.
* Initial budget priorities must be established through public participation instead of closed door meetings between public officials and special interest lobbyists.
* Voting rights must be expanded, not limited, to insure that every Wisconsinite can take part in our democracy.
* Wisconsin deserves government of, by, and for the people, not the corporate elite; corporations have no constitutional rights and may not buy our elections or government.
This Wisconsin Wave is a force independent of political parties and partisan elected officials. It is an awakening of Wisconsinites independent of --but not exclusive of-- whatever other political, union, faith, or organizational affiliations we each might have.
To the giant corporate interests that currently dominate our state, we say that we will not stand by and watch you destroy Wisconsin’s democracy, Wisconsin’s economy, Wisconsin’s schools, and Wisconsin’s communities. We will not pay for your crisis. We will organize. We will march. We will non-violently resist your policies and overcome your agenda.
To our fellow Wisconsinites we say simply, “join us.” Join the Wisconsin Wave of resistance against corporatization and austerity, and for democracy and shared prosperity for all: http://www.WisconsinWave.org