Tuesday, March 1, 2011

I'm from Wisconsin, so I oughta know


I claim Wisconsin. My mom was born and raised there, I spent some childhood there, and I married a man from Green Bay. I'm Wisconsin enough to know the old beer commercial the title of this post came from.*

And I'm proudly related to the school teachers, fire fighters and public hospital employees (among others) who are fighting for the right to collectively bargain. I hear them demonized as "union thugs" by critics who aren't from Wisconsin and who don't know diddily except the lies Fox News and talk radio spews.

It makes me angry.

I fanatically watch the occupation of the Capitol in Madison, the live-streaming video from an iPhone that skips and freezes--but it is live and it's immediate.

I searched out YouTubes of the rally Saturday--100 thousand people peacefully gathered. Not one arrest. Classy.

And I'm proud to say that when my sister-in-law spoke to the press, her convincing and heartfelt witness had people in tears--because the budget proposed will cut medical benefits to her son and other kids with special needs. Few knew that. Two reporters later promised her they'd call the governor personally.

I saw Facebook friends from around the nation in the photos they posted this weekend from solidarity rallies in every one of the fifty states. They know that we are all Wisconson. Wisconsin is fighting for us all. 

Democracy is vaporizing. It may be too late.

But these brave warriors are waging a valiant fight. Rachel Maddow says they are winning. I hope she's right.

This beautiful movie, made this week by Madison, Wisconsin media producers Finn Ryan and David Nevala, features some of the people to whom we owe a debt of thanks. Give them a minute of your time and hear why they are battling for us all. Really. It is worth it.


We Are Wisconsin from Finn Ryan on Vimeo.

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*[Full disclosure] Actual commercial lyrics: "I'm from Milwaukee, so I oughta know: it's draft-brewed Pabst beer where ever you go..."

6 comments:

Big Mark 243 said...

If we can't find it within ourselves to support the Teachers of Wisconsin, then we deseve the consequence of that lack of action and apathy.

The talk of spending our childrens future... without being able to collectively bargain they won't have much of a future when it is their turn. I also thinks that this fight represents the power of conservative big bucks and what 'we the people' are really up against.

okjimm said...

good stuff, kiddo.... keep on keeping on....

posting that video, iffen you don't mind
and here's one you might like... our education dollars paying dividends.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1TIiRLt9R4Q&feature=player_embedded

Border Explorer said...

Mark--you're so right! We are choosing our future. We will live with the consequences (or, perhaps better--our children will).

okjimm--great video makes an important point that the budget is not the primary issue. It takes this post to the next level. Thanks for adding it!

an average patriot said...

the secretive Billionaire Koch brothers are supplying the millions to feed the lies to break the unions It will spread around the country eventually. We are fight rich lying Republicans not the truth. Very concerning, very concerning!

Border Explorer said...

Jim, that's such a great link to put on this post. Thanks a lot. Writing this was cathartic for me, but I did not got a lot of the facts out. So I appreciate you commenters who assisted me with that. Thanks.

Carol said...

Thanks for the post and video, B.E. I have no respect for the WI governor and I am sad for our future. It's becoming more and more apparent who our elected officials are serving - and it's not the people.

The only thing heartening about it all is the beauty of those who have given so much time and energy to peacefully protest.

My thoughts are with your sister-in-law and all who will suffer from Walker & Co.'s actions.