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