Wisconsin workers fight on

This video from the USA is called Workers Defend Their Rights in Wisconsin & Ohio.

Thousands of enraged trade unionists and their supporters massed outside Wisconsin‘s State Capitol today after Senate Republicans sneaked through a Bill stripping public-sector staff of nearly all their collective bargaining rights: here.

Wisconsin Republicans Show Their True Colors–Blackshirt: here.

Koch Brothers Exposed, from Brave New Foundation: here.

You Thought the Koch Brothers Were Bad? Turns Out They’re Even Worse Than You Thought: here.

GOP Winter Palace Dept:: Thousands storm Capitol as GOP takes action in Wisconsin: here.

Wisconsin AFL-CIO: Madison rally moved to 5:00 PM. Rallies around the state happening now. Click for a complete list here.

What Do Wisconsin Protesters Have in Common with Iraqis? Here.

Mary Bottari, PR Watch: “On the day that the bill passed the Wisconsin Assembly effectively ending 50 years of collective bargaining in Wisconsin and eviscerating the ability of public unions to raise money through dues, a new front opened in the battle for the future of Wisconsin families. Bagpipes blaring, hundreds of firefighters walked across the street from the Wisconsin Capitol building, stood outside the Marshall and Ilsley Bank (M&I Bank) and played a few tunes — loudly. Later, a group of firefighters and consumers stopped back in at the bank to make a few transactions. One by one they closed their accounts and withdrew their life savings, totaling approximately $190,000. After the last customer left, the bank quickly closed its doors, just in case the spontaneous ‘Move Your Money’ moment caught fire”: here.

Koch Brother Buys the Right to Interfere in Faculty Hiring at Florida State University. Kris Hundley, The St. Petersburg Times: “A conservative billionaire who opposes government meddling in business has bought a rare commodity: the right to interfere in faculty hiring at a publicly funded university. A foundation bankrolled by Libertarian businessman Charles G. Koch has pledged $1.5 million for positions in Florida State University’s economics department. In return, his representatives get to screen and sign off on any hires for a new program promoting ‘political economy and free enterprise’: here.

Lee Fang, ThinkProgress: “As reporter Kris Hundley notes, Koch virtually owns much of George Mason University, another public university, through grants and direct control over think tanks within the school. For instance, Koch controls the Mercatus Center of George Mason University, an institute that set much of the Bush administration’s environmental deregulation policy. And similar conditional agreements have been made with schools like Clemson and West Virginia University. ThinkProgress has analyzed data from the Charles Koch Foundation, and found that this trend is actually much larger than previously known”: here.

9 thoughts on “Wisconsin workers fight on

  1. Thousands have reoccupied the Wisconsin Capitol Chanting:
    General Strike! General Strike! General Strike!


    Kill the Bill, or Shut it Down!

    Dear Sisters & Brothers,

    There is an emergency in Madison.
    Stand with Wisconsin!

    Senate Republicans in Wisconsin attempted the nuclear option! In a final show of disregard for the sentiments of the majority of the people they severed the union-busting provisions from the budgetary bill.

    This move allowed them to vote without a quorum on the union busting part alone. Last night they rammed this through the Senate. Thursday it will come before the Assembly.

    But not without resistance, thousands of people have already refilled the Capitol bringing with them sleeping bags, drums and making plans to stay.

    The Wisconsin AFL-CIO and many others have put out an emergency call to come to Madison this morning. Protests are schedule this whole week and weekend. On Saturday, farmers are planning to drive their tractors to Madison to join union members. Milwaukee high school students are marching 80 miles to the Capitol.

    Members of the Bail Out the People Movement from around the country, who slept on the floor of the Capitol with our sisters and brothers, are saying NOW! is the time to do everything possible to stop Governor Walker, his right wing buddies and his billion dollar banker backers!

    If you are unemployed this is your fight! If you are a student this is your fight! No matter what union you are in or what you do — this is your fight!

    This is not just a battle against one bad governor — it is ultimately a fight against the entire tea party gang, who want to whip up racism and anti-immigrant bigotry and violence — who want to turn back the time to when there were no rights of any kind, no union rights, no civil rights, no peoples rights.

    The people of Wisconsin cannot stand alone against such a giant enemy.

    The bankers who have stolen trillions and who have foreclosed on our homes and jobs — are the same bankers and billionaires behind this attempt to smash unions.

    What can you do? There is plenty. If your community or student group or even your union has not verbalized its solidarity than make sure they do it now. And make them do more! Get them to act! Send a delegation to Madison.

    You know we can all get sick — a lot of us are already sick and tired. Why not get sick for a day or two — and band together with other sick folks to form a caravan to Madison. Stay as long as you can; the people of Wisconsin have open arms and hearts.

    The bosses hate to hear us to talk about “the general strike.” So let’s start talking about it and even planning it.

    And if you are too far away — hold a picket line or protest in your town or city square — take it to your favorite bank or billionaire. If the Koch brothers have an office, hold a protest there. Go inside if your feeling cold. If you’re feeling tired, sit down! After all we built the buildings — why should we always have to hang outside. Go to the AFL-CIO.org web site for listings of their actions.

    The first and last verses of the old union song “Solidarity Forever” say it best:

    When the union’s inspiration through the workers’ blood shall run,
    There can be no power greater anywhere beneath the sun;
    Yet what force on earth is weaker than the feeble strength of one,
    But the union makes us strong.

    In our hands is placed a power greater than their hoarded gold
    Greater than the might of armies, magnified a thousand-fold.
    We can bring to birth a new world from the ashes of the old
    For the union makes us strong.

    Solidarity Forever!

    Cheryl, Bryan, Sal, Ana Marie, Ben, Sharon, Kris, Dave, Jill, Martha

    You can also help BOPM organize support. Already many of our BOPM team members are headed back to Wisconsin. We continue to need your donations to make our work possible! Please CLICK HERE or go to http://www.bailoutpeople.org/donatewi.shtml to donate.

    In solidarity,

    Bail Out the People Movement http://www.bailoutpeople.org



    Democracy has its costs, but not $7.5 million in “building repairs” for peaceful demonstrations for economic justice.

    That’s the figure that the Scott Walker administration said was the cost to date, a few days ago, of “repairing” the state Capitol due to demonstrations that reached 70,000 to 100,000 people on some days. And the advocates weren’t there in support of the man who fashions himself the “new” Ronald Reagan. In fact, one Saturday, the Koch Brothers’ Americans for Prosperity tried to get some Tea Party supporters of Walker to counterprotest, but could only scramble up a few hundred. They haven’t been seen since in Madison.

    Once again, we refer our BuzzFlash at Truthout readers to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel Political “truth-o-meter,” which investigated the claim of $7.5 million in damages to the Wisconsin Capitol and found the figure such an egregious exaggeration that it gave its infamous “pants on fire” lying award to the Walker administration.

    But the Walker administration, under fire for trying to turn public opinion against the protesters for a viable middle class, revised its “estimate” down to $347,500.

    As the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel concluded:

    While urging a judge to scale back protests, a state Department of Administration official said the state Capitol sustained $7.5 million in damage. State officials could not immediately provide a basis for the number, and later backtracked from it. The new estimate: $347,500, some 20 times less than the original one. And there are indications that even that could be high.

    This smells like an effort to pour gas on the anti-protester fire. The claim was ridiculously high. And that gets a Pants on Fire rating.

    Indeed, the $347,500 may include costs of normal upkeep of the building.

    In the battle for whether or not corporations and the wealthy will run America, Walker is employing an army of lies.

    Mark Karlin
    Editor, BuzzFlash at Truthout


  3. Last weekend, tens of thousands of us rallied in New York City and around the nation. We demonstrated our solidarity with workers in Wisconsin and around the nation who are under attack by Tea Party Republicans like Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker.

    Step by step, we’re creating a powerful grassroots response to the Tea Party: a Job Party.

    On Tuesday, we’re joining with Moveon again to rally across the nation. Will you join us after work?

    Sign up to join your local rally here.

    Scott Walker isn’t backing down. When Wisconsin Democrats bravely refused to surrender, Republicans crammed their union-busting bill through, breaking laws in the process.

    And in Michigan, Republicans passed an “Emergency Manager” law to let Gov. Rick Snyder appoint virtual dictators to rule struggling towns by breaking unions and selling local utilities.

    These two actions are being called the “Ash Wednesday Massacre” – not of people, but democracy. And so we absolutely must respond on Tuesday after work:

    Sign up to join your local rally here.

    Cheesehead Rally NYC #1

    Our Job Party movement is just beginning. On Wednesday March 16, we’ll join Progressive Democrats of America in lunch-hour “Brown Bag Vigils” at local Congressional offices to demand Jobs not Cuts, Healthcare not Warfare, and Corporations Out of Politics.

    On Monday April 4, we’ll join the AFL-CIO in “We Are One” rallies to mark the date in 1968 when Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated while helping Memphis sanitation workers form a union.

    And on Monday April 18, we’ll mark “Tax Day” with Moveon by demanding an end to tax dodging by corporations and billionaires.

    I’ve been a progressive organizer my whole life, and I’ve never seen so much unity, passion, and determination. Workers, students, parents, the unemployed, veterans, feminists, Democrats, and a true rainbow coalition are coming together to protect our basic economic rights.

    And we’re not just on defense – we’re organizing recall elections and building support for a 21st Century WPA.

    So let’s hit the streets, make new friends, broaden our coalition, and increase our demands for change – because our economic and political survival is at stake.

    Thanks for all you do!

    Bob, Charles, Corinne, Diane, Harry, Jonathan, and Justin and the rest of the team

    P.S. if you’d like to help us build the Job Party, please visit our new web site:
    or “like” us on Facebook:
    or follow us on Twitter:

    p.p.s. Please share your thoughts in our new blog:



    The corporate overthrow of democracy is becoming so brazen that the Tea Party governor of Michigan is trying to get a bill passed that would give him the right to declare towns insolvent and turn them over to businesses to run, granting the corporate overseers the power to “fire” elected officials.

    In Pennsylvania, the Republican governor is giving an anti-regulation energy company executive “supreme” authority over environmental regulations in the state. In Wisconsin, Scott Walker wants to sell off state public utilities to companies like Koch Industries.

    This got BuzzFlash thinking: what would happen to high schools if the Republicans continue to get their way in legalizing corporate government and the privatization of all public assets?

    First of all, we would see naming rights sold for high schools as we have seen for stadiums. So the Bronx High School of Science would be renamed the Bank of America High School of Science, with, no doubt, a bank branch open next to the cafeteria.

    And speaking of the cafeteria, why pay those public kitchen workers when McDonald’s can take over and make the whole school obese?

    Of course, students at Bank of America High (the naming rights can be “franchised” for high schools around the US, such as Bank of America High School/Oshkosh) can work off those fries and high-caloric foods at the physical education classes, run under contract by Bally’s. If students can’t afford the “initiation” fee, they can sit out the classes in a detention hall run by the Wackenhut Services security company.

    Naturally, the currently free parking at many high schools will come with a price in the future, as a parking lot company buys rights to charge for spaces. The teachers won’t be unionized. In fact, most classes will be via computer and administered by a corporate standardized testing firm. Who needs teachers to train kids how to take a test?

    And let’s not forget hygiene: a private sanitation firm will take over upkeep of the washrooms, and that will necessitate – you guessed it – pay toilets.

    What’s frightening about this is not that it is silly; what’s scary is that it is all too possible, given the corporate coup that has been simmering for years and is now being fully actualized in the US.

    Mark Karlin
    Editor, BuzzFlash at Truthout



    The Koch brothers are launching a recruiting blitz on Facebook for maintaining the plutocracy.

    In the last few days, I have encountered endless paid ads in the right-hand column of Facebook for a program called “Liberty at Work.” “Looking for Work?” the ad asks. It then describes positions throughout the country for advancing “conservative and libertarian” causes.

    Clicking through the “Liberty at Work” ad brings you to an eponymous Facebook site (see “Welcome” on the Facebook page) that announces, “You no longer have to come to DC to advancing [sic] economic freedom.” In the “likes” section on the left-hand side of the page are listed a few of the local right-wing think tanks that an April 25 Mother Jones article discusses: “Inspired by Ronald Reagan and funded by the right’s richest donors, a web of [national] free-market think tanks has fueled the nationwide attack on workers’ rights.”

    Many of these institutions are funded by the Koch brothers.

    Furthermore, by clicking libertyatwork.org (on the Facebook info page), you are redirected to the Charles G. Koch Foundation Liberty at Work application page.

    The Kochs are so brazen that they do not try to hide their effort to beef up and expand local right-wing propaganda. They boast about it. Take a look around the full Koch Foundation web site and see for yourself, beginning at the Liberty at Work program description:

    Washington isn’t the only city where change happens; important public policy decisions are made everyday in states across the country. From Chicago to Atlanta, the Koch Associate Program has grown to include organizations both in and outside of DC, but the need for effective advocates for liberty continues to expand on the state level. This was the impetus behind the launch of Liberty@WorkTM.

    The invasion has begun.

    Mark Karlin
    Editor, BuzzFlash at Truthout


  6. Dear Young Democrat,

    As a legislator in Montana, I’m proud that my state has defeated several bills aimed at suppressing the vote.

    Unfortunately Montana is one of only a few success stories when it comes to our efforts to combat a concerted Republican plan to make voting much more difficult in states across the country.

    In a New York Times editorial from last week, the Advancement Project, a civil rights advocacy group, described this rash of Republican-sponsored legislation as “the largest legislative effort to scale back voting rights in a century.”

    That’s why two organizations dedicated to preserving the rights of all Americans have teamed up to take a stand against this outright assault on the fundamental democratic value of voting – you can join us here.

    As Vice President of the Young Democrats of America, I’m excited to partner with Democracy for America, the people-powered political action committee working on progressive issues across the country to bring attention to this attack on young peoples’ voting rights.

    A democracy depends on the people choosing their elected officials – not the politicians choosing their voters – and for that reason, DFA and YDA are launching a national campaign to defend democracy and defeat the Koch-funded attacks on voting rights.

    Join us in defending democracy right now.

    In addition to a this national statement in support of voting rights, YDA and DFA will be working together on a state by state basis to defeat the individual bills aimed at suppressing the votes of young people, working families, people with disabilities, the elderly and minorities.

    There is little else more precious than our ability to participate in our democracy. Join me today in standing up for voting rights.

    Thanks for all you do,

    Rep. Ellie Hill
    Vice President
    Young Democrats of America



    The Koch brothers pretty much own the Tea Party; they pretty much own a lot of right-wing think tanks that have steered the nation toward a radical Ayn Rand vision of the world; and now they are buying up professors and dictating extreme right-wing ideology.

    Yes, ThinkProgress reports that the Koch Foundation reached an agreement in 2008 to fund professors at Florida State University, as long as they would teach right-wing economic theory. In fact, the Koch Foundation had to approve any faculty hires who were paid with its “donated” funds.

    The Saint Petersburgh Times reports:

    A foundation bankrolled by Libertarian businessman Charles G. Koch has pledged $1.5 million for positions in Florida State University’s economics department. In return, his representatives get to screen and sign off on any hires for a new program promoting “political economy and free enterprise.”…

    Under the agreement with the Charles G. Koch Charitable Foundation, however, faculty only retain the illusion of control. The contract specifies that an advisory committee appointed by Koch decides which candidates should be considered. The foundation can also withdraw its funding if it’s not happy with the faculty’s choice or if the hires don’t meet “objectives” set by Koch during annual evaluations.

    In short, what is happening at a public university in Florida is the sellout of open inquiry by replacing it with corporate control of the faculty and the curriculum – and an extremist one at that.

    If this is a harbinger of things to come in our cash-starved public institutes of higher learning, it may signal the end of academic freedom at institutes of higher learning. They could become nothing more than propaganda diploma mills.

    Mark Karlin
    Editor, BuzzFlash at Truthout



    The right-wing assault on American education is in full swing.

    The Koch brothers are buying up professors to disseminate the gospel of greed in higher education across America. Right-wing funded think tanks, GOP politicians and even the White House are pushing privatized schooling, which means that the educational motive and context will be corporate profit, not the development of inquiry and knowledge.

    And among other efforts to undermine the American educational system and replace it with a system that values students for their profitability, we have seen public education spending slashed across the land. According to the San Francisco Chronicle, for instance, “The price of attending California State University could soar to $7,400 next spring – more than twice what it cost just three years ago.”

    The governor of Michigan is slashing $2 billion from the state’s education budget, and the Pennsylvania governor is urging state universities to sell off their land for toxic “fracking” to offset subsidy losses.

    A large part of the intellectual capacity, research and innovation that made America a formidable nation of creative ingenuity came from the resources and educational skills developed in public schools and universities – along with nonprofit educational facilities.

    When education becomes just another corporate profit center, the loss on the bottom line will be the future of the United States.

    Mark Karlin
    Editor, BuzzFlash at Truthout


  9. Save the Arts and Post your Title

    Dear Friend,

    We’re on offense again, this time putting the spotlight on David Koch and denying him a chance to spend his millions on credibility and social status. We organized a guerrilla action in the heart of NYC and projected several Koch Brothers Exposed videos on the facade of the David H. Koch Theater in Lincoln Center on Wednesday night.

    We need your help to produce more impactful actions to curb the Koch influence. Will you donate $10 and help us raise $30,000 for another ground action?

    As New Yorkers take the fight to David Koch, we’re giving everyone the opportunity to rename the Koch theater with our latest Guerrilla Drive In video.

    Our event is spontaneous and funny, but there’s tremendous value in exposing the Koch ideology and legacy through a satirical bent. Our newest video features a marching band, a choir, riot police and more than 500 passionate New Yorkers renaming the Koch theater during our Koch Brothers Exposed screening.

    What the Kochs are doing to our democracy is serious, but with your help, we can use satire to grow our movement and stop the Kochs.

    Robert Greenwald
    and the Brave New Foundation team


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