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Walkerville Activists Stand Strong: Peaceful Protest At Wisconsin Department Of Administration Offices

Dozens of Walkerville activists marched from the Wisconsin state Capitol to DOA Secretary Mike Huebsch’s offices at noon on Wednesday, June 15, to protest the former GOP state rep’s archaic Capitol security measures.

CMD learned while examining the drafting files at the Legislative Reference Bureau that Huebsch’s DOA gave the drafting orders for the collective bargaining section of the budget bill. Huebsch’s top political appointee, Cynthia Archer, served as a top aide to Scott Walker when he was Milwaukee County Executive.

The group roared “Who’s House? Our House!” as they entered the Department of Administration building on East Wilson Street. Protesters weren’t able to schedule a meeting with Huebsch – considered by many to be Governor Scott Walker’s top ally, and the architect of his 2011-2012 budget – but still managed to hang “unWANTED: Mike Huebsch” signs in his personal office and throughout the building.

Pilar Schiavo, an activist with the People’s Rights Campaign and Nurses United, led the peaceful procession. She stressed the danger of overlooking Huebsch’s involvement with Governor Walker’s anti-middle class agenda, and the need to repel his efforts to crush “the public’s right to assemble.”

“We feel like it’s important to pull Mike Huebsch out of the shadows. He’s really been responsible for the shutting down democracy within the capitol, and he’s had his hand in creating the budget,” said Schiavo.

One protestor taped an “unWANTED” sign, which read “Suspect is believed to be dangerous and armed with the unlawful eviction of The People from the Capitol” to Huebsch’s desk chair. With protestors still inside the building, a DOA receptionist began taking down the posters, citing their “offensive” nature.

Protestors hang signs inside the Wisconsin Department of AdministrationThe mood remained hopeful despite yesterday’s announcement from the Supreme Court legalizing Governor Walker’s collective bargaining legislation. Schiavo reminded the crowd that in spite of recent setbacks, victory looms on the horizon for the Wisconsin workers’ rights movement.

“People need to remember that this is a long fight, and that we’ve been successful already. We were able to hold that law for months. This is a long term struggle – the Walker agenda has been in the works for 30 years.”

 

By: Eric Carlson, Center for Media and Democracy, June 15, 2011

June 16, 2011 Posted by | Class Warfare, Collective Bargaining, Conservatives, Democracy, Elections, Freedom, GOP, Gov Scott Walker, Government, Ideologues, Ideology, Labor, Middle Class, Politics, Public Employees, Republicans, Right Wing, State Legislatures, States, Union Busting, Unions, Voters, Wisconsin, Wisconsin Republicans | , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Top Republican National Committee Official Involved In Wisconsin GOP Shenanigans

As you know, Wisconsin Republicans have hatched a scheme to run spoiler candidates in Dem primaries in order to delay the recall elections and give Wisconsin GOP state senators more time to save their hides. This plan has been openly embraced by the state’s Senate Majority Leader.

But it turns out there’s an interesting Washington angle on this story, too: A current top RNC official may have played a key role in developing the plan when he was with the state GOP. And he’s refusing to answer questions from reporters about it.

When the La Crosse Tribune first broke the story earlier this month, the paper reported that one Mark Jefferson, then the executive director of the Wisconsin state GOP, had been recorded discussing the plan with local GOP officials. Jefferson had served in that position for four years, as the right hand man of the Wisconsin state chairman, Reince Priebus. Priebus, of course, is now the head of the Republican National Committee.

Even as the story about the Wisconsin GOP scheme was breaking, it was already known that Jefferson would be moving to the RNC to play the role of midwestern regional director, a significant position.

No one is saying that the RNC itself played an active role in developing the plan. But Jefferson himself has in the past denounced such schemes as highly unethical. Last year, when Republicans accused Dems of running a spoiler candidate in a GOP primary in an Assembly race, Jefferson slammed it as a “nasty, cynical ploy.”

Now that Wisconsin Republicans are the ones accused of this, Jefferson has not responded to repeated requests from reporters that he defend the plan or explain his role in developing it.

This goes beyond just the role of Jefferson. There are currently mounting questions about the scope, nature and real goals of this scheme — we have now learned, for instance, that all six GOP state senators targeted for recall knew about this plan, even though they earlier claimed ignorance. Jefferson could clear up a lot about what’s really going on here. He may not see any reason to do that, of course. But Wisconsin reporters are going to continue demanding that he do.

 

By: Greg Sargent, The Washington Post, June 9, 2011

June 9, 2011 Posted by | Collective Bargaining, Conservatives, Democracy, Elections, GOP, Gov Scott Walker, Ideologues, Ideology, Politics, Right Wing, State Legislatures, States, Union Busting, Unions, Wisconsin, Wisconsin Republicans | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Not Resting On Their Laurels, Wisconsinites Establish Walkerville

Walkerville, Wisconsin

 

After the huge wave of protests throughout February and March, the focus of activists in Wisconsin moved to the impending recall elections this summer. The winter actions erupted as a result of an anti-union bill which threatened to remove essentially all collective bargaining rights for public employees as well as hamstring unions by requiring the almost impossible tasks of annual recertification and individual opt-in dues collecting. In response, besides assembling in numbers reaching nearly one-hundred thousand, Wisconsin citizens amassed signatures on petitions to facilitate the recall of numerous state senators who had voted for Governor Walker’s duplicitous legislation.

In the past two months, though a presence of protesters has remained – with their t-shirts, buttons, signs, banners, vuvzelas – around the vicinity of the capitol building, it appeared the united front of thousands had waned. Groups still came to meet for solidarity sing-a-longs and to attend governmental committee hearings on the many new regressive, pro-corporate, anti-human bills being forwarded by the Wisconsin legislature. But with the recall elections on the horizon and with the recent small victory of the Dane County circuit court dismissing the anti-collecting bargaining law (as it had been passed so hastily as to not adhere to common legislative requirements), it appeared that Wisconsinites might be done with the fight, resting on their own laurels and those of the Democrats they hoped to elect via the recall.

Of course, the corporate media, who operate under the same anti-human system that fosters plutocracy and redistribution of wealth from the many to the few, would like nothing better than to make it appear that all is “back to normal” in the cheese state. So, perhaps few people outside of Wisconsin and even outside of Madison realize that we were serious when we said that this was not a protest but a movement. There is much yet to be accomplished.

As of 7pm on Saturday, June 4th, a diverse group of citizens, representing unionists, non-union workers, students, teachers, immigrants, farmers, families and people with no formal affiliation (save for being a part of the empathetic class who truly seeks liberty and justice for all) laid down their tents and founded “Walkerville” around the perimeter of the Wisconsin capitol building. With a nod to the Hooverville tent cities of the Great Depression, these activists are demonstrating that we are not only opposed to the aforementioned anti-union bill, but that we are opposed to the entire regressive budget of this state, which wholly removes the rights and social safeties for the most vulnerable members of our society and shifts all of the state’s bounty to the wealthiest and most anti-social corporate oligarchs. The police state enacted by the Walker administration has severely hampered the lawful and peaceful assembly of citizens in our own statehouse, so Walkerville exists to re-establish the constant presence and occupation by the people of the state, whose voice is being muted within the capitol.

Most importantly, Walkerville demonstrates that we in Wisconsin are not going to let up. Just as we are being attacked on all fronts as citizens, we will be fighting back on all fronts. Though the Democrats in our state legislature have stepped up to the plate and helped to support the will of the people, it is unlikely that they would have done so had their feet not been held to the fire. If we had not gathered in the capitol clearly proclaiming our will, our presence, and our solidarity, it is not clear the state Democrats would have had the impetus to help us fight. Thus we know that simply electing new officials will never be enough to ensure justice for the people from the government.

States like New York and California serve as prime examples of how the Democratic agenda is just as corporate as the Republican. Governor Andrew Cuomo, the son of a man once considered one of the strongest liberals in NY State history, is promoting many of the same brutal and unnecessary cuts to education and poverty programs. The underserved of California are faring no better under Jerry Brown. If we citizens fail to realize that we must pressure ALL politicians of all politician affiliations, and we must be prepared to fight indefinitely against the bipartisan corporate takeover of our local, state, and federal our government, we are sure to lose.

Walkerville signifies the fortitude of the Wisconsin people, and the recognition that our struggles as citizens are not soon to end. Our actions may take new forms or may morph as they are reassessed for utility, but they are far from over.

For those of us in Wisconsin who cannot camp out day and night around the capitol but still want to volunteer with the movement, there are numerous opportunities to be present for more protests and actions against the state budget, which will be negatively affecting all of us. (See Defend Wisconsin for full details.) For those in other states who will likely see similar developments, please know that we are still fighting, as you will surely have to fight too. The more we acknowledge that this struggle against the ruling class will be ongoing, that it affects us all, and that we may not ever be able to “return to normal,” the more likely we may have a fighting chance for our future.

June 6, 2011 Posted by | Collective Bargaining, Conservatives, Corporations, Democracy, GOP, Gov Scott Walker, Government, Ideologues, Ideology, Middle Class, Politics, Public Employees, Republicans, Right Wing, State Legislatures, States, Union Busting, Unions, Wisconsin, Wisconsin Republicans | , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

   

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