Keeping it Going in Wisconsin
Alright NYC! Can we show Madison, Wisconsin some love?
It has been a long time since the progressive movement has been as together as it is right now, and we have the unions of Wisconsin to thank for it. Now is the time for real solidarity and it is up to us to step up to the plate and support the unions, protesters and Democrats of Wisconsin.
Here is a round up of some great ways to help jump start the progressive movement in America and show the Teabaggers (and before a Teabagger whines about my use of that word, THEY came up with it!) that America does NOT suppport their extremist agenda.
First, let's get to real basics. What could better encourage the masses to stand up to the Teabagger Republican extremists than pizza! They gotta eat, so why not send them a pizza. This comes from a Tennessee blog. From KnoxViews:
Looking for a way to show solidarity with the Wisconsin protesters? Send a Solidarity Pizza.
Contact info: http://www.ianspizza.com/
The rest I have already highlighted in my newsletter this week, but I am hoping for more coverage here.
A similar idea comes from People for the American Way, a liberal organization founded by Normal Lear way back when.
Wisconsin's Tea Party Governor, Scott Walker, is leading a brazen assault on state employees and workers' rights, using a budget deficit -- created by his own corporate tax cuts -- as the excuse.
We must fight this! Tens of thousands of Wisconsinites have been protesting at the state capitol. We stand in solidarity with them and the working people who are under attack. We also stand in solidarity with Wisconsin's Democratic state senators, who have left the state in order to prevent the Republican majority in the legislature from ramming the governor's proposal through.
We'll also be sending a care package to the state senators who have left Wisconsin so that they can't be compelled by state law enforcement to show up in the Capitol and allow the bill to pass. After you sign the statement, you can chip in $5 toward the care package if you'd like.
In addition to attacking state employees' benefits, Gov. Walker's proposal is aimed at stripping their rights to organize and bargain collectively -- a clear example of right-wing union busting. It's a blatant effort by Republicans to destroy institutions that benefit their political opponents ... but the casualties will be real people and families.
All across the country, the Right Wing is waging a campaign to demonize public employees and blame them for budget shortfalls. The lies they are telling are appalling. It's an easy enough strategy to understand -- Republicans are exploiting concern about budget deficits and vilifying public employees and their bargaining rights so they can check off one more item long a part of their political to-do list: destroying unions.
We're all Wisconsinites today.
-- Ben Betz, Online Communications Manager
P.S. Other states are now considering similar proposals to Gov. Walker's. If this union-busting, benefit-gutting plan succeeds in Wisconsin, it is sure to succeed in others. We need to send the message now, in Wisconsin, that Americans won't stand for these attacks. Sign our statement.
Pizza and care packages are great ways to show solidarity AND help meet the basic needs of the protesters.
But there are also political needs to be met. We need to show our support of the Democratic State Senators in Wisconsin who have stopped the extremist Teabagger agenda in its tracks. From Daily Kos:
By now, you’ve probably heard about the amazing protests in Wisconsin. Public sector unions are making an historic stand against both the Tea Party and the billionaire Koch brothers who finance that "grassroots" movement.
Even though you don’t live in Wisconsin, there's a way you can help. The 14 Democratic state Senators who kept the fight alive are on Act Blue, and we’ve put their party committee on our Orange to Blue 2012 page.
Republicans hold a 19-14 edge in the Wisconsin state Senate, but 20 Senators are needed for a quorum. So, in response to a Republican attempt to pass a bill making public sector unions virtually illegal, all 14 Democrats simply left the state. If even one of these Democrats had remained in Wisconsin, then s/he would have been rounded up by the police, forcibly brought to the state Capitol, and the bill would have passed. At great personal and electoral risk, these 14 Democrats are protecting workers' rights and making resistance to the Tea Party the top news story in the country.
This could be a turning point for our movement. This time the Tea Party is reacting to, and several steps behind, our activism. Similar rallies are now being planned in over a dozen other states. As the opening salvo, the outcome of this fight will go a long way toward determining the outcome everywhere.
We have to support the people who are leading the resistance. Please, contribute $14 to the Wisconsin State Senate Democratic Committee.
And let me end with my usual expansion of an idea into a larger action. I believe we are seeing the beginning of a real resurgence of progressivism in the US and the retreat of the Teabaggers...but only if we fight back hard. I particularly ask my readers to donate through my Liberals Strike Back in 2012 Act Blue Page. In particular I think now is a critical time to donate to Russ Feingold's Progressive Patriot PAC, Tom Harkin's To Organize a Majority PAC, and Al Franken's Midwest Values PAC, all of which I include on my Act Blue Page. Another crital effort I include on the page is Progressive Majority. Together those organizations can help the resurgence of progressivism in the Midwest really take off. But only if we give them the support they need.